20 Best Scotch Whiskies Under $200

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While the price of Scotch mainly varies depending on the brand, it is known as the most expensive type of whiskey. While there are whiskeys more expensive than Scotch, generally speaking, Scotch tip the scale for a tad when it comes to price. 

A good Scotch doesn’t necessarily mean a ridiculously expensive one, as it largely depends on why it is made. However, Scotch isn’t unattainably expensive and reserved only for the filthy rich.

There are Scotches as cheap as $20, but there are also those which cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

The collector’s Scotches and those that come in limited editions are naturally more expensive, but that doesn’t have to mean that they are superior to the more affordable brands. Nevertheless, it is still safe to assume that the very cheap kinds may not be very good. 

A reasonable price for a Scotch varies from $100 to $200, so you can easily find a good Scotch between these numbers. 

To know if you are having a good Scotch, you first need to know what constitutes a good Scotch. Scotch is made with only three ingredients- water, barley, and yeast. While whiskey can come from rye, corn, or barley, Scotch has a stricter making procedure. 

Furthermore, for a spirit to be regarded as Scotch, it has to come from Scotland. A good scotch has a soothing flavor, mellow texture, and smooth finish.

It is similar to whiskey, but while whiskey is more aromatic and slightly sweeter, Scotch is a tad sharper. 

Each Scotch lover has their own taste and their own type of Scotch, but a beginner would need some education before they decide which Scotch is the right for them.

Also check: 20 Best Single Malt Scotch Whiskies Under $100

Furthermore, Scotch requires some experience so that you can appreciate it better. 

Top 20 Scotch Whiskies Under $200

Therefore, in this article, I will give you a list of 20 Scotches under $200, so take your pick and enjoy. 

1. Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years Blended Scotch Whiskey 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It is only appropriate to open this list with this Scotch. This Johnnie Walker is a blend of 18 different whiskeys gathered from different regions in Scotland. As a result, this Scotch is playful, vibrant, and very refined. 

The nose exhibits hints of fruity, floral, honey, and dried fruit notes. The mid-palate it develops and expands into a creamy consistency and notes of sweet dark fruit. The finish is smooth and long, hinting of pepper and slight tones of vanilla.

2. Tomatin 21-year Old Single Malt 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Scotch ages for 21 years in ex-bourbon casks, which makes it unimaginably smooth. It is known for its richness and refinement and is exceptionally flavorful.

On the nose, it has explicit tones of bourbon, featuring vanilla and ethanol notes. On the palate, it starts slowly and gradually builds toward the climax. 

Initially, it exhibits mellow notes of apple, honey, and baked goods, expanding into deeper and darker tones of dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and cinnamon. The finish is very smooth and buttery, slightly spicy and warm. 

3. Ardbeg Supernova 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This is a limited edition Scotch with a distinctly clean and crisp character. It has a strong ethanol aroma mixed with a slight herbal tone and just a pinch of vanilla.

On the palate is buttery with notes of dried figs, vanilla, raisins, and slight and understated citrus hints. It is slightly savory but perfectly balanced and harmonious. 

The finish is warm but sharp. It doesn’t lack smoothness, but you may mistake its assertiveness for aggressiveness, especially if you aren’t that experienced with Scotch. 

4. Laphroaig 18-Year 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Scotch ages for 18 years in ex-bourbon casks which is where it acquires its bourbon-like dimension. It is sharp and vibrant, with a crisp aroma.

Some would call this Scotch a bourbon in disguise, and though that may be the case for some of its aspects, it isn’t a good overall description, as the rest of the drink is purely 100% Scotch. 

The mid-palate is rich, complete, and somewhat oily, with distinct citrus notes where you can clearly taste lemon, tangerine, and orange. The finish is long and smooth, leaving a citrusy and peppery aftertaste. 

5. Glenfarclas Single Malt-25

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This exquisite 25-year-old Scotch is an excellent dessert drink, especially after a full, decadent meal. It has a distinct marmalade flavor which it gets from aging for 25 years in sherry casks. The nose is sweet and supple with notes of honey and dried fruits. 

The mid-palate expands and bursts with deep and complex notes of honey, coffee, dark chocolate, marmalade, vanilla, and oak. Needless to say, the finish is smooth and remarkably delicious, balancing the flavors in a delicate manner. 

6. Bowmore Islay Single Malt-18-Year 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Scotch is an ingenious combination of flavors, including ripe fruit, smoke, chocolate, and vanilla, rounding everything out. The nose is dominated by the smoke and fruit aromas creating a seductive profile from the get-go. 

It is a generally fruity and mellow Scotch, ideal for the untrained palate. Mid-palate, it continues with ripe fruit and caramel notes, enveloped in smokiness and overall elegance. The finish is, as you may expect, smooth, flavorful, rich, and buttery. 

7. The Macallan Double Cask 15-Year-Old

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Scotch is an exceptionally rich blend from two barrels. It has sherry seasoning, which makes this spirit uniquely fruity. The American oak gives this drink its signature vanilla hint, while the European oak makes it warm and sweet. 

The nose is gentle yet vibrant, mixing vanilla, sherry, and slight citrus tones, while the mid-palate is more potent and lively. It tastes like dark chocolate, vanilla, dried fruit, and toffee, with hints of citrus. 

The finish is warm and slightly peppery, smooth, and refined, with a lingering aftertaste of sherry and honey notes. 

8. The Balvenie Double Wood 12-Years

Aged twice, first in ex-bourbon barrels and then in ex-sherry casks, this Scotch is extremely colorful and playful. It has a very distinct aroma, somewhere between crisp and sweet, that shapes the sip from the start. 

The palate is delicate and refined, exhibiting notes of dried fruit, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. The finish is velvety smooth, with lingering vanilla notes, creating an overall warm sensation and a pleasant burn. 

9. Craigellachie Single Malt 17-Years 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Robust and rugged, this Scotch is definitely a better choice for the trained palate than for a beginner’s one. It is assertive, and it takes some knowledge and experience to properly understand and appreciate it. 

While a newbie would say that it is reeks of ethanol, an experienced Scotch enthusiast would call the nose pungent and muscular with hints of pineapple. The pineapple dimension continues on the palate too, creating an overall tangy sensation. 

The palate exhibits notes of vanilla, toffee, fudge, and caramel, creating a deep and complex overall flavor. This Scotch is initially aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then sherry casks, and finally, half of the spirit finishes in bourbon first and in sherry barrels second. 

10. Oban 18-Year

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Expressively fruity and natural-flavored, this Scotch takes pride in its refinement and elegance, well-balanced tasting notes, and overall smoothness and richness. 

It releases aromas of wood and smoke enveloped in discrete vanilla notes. It continues to the mid-palate with notes of pear, banana, and plum, giving this Scotch a rich and tropical flavor. 

The finish is smooth and rich, with hints of pepper, citrus, and understated yet significant notes of vanilla. The burn is very pleasant, followed by an even richer aftertaste. 

11. Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch 12 Years

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Rumour has it that no man has managed to drink just one glass of this Scotch. Uniquely flavored and tasting expressively like cocoa, you think about your second glass even before finishing the first one. 

With an extremely rich palate, tasting like ripe fruits and petals and slightly like bubblegum. The finish is smooth and flavorful, with hints of citrus and white pepper. It slides softly, warming you up and leaving a sweet and fresh aftertaste. 

12. The Glendronach Single Malt (18 Years)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Aged for 18 years in two types of ok barrels, American and European oak, this Scotch is very smooth, refined, and incredibly vibrant.

Acquiring the best from both, i.e., the vanilla and citrus notes from the American and the sweetness and warmth from the European oak, it is a blend of the best of both continents. 

With a nose that exhibits spicy tones and berry notes and a palate tasting like pineapple, honey, pear, and toffee, this is a lively, fruity spirit with a smooth and buttery consistency.

The finish is, expectedly, smooth and very rich, sliding down nicely, leaving more of a trace than an aftertaste.

13. Highland Park Single Malt 18 Years

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Matured in Spanish sherry casks, this Scotch is very rich and expressively fruity. The palate is overall complex and vibrant, exposing the darker side of this seemingly cheerful spirit.

The nose is significantly spicy, with underlying fruity tones, mellowing down the spiciness. 

Smoky, with tones of dried fruit, chocolate, caramel, and just a tad of vanilla, the palate is robust and strong-flavored. The finish is long, lingering, smooth, flavorful, and aromatic.

With its creamy, almost buttery consistency, it slides gently down the throat, leaving you with a flavor you will definitely want to taste again.

14. Bunnahabhain 18 Years

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The trifold winner of the “Best spirit in the world” award will undoubtedly make it clear to you why it acquired this prestigious award. The nose and the palate exhibit similar tones but with a different intensities, the palate being the more expressive one. 

The tasting notes include cocoa, cherry, berries, vanilla, oak, and smokiness, excellently balanced and deliciously rounded out by the underlying savoriness of the spirit. With a finish smooth as silk and warm as a cold night’s campfire, this is a genuinely unique expression.

Ideal as a starting lesson but also excellent for the trained palate, the tasting notes in this drink are easily detectable and very explorative. 

15. Glenlivet 21

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Nutty, fruity, and savory, this is a genuinely exquisite spirit. The nose starts on the mellow side, with soft and gentle notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel, while the palate expands into more complex and intense dimensions. 

Expressively fruity, tasting like dried berries and candied citrus fruits, the discrete saltiness in this spirit is there to further intensify these tasting notes. Therefore, expect a flavor explosion somewhere in the middle. 

As it approaches the finish, things start to settle down, and the sip becomes calmer and more straightforward, hinting at smokiness and slight pepperiness. The finish itself is very smooth, warm, pleasant, and buttery.

16. Dalmore King Alexander III

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This is an outstandingly complex Scotch aged in six casks. It ages in Madeira, Marsala, sherry casks, bourbon barrels, pork casks, and French wine casks. Therefore, you can imagine its versatility and vibrancy. 

It is extremely potent and intense, with a very strong character and many flavor layers. During the maturation, this Scotch acquires wisdom from each vessel only to become an individual spirit with its own markings. 

The nose is vibrant and complex with tones of chocolate, vanilla, and tropical fruits. The palate starts intensely from the very beginning, and therefore you will be able to enjoy the flavor explosion right away. 

Tasting like winterberries mixed with orange liqueur and smoke, the middle is expressive and very open. The finish is flavorful and robust but smooth nonetheless. 

This is a strong-flavored Scotch and is definitely not for everybody. It is of impeccable quality, and it takes a refined palate to appreciate it properly. 

17. Auchentoshan 21

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Aged for 21 years in bourbon and sherry casks, this Scotch is very flavorful, rich, complex, and smooth. The palate is creamy, tasting like vanilla, cream, honey, and gooseberries, while the nose is soft with fresh and crisp notes it picks up from the bourbon barrels.

It is overall buttery, smooth, and decadently substantial. Some would even call it oily and heavy, so it definitely isn’t everybody’s poison. However, even though it needs some getting used to, this Scotch is definitely worth a try. 

18. Macallan 18-Year Fine Oak

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Scotch is more on the classic side; you may even call it the VH1 of Scotches. It starts by the book, with vanilla, citrus, and smoky notes on the nose. In the beginning, the sip is simple and sharp before it expands and shows its true character. 

The middle is very creamy, soft, smooth, and pleasant. It exhibits tones of citrus, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. As it approaches the grand finale, it pops up a honey note; it saves for last. 

The finish is very smooth and warm, leaving a nice and soft aftertaste, layering the throat for the next sip. 

19. Arbelour 18 Years Old

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This Scotch is a real treat for the taste buds. Starting from the nose with vanilla, honey, and chocolate notes, it gives a nice little preview of what you are getting into. You may as well get a spoon, as this is definitely a dessert in a glass. 

Fruity and buttery, it tastes like toffee, caramel, chocolate, and peaches. It is deep, rich, and very complex. It starts with the peach dimension and slowly builds toward the more complex and darker flavors. 

The finish is exquisite, soft, and robust at the same time, with a discrete peppery note and slight creamy dimension. It goes down nicely and easily, and it is an excellent choice for both an experienced and an untrained palate. 

20. Lagavulin 12 The Lion’s Fire

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A powerful name for a powerful drink, lion’s fire is just what this spirit invokes in you. In a word hot, it does require an experienced palate to be able to recognize what it has to offer.

Starting with potent notes of sea salt mixed with sushi rice, as unusual as that may sound, enveloped in green tea tones enriched with a just a pinch of dried petals, it further expands with dry cacao, lemon peels, and smoke that only intensifies the other tasting notes. 

The palate combines the sea salt and lemon together, creating a sharp and hot sensation you feel very intensely and vividly. Soon after, it calms down with soothing sweetened tea notes and just a tad of saltwater taffy. 

The finish is smooth but just as vibrant and colorful as the palate, so if you think that the adventure finishes with the palate, think again. The flavors continue even after the finish, releasing their magic in the form of a long lingering aftertaste.

Resources: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_whisky

Chad Smith

Hello and Welcome, I am Chad, a formal bartender. I created this blog to help readers make exotic cocktails at home.

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