- Food and Cooking
The top 10 Smoothest Scotches
Many people use the term 'smooth' to refer to a scotch which is easy to drink. In this case, i am essentially using the term to describe a Single Malt Scotch Whisky which doesn't 'burn' the throat on the way down.
The Scotch Whiskies listed on this page will have low peaty or smokiness (Phenol ppm) but will also be around the lowest alcohol content for Scotch Whiskey at 40%.
The Single Malts on this page can also, generally, be considered reasonable 'entry level' whiskies for those who are new to Scotch.
As a rule of thumb, Scotch from the distilleries of the Highland region of Scotland will generally be smoother than those of the islands, including Islay. More specifically, Speyside, a region unto itself within the Highlands will be smoother than (other) Highland whiskies.
In a Single Malt producing region known as Lowland, a relative flat region, there are 3 remaining distilleries. Whiskies produced from this area are considered to have a 'lighter' body than most.
The Cheapest Scotches
in the smooth or mellow category
Glen Grant / The Major's Reserve - Speyside - Price 21GBP
A no-age-statement entry-level Glen Grant, this is a very accessible, approachable malt ideal for beginners.
Speyburn 10 Year Old - Speyside - Price 23GBP
Pretty much the only expression of Speyburn on the market until 2008. It may now have stable mates but it still keeps its place as the easy drinking centre of the range.
Knockando 1997 / 12 Year Old - Speyside Price 24GBP
A 1997 vintage 12yo from trusty Speysider Knockando. Easy on the palate and the wallet.
Glenrothes 8 Year Old / Macphail's Collection - Speyside - 25GBP
A very approachable Glenrothes bottled at 8 years old by Gordon & Macphail for their Macphail's Collection. Not the most complex Speyside you'll ever encounter, but it's fantastically easy to drink.
Aberlour 10 Year Old - Speyside - 25GBP
Aberlour 10yo is a great entry-level malt, ideal for beginners, with a fine sherried spiciness. Pound for pound, this is one of the best that Speyside has to offer.
Glenlivet 12 Year Old - Speyside - 26GBP
One of the most famous malts in the world. Glenlivet 12yo has a soft smooth balance of sweet summer fruits and the floral notes of spring flowers.
Glenfiddich 12 Year Old - Speyside - 27GBP
One of the world's best-selling malts, Glenfiddich 12yo's famous triangular bottle is a fixture in practically every bar on the globe. Light and easy-drinking stuff loved by millions.
Award Winning Scotch
in the 'Smooth' category
Glenkinchie 12 Year Old - Lowlands - Price 31GBP
SFWSC 2010 Gold Medal
Replacing the 10 year-old as the main expression of the Lowland style in the Classic Malts range, this Glenkinchie 12yo is a bit fuller and more complex
Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old - Highland - Price 33GBP
SFWSC 2010 Double Gold Medal
Dalwhinnie 15yo is a good introduction to the delights of single malt whisky - elegant, smooth and medium-bodied with a light, fruity palate and a whiff of heather on the finish. Part of Diageo's Classic Malt range.
Most Expensive Scotch
in the 'smooth' category
Auchentoshan 1966 / 31 Year Old - Lowland - Price 450GBP
A single cask bottling of Auchentoshan, distilled in 1966 and matured for 31 years before its release in the late 1990s. This got a 90 from Serge Valentin on Whisky Fun - 'Very classy', he reckoned.
Kinclaith 1963 / Private Collection - Lowland - Price 1,050GBP
Extraordinarily rare malt, even by Kinclaith's standards: just 64 (!) bottles were yielded when G&M bottled it in 1996 from what must have been, judging by the colour, an exceptional refill sherry hogshead. Kinclaith was founded in 1957 and closed in 1975. This incredibly scarce Lowlander has never been officially bottled as most of its output went into parent company Schenley International's Long John blend.