Popular Scotch Whisky Brands Bartenders Should Know - dummies

Popular Scotch Whisky Brands Bartenders Should Know

By Ray Foley

Scotch whisky is a readily available liquor bartenders are bound to come across. These are the brands of Scotch whisky that you’re most likely to find at your local bar or liquor store:

  • Ballantine’s is available in these varieties: Finest, 12 Year Old, Blended Malt 12 Year Old, 17 Year Old, 21 Year Old, and 30 Year Old.

  • Bell’s is available in Extra Special and Special Reserve Blended Malt.

  • Black & White comes in a black bottle with a simple white label.

  • Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky uses only malts from Islay.

  • Chivas Regal is available in 12, 18, and 25 year old varieties.

  • Cutty Sark is available in these varieties: Original; Black; Sark Malt; and 12, 15, 18, and 25 year old.

  • Dewar’s offers these varieties: White Label, 12 Year Old, 18 Year Old, and Signature. Dewar’s now also offers a honey-flavored Scotch.

  • The Famous Grouse is available in 10, 12, and 15 year old varieties, along with Scottish Oak Finish, Bourbon Cask Finish, Snow Grouse, Black Snow Grouse, Famous Grouse, and Timorous Beasties Limited Edition.

  • Grant’s is available in several varieties: Family Reserve Blended; Ale Cask Reserve; Sherry Cask Reserve; Distillery Edition; and 12, 18, and 25 year old.

  • Johnnie Walker offers these varieties: Red, Black, Green, Gold, Blue, and Swing.

  • Justerini & Brooks (J&B) offers just one product, J&B Rare, which is blended from Speyside malt whiskies.

  • The Last Drop uses nearly 70 different malt whiskies and 12 different grain whiskies to create its distinctive blend.

  • Pinch is known as the Dimple everywhere in the world except in the United States.

  • Royal Salute is available in these varieties: 21 Year Old, 100 Cask Selection, and 38 Year Old Stone of Destiny.

  • Scottish Leader Blended Scotch Whisky contains malts from Aberfeldy, Caol Ila, Girvan, and North British grain.

  • Teacher’s Highland Cream is made with a blend of more than 30 different single malt whiskies.

  • Vat 69 is available in Finest and Reserve de Luxe varieties.

  • White Horse is available in its standard blend and Extra Fine 12 Year Old.

Single-malt Scotch whisky is unblended malt whisky from a single distillery. The water and malted barley, the raw materials of Scotch whisky, differ from distillery to distillery and region to region. In addition, the production methods, variations in topography and climate, and size and shape of the pot stills all contribute to the uniqueness of each distillery’s single malt.

Scotland has more than 100 single-malt distilleries, so if you’re a fan of single-malt Scotch whisky, you’re unlikely to run out of whiskies to sample and enjoy. The following is a listing of just a few brands worth trying:

  • Aberlour

  • Balvenie

  • Bowmore

  • Bunnahabhain

  • Cardhu

  • Dalmore

  • Deanston

  • Glenfiddich

  • Glenlivet

  • Glenmorangie

  • Glenrothes

  • Highland Park

  • Isle of Jura

  • Lagavulin

  • Laphroaig

  • Ledaig

  • Macallan

  • Oban

  • Old Stillman’s Dram

  • Passport

  • Pig’s Nose

  • Scapa

  • Sheep Dip

  • Singleton

  • Speyburn

  • Springbank

  • Talisker

  • Tobermory

  • Whyte & Mackay