Seasoned whiskey drinkers know the value of a rich, full-bodied bottle of fine whiskey. First introduced in the 13th century, Whiskey is an important part of celebrations around the world. The word whisky (or whiskey) is an anglicization of the Classical Gaelic word “water”. Often referred to as the ‘water of life’, it is commonly enjoyed alone, with people, or used to toast.
Earlier this week, a cask of rare Scottish whiskey dating back to 1975 was sold for a record £16 million, showing the value whiskey has. When considering quality, taste, style, and price, here is a definitive list of ten single malt whiskeys every drinker should have:
10. Teeling Single Malt
Counting down from number 10 is Teeling’s single malt contains whiskeys aged for up to 23 years, which have been matured in a range of wine casks: sherry, port, Madeira, white burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. This blend marries different elements together to bring about a rich and spicy whiskey.
- Price: N37,500 for 70cl.
9. Monkey Shoulder
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Monkey Shoulder’s name is not the most interesting thing about it. A blend of 100% single malt whisky, Monkey Shoulder combines some of Speyside’s best to create a unique single malt. It has notes of vanilla and fruity aromas, making it perfect for mixing any whisky cocktail.
- Price: From N12,700.
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Glenmorangie starts out with water, wood, yeast, and barley, the whiskey makers have imaginative ways of getting interesting flavours. The Original has a lemon-gold colour and an aroma and taste of fruits, notably mandarin, lemon, apple, pear and peach trees, creamy vanilla, geranium and wild mint.
- Price: From N116, 700.
7. Glenlivet Founders Reserve
Glenlivet Founders Reserve is a Speyside whisky matured in selected traditional and American first-fill oak casks. It is well-balanced, sweet, fruity taste with a smooth finish. It is another whiskey that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or used to make a cocktail. It is also relatively cheap, which could make people skeptical about its quality but its affordability does not take away from the taste. It is flavorful and appeals to a lot of whiskey drinkers. It is also a great whiskey for beginners.
- Price: N19,550.
6. Glenfiddich 18 years
The world’s most awarded single malt whiskey, Glenfiddich has an 18-year-old whiskey with a unique freshness made from the same Highland spring water they use for their other blends. This whiskey has is carefully matured in American oak and European oak sherry casks for at least 18 years. This gives it a rich, fruity, full-bodied taste that shows care and attention to detail.
- Price: N38,000.
5. Balvenie 15
Limited by nature, each heavily toasted European oak Oloroso sherry butt will yield no more than 800 bottles of Scotch whisky. The Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask has been matured exclusively in a single European oak sherry butt for at least 15 years. It is rich with elegant oak and subtly spice.
- Price: N23,425.
4. Glenlivet 18 years
Glenlivet makes its second appearance on this list with its 18- year-old whisky. The winner of 2 gold medals in the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), the Glenlivet 18-year-old and remains the most loved Scotch whisky distiller. This whisky has an aroma of toffee and cream. The palate offers notes of sweet orange peel and vanilla, with undertones of burnt caramel.
- Price: N31,650.
3. Hibiki (Japanese)
Hibiki has five whiskeys under its belt with different ages and blends. Launched in 1989, Hibiki Whisky is a melodic blend of several malt and grain whiskies which are thoroughly blended to create an ensemble of flavours and aromas. Hibiki whiskies boats of fine craftsmanship, masterful knowledge of blending, and a sense of luxury.
- Price: Starting from N31,150.
2. Macallan 18 years
A full-bodied palate of mature oak, ginger and raisin flavors is complimented by a light mahogany natural colour of this whiskey. Aged 18 years in European casks, its palate is lemon citrus, vanilla and light toasted oak and nutmeg.
- Price: starting from N110,600.
1. Glenfiddich 21 years
Matured for 21 years at the distillery, Glenfiddich is a traditional Speyside whisky. After it has been matured, the 21-year-old whisky is infused in Caribbean rum-soaked casks that have a spicy warmth and easy-going vanilla and toffee sweetness. This infusion transforms something great to something spectacular. It gives this whisky an opulent sweet intensity that is both rich and creamy yet still retains the characteristics of a Glenfiddich whiskey.
- Price: Starting from N140,000.
Nairametrics relies on information from whiskey drinkers, research, and market data to curate its list of top single malt whiskeys. This list is updated quarterly.