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The 20 Best Scotches Under $100 For Thanksgiving, Ranked

It’s time to call out some great Scotch whisky for Thanksgiving sipping. Scotch whisky is a wide-ranging category that covers everything from single malt whiskies to blended malts, blended whisky (a mix of grain and malt whiskies), peated malts and blends, unpeated malts and blends, and single grain whiskies. It’s a lot of variation, which means that there’s something for everyone if you know where to look.

That’s where I come in. Below, I’m calling out 20 great Scotch whiskies across several categories that I think are worth tracking down this week. These are the bottles that you can pair meals with, enjoy as easy sippers after a long day, or mix into great cocktails. There’s true flexibility in the whiskies listed below.

I’m also ranking these according to their flavor profiles (nose, taste, and finish). Just to be clear, this is about that profile more than the utility of the actual bottle ranked. That means that all 20 of these whiskies are great for neat sipping, on-the-rocks imbibing, or mixing up highballs and/or cocktails. Versatility is the keyword for these Scotch whiskies.

Moreover, you should be able to find all of these in a good liquor store at a price under $100. Okay, let’s dive in and find you a great Scotch whisky to bring to your Thanksgiving table/weekend/parties!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Scotch Whisky Posts of The Last Six Months

20. The Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut

The Glenrothes Whisky Makers
The Edrington Group

ABV: 48.8%

Average Price: $83

The Whisky:

The bulbous bottle from The Glenrothes is all about the sherry. The expression spends an undisclosed amount of years in first-fill sherry casks. When those barrels are just right, the whisky is then batched and vatted before being proofed down only slightly.

Tasting Notes:

The nose bursts forth with butterscotch. Once that fades, hints of worn leather, orange peels, and nutmeg mix underneath that butterscotch nose. The palate is nutmeg-forward with a spicy orange zest kissed with dark chocolate and vanilla. The end feels a bit like eggnog laced with orange zest and vanilla with a spicy warmth.

Bottom Line:

This is a great entry point, especially if you’re bringing a bottle of scotch to a table full of bourbon drinkers. That spicy orange chocolate nutmeg vibe will be very familiar.

19. Compass Box Orchard House

Compass Box Orchard House
Compass Box

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $58

The Whisky:

This blended malt leans into apples as a predominant flavor note of sweet Scotch whisky. The juice in the bottle is a blend of 39% Linkwood single malt aged in ex-bourbon barrels, 20% Clynelish single malt also aged in ex-bourbon barrels, and Benrinnes single malt from ex-bourbon barrels. The following 8% is a single malt from a distillery in the town of Aberlour (not the distillery) that is aged in ex-sherry butts with two percent from a Highland malt blend that is aged in custom-built and toasted French oak barrels, and the final 2% from a peated malt from Caol Ila that matured in ex-bourbon casks.

Tasting Notes:

Naturally, apples burst forth on the nose with tart, sweet, and juicy notes next to a soft pear vibe, lemon and lime zest, a touch of sweet pineapple, and a soft echo of dry but fragrant Earl Grey tea leaves. The palate leans into fresh ginger soaking in a pot of floral honey next to minor notes of fresh strawberry shortcake with a soft vanilla sponge cake, fresh berries, and a dollop of vanilla-laced whipped cream. The finish leans into a light white floral note while the pear and apple return with a ripeness that feels like they’re fresh off the vine and a final note of lightly spiced malts with a whisper of applewood smoke.

Bottom Line:

This is like a holiday fruit basket in drink form. The pears, pineapple, apples, ginger, and deep vanilla all feel like something bright on a rainy day. Make sure to add a little water or a rock if you want to get into some creamy brandy butter vibes with a tropical fruit pie feel.

18. Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate Batch #2

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $90

The Whisky:

Glenmorangie has finally made this a regular drop on the North American market. The juice is made from Highland barley grown exclusively on the 440-acre Cadboll Estate, which surrounds the distillery. The juice is then filled into French casks which held Muscat and Sémillon wines. It’s then left alone for 15 years to mature. Finally, those barrels are batched and brought down to a low 86 proof with local highland spring water.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a sense of buttered scones with lemon curd next to a good dose of vanilla and a touch of savory herbs on the nose. The palate really holds onto that biscuity nature while adding in a caramel candy note next to a bit of butter with a white sugar cube vibe. That lemon comes back on the short finish with hints of old straw and strawberry jam while the savory edge sneaks back in with a hint of lightly spiced tobacco leaf.

Bottom Line:

That hint of savory herbs and spiced tobacco feels very turkey brine adjacent with the citrus providing a nice counterbalance as a pairing whisky.

17. Aberfeldy 12

Bacardi

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $47

The Whisky:

This Highland malt is the cornerstone of the much-beloved Dewar’s Blended Scotch. This whisky is a very accessible single malt that spends 12 years resting in various casks before it’s married and proofed down and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

The heart of the nose is in the mingling of pear and honey with a hint of Christmas spice, especially nutmeg. The palate expands on that with a lush maltiness, creamy vanilla, mild spice, and more of that honey and orchard fruit. The end gets slightly nutty and bitter with a little water as the honey, fruit, and spice linger on the senses.

Bottom Line:

Nutmeg, honey, nuttiness all add up to a great holiday pour of whisky. That said, this works wonders in simple cocktails too, especially if you’re mixing up a highball or old fashioned.

16. Benromach Contrasts Organic

Benromach Contrasts Organic
Gordon & MacPhail

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $55

The Whisky:

This is the first Soil Association-certified organic single malt from Scotland. The mash is made from organic Scottish barley. That juice was then filled into new American oak barrels for a long rest. When those barrels hit the right mark, they were batched, proofed, and bottled without chill filtration.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with a fascinating mix of bran muffins cut with rich vanilla and lemon oils next to dry ramen packs, softly stewed brown beans, and apple-cider-infused malts with a hint of cumin, cardamon, and cinnamon that’s almost garam masala. The palate leans into the spiced malts with an undercurrent of rich toffee, gingerbread, vanilla cream, and salted banana chips with a light flutter of sage and thyme. The end has a soft espresso cream vibe next to black licorice and dry chocolate crumbles.

Bottom Line:

This is funky and fun with a good dose of holiday spices and savory green herbs. Then that bitter espresso vibe hits at the end, creating a little more depth that feels like a great digestif pour.

15. The Dalmore 12

Whyte & Mackay

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $68

The Whisky:

This Highland whisky is a gateway whisky that feels like a classic. The juice is aged in ex-bourbon for nearly a decade. The whisky is then transferred to former sherry casks for that crucial finishing touch of maturation for around three years. It’s then proofed down to a very accessible 80 proof.

Tasting Notes:

Oranges studded with cloves mingle with a deep dark chocolate foundation and a hint of eggnog creaminess and spiciness. The palate goes even deeper on the orange and spice as heavy vanilla arrives — the husks, seeds, and oils are all present. The end is fairly succinct and touches back on the chocolate with a bitter mocha-coffee vibe and more vanilla.

Bottom Line:

This is a great and easy pour. It’s a crowd-pleaser that leans into holiday spirits with a nice and creamy chocolate base, especially over a rock or two.

14. Glendronach 15 Revival

Brown-Forman

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $79

The Whisky:

Revival 15 takes its sherried nature very seriously. The juice is aged in a combination of Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks for 15 long years. Those casks are married and this whisky is brought down to a very easy-drinking 92 proof with that soft Highland water.

Tasting Notes:

Dark berry brambles with tart and sweet fruit, stems, thorns, and even a little black dirt draw you in on the nose with a hint of walnut shell and cherry pie. The palate is a creamy-yet-bitter dark chocolate orange that leads toward a semi-savory fig countered by ripe apricot. The chocolate comes back with cinnamon spice and more dark berries and walnut at the end.

Bottom Line:

There’s a nice sense of figgy pudding with plenty of dark winter spices that help this malt shine this time of year. I like this in a simple cocktail (like a Rob Roy) but it also shines on a rock with that water opening up a level of creaminess with the chocolate.

13. The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 12 Years

The Balvenie 12
William Grant and Sons

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $70

The Whisky:

This is the whisky that launched the “double aging” trend back in 1982. This unpeated single malt spends 12 years mellowing in ex-bourbon casks before it’s transferred to ex-sherry casks for a final maturation of nine months. Finally, the whisky is vatted in a “tun” where it rests for three to four months before proofing and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Soft and floral honey mix with a hint of vanilla extract, sweet red berries, and wine-soaked oak. The palate meanders through light touches of marzipan with a hint of cinnamon and fields of plum trees with a whisper of tree bark and leather lurking in the background. The finish lets the spicy malt kick in with a dose of hot cinnamon and honey tobacco.

Bottom Line:

This is another essential pour of easy-going whisky. I do tend to pour this more for cocktails (it’s great in a penicillin) than sippers, but it really works well either way.

12. Grand Old Parr 18

Old Parr 18
Diageo

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $94

The Whisky:

This old-school brand just expanded into 18-year territory this year for the U.S. market. The juice is made from malts and grain whiskies mostly pulled from the famed Cragganmore distillery. Those whiskies are vatted/batched, proofed, and bottled in this old-school stubby bottle.

Tasting Notes:

Dark and meaty dates and figs are countered by a hint of vanilla cream, woody cinnamon, and … I want to say … oyster or clam shell. The palate is a classic malty experience with a touch of sage over caramelized root vegetables with a touch of vanilla cake filled with spicy stewed plums. The end has a mild woodiness that’s attached to the spices with a hint of oak and mustiness.

Bottom Line:

This really leans into a big old roasted dinner with all those caramelized root veg, savory herbs, woody spices, and meaty dried fruit tasting notes. This is also an easy-to-drink whisky that’s pretty much perfect over some rocks.

11. Dewar’s 18

Bacardi

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $64

The Whisky:

The heart of Dewar’s is Aberfeldy whisky. This blend is a testament to Master Blender Stephanie MacLeod’s prowess in bringing good whisky together to make great whisky. The juices are aged for 18 long years in American oak before they’re vatted into a large oak tun and allowed to rest before proofing and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

There’s that signature Aberfeldy honey on the nose with hints of almonds, stone fruits, and red berries next to a hint of dried leather, Christmas spices, and maybe even some tobacco leaf. The palate dials all of this in with a marzipan vibe next to floral honey, bruised apricot skins, and dark chocolate-covered red berries with a hint of tartness and bitterness. The end is soft, silky, and brings a final bite of sweet oak with a slight tobacco chew layered with dark chocolate and marzipan.

Bottom Line:

I like this poured over some spicy holiday cake to give it a much-needed kick. It’s also great as an accompaniment to that spiced cake thanks to that deeply holiday-themed flavor profile.

10. GlenAllachie Aged 15 Years

GlenAllachie 15
The GlenAllachie Distillers Co Limited

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $99

The Whisky:

This Speyside single malt is aged in ex-Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for, you guessed it, 15 years. Those barrels are selected for their distinct flavor profile and vatted, proofed, and bottled without filtering.

Tasting Notes:

Apple juice slowly boils down to a cinnamon-spiced apple sauce on the nose as a hint of dry firewood sneaks in. The palate is part warm malts and part sweet orchard fruit with a hint of burnt orange and more dry wood. The end is light but carries a hint of warm spice and sweet fruits.

Bottom Line:

This feels like an easy win if you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser whisky. There’s a nice spiced apple cider feel that’s very seasonally apt.

9. Mortlach 12

Diageo

ABV: 43.4%

Average Price: $61

The Whisky:

The Beast of Dufftown hails from a tiny yet beloved Speyside distillery. The actual whisky is also made on their smallest still, nicknamed “Wee Witchie.” That juice then goes into ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks for 12 years. Finally, those whiskies are married, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

This is subtle yet engaging with a nose of almost burnt toffee next to bright red berries, mild spice, hints of oak, and a bit of cedar. The palate leans into the berries by becoming jammy with more of that toffee and a mild sense of spicy tobacco arriving late. The end is long-ish with a plummy chew next to that tobacco and malty spice.

Bottom Line:

That hint of berry and toffee help this one stand out as a truly great workhorse whisky. It’s great over some rocks, neat, or in a cocktail, especially something easy like a hot toddy or Godfather.

8. Chivas Regal 18

Pernod Ricard

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $79

The Whisky:

Chivas 18 is the brand’s signature higher-end blend. The juice is built around a specially made Strathisla 18 single malt. That juice is supported by 20 other single malts from around Scotland with various casking processes.

Tasting Notes:

This smells like classic “Scotch” from the first sniff thanks to layers of creamy dark chocolate, dried tart berries, buttery toffee, and a sense of marzipan just kissed with rose water and orange oils. The palate has a mild old leatheriness that leads to dried roses, salted dark chocolate bars, and smoked cranberry next to a whisper of raspberry vanilla cake. The end has a hint of dry and almost woody florals and winter spices next to smoked berries and dry cedar bark.

Bottom Line:

This is the quintessential on-the-rocks brand and pour. It’s also one of the most accessible drams on the list thanks to an easy-going nature and deep flavor profile that’s never taxing.

7. Aberlour A’bunadh

Pernod Ricard

ABV: 56.2% (varies)

Average Price: $95

The Whisky:

A’bunadh (ah-boon-arh) means “the original” in Gaelic and the juice in this Highland bottle represents that for Aberlour. The whisky is matured in old Oloroso sherry casks exclusively. The juice then goes into the bottle at cask strength, unfussed with.

Tasting Notes:

That sherry plumminess is evident right up top, with hints of bright orange oils, clumps of dark chocolate, honey, and nuts, and a hint of oak. The taste shines with notes of dark, ripe cherries, prunes, more bright orange zest, dark chocolate, and a good measure of svelte vanilla. The slow finish leaves you with a creamy mouthfeel next to bitter chocolate next to sweet cherries and plums, all of which lead towards a warming spice on the tongue at the end.

Bottom Line:

This is the pour that’ll get your palate ready for the holidays. This is truly Christmas in a glass, which, let’s be honest, Thanksgiving is just a practice run for food and drink wise.

6. Cragganmore Distiller’s Edition

Diageo

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $89

The Whisky:

Cragganmore is an iconic Scottish distillery. The whisky is matured in sherry casks for 12 years. It’s then transferred into American oak casks that held port for a final maturation phase before proofing and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Fennel leads to dried fruits — sultanas, prunes, dried fig — and fresh apples on the nose with a hint of tartness and skin. The taste, on the other hand, leans into sweet oak, pear candies, fresh figs, and a softness that’s almost hard to believe. The end is full of sweet fruits — think ripe pears, green tomatoes, and star fruit — and has just the right touches of soft oak, oily vanilla, and savory green herbs as it fades towards a final note of wet wicker right after a rain storm.

Bottom Line:

This really pops as a great pairing whisky thanks to those funky and fresh herbal notes. Then the dried and green fruits kick in offering a wonderful balance of texture and flavor.

5. Glen Scotia Victoriana Single Malt

Glen Scotia
Glen Scotia

ABV: 54.2%

Average Price: $95

The Whisky:

This Campbelltown whisky is a rarity, like most whiskies from the tiny region. After an initial maturation, the whisky spends a final 12 months maturing in 30 percent Pedro Ximenez sherry butts and 70 percent heavily charred American oak before bottling truly as-is — no proofing, no filtering, no coloring.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this is thick with a lot of savory fruit — figs, squash — next to sweet oranges, overripe pineapple, and robust but fresh florals. On the palate, that floral nature takes in a nasturtium vibe with a layer of spice next to a thin line of saltwater taffy wax paper wrappers, rum-soaked cinnamon sticks, and a thin layer of creamy vanilla. The end has a vibe that’s kind of like malt-soaked tropical fruit next to spicy vanilla pudding with a whisper of singed apple bark lurking in the background.

Bottom Line:

There’s a lovely fruitiness that plays into cinnamon and orange on this one. It’s subtle but delivers a great balance of maltiness and whisky vibes. Make sure to add some water or a rock to bring about a sort of pineapple upside-down cake vibe with a creamy brandy butter vanilla feel.

4. Ardbeg An Oa

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 46.6%

Average Price: $73

The Whisky:

This is a quintessential Islay peaty whisky. The juice is aged in a combo of Pedro Ximénez, charred virgin oak, and ex-bourbon casks before being married and rested again in Ardbeg’s bespoke oak “Gathering Vat,” allowing the whiskies to really meld into a cohesive pour.

Tasting Notes:

Slow-smoked peaches mingle with soft cherrywood and a bundle of smoky savory herbs — sage, rosemary, ramps — on the nose. The palate is soft and buttery with a sweet burnt toffee vibe next to nutmeg, walnut, Earl Grey, and maybe a touch of woody maple syrup. The end takes its time and meanders through salted black licorice, wild florals, more singed savory herbs, and a hint of black-pepper-covered brisket fat that’s been heavily smoked over sea-soaked driftwood.

Bottom Line:

Smoky savory herbs are where it’s at when pairing with a big roasted meal. This feels like the first no-brainer whisky that might be a little off-putting to the uninitiated. Ardbeg does not skimp on the peat. You’ve been warned. That said, if someone is smoking or frying a turkey this week, this is the perfect pairing bottle.

3. Talisker 10

Talisker 10
Diageo

ABV: 45.8%

Average Price: $64

The Whisky:

This is one of the most awarded single malts ever. The juice is matured in ex-bourbon casks in Talisker’s warehouse which is literally feet away from the sea. The subtly peated malts take on a real seaside feel as those years tick past, creating a whisky that will not disappoint.

Tasting Notes:

The nose opens with this soft sense of pitted orchard fruits next to a thin line of beach campfire smoke far off in the distance with a hint of minerality and bright spiced malts. The palate has a hint of an oyster shell that leads to dried pears and apricot with a hint of warmth and spice malt next to dry sweetgrass. The end is full of lightly smoked plums with a touch of cardamom and cinnamon next to sea salt and a final whiff of that beach campfire way down the beach somewhere.

Bottom Line:

This feels like the ultimate whisky for every part of the week, party, day, meal, or whenever. It’s so easy-going as a whisky while offering something unique and satisfying. And it kind of pairs with any flavor profile from oyster shooters to herb-heavy slow-roasted meats, to nutty and spicy desserts.

2. Oban 14

Diageo

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $69

The Whisky:

This is a great gateway to both Oban and scotch, in general, to have on hand. The juice is classically made and then matured in the Oban storehouses for 14 long years — all within a stone’s throw of the sea. The whisky barrels are then blended and proofed by Oban’s tiny distillery team (only seven people work there) before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Citrus, salt, and a billow of peat smoke open this one up in classic fashion on the nose. That citrus carries on as a foundation for mild spices on the palate as a note of honey, hints of pears, and plummy dried fruits mingle on the tongue. The oak spice and extremely mild peat smoke meet at the end with a slight malty sweetness as the sip fades.

Bottom Line:

This is a lovely “wake up the senses” pour of whisky thanks to the citrus and honey on the palate. It’s bright and inviting while leading to darker dried fruits and spices. It’s also delicious over a rock, which opens up a creamed sort of lemon meringue pie and orange marmalade on creamed scones vibe.

1. Johnnie Walker Green Label

Diageo

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $55

The Whisky:

Johnnie Walker’s Green Label is a solidly crafted whisky that highlights Diageo’s fine stable of distilleries across Scotland. The juice is a pure malt or blended malt, meaning that only single malt whisky is in the mix (no grain whisky). In this case, the primary whiskies are a minimum of 15 years old, from Talisker, Caol Ila, Cragganmore, and Linkwood.

Tasting Notes:

Soft notes of cedar dance with hints of black pepper, vanilla pods, and bright fruit with a wisp of green grass in the background. The palate really delivers on that soft cedar woodiness while edging towards a spice-laden tropical fruit brightness. The finish is dialed in with hints of cedar, spice, and fruit leading toward a briny billow of smoke at the very end.

Bottom Line:

If there was only one bottle on this list that hit every mark perfectly for Thanksgiving week, it’d be this. Everything is here on the nose — palate, and finish. It’s amazingly well-priced. And you should be able to find this one pretty easily. And it’s f*cking delicious Scotch whisky.

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