Best Scotch Under $100

A friend needs a bottle of Scotch for a gift for a Scotch drinker. He doesn’t want to ask what the guy likes because it’s a surprise. So with this limited information to go on, what’s the best Scotch reasonably available for $100 or less?


Its a very diffucult question, the sctoches vary so much based on style.

I would go with a good Glemnorangie, Macallan or similar as they are good without being ine of the extremes that the recipitant might not like

Others are tomintoul 21 should be $100
Glenlivet 18
Macallan 15 nfine oak
Johnnie walker platinum, dont underestimate the name, its a great scotch
Dalmore 15
Highland park 15

Avoid Islay malts unless you know he likes peat and smoke

Springbank 12 yo cask strength
Glenfarclas “105” … (this one can be a little bit more, or less, than $100, depending on location)

Glendronach 15 ($80)

It’s better than the 18 ($120) or the 21 ($150).


Laphroaig 18


Really, when I worked at a wine & gourmet shop, customers who wanted to buy Scotch for a regular Scotch drinker was encouraged to determine the friend’s tastes. Usually Scotch drinkers are very loyal to specific brands or regional styles.

Then again, most drinkers, in my experience, enjoy Balvenie Double Barrel.

Laguvallin and Laphroig are too peaty for me. Balvene is too oaky for me.

Glenfiddich 18 is my suggestion. Or d’Abundah by Ablemour.

Lagavulin 16 is my go to and is widely available

Thank you gents. This is very helpful and I appreciate the suggestions.

Best wishes for an enjoyable Sunday.


As folks have said, it’s less a question of best under $100 as what’s a good gift if you don’t know whether the recipient likes peaty whisky. So Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, etc. - all nice, but I wouldn’t recommend them for this purpose. Also not sure if I’d recommend a heavily sherried whisky - otherwise things like Highland Park Dark Origins, Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso, Aberlour a’Bunadh, etc. would all be good choices.

The Glenlivet 18, Glenfiddich 18, and Macallan 15 Fine Oak are good and have broad appeal. Another good choice is the Highland Park 18 - some places might still sell it for around $100.

I’ll put in a second vote for Springbank 12 cask strength - very nice whisky. The Springbank 12 “Green” is recently on the market and is also very good - very fruity with a hint of coastal influence, so would appeal to folks who like all sorts of whisky. Has the added appeal of being a limited release.

I would stay away from Islay malts as well - you either love them or hate them, with no in between.

I would also go with the Springbank 12 year - it’s gorgeous - and pretty flawless -

One other suggestion is: CADENHEAD is an independent bottler based in Scotland with pretty good representation in the US - they bottle a wide range of cask strength scotches from a wide assortment of houses - and I have never had less than a terrific bottling from them. You will find quite a bit of aged - 12-18 year old Scotches under their label -

The more I think about buying for someone you don’t know I really think Johnnie Walker Platinum is the way to go, it is neutral in style but extremely good. It would be a safe bet.

Don’t let Whiskey snobs talk you out of because its a blend, its a blend of single malts with a large component of 18 year old malt in it

It’s important to remember that the person the gift is to be given to is probably a whisky snob.

That really is a tough question. Not far from, what’s a good bottle of wine for under $100. You could end up giving a Kosta Browne to a Burgundy lover or vice versa.

Lot’s of great suggestions. For gifts I like to get lesser known stuff, since that is what I like to receive. Something like Thomas suggested, like the Cadenhead. The Cadenhead Bowmore 14 Yr would fit the bill.

My other thoughts were, Lagavulin 16 (risky), Grangestone 18, Glenfarclas 17 and I generally like the stuff Bruichladdich puts out.


Bruichladdich and Bowmore will be just as risky as Lagavulin, as all three are Islay malts; the Lagavulin and Bowmore are guaranteed to be peated, and most (but not all) Bruichladdichs are peated, too.

Actually, I don’t think any of the non-Octomore, non-Port Charlotte Bruichladdich are peated anymore. According to their website:≠-islay-can-you-have-unpeated-islay-whisky

Thanks all. I relayed the information and he’s going with the 12yo Springbank cask strength.

I appreciate the help:

bunnahabhain 18 would be my choice, but there are a lot of other good suggestions.

Should be able to get a bottle of Highland Park 18 for around $100.

I also like Yamazaki (12 as I think 18 is too $$$ and hard to find) and Aberlour 16

That link doesn’t work for me, but I tooled around on their website some … horrible website, btw. That certainly is interesting if Bruichladdich isn’t peating any of their non-Port Charlottes and non-Octomores anymore. When I visited them a few years ago they had ~15 whiskies available for the tasting, many of which were peated and not under the Port Charlotte or Octomore umbrellas. It’s hard to stay on top of Bruichladdich’s bottlings and going ons.