What do you drink if you’re interested in Scotch but not well-heeled enough to support a single malt habit? “The best deal in blended Scotch is Famous Grouse, which is right about $25 for a 1.75L,” says sku. “They usually have it in 1Ls at Trader Joe’s for less than $20. Between Chivas, Cutty, and J&B, it’s definitely more similar to Chivas, though it’s richer and I much prefer it to Chivas.”

“The only two low-priced Scotch blends I have bought that I will buy again are White Horse and Teacher’s Highland Cream, both about $16 for a 750 here in NC,” says ncyankee101. Teacher’s is an everyday type of scotch, says ncyankee101, “when I just feel like having some but not necessarily hitting a $50 bottle of Ardbeg 10 or Highland Park 12.” “I also rather like the McClelland’s Islay for $23 here in NC,” says ncyankee101. “I have heard it is a five-year-old Bowmore, and though it does taste like a watered-down ‘real’ Islay, it does have some smoke, peat, and brine to it, probably the most interesting ‘cheap’ single malt I have had.”

And it’s not just about blends, even in this price range. “You might want to swing by a Trader Joe’s and look for Glen Moray single-malt at $20 or Finlaggan single-malt around $18,” says DavidT. “In theory, they are a step up from the blends. The Glen Moray is a Speyside whisky, rather smooth and ‘sweet.’ The Finlaggan is from the Isle of Islay and is smoky/peaty. Both will give you some sense of the characteristics of the regions they come from.”

Discuss: Lower end Scotch tastes

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