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The Best Scotch Whiskies of 2024 According To The Whisky Exchange

The best scotch whiskies according to the whisky exchange

The Whisky Exchange is one of the world’s foremost spirits providers, retailing a wide selection of whiskies and spirits from all over the world. Having won back-to-back awards for Best Online Retailer Awards from both the Icons of Whisky Awards and The Drinks Business Awards, the company takes its commitment to providing high-quality whiskies very seriously. 

As such, when The Whisky Exchange releases its shortlist for the best scotch whiskies of the year, the industry sits up and pays attention. 

If you are looking to sample some top-tier scotch whiskies in 2024, The Whisky Exchange has you covered, with a list of six whiskies on the shortlist, and one that has been named ‘Whisky of the Year’. Here are the best scotch whiskies of 2024, according to The Whisky Exchange.

WINNER ‘WHISKY OF THE YEAR 2024’ : Loch Lomond 18 Year Old, 46% ABV  

An image of the Loch Lomond 18 year old
Credit: The Whisky Exchange

Tasting Notes: Toast, smoke, apple, raisins, honey, blackcurrant
Region: Highland
BUY NOW: £89.95 (~$113.91) 

Starting with the winner, the Loch Lomond 18 Year Old was named Whisky of the Year by The Whisky Exchange in 2024. 

This Loch Lomond expression was matured in American oak casks that we made in the on-site cooperage at Loch Lomond Distillery. The result is a creamy single malt showcasing amazing depth of flavor that was chosen for bottling by Michael Henry, Master Blender at the distillery. 

The Whisky Exchange says that the 18 year old is “[a] fantastic display of what Loch Lomond is capable of and the worthy recipient of our Whisky of the Year 2024 award.”

Loch Lomond Distillery has a rich history dating back to 1814, with its original site established near Tarbet The current distillery was founded in 1965 by the former proprietors of Littlemill Distillery, with the first malt whisky running out of stills in 1966. In 1971, American company Barton Brands assumed full control. Loch Lomond Distillers was created in 1989 by Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd., the bottling and aging arm of Bulloch & Co. 

Today, the distillery is noted for its production of both single malt and single grain whiskies at its site in Alexandria, on the south shore of Loch Lomond. 

SHORTLISTED: Glenglassaugh Sandend, 50.5% ABV  

An image of the Glenglassaugh Sandend
Credit: The Whisky Exchange

Tasting Notes: Vanilla, pineapple, grapefruit, brine, cream, caramel
Region: Highland
BUY NOW: £53.95 (~£68.37) 

Now to the shortlist, this NAS Glenglassaugh expression was vatted from whiskies matured in both ex-bourbon and manzanilla sherry casks. 

The whisky is named for the bay in which Glenglassaugh is located, Sandend Bay, as well as the small fishing village nearby. The notes of brine and sea spray encapsulate Glenglassaugh’s seaside home. 

The Whisky Exchange calls the whisky “[a] rich expression of the Glenglassaugh distillery character, with pronounced notes of tropical fruit and vanilla.” 

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti also reviewed the Glenglassaugh Sandend in January 2024, calling it “a textbook example of a well balanced whisky”. 

Glenglassaugh Distillery, a single malt Scotch whisky distillery, was established in 1875 just outside the Speyside region, Northeast Scotland. Founded by local businessman James Moir, the distillery is situated in a picturesque coastal location near Banff and MacDuff. It became part of Highland Distillers in 1892. The distillery has had periods of inactivity, notably between 1986 and 2008, but has since resumed production. Glenglassaugh is known for its small batches of whisky, shaped by the surrounding land and sea. 

Recently, Glenglassaugh unveiled the Serpentine Coastal Cask Collection, comprising a 48 year old, a 49 year old, and a 51 year old expression. 

SHORTLISTED: Arran Sherry Cask, 55.8%  

An image of the Arran Sherry Cask whisky
Credit: The Whisky Exchange

Region: Island
Tasting Notes: Raisins, dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, cherry, ginger
BUY NOW: £61.75 (~$78.26)

The next whisky on the shortlist is the Arran Sherry Cask. 

This NAS expression was matured in sherry hogsheads sourced from Jerez in Spain, with Master Distiller James MacTaggart working closely with Bodegas to select the best casks for the job. 

The Whisky Exchange calls the expression “an elegant single malt with rich layers of fruit and spice”.

 Arran Distillery, located in Lochranza, Scotland, Isle of Arran, was founded by Harold Currie in 1993. This marked the revival of whisky distillation on the island, as Arran was the first legal distillery since Lagg distillery closed in 1837. Construction began in 1994, and by June 1995, it was officially opened by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. 

The distillery boasts a visitors’ center, which opened in 1997. Arran Distillery is recognized for its premium whiskies, and its establishment has restored the island’s rich whisky heritage and tradition.

SHORTLISTED: Balblair 15 Year Old, 46% ABV 

An image of the Balblair 15 Year Old whisky
Credit: The Whisky Exchange

Region: Highland
Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, ginger, butter, prunes, dark chocolate, mango
BUY NOW: £82.95 (~$105.13) 

Next up is the Balblair 15 Year Old. 

One of five bottlings in Balblair’s core range, this 15 year old scotch whisky was matured in ex-bourbon before being finished in first-fill Spanish oak butts. The result is a complex whisky with notes of spice and a velvety mouthfeel. 

The Whisky Exchange calls the Balblair 15 Year Old “ a rich, sweet whisky with spicy aromas of honey, gingerbread and prunes.” 

Balblair Distillery, among Scotland’s oldest distilleries, was founded in 1790 by a local man, John Ross. It’s situated in the stunning area where the Ross-shire burns meet the Dornoch Firth. The distillery was rebuilt in 1895 closer to the Edderton Railway Station for logistical convenience. Despite unofficial distilling records dating back to 1749, Balblair’s official history began with John Ross. The distillery operated with a limited staff through the 1920s and 1930s. 

In the mid-2000s, under Inver House, Balblair underwent a marketing revamp and has since experimented with vintage and non-vintage bottlings. The bottle packaging was redesigned again in 2019, and Balblair’s core range was born. 

SHORTLISTED: Jura 18 Year Old Red Wine Finish, 44% ABV 

An image of the Jura 18 Year Old Red Wine Cask whisky
Credit: The Whisky Exchange

Region: Island
Tasting Notes: Toffee, cinnamon, blackcurrant, dark chocolate, coffee
BUY NOW: £78.25 (~£99.17)  

This Jura expression is part of the distillery’s core range: an 18 year old that was matured in ex-bourbon American oak and then finished in Premier Gran Cru Classé Bordeaux Barrels, resulting in a rich and full-bodied whisky with a lingering finish. 

Jura’s location on the southeast coast of the Isle of Jura exposes the whisky to salty sea air which compliments the subtle smoke that is notable in Jura whiskies. 

According to The Whisky Exchange, the finishing in red wine casks “carefully balances the distillery’s soft smoke with weighty flavors from the casks.” 

The Isle of Jura Distillery was initially established in 1810 by Archibald Campbell. However, it fell into disrepair and closed in 1901. The distillery remained dormant until 1960 when Charles Mackinlay & Co. rebuilt it. The first whisky from the revived distillery was produced in 1963, marking the island’s return to whisky production after more than six decades. The distillery played a significant role in supporting the island’s economy, and today, it continues to produce a range of single malt Scotch whiskies.

SHORTLISTED: GlenAllachie 15 Year Old, 46% ABV 

An image of the GlenAllachie 15 Year Old whisky
Credit: The Whisky Exchange

Region: Speyside
Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, raisins, banana, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg
BUY NOW: £71.50 (~$90.62) 

Last but not least, we have the GlenAllachie 15 Year Old from the distillery’s core range. 

This expression showcases GlenAllachie’s commitment to using the best sherry casks to mature their characteristic ‘sherry bomb’ whiskies. According to The Whisky Exchange, the GlenAllachie 15 Year Old was “matured in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and oloroso sherry casks, creating a smooth, rich character.” 

The GlenAllachie Distillery, located in Speyside, was established in 1967 by Mackinlay McPherson. It was the fourth distillery designed by William Delmé-Evans In 1985, Invergordon Distillers bought and mothballed the distillery. Despite its early years predominantly producing whisky for blending, GlenAllachie emerged as a single malt under new ownership. 

In October 2017, industry veteran Billy Walker purchased the distillery, ushering in a new era of premium single malt production.

Following a prosperous period of sales, GlenAllachie recently unveiled a logo and packaging redesign aimed at ‘premiumizing’ the brand. 

The GlenAllachie 15 Year Old remains in the core collection, but with sleek new packaging. 

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