For those starting out, or looking to buy something on a tight budget, cheap doesn’t mean bad or poor quality whisky. In fact, you can get some really tasty drams for under RM300 that will do well in any whisky lover’s collection. Here are our favourite value-for-money whiskies that we’d happily recommend to anyone.
1 Deanston Virgin Oak (RM247)
This Deanston Virgin Oak is a go-to recommendation for any occasion. Bottled at 46.3% abv, this whisky was first matured in ex-bourbon casks before finished in Virgin Oak to give a dram that’s easy-going with flavours of vanilla toffee, balanced with heather honey. A versatile, pleasant, and all-round pleasing drink for a great price.
2 Arran Barrel Reserve (RM258)
The Arran distillery is fast becoming a whisky fan-favourite, built on the back of a consistently good core range offering. The Barrel Reserve is no exception: an exclusively bourbon-matured single malt bottled at 43% abv, this is a fresh, light and elegant whisky that’s good on its own or with some ice on a hot day. It’s also a great entry point into Arran’s offerings, with lemon tart, vanilla and green apples among the tasting notes.
3 Black Bull Peated (RM285)
Great value Scotches can be found in blends, and Duncan Taylor’s Black Bull Peated is definitely worth highlighting. Bottled at a hefty 50% abv, this whisky has dark malty tones with earthy peat, honey-roasted salted nuts, along with some citrus peel and apples on the finish.
4 Mac-Talla Terra (RM296)
The Mac-Talla Terra is an ideal introduction into peated Islay single malts. This independent bottling from Morrison Scotch Whisky Distillers is bottled at 46%, unchillfiltered and naturally coloured, offering notes of wood smoke, sea spray, and savoury peat on the palate and finish.
Tip: If you’re looking for something with more oomph, then up your budget a little more to get the Mara, a cask-strength version that packs a smokey punch at 58.2% abv.
5 Glenfarclas Heritage (RM254)
When you want something sweet and approachable, this young Glenfarclas suits that to a tee. A clean-flavoured whisky that is perfect to unwind with after a long day, this entry-level Glenfarclas showcases the classic Speyside profile of apple pie filling, melon and butterscotch.
6 Teeling Small Batch (RM264)
When it comes to crowd-pleasing whiskies, don’t skip the Irish. The Teeling Small Batch is a bargain: bottled at 46% abv, this blend of malt and grain whiskies was first aged in ex-bourbon barrels before it was moved into Central American rum casks for up to 12 months. The result is a fruity whisky with baking spices, creamy vanilla, and apples as the main tasting notes.
7 Black Bottle (RM226)
First introduced in 1879 by tea merchant-turned-whisky blenders Charles, David and Gordon Graham, Black Bottle acquired a reputation for being north-east Scotland’s best-kept whisky secrets. The current incarnation is built on a backbone of peated Islay malt whisky, and blended with grain whisky to create a sweet, rich and delicately smokey blended Scotch at 40% abv. A highly drinkable whisky.
8 Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky (RM285)
South African whiskies don’t get a lot of attention, but look closely enough and you’ll find some great value. Case in point: Bain’s Cape Mountain, a single grain whisky that is matured in first-fill bourbon casks for three years, before spending a further two years in fresh first-fill bourbon casks. The result is a grain whisky that’s bursting with vanilla, fresh pear, and banana. An underrated gem.
9 Duncan Taylor Smokin’ – The Gentleman’s Dram (RM228)
For those who are just starting their journey into peated whisky, Duncan Taylor’s Smokin’ fits the bill. Sweet and approachable, with a decent amount of smokiness, Smokin’ is a blended Scotch that’s easily shared, and versatile enough to be used in a cocktail. Try using it in giving classic cocktails like the Rob Roy and Old Fashioned a smoky twist.