First Choice Liquor Market

Build a better bar: What’s the deal with single malt Scotch Whisky?

With many bars all around the world devoted to whisky, it can feel a bit daunting when it comes to choosing the right single malt, or the right range, for your home bar.

Single malt is whisky that has been distilled in a single distillery from a mash of malted barley. To be a single malt Scotch whisky it must be distilled in Scotland and matured in oak casks in the country for at least three years. As the region that it comes from plays a major part in influencing the flavours, it’s important to familiarise yourself with Scotland’s geography to find your favourite single malt.


To help you on your journey, we’ve even created a useful flavour map to use as a guide to discover the right single malt flavour profile for you. Now, let’s begin.

Light and floral: A bouquet of floral flavours

The famous Scottish Highlands cover the widest expanse of land and produce malts that are subtle and floral, with heather-honeyed tones and grassy, green organics. They may be light on the palate, but they still pack plenty of power on the finish.



The Macallan Double Cask 12YO

Aged in both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks for delicate vanilla notes and rich wood spice.



Dalwhinnie 15YO

Made in the highest distillery in Scotland, it took Gold at San Francisco Spirits & Wine Competition 2017.



Chivas Regal 12YO Strathclyde Single Grain

A medley of vanilla notes, creamy toffee, orange and lemon. This whisky is available online only.

Rich and rounded: Strike it rich

The vast plains and gentle hills of Scotland’s lowlands not only provide fertile ground for barley farmers, but also access to plenty of pure water running down from the mountains. The Scotch whiskies from this region acquire majority of their qualities at the maturation or finishing stage, where the oak of the cask works with the liquid to create subtle

changes in flavour. Expect rich, estery (citric/honey/fresh cooked and dried fruit) and grassy flavour notes. A great style for the uninitiated to get introduced to Scotch.



The Glenlivet 12YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky

One of the world’s most recognised Scotch whiskies, it is a supremely elegant whisky of subtle complexity.



Loch Lomond 12YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Aged in three types of casks for more flavour, it won double Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition 2018.



The Balvenie 12YO Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Aged in ex-bourbon casks before being finished in sherry casks to lend different qualities to the whisky.



Chivas Regal 12YO Strathisla Single Malt

This whisky comes from the Strathisla distillery, the home of the oldest working distillery in the Highlands of Scotland. Available online only.



Bruichladdich Classic Laddie

This Laddie is unpeated and unforgettable. It’s super smooth with a gentle smoky finish and made using 100% Scottish barley.



Singleton Malt Master’s Selection Whisky

Created by The Singleton master of malts and finished in three barrel types: refill, sherry and bourbon.

Fruity and spicy: Fruits and spice and all things nice

With over half of Scotland’s single malt whisky distilleries located in the lush, rain-washed valley of the River Spey, it’s easy to see why two of the best-selling whiskies in the world, Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, come from there.



The Speyside distilleries are responsible for producing a wide spectrum of flavours, including fruity, nutty and even spicy characters that appeal to a wide range of palates.



The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

A renowned Scotch whisky that captures the flavours of the original 1824 recipe, it features a smooth, creamy sweetness.



Glenfiddich 15YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky

One of the world’s top ten best-selling single malts, it won Gold at The Scotch Whisky Masters 2015.



Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Whisky

Refreshingly smooth with flavours of peach, it won Silver at the International Spirits Challenge 2016

Full bodied and smoky: Smoke without fire

The full-bodied and smoky whiskies are something of an acquired taste, but if you enjoy the rich flavours that come from peat, you are all set to discover something unexpectedly delicious.

Hailing from the islands situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Scotland’s rugged coast, they use peat to dry the barley to give it a uniquely salty and intensely smoky flavour.

Ardbeg 10YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The smokiest single malt of them all. In the past 11 years, Ardbeg has won seven prestigious titles.

Talisker 10YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The only distillery on the Isle of Skye, it won double Gold at SWSC 2013 and 2015.

Lagavulin 16YO Malt Whisky

This definitive award-winning Islay malt won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017.

Laphroaig 10YO Malt Whisky

Laphroaig has been distilled the same way for 75 years. This whisky won Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017.

Allt A Bhainne Single Malt Scotch Whisky

This unique distillery was founded in 1975 and makes whisky that is modern, yet authentic.

Oban 14YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Renowned for its balance between malt and peat, this is rich, smooth and intense Scotch at its best.

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