While it might not conjure quite the same cooling image as an ice cold glass of beer or a fizzy cocktail, a nice whisky on a hot day is never a bad idea. The juice from Scotland is full of summer vibes, with flavors evoking bright apple orchards with plenty of summery floral notes to backyard smokers full of sweet billows of smoke and pepper-fatty meats. There’s a little summer in every bottle of Scotch whisky if you know where to look.
That’s where I come in. Below, I’m calling out 10 bottles of Scotch whisky that are full of summer vibes. I’m not ranking these bottles per se, just splitting up this list into three categories with three options in each: Blended whisky, Peated Single Malt, and Unpeated Single malt, with a wild card at the end. I’ll rank a top three of sorts for each category. This way you can grab a bottle that speaks to you without getting lost in a big list of everything all mashed up.
The best part? These are all under $100 per bottle and should be pretty easily findable at most good liquor stores. My suggestion, find a flavor profile that suits your palate and go from there. You won’t be disappointed by any of these picks.
Chivas is renowned for its iconic blended whisky. This expression — originally created for the Japanese market and released in the U.S. In 2019 — adds a unique dimension to the classic blend. A portion of the whisky is finished in Japanese Mizunara casks, adding a layer of nuanced flavors to the standard Chivas.
Caramel and dark dried fruits mingle with tasty pears, soft orange zest, a touch of leather, fresh and floral honey, and maybe some old oak staves on the nose. The palate has a dash or two of winter spice next to walnuts and honey-soaked raisins with a hint of sun-burnt heather and wildflowers. The finish lets the spiciness warm the palate as pear and leather fade through the end.
This is a great place to start. This whisky is light and damn near airy. The honey and pear vibe is bright and helps carry the sip to a soft and silky end. All of that said, I do think this is best enjoyed over a few rocks, especially on the hotter days.
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