Blends are the backbone of the Scotch whisky industry but they don’t always get the love they deserve. So we decided to put together this list of some of our favourite bargain bottles of blended Scotch whisky. There’s something here for all palates.

While some whisky fans will always argue single malts are superior, we’re firm in the belief that you should never underestimate blended Scotch whisky. It’s the category that brought Scotch to the world and today they are still the best selling of all whisky. These marriages of malt and grain whisky continue to fill back bars and liquor cabinets, being celebrated for their ability to taste great neat or in cocktails and mixed drinks.

That’s why we’ve put together this selection of some of the finest blended Scotch whiskies. This isn’t simply a list of the ten biggest names, because we want to give some love to a couple of overlooked or underloved expressions. The fact we’ve had to omit a couple of big names really speaks to what an amazing category this is. Slainte!

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old 

We start with one of the world’s most famous blends. Dating back to 1909, Black Label is one of those bottles that everyone loves: bartenders, consumers, whisky writers. We can all unite and agree that this blend of around 40 whiskies with a distinctive mellow smoky note is deserving of a place in any good drinks collection.

What does it taste like? 

Rich and full with notes of wood smoke, winter spice, sultanas, treacle, hints of white pepper and a little citrus.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Ballantine’s Finest

Another absolute classic. Ballantine’s will tell you that it’s Europe no.1 Scotch whisky and that its recipe has stayed true to the original since 1910. And we’ll tell you that it’s a good thing it did. We love playing around with this blend and its elegant, subtle and sweet profile. Soda water. Cola. Whatever you’re pairing with this beauty, it’s hard to go wrong.

What does it taste like? 

Rich and sweet with crisp barley sugars, toffee, apples, very gentle peat, heather, honey and some floral notes.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Green Isle 

If you’re an Islay whisky fan and are on the lookout for something with a little more smoke and sea, we’ve got just the thing. From the makers of The Character of Islay Whisky Company, Green Isle is a blend with a core of Islay malt alongside some complementary Speyside malt and Lowland grain whiskies. This is an approachable blend that mixes tremendously and would serve as a great introduction to those who would like to explore the smoker side of Scotch.

What does it taste like? 

Softly toasted barley, warming oak, honey glazed apples and cut grass. Then, vanilla pod earthiness, coastal peat, pear drops, dry smoke, buttery biscuits and crushed peppercorns.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Compass Box Great King Street – Artist’s Blend 

Compass Box rarely gets its wrong and the distinctive brand was certainly on the money when it put together this blend. A tribute to the golden age of blends in the 19th century, Great King Street draws on archive recipes while utilising its own cask maturation techniques to create this delightful dram. It has a high single malt content from distilleries including Linkwood and Clynelish as well as a portion of grain whisky from Cameronbridge. And it tastes smashing. Makes a great Penicillin when combined with Peat Monster too… 

What does it taste like?

Sweet, rich and creamy, with lots of cereal notes, vanilla, dried fruits, Christmas spices, lemon, Bakewell tart, rose petals, citrus and buttery apple crumble.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Dewar’s 12 Year Old – The Ancestor

Master blender Alexander Cameron was responsible for Dewar’s first blended whisky in 1903. He was something of a pioneer in the trade, allowing malt and grain spirits to rest for a few months before blending them together. This practice is continued today with The Ancestor, which is essentially a successor to Dewar’s classic ‘Double Aged 12 Year Old’. The name refers to the additional six-month marriage the whisky enjoys in oak after the initial maturation and blending. Dewar’s co-founder Tommy Dewar once said “The only thing you can get in a hurry is trouble!”… and it’s good to see the brand still heeding his advice.

What does it taste like?

Juicy fruit and thick, creamy malt leads. There’s also floral and sweet notes of toasted almond and honey as well as some aniseed spiciness.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Adelphi Blended Scotch Whisky

As an outstanding independent bottler, Adelphi is already adept at taking the best of Scotland and moulding it into something new. It’s a skill that clearly came in handy when making its own blend. It’s made with whisky from its private stock which is kept in a solera system. We don’t quite know the exact composition. But, tasting this blend we think you can detect whiskies from Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown. And they’re all delicious.

What does it taste like?

A pleasing fusion of salty peat, estery fruitiness and rich nuttiness.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Label 5 Classic Black

Label 5 is known for its tremendous value, its core of fruity Speyside malts and for being the creation of a Frenchman, Jean Cayard. He established La Martiniquaise in 1934 and in 1969 turned his hand to Scotch whisky. In 2008 the company bought Glen Moray, who supplies a major component of the blend. Today, it’s mainly sold in France, where it shifts bottles like hotcakes to make it one of the world’s best-selling whiskies. And we think it’s worth you checking out what all the fuss is about.

What does it taste like?

Rather sweet with vanilla, sticky toffee pudding, apples and brown sugar. There’s also hints of ginger and cinnamon as well as a subtle grassy note.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky

There once was a ship that put to sea and the name of the ship was the Cutty Sark. The famed 19th-century tea clipper was the inspiration behind this Berry Bros & Rudd. brand, whose classic blend of twenty or so single malt and grain whiskies, most of which are from Speyside, is a firm favourite for many. The Prohibition Edition, however, is a higher strength expression (upped from 40% to 50% ABV) made as a tip of the hat to another nautical legend, Prohibition-era rum-runner Captain William McCoy. Its intriguing story and full-bodied, complex profile mean it stands out from a busy crowd while still being an absolute bargain.

What does it taste like? 

There’s custard notes paired with citrus, pear and fudge cubes, dark chocolate and golden malt. As well as a touch of grassy malt and crushed nuts.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Peg Whisky Blended Scotch Whisky

A wholly overlooked beauty of a blend, more people should know about this expression. An approachable, affordable expression made with malt and grains, Peg Whisky Blended Scotch Whisky can be enjoyed neat and in cocktails and mixed drinks. And if you don’t believe us, just check out those user reviews. 5 star city.

What does it taste like?

Toffee pennies, citrus peels, apricots, peanut brittle, buttered bread, honeycomb, black pepper and a generous helping of malt.

Check out these bargain blended Scotch whiskies!

Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend

A swanky Hankey will always win us over. The brand is so good at making expert blends that pack a pretty punch in the bottle, but not in the wallet. And while we adore the original, we also love the story behind this one. Upon uncovering a rare 1920s bottle, the brand tried to recreate a piece of whisky history. Using the original as a starting point, older and peated malts were then added to match the older flavour profile. It tastes great and is a fascinating window into what Hankey Bannister was like a century ago.

What does it taste like? 

Fresh, fruity and delicately smoky with honeydew melon, ripe grapes, campfire smoke, apple peel, honey and raisins.