In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three great value bottles: whiskies with solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For the Spring 2021 issue, single malt and blended scotch, plus a straight rye, all ranked as Best Values.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Spring 2021 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
High Scores, Low Prices: Best Value Whiskies
Loch Lomond Original Single Malt Scotch
91 points, 40% ABV, $30
Restrained and refined, the nose is bright with orange blossom, honeysuckle, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, almond, and pistachio. The flavors are consistent, tending toward sweetened fruit—candied grapefruit and orange peel, grilled pineapple, brown sugar-coated almonds—bound in a creamy length of silk. Polished oak offers a savory counterweight to the finish’s sweet-floral notes of citrus oil and rose water. One of the best entry-level single malts on the shelf. —Susannah Skiver Barton
Roulette 4 year old Straight Rye
91 points, 50% ABV, $30
A pretty and unusual nose: nutty with toasted grain uplifted by fresh-squeezed lemon, plus chai spices, brown sugar, seasoned oak, and cedar chest. The palate has intersecting layers of citrus wedges, allspice, black pepper, dried ginger, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, cedar, and a hint of peppermint. Give it time, and a few drops of water, to fully open. A full, flavorful, and long-lasting finish offers peppery chocolate, oak, and toasted nuts. —Susannah Skiver Barton
Dewar’s 8 year old Portuguese Smooth Blended Scotch
89 points, 40% ABV, $22
A beautiful blush-toned whisky with red currant, cranberry, and light toffee; the delicate spices beautifully integrated with the soft fruits on the nose. Flavors of dried apricots, honey, and vanilla sugar offer a sweet smooth creaminess with hints of butterscotch, cherry syrup, and lingering fine-ground pepper. Adding this latest port finish to its range, Dewar’s bolsters the resurgence of the 8 year old age statement in scotch whisky.—Jonny McCormick