Ardbeg 10-year single malt
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco

Region: Islay

The most divisive region of scotch is Islay (pronounced "eye-lay"), which produces bold, peaty, smoky, and intense whisky. Ardbeg's 10-year is a great starter since it's lighter than some others in this category. Once you've got a taste for the peat, we recommend moving to even more intense bottles like the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. [$50; ardbeg.com]