A few decades ago, the rising popularity (and limited availability) of single-malt scotch meant that buying a few test bottles was a pricey experiment few of us could afford. It was nearly impossible to take home a good one for less than $200, placing bottles of scotch in the upper echelons of salary-bonus options and truly rare holiday treats. Fortunate for us brown-spirit lovers, a splintered artisanal whiskey world – which includes everything from bourbon and rye to Irish and Japanese whisky – has brought prices back down where they belong, so you can afford to be choosy and have a few on rotation. Behold: Our favorite single malts for less than $100.
Auchentoshan Three-Wood single malt
Lowland whiskies may be less talked about than Highland or Speyside, but they possess a beautiful subtlety that's perfect for sipping. This is our favorite in the category, because its wood-burning stove scent, muddled cherry notes and dry finish appeal to our sensitive side. [$60; auchentoshan.com]
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco