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.
Glenrothes 1995 (15-year)
Speyside is Scotland's sweet spot, surrounded by the broader Highland region, for brilliant but pricey whisky. The region produces smoother, softer, and in general, sweeter single malts like Glenrothes, an excellent label within this category. Our favorite is the 1995, which might as well be a drinkable dessert. [$100; theglenrothes.com]
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco