Your Gift Guide to Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Elegance of a Good Speyside Scotch is a Gift Anyone Can Appreciate

Scotch makes a perfect gift for any occasion and the whiskies from Speyside are some of the most elegant and universally enjoyable among the Scotch whiskies available today. Father's Day, Christmas, a business gift, or a birthday, the Scotches of Speyside are sure to please and each brand has a vast range so there is something for every occasion and every level of whisky enthusiast.

  • 01 of 06
    The Glenlivet 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
    One of the best bottles of single malt Scotch whisky you will taste, The Glenlivet 18 YO is a perfect sipping whisky for everyone. Photo Courtesy: The Glenlivet

    The iconic Speyside is the ideal gift for anyone.

    The Glenlivet is the "whisky that started it all." The first legal distillery in Speyside, the Glenlivet's whiskies are characterized by bright tropical fruit notes including pineapple and banana.

    The Glenlivet 12 Year makes a great introduction to the world of single malt Scotch and is surprisingly affordable at less than $50. For less than $75, upgrade to the 18 Year or the Nadurra selections which are perfect gifts for those...MORE dedicated Glenlivet enthusiasts.

  • 02 of 06
    Glenfiddich 50 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
    For the price of a good car, you could own a bottle of this rare single malt Scotch whisky. Is it worth it? Anyone who has tasted Glenfiddich 50 YO would probably say yes!. Photo Courtesy: William Grant & Son Ltd.

    Just a hint of peat for the holiday gift list.

    Glenfiddich single malt whisky is the Glenlivet's main competitor in the Speyside region. While The Glenlivet is the #1 selling single malt in the United States and #2 in the world, Glenfiddich is #1 in the world and #2 in the United States. 

    Glenfiddich's whiskies have just a touch of peat smoke to them and generally feature hints of chocolate and a slight influence from the few sherry casks used.

    Look for the iconic 12 Year offering as well...MORE as the 18 Year for a nice whiskey that makes a good budget-friendly gift. 

  • 03 of 06
    Ardmore Scotch Whisky
    Image courtesy of Ardmore

    A Scotch gift for those who love a good cocktail.

    Ardmore's entry level offering goes against the typical Speyside grain by maturing in quarter casks and offering a briny, peaty flavor profile. Ardmore remains a favorite among Speyside whiskies and is a great choice for those who prefer a more robust, savory whisky.

    The distillery offers a great range of affordable whiskies and each is special in their own right. The whiskey connoisseur will not be bored with the Ardmore selection so don't...MORE be afraid of picking up the wrong one for a gift.

  • 04 of 06


    Glenrothes Single Speyside Malt Whisky
    Image courtesy The Glenrothes

    Can a Scotch be delicious? Yes, and it makes the ideal holiday gift.

    The Glenrothes produces dessert-like whiskies rich with wonderful flavors of fruits, nuts, cinnamon spice and confectioners sugar.

    If you are shopping for a whiskey lover who enjoys a dram of whisky with dessert, look for something from the Glenrothes range. It is a vast portfolio with vintage and reserve expressions that continually change and evolve.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    The Balvenie

    Balvenie single malt scotch
    Image courtesy The Balvenie

    The Speyside they may not have tried.

    Outside of the Scotch enthusiasts circles, Balvenie remains a relatively obscure Speyside single malt though it is growing in popularity. It is the perfect gift for the whisky lover who has tried them all and will make an impression.

    Balvenie's house style of whisky has a pronounced orange note similar to the Glenlivet's pineapple character. Balvenie also has a very honeyed note to their whiskies.

    Balvenie Double Wood and Balvenie Madeira Cask would...MORE both be excellent selections for the discerning whisky drinker this year. They too have a wide selection of expressions at every price point and if you see a bottling that looks exotic or unique, it is sure to be a good choice.

  • 06 of 06


    Aberlour single malt scotch
    Image courtesy Aberlour

    The business gift you have been looking for.

    France's #1 selling single malt Scotch whisky isn't as well known in the United States. It is a bit of a shame as Aberlour (rhymes with 'power') makes wonderful whisky.

    Aberlour A'bunadh is a rich creamy dram that will impress even the richest of Scotch snobs without breaking your bank. Their 12-year-old expressions are a great introduction for the new whisky enthusiast and Aberlour has a number of older offerings that will please...MORE that man who enjoys the occasional Scotch on the rocks after work. 

Originally Published: June 13, 2010 - Edited by Colleen Graham: October 30, 2015