The Latest and Greatest Scotch Releases

Distilleries are doing their part to sate the thirsty hordes by continually placing exciting new scotch product on shelf.

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Scotch enjoys status as the most widely consumed style of whisky on the planet, and it’s been this way for over a century (for almost all of that time, the liquid has been legally defined as a spirit, distilled in Scotland, from cereal grains, aged in oak casks for no less than three years and bottled and a minimum of 40 percent ABV). But even given that historic context, we still are living through a boom time for scotch. Last year alone, the liquid contributed some $9 billion in revenue to the U.K. economy—that’s a heck of a lot of hooch. Distilleries are doing their part to sate the thirsty hordes by continually placing exciting new product on shelf. In fact, it’s arriving at a faster clip than ever before. 

So, while it might almost feel like hard work trying to sort out the gems from the junk nowadays, it certainly makes my job exciting. I proceed through the ceaseless parade knowing that the next great scotch release is never more than a month away. To wit, we’re not even halfway through 2024 and I already can point to half a dozen winners worthy of prominent placement atop your home bar. 
We’re not just talking about the obscenely expensive set-piece single malts, either. There are some standouts in the blended scotch space, too. Below, I’ve assembled a diverse range of liquids; from the rich and fruity to the spiced and smoky; the non-age-statement to the matured-over-multiple-decades; the reasonably priced to the…not so reasonably priced. What do they all have in common? They’re all awesome, and they’re each poised to add a significant boost to the Scottish financial system.

Loch Lomond The Open Special Edition

Each year, this celebrated Highland producer crafts a special release to coincide with the annual Open Championship, the world’s oldest golf tournament. For the 2024 iteration, it brought to bottle an accessibly fruity malt, non-chill-filtered and clocking in at 46 percent ABV. The bright notes of apple and pear are typical of the house style, but are elongated here through a finish in first-fill chardonnay wine casks. 

$45, Shop now

Loch Lomond The Open Special Edition. Loch Lomond

Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Caribbean Rum Cask Finish Aged 11 Years

Across seven hilarious seasons of Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson made his love for Lagavulin abundantly clear to anyone who would listen. It turns out that the man behind the character, actor Nick Offerman, shares a similar passion for the unapologetically peaty single malt. Since 2019, the comedian and the distillery have enjoyed a partnership which has resulted in four collaborative releases. The most recent is a semi-sweet rendering that benefits from time in rum-soaked barrels. That added cooperage seamlessly integrates a layer of fresh berries atop rich oak and smoke. 

$85, shop now

Lagavulin Offerman Edition. Lagavulin Distillery

Arran 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch

This invigorating elixir includes malts that were aged in first-fill bourbon casks as well as ex-sherry butts. You end up enjoying the complexities of both barrels. There’s a cherry cola component to the nose and mid-palate, and a parting peppery note, layered atop prunes and creamy cocoa. It’s an inviting dram at 92-proof and reasonably priced for such well-matured–and scantly-produced–stock; only 3,000 bottles are released annually. 

$775, Shop now

Arran 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch. Arran

Dewars Double Double 21 Year Old Mizunara Oak Cask Finish

There’s this persistent fallacy that single malt must invariably be superior to blended scotches. The Dewar’s Double Double Series deliciously underscores how misinformed that notion can be. Master blender Stephanie Macleod developed a multi-stage aging process, in which matured malt and grain whiskies are blended together, aged again, then finished in a selection of speciality casks. Here that final finish took place in luxurious barrels built of fine Japanese oak. They impart pineapple, incense and a creamy texture to an eminently smooth-sipping whisky.

$145, Shop now

Dewars Double Double 21 Year Old Mizunara Oak Cask Finish. Dewars

The Dalmore Luminary No. 2

This is the second edition in a three-part series meant to highlight—and intertwine—legends from both the worlds of whisky and architectural design. Each offering actually exists in two forms: a “Rare” variant, six figures in price and unattainable by mere mortals; and this “Collectible” expression, with enough juice to fill 20,000 bottles worldwide. And what a jammy juice it is. The 48.6 percent single malt sat in white oak for most of its 16 years of maturation, before a finishing in both tawny port pipes and sherry butts. A touch of rare peated Dalmore malt has been added to the final blend to give a whisper of a spent cigar box that extends beyond the tropical fruit characterizing the nose and palate.

$330, Shop now

The Dalmore Luminary No. 2. Dalmore

Rosebank 32 Year Old Single Malt

This now-legendary lowland distillery shuttered in 1993 before being granted a glorious rebirth late last year. Ian Macleod Distillers, which inherited the re-formed brand, also stewarded some old stock from its bygone era and has committed it to a trio of one-off releases. Scotch connoisseurs are quite giddy with the results. And this third and final of the legacy releases might be the best of the bunch. It offers a cornucopia of aromas and tastes, beginning with dried apricot and creme brûlée in the nose, white pepper and toasted hazelnuts atop the tongue, and a warming, velvety mouthfeel underpinned by floral threads. Inescapably inviting at 47.6 percent ABV.

$3,925, Shop now

Rosebank 32 Year Old Single Malt. Rosebank

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