Home » Whisky Shop » Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams » Great Introductory Whiskies

Great Introductory Whiskies

Simply Whisky sells a specially selected (and often changing) range of whiskies that our tastings have revealed suit a beginners palate.

If you fancy a wee nip o any o these drams you can buy them via our partner website that will sell, package and ship direct to you. Just click the Buy Now button as you scroll through the selection and you will be on your way to a tasty time. Remember, clicking through will not cost you any more, but it will throw a few pennies in the Simply Whisky jar so that we can keep our website up to date for you!

To return to the full list of Simply Whisky's Top 30 Drams click here.

Bookmark and Share

Great Introductory Whiskies - To find out more please click on a bottle below.

Talisker 18 Year Old 45.8%
Best Single Malt Whisky in the World at the World Whiskies Awards in 2007

Dae ye ken?
Talisker is the only distillery on Skye. The island's Gaelic name, Eilean a Cheo, "Isle of Mists", which gives a clue to the maritime climate

Cask
American oak bourbon barrels

Nose
Plums, and dried orange peel, butterscotch or rum toffee. With a touch of mintiness

Taste
Sweet peak smoke, some sea notes and plenty of peppery spice

Finish
Long and spicy. Some smoke in the aftertaste

Distillery Info
Talisker embodies all the spirit of this rocky, storm-lashed island and its strong, steadfast people. Skye's only distillery this may be, but like the men of the island the malt has character enough for ten

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

The Balvenie Doublewood12 Year Old 40%
A great place to begin your whisky journey

Dae ye ken?
The Balvenie Doublewood goes very nicely with Blue Monday cheese (created by Alex James of Blur)

Cask
Initially American oak bourbon before being finished in European sherry oak casks

Nose
Sweet fruits, Oloroso sherry and vanilla

Taste
Sherried top notes with fruitcake, vanilla crème anglaise, almond nuttiness and spicy oak undertones culminating with spicy honey

Finish
Long and warming

Distillery Info
The distillery still grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional floor maltings, has coopers to tend all the casks and a coppersmith to tend the stills

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Auchentoshan Three Wood 43%
An unbelievable nose, best experienced when the glass is almost empty!

Dae ye ken?
Auchentoshan meaning "Corner of the field" in Gaelic, is the only Lowland distillery to source its water from the Highlands

Cask
American oak bourbon casks finished in Spanish Oloroso and Pedro-Ximenez sherry casks

Nose
Malty, biscuity notes, blackcurrant, brown sugar, orange, plum and raisin aroma

Taste
Maple syrup and baked apples in a vanilla, butterscotch and caramel sauce

Finish
Fresh and fruity with long lasting oaky sweetness

Distillery Info
When local corn merchant and distillery founder John Bulloch was bankrupted he negotiated a condition of sale that enabled him to live on site for the rest of his days he died in 1846 at the age of 87!

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Oban 14 Year Old 43%
Refreshing gentle whisky with summer fruit, fresh ginger and a tinge of spice on the nose

Dae ye ken?
The Stevenson’s built the family residence next to the stillhouse, into which the sitting room partly projected, and a peep hole door was fitted to allow them to keep a watchful eye on the distilling operation

Cask
American oak bourbon barrels

Nose
Rich sweetness and fruits - oranges, lemons and pears, with sea-salt and peaty smokiness

Taste
Mouth-filling late autumn fruits - dried figs and honey-sweet spices; followed by a smoky malty dryness

Finish
Long, smooth-sweet finish with oak-wood, dryness and a grain of salt

Distillery Info
Oban distillery is physically and spiritually at the heart of Oban - the "Gateway to the Isles". Built in 1794, one of the oldest in Scotland, the distillery predates the town, which at that time was nothing more than a fishing village

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Highland Park 18 Year Old 43%
It's elegance and soothness make the 18 year old a delight to the malt whisky connoisseur

Dae ye ken?
The distillery cuts its own peat, and uses traditional floor malting of the barley on its premises. Heather is sometimes burned with the peat

Cask
American oak bourbon barrels and Spanish sherry casks

Nose
Rich, mature oak, top note of aromatic smoke, notably flowery, heather-honey

Taste
Rich, full flavour; honey and peat. Nuts, honey, cinnamon, dryish ginger

Finish
Soft, round and long. Spicy, very dry, oaky, smoky, hot

Distillery Info
The Edrington Group owns several malt whisky distilleries, including The Macallan, Highland Park, Glenrothes, Tamdhu and Glenturret. Edrington has over one million casks, made either from American Oak (ex bourbon) or European Oak (ex sherry wine)

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Lagavulin 16 Year Old 43%
A powerful, bear-hug of peat

Dae ye ken?
The name means "Strange Horse of Suinabhal". Traditionally there has been legal battles with neighbour Laphraoig over rights to the water course

Cask
American oak bourbon barrels

Nose
Massive peat. Ultraintense iodine carries a shade more spice than of old. The fruity-sherry notes are clean with deep vanilla. Beautifully layered with lapsang souchong

Taste
Oily, grassy, and, in particular, salty notes emerge in a long, sustained, aggressive, attack. Peat so thick you could stand a spoon in it

Finish
Long and lingering. A huge, powerful, bear-hug of peat

Distillery Info
The aristocrat of Islay whiskies, it has an unmistakable powerful peat-smoke aroma. The distillery dates from 1816 and was built on the shoreline to make possible the easier receipt of supplies and dispatch of whisky in small coastal vessels

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Tomintoul 10 Year Old 40%
Known as 'The Gentle Dram' this is a great whisky to begin to explore your taste. Fresh, clean, malty leading to toffee fudge simplicity and delicate on the nose

Dae ye ken?
Tomintoul (meaning "the knoll of the barn" in Gaelic) is the highest village in the Highlands of Scotland at 1,165 feet

Cask
American oak bourbon casks, refill hogsheads with some Oloroso sherry butts

Nose
Soft, delicate. Some caramelly and toffee sweetness, coffee. Balanced. Light, floral and pleasantly malty

Taste
Very malty, candy sugar, cornflakes, vanilla fudge, apples and lemon

Finish
Medium with honey and lingering malt

Distillery Info
Tomintoul grew up around an Inn, built to take advantage of traffic passing along the military road from the Garrison at Corgarff to Fort George. The inn was selling whisky at less than 1p a dram, most likely produced from one of several illicit stills

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Monkey Shoulder 40%
The perfect whisky to mix in your Whisky Mac cocktail. Do you love the monkey?

Dae ye ken?
Monkey Shoulder is made from using only single malt, and no grain, Scotch whisky from three Speyside distilleries

Cask
American oak bourbon barrel

Nose
Light and delicate vanilla notes. Floral, Malty, Soft and slightly honeyed

Taste
Smooth and rounded. Hints of malty sweetness. Vanilla, barley sugar and marmalade

Finish
A dry short menthol finish

Distillery Info
The name Monkey Shoulder comes from the malt men who are among the few still to turn the malting barley by hand using a shiel, a special wooden shovel. Monkey Shoulder was the nickname given to a temporary injury their predecessors suffered many years ago

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Edradour 10 Year Old 40%
Rich, creamy and malty, with a persistent nuttiness and quite a pronounced kick of sherry

Dae ye ken?
Scotland's smallest distillery, just capable of producing commercial quantities. Only 12 casks of whisky are produced each week

Cask
American oak bourbon barrels. European sherry casks to finish

Nose
Cider apples, dried apricots, almonds, vanilla and honey. A hint of smoke and sherry

Taste
Sweet peak smoke, some sea notes and plenty of peppery spice

Finish
Medium to long finish. Oily with soft spices, vanilla, sherry, caramel and oak

Distillery Info
It takes the man-power of just three men to produce Edradour. Using skills handed down over the generations, the men of Edradour distillery follow the standards of those who have gone before. John Reid, David Ramsbottom and James Kennedy continue to produce one of the finest single malt whisky available.

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams

Bowmore Engima 12 Year Old 40%
You might like this more than you think, we did!

Dae ye ken?
The Japanese company Suntory (famed for their delicious Yamazaki 18) have owned the Bowmore distillery on Islay since 1994

Cask
European ex-sherry oak

Nose
Sweet sherry and hints of heather and honey overlay the classic Bowmore smokiness

Taste
There's the sweet sherry again, followed by the smoke in fuller force before a snippet of fresh lemon zest makes an appearance

Finish
Balanced sweet peak smoke with a wee bit of sea salt

Distillery Info
The Bowmore distillery was founded in 1779 by John P Simpson, a local merchant. During World War II the distillery hosted the RAF Coastal Command who operated flying boats from Loch Indaal on anti-submarine warfare missions. Fortunately, these days they are back to the business of whisky making

» Back to top
» Back to Simply Whisky’s Top 30 Drams