The Best Scotch Whiskies of the Year (So Far)

by Matt Chambers
at Whisky for Everyone

New releases

June is a pivotal month for Scotch whiskies. We can look forward to what the rest of the year may hold. And reflect on what has happened to date.

The Scotch whisky industry has certainly not rested on its laurels so far in 2024. Many new releases, both core range and limited edition from established brands and newcomers alike, have been bottled and put to market. Whisky 1901 can now add its name to this list, with the recent launch of its first bottling ‘The Collection’.

Aside from Whisky 1901, here is a selection of the best Scotch whisky releases to have made their debut in 2024 and that I have sampled. Which do you like the sound of?

Aberfeldy | 21 years old Malbec Cask Finish

The Highland distillery of Aberfeldy near Pitlochry always seems to quietly go about its business. But every so often it releases a stunning small batch whisky that captures the attention and the tastebuds. The Wine Cask Collection sees one such annual release with the 2024 edition showing part maturation in ex-Malbec red wine barrels sourced from Finca Ambrosia, an organic winery located in Mendoza, Argentina.

Tasting notes:

The nose is sweet and aromatic with fresh apricot, caramel and candied orange. The palate is rich and malty with notes of raisin, sultana and tropical fruit adding to the caramel, apricot and citrus. Dusty oak spices, clove and white pepper develop towards a drying finish that shows delicious wood tannins.

Ardnahoe | Inaugural Release 5 years old

This appeared in the Scotch whiskies list of the recent blog about the Fèis Ìle festival on the famous whisky island of Islay. But it is worth a double mention as it is not often that a new whisky from a new distillery hits the mark so well. Ardnahoe began production in 2018 and is situated on the rugged northwestern coast of Islay. It makes a spirit in the mid-range peated style and this first offering shows much promise.

Tasting notes:

The nose is smoky and sweet, while the whisky is silky and velvety on the palate. Dying bonfire embers, damp moss and ashy notes mingle with baked apple, sultana and golden syrup. Warming spices, such as cinnamon and ginger, underpin everything. A delicious and peaty dram.

Bruichladdich | 30 years old

Scotch whiskies of this sort of age do not appear often, let alone from somewhere such as Bruichladdich. The Islay distillery saw sporadic production during tough times in the early 1990s before closing in 1994. It did not reopen until 2001. This bottling represents one of the oldest ever released by the brand and has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels for the full three decades. A whisky that offers a snapshot of a different era.

Tasting notes:

Dusty and spicy aromas dominate the nose, and the whisky feels luxurious and opulent on the palate. Vanilla fudge, butterscotch and milk chocolate notes combine superbly with malted cereals, apricot jam and old leather. Cinnamon, gingerbread and clove sit in the background, as does a hint of dried pineapple.


Cù Bòcan | Creation #6

The peated single malt of Cù Bòcan (pronounced koo-bock-un and produced at the Highland distillery of Tomatin for a short time each year) has gained something of a cult following. Its innovative Creation series of limited-edition whiskies has only enhanced this reputation with the use of intriguing cask combinations and unorthodox cask types. Creation #6 combines ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry and ex-Jamaican rum casks.

Tasting notes:

The nose is aromatic and expressive, and the whisky is big and bold on the palate. Soft, savoury and heather-like smoke marries superbly with sweet notes of dark dried fruit, caramelised peach and spiced plum jam. An exquisite whisky with a late peppery finish and plenty of evolving tropical fruit.

Lochlea | 5 years old

This whisky was released by the Lowland distillery of Lochlea to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The spirit is produced on an Ayrshire farm that grows every single grain of barley used in its whisky production, making it a true ‘farm-to-cask’ distillery. This special bottling includes some of the whisky from the very first run of the stills from August 2018 and combines ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximenez casks.

Tasting notes:

The nose is rich and sweet, and packed with fruit and nuts. The palate has a luscious and bold feel with poached pear, fairground toffee apple and Cognac-soaked raisins dominating early on. Further notes of walnut, hazelnut, orange zest and menthol also come through well.


Get in touch to find out how to invest in your own whisky cask or how to purchase a limited-edition bottle of The Collection. Contact our Head of Distribution, Harry Bradley at or complete the form at Register Your Interest.


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