Choosing the right whisky for you

let’s begin

There are so many choices when it comes to whisky. Perhaps it feels a little overwhelming coming to it for the first time. We’ve got you covered.

What are the different flavours of whisky?

There are a lot of different flavour profiles for whisky. It can be hard knowing where to start. The best thing to do is know what you like. You must have tried a whisky that you enjoyed at some point, otherwise it’s be pretty weird for you to be on this page.

Was that whisky:






Maybe it was even a combination of several of these things. To help you find your next dram, we’re going to break these all down and recommend and whisky to follow up with.



Most casks that mature whisky will have some level of char on the inside and this is usually where the malt get its smoky flavour, unless the grains have been dried with smoke.

If you’re looking for a malt that is smoky in flavour, try Talisker, Old Pulteney, Hakushu Rock Island by Douglas Laing, Ledaig, Paul John Peated Cask or The Balvenie Peat Week.


There are lots of different ways that whisky can be sweet. Oak wood can bring in caramel and vanilla notes, certain grains will impart fruity flavours and even peat can have sweet notes. Get to know your whisky a bit better and you can understand the intricacies of the sweetness.

For rich fruity sweetness we recommend Suntory Toki, Kilbeggan Single Grain, BenRiach, Dewar’s White Label, Elijah Craig or Tullamore DEW. Glen Moray is perfect for something more floral.

If you want something with lots of oak sweetness then go for a Jura, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked,Aberlour, Benrinnes and Edradour.

Creamy/smooth: Smoothness often comes down to how well the malt has been distilled and how long it has been matured for. The longer it is matured for, the smoother it will be.

Go for Auchentoshan, Teeling, Red Breast or Jameson for something super smooth. Other full bodied and creamy malts include Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Naked Grouse, Penderyn or Macallan.

Peated: This is one of the biggest flavours in Scotch whisky making and you either love it or hate it. The flavours is imparted when the grains are dried using peat smoke.

Islay is the most famous region for its peated malts so we recommend most of the malts made there, especially Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Bruichladdich. If you want something off Islay then go for Highland Park, Tomintoul 15 Year Old, Compass Box Great King Street and Nikka Pure Malt Black.

Spicy: Similar to sweet notes, spicy notes can come from different things. Again, peat can bring in some spice but oak casks, especially if they have held sherry or bourbon before, will add spicy notes.

For a real taste of spice, we recommend Aberlour, Dailuaine, Dalmore, Craigellachie, Glen Garioch, Glenfarclas and Mortlach. Speyside is probably the region that creates the most spicy malts, so have a look around and explore the different malts from there.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat!

Tags: peatedRight WhiskySmokysmoothspicySweetWhisky
Picture of Greg


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

You might be interested in

More from the blog

1 thought on “Choosing the right whisky for you”

  1. Thanks for mentioning that it’s important to know what you like because there are a lot of different flavor choices for whiskey like smokey, sweet, smooth, peated, or spicy. My brother is thinking of looking for an Irish whiskey importer because he’s considering buying some bottles of imported liquor to celebrate a special occasion. It seems like a good idea to consider buying from a reputable professional that has the right flavor profile my brother likes in alcoholic beverages.


Leave a comment

Login / register