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These Are the Best Bottles of Scotch Whisky Money Can Buy in 2021



These Are The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Money Can Buy In 2021


Being a whiskey fan in this day and age is sort of a Tale of Two Cities scenario; it’s the best of times when you consider the plethora of options on the market, but the popularity of the spirit has also made it the worst of times for the typical drinker’s bank account balance.

Certain whiskey categories have been impacted by the recent boom more than others. As a big bourbon guy, I’ve been dismayed to watch the retail price of my favorite bottles gradually rise in recent years as some of the most sought-after labels sell for truly absurd prices on the secondary market. As a result, I’ve made a conscious effort to expand my horizons, and if you’re looking to branch out, now is the perfect time to get a bit more acquainted with Scotch.

The world of Scotch whisky (yes, there’s a reason there’s no “e”) can be a fairly intimidating realm to venture into when you consider the region where it’s produced is home to scores of distilleries that have spent centuries mastering their craft. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Whether you’re looking to wade into the waters for the first time or cannonball straight into the deep end, I’ve compiled a list of the best bottles of Scotch you can add to your whiskey collection today.

What Are The Best Scotch Whiskys You Can Buy Right Now?

There’s no better way to ease into things than by embarking on a virtual tour of Scotland and highlighting the five officially recognized categories of Scotch, which are defined by the unique characteristics traditionally associated with the regions where they’re produced.

The Scotch Whisky Staples

Our first stop on our journey is Speyside, which derives its name from the River Spey. This region is home to more distilleries than any of the others—including some heavy hitters that perfectly highlight a style that eschews an overly peaty profile in favor of a lighter, fruitier essence.

The “DoubleWood” here refers to the two aging stages this Scotch undergoes. It starts its 12-year life cycle in traditional oak that mellows out the spirit before upgrading to an Oloroso sherry cask that makes the cinnamon and nuttiness that define it a bit more robust.

If you’re looking for an incredibly well-rounded Scotch whisky, The Glenthroes has you covered with this single malt that’ll treat you to a mix of vanilla, melon, banana, and a bit of cinnamon to tie it all together.

The Lowlands

We’re now going to travel south for a brief visit to The Lowlands, where the malt used to produce the Scotch is typically given a light roast to produce a comparatively smooth and easy sipper.

Glenkinchie pays tribute to Edgar Allen Poe by aging this Scotch in Amontillado sherry casks. However, the malt is really the star here, and it boasts a distinctly oaky essence along with a bit of pepper at the end.

The Highlands

It’s only natural that we depart The Lowlands for The Highlands. It’s the biggest whisky region Scotland has to offer, and while the distilleries that call it home aren’t really united by an overarching ethos, they do share one trait in common: the ability to make some damn good Scotch.

In addition to being a very solid whisky, Bunnahabhain is arguably the best bottle you can buy if you’re in the mood to play my favorite Scotch drinking game: seeing how many times in a row you can say the name of the distillery without messing up after you finish each dram over the course of the night.

If you’re not a fan of peat but still want to get your Islay on, Bruichladdich’s The Classic Laddie is your best bet, as this unpeated Scotch more than holds its own against its smokier counterparts with the help of honey and green apple notes.

The Best Scotch Whiskey For Treating Yourself (Or Someone Else)

While none of the Scotch whiskey I’ve mentioned so far could really be classified as “cheap,” they’re basically bargain bin compared to bottles that fall into the “If You Have To Ask, You Can’t Afford It” category. With that said, if you can afford these, you’re not going to be disappointed.

Part of the reason you’re going to shell out a solid chunk of dough for The Macallan M is the Lalique crystal bottle it comes in. However, the Scotch inside is still the main attraction here; a dark liquid aged in Spanish sherry casks featuring an impeccable balance of fruit, oak, and smokiness (and the price tag to match).

The Best Scotch Whisky That Isn’t Technically Scotch Whisky

Distilleries have to meet a number of criteria in order to legally label their product as “Scotch,” and “being produced in Scotland” is probably the most notable barrier to entry. With that said, there are plenty of brands out there pumping out some fantastic whiskey that can’t technically be called “Scotch” but still checks basically all of the requisite boxes.

A number of American distillers have also channeled their inner Scotsman by whipping up single malts—including Iowa’s Cedar Ridge, which uses a unique solera tank to speed up the aging process with fantastic results.


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Best Buy Easy-access Accounts: Rates Creep Higher | This Is Money



Best buy easy-access accounts: Rates creep higher | This is Money

Easy-access savings rates are nudging upwards with providers seemingly jostling for customers.

Investec has increased the rate on its online flexi saver from 0.45 per cent to 0.58 per cent.

It comes after Skipton Building Society increased its easy-access rate last week to 0.6 per cent.

Top rates on these bread and butter accounts have been in the 0.4 to 0.5 per cent range for most of the year, since falling from 1 per cent last summer. 

Savers now have three easy access savings providers paying in excess of 0.5 per cent to choose from.

Meanwhile, Coventry Building Society also increased its savings rates last week – its limited access saver account now pays 0.55 per cent.

The average easy-access account pays just 0.18 per cent interest, according to Moneyfacts, suggesting that savers can typically triple their rate by moving their cash.

Many savers will be earning far less than this, often with their cash held with large banks paying between 0.01 per cent and 0.06 per cent interest.

Among the worst is HSBC, along with Lloyds (including Halifax) and NatWest with a rate of just 0.01 per cent – just 10p interest a year on £1,000.

The increases from Coventry, Skipton and Investec is good news for savers, according to James Blower, founder of the Savings Guru.

Type of account (min investment)   0% tax 20% tax   40% tax
BONUS accounts – Pay a bonus for the first 12 months or more. These are the rates including the bonus          
Cynergy Bank Online Easy Access 40 (£1+) (changes to 0.3% after 1st year)   0.60  0.48   0.36
Marcus by Goldman Sachs (£1+)   0.50  0.40    0.30 
Leeds BS Limited Issue Online Access Account 20 (£1,000+)   0.50  0.40    0.30 
Saga Easy Access Savings (£1+)   0.50  0.40    0.30 
Tesco Internet Saver (£1+)   0.50  0.40    0.30 
Accounts WITHOUT bonus – These rates are not boosted by a temporary bonus that drops off  after a year        
Skipton Online Triple Access Saver (£5,000+)   0.60  0.48    0.36 
Investec Online Flexi Saver (£5,000+)    0.58 0.46   0.35
Coventry BS Limited Access Saver (Online) 5 (£1+)   0.55  0.44    0.33 
Paragon Limited Edition Easy Access (£1+)    0.46  0.37    0.28 
Charter Savings Bank (£5,000+)    0.45  0.36   0.24
Nationwide BS Triple Access Online Saver 12 (£1+)   0.45 0.36    0.24

‘Firstly, the rates are a big improvement on the 0.4 per cent to 0.5 per cent range that the best buys have been in for most of 2021, since they started to fall from the 1 per cent level last September.

‘Secondly, Coventry, Skipton and Investec are larger savings providers so have bigger balance sheets which can support the strong inflows of customers they will see with these rates.

‘Whereas some of the small new entrants could only cope with the inflows these rates will generate for a couple of days, it is likely that these three will hold here for a few weeks and possibly into September.

‘This increases the likelihood that other banks and building societies will follow suit and increase their rates to compete.

‘I’d be surprised if we didn’t see at least one more provider join that group paying 0.55 – 0.6 per cent or even possibly go slightly above.’  

What should savers consider when choosing an easy access account? 

Savers looking for the best easy-access savings deal would be wise to always double check how accessible their cash will be once in the account.

Investec’s easy-access account pays interest on balances between £5,000 and £250,000, provides instant access to savings, and allows unlimited deposits and withdrawals to a linked current account.

However, market leader Skipton’s easy-access account limits savers to three withdrawals a year whilst Coventry allows six per year after which savers forfeit 50 days interest.

The minimum balance requirements are also a major consideration for savers.

Investec allows unlimited withdrawals, both it and Skipton require £5,000 to open an account as opposed to just £1 for Coventry.

Rachel Springall, personal finance expert at Moneyfacts said: ‘Easy-access accounts are ideal for savers who want a flexible pot. 

‘But two things to keep in mind is that these rates are variable so can change anytime, plus some easy access accounts limit the number of withdrawals you can take within the year.’

One alternative for savers, who are concerned at the prospect of losing access to their cash for a fixed time period, is to opt for a notice account.

Savers can achieve higher returns albeit having to provide a few month’s notice to withdraw their cash.

For example Hampshire Trust Bank is currently offering a rate of 0.85 per cent, although savers will need to give 95 days notice to withdraw funds.

For those savers looking to stash away cash for a year or more and don’t require access to their cash, better returns can be achieved by turning to a fixed rate deal, where there has been more competition and subsequently far better rates than instant-access.

The best one year fixed rate account, offered by Gatehouse Bank, is currently paying interest of 1.1 per cent, while the best two-year deal by Zopa Bank is paying 1.26 per cent.

Blower said: ‘Easy-access accounts are great for savers who want access to their money, are saving for emergencies or are building a savings pot for an event in the near future such as a holiday or wedding.

‘However, if you are saving for something with a longer term horizon, or you don’t need access, then it’s worth looking at a regular savings account, a fixed rate bond, or a notice account where the rates are significantly higher.’


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MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Is Mad at Fox News — so He’s Going to Pay Them More Money: Report



MyPillow CEO and election-fraud booster Mike Lindell, who is one of Fox News’ top advertisers, isn’t pleased with the right-wing network over its failure to promote — or cover, or even mention, for that matter — his upcoming “cyber symposium” event scheduled for mid-August in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lindell has long promised that this event will unveil data conclusively proving that Trump was the real winner of the 2020 election, musing earlier this week that a billion people might tune in and it could become a bigger phenomenon than Elvis Presley’s legendary 1973 “Aloha From Hawaii” concert.

In a phone interview on Friday afternoon, Lindell told Salon he plans to place ads on Fox News, since the conservative network continues to ignore his media blitz endeavoring to “get the word out” about his symposium. “Fox [News] does not talk about anything with the election,” the pillow king lamented. “So I’m going to make ads that will talk about — at least advertising for — that we’re going to be televising this [cyber symposium] for 72 hours straight.”

Lindell explained that the ads tailored for Fox News will be geared towards spreading “awareness” to Fox’s viewers, who are overwhelmingly Republicans and Trump voters: “I just want their viewership to watch it, so we don’t have to go out the next day and say, ‘Hey, did you watch that?'”

Asked by Salon if he’s already made the ad buy or contacted the network about his plans, Lindell explained he hadn’t done that yet, since the ads had not been produced. “I gotta make them!” he said.

A Fox News spokesperson didn’t return a Salon request for comment.

A day earlier, the man who has brought better sleep to millions vented his anger at Fox News in an exclusive interview with Salon on Thursday afternoon. He suggested Salon should ask the network why it has remained silent on the Sioux Falls event and Lindell’s ever more ambitious goals — which include a 9-0 Supreme Court decision that returns Trump to the White House, by an unknown mechanism. “Shame on Fox that they haven’t come,” he said. “You should reach out to them!”

The symposium is slated for Aug. 10 to 12, and according to Lindell, will show the world that the so-far baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in from the 2020 election are in fact 100% valid, leading to Trump’s reinstatement.

“Fox News has refused to cover election fraud, especially the machines,” Lindell wrote in a text message to Salon after the interview. “Shame on Fox News!”

This is not the beginning of the pillow CEO’s feud with Fox News. In April, Lindell announced he had hired a team of “private investigators” to dig into the network’s reluctance to cover his election-fraud endeavors, saying he had “spent a lot of money” on the probe. No results of such an investigation have been revealed.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) received harsh criticism from one of her key political supporters as Donald Trump travels to Arizona to push his “Big Lie” about election fraud against the backdrop of the Arizona audit.

Woods subsequently became a Democrat and now worries Sinema isn’t doing enough to stop GOP voter suppression efforts.

Trump is visiting Arizona for a “Rally to Protect Our Elections” put on by the far-right organization Turning Point Action. Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and Debbie Lesko are scheduled to speak at the rally.

“I’m generally not too alarmist about most of these things but i am on this one,” Woods told CNN’s Jim Acosta. “I do believe this is a fight for our democracy.”

“And I’m against the filibuster in general. To me, it is a joke that people act like this is 20 years ago or 40 years or 50 years ago. It’s not, it is 2021. Look at the behave of the Republicans in the Senate, they mass together and won’t work cooperatively on virtually anything,” Woods explained.

“So they got to rid of the filibuster, period. Certainly we have to make an exception here for voting rights and craft something with senator from my state, Sinema. I don’t know what her problem is, frankly,” he said. “A lot of us can’t believe the behavior.”

“If you can’t do it to preserve democracy, to make sure that we have fair elections, that people are allowed to vote and that it’s not disproportionately impacting negatively on people of color and people that the republicans don’t want to vote, then why are you even there? Why are you in the Senate?” he wondered.

One-time Fox News personality Megyn Kelly received harsh criticism on Saturday from MSNBC anchor Tiffany Cross.

“Okay, so normally you guys know I use this time to address something or someone relevant who has warranted some sort of ire from the community. However, this week i’m taking a slightly different approach and addressing someone completely irrelevant. I’m speaking, of course, about Megyn Kelly, the 50-year-old bully is trying to bulldoze her way back into relevance that only comes to women like her for being a provocateur, not for offering any type of intellectual input,” Cross said. “Nevertheless, here we are. Why? Because the blackface connoisseur, who had to apologize for ridiculously asking why it was racist for white people to wear a blackface for halloween, is now going after someone less than half her age, but has twice her intelligence.”

“23-year-old Naomi Osaka, who announced she would not participate in post-match interviews, conferences, during the French Open, and ultimately ended up leaving altogether, and withdrawing from Wimbledon, citing her own mental health,” she explained. “Now, Kelly accused Osaka of not being genuine after the tennis star beautifully graced the covers of multiple magazines. Which were, of course, shot months prior, which Osaka explained in a since deleted tweet.”

Cross said, “it’s no coincidence that Snow White and the seven dumb takes she’s had recently overwhelmingly target black women.” She cited Kelly’s comments on Nikole Hannah-Jones, Meghan Markle, and Gwen Barry.

“Kelly is really just trying to crawl her way back into social relevance and into the hearts of Fox News viewers, all benefiting from the work we do. We’re quite used to it, but when it comes to us, sister, stop punching above your weight. You keep asking for smoke that you don’t want. you want to ask like a high school mean girl and you’ll get treated that way,” Cross said.

“Let the grown women speak. You’re not invited to this table, you don’t have the range,” she added.

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