Any long-time whisky enthusiast has witnessed the whisky boom pick up steam over the past 2-3 decades.
The tried and true offerings from years past are still very popular.
At the same time, a flood of new bottles from start-up distillers hit the market every year.
In such a landscape, it's not surprising that many high-quality whiskeys are underappreciated.
This compilation of just ten underrated whiskies is just the tip of the iceberg because no matter what category or style you prefer, I guarantee there are many more bottles out there just waiting for you to discover.
Glengoyne 18-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The people at the Glengoyne distillery in the small town of Dumgoyne, high in the Scottish Highlands, take their whisky very seriously.
In fact, they have been making single malt whisky since 1833.
At the turn of the 20th century, they had already become widely known for their high-quality whisky aged in sherry casks.
Each year, a few casks are selected for long maturation, giving single malt lovers an excellent selection of whiskies to choose from.
One of the best bottlings in recent years is Glengoyne 18-Year-Old, which was introduced in 2012 to replace Glengoyne 17-Year-Old. Glengoyne 18 Year Old is a single malt that's matured for 18 years in a blend of refill sherry casks and first fill sherry casks.
The long maturation process gives Glengoyne 18-Year-Old a rich golden hue and an inviting sheen, made even more impressive by the additional finishing in first-fill sherry butts.
This delicious and complex whisky is unlikely to be found on the shelves of your local liquor store.
That said, you can buy a bottle online or at specialty stores if you are lucky enough to live near one that has access to this rare and fine single malt Scotch whisky.
Also read: The History of Scotch Whisky
Compass Box Great King Street Artist Blend
Named the Blended Whisky of 2012 by Whisky Advocate magazine, Great King Street, or simply Artist Blend whisky, has largely maintained its flavor profile in the decade since.
It's richly flavored, but not so much that any of its flavors really stand out from the others.
You'll definitely taste apple and vanilla flavors, but the wood and peat flavors, both from the barrel aging process, are just as strong.
The finish is oaky, with a sweetness that shifts focus on the accompanying vanilla.
The Compass Box Great King Street Artist Blend was created by John Glaser, former marketing director for Johnnie Walker, and is designed to dispel the belief that blends do not deserve a place in a whisky connoisseur's cabinet.
It remains one of the most popular offerings in the company's range of blended whiskies and blended malts.
The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year Old
The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year Old is distilled from malted Scottish barley and aged for 12 years in a combination of American and European oak casks.
This single malt whisky was initially offered in airport duty-free stores. It was meant to offer a taste of a specific location, a bit of a vacation before you board your flight.
The whisky has a creamy texture as if you were pouring some ice cream into your Scotch. It tastes of the Highlands where it was born, with notes of fresh apple and caramelized pear that add juiciness to the palate making it an easy-drinking single malt Scotch.
With so many unique flavors that you'll need a few tastings to discover them all, this particular scotch is an easy introduction to single malt scotch. And when you pass the bottle around after a few glasses, don't be surprised if everyone says, "I can not believe how cheap this is."
Legendary Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Legendary Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a tribute to the iconic 20th-century movie star, Marion Robert Morrison, known professionally as John Wayne "the Duke."
John Wayne did not have the opportunity to perfect his craft as a whiskey distiller, but he did leave his whisky memoirs and private collection to his son Ethan, who discovered them a couple of decades after his passing.
Over the years, Ethan and his business partners have put a great deal of dedication and passion into realizing John Wayne's lifelong dream of making premium whiskey.
Handcrafted to match a bottle of Wayne's favorite bourbon from the early 1960s in his private collection, various small batches were carefully blended to produce the flavors and aromas preferred by the Duke.
The small batch of whiskey is then aged for at least 5 years in heavily charred American oak barrels.
The result is a whiskey that is a medium amber color in the bottle and exudes a strong aroma of oak, berries and nutmeg when opened.
Pendleton Directors' Reserve Whisky
Since the Prohibition, Canadian whisky has been the best-selling whisky in America. Only recently, in 2010, did bourbon overtake it to take the top spot.
Although many Americans are familiar with Canadian bottlings such as Crown Royal and Canadian Club, Canadian whisky is surprisingly still not well regarded in the United States.
Nevertheless, some whiskies have stood the test of time. One of them is Pendleton Directors' Reserve Whisky.
Pendleton, Oregon, is home to one of the most famous and respected rodeos in the world. First held in 1910, the Pendleton Round-Up has been held in northeast Oregon every September for more than 110 years.
With a flavor as rich as the tradition that inspired it, Pendleton Directors' Reserve Whisky is an exceptional Canadian whisky that deserves much more attention.
Aged for twenty years and fed with pure, glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood in Oregon, the unadorned, warm notes of oak, cinnamon and rye are on full display.
With a little water or an ice cube, orange zest, vanilla and caramel unfold, followed by a ripe and smooth finish.
Visually, this whisky is also in no way inferior, as the bottle is wrapped in a commemorative leather sleeve created by saddler Randy Severe, whose family has been making saddles for almost 70 years.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Wild Turkey's Rare Breed is a barrel-proof straight bourbon that blends 6, 8 and 12-year-old Kentucky whiskeys and then bottled at 108-115 proof.
From the start, caramel and toffee intertwine with the zest of orange peel and citrus before the oak takes over, giving it a mature elegance and depth.
The palate is coated in butter and the mouthfeel is silky and smooth, a complex blend of rye spice and the sweetness of caramel and burnt sugar takes the forefront before more citrus appears and swaths of tobacco and leather.
The Rare Breed is one of the most affordable and underrated whiskeys, a balanced and bold bourbon that boasts big classic flavors and subtle nuances that put it above most other whiskeys in its class.
Evan Williams BiB
Evan Williams set up his distillery on the banks of the Ohio River in 1783 and is historically recognized as Kentucky’s First Distiller of Bourbon.
This special Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is a genuine Sour Mash that honors his pioneering heritage.
Bottled in Bond Status is earned only by meeting strict government standards, originally passed in 1897 to ensure quality and consistency.
In accordance with these standards, this Bourbon is 100 proof, aged at least 4 years, and produced at a single distillery within a single distillation season
Also read: The Process of Making Whiskey
Despite this, Evan Williams is another overlooked and disregarded bourbon in the Kentucky whiskey landscape.
Aged for at least 4 years, this quality 100-proof bourbon is made from 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley.
Caramel and vanilla dominate from the start before earthy rye reverberates alongside smoky barrel char.
The finish is unobtrusive, with a pronounced dryness and a long but not overwhelming heat.
Fans of single malts aged in sherry casks generally stick with what they know. The names on the bottles - like The Macallan 12 - are familiar comforts.
But if you want to break free from your single malt comfort zone and try something new, you should try this Tomatin 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky.
It is aged in a combination of traditional Scotch whisky, ex-bourbon and ex-Spanish sherry casks.
The result is a sweet flavor profile that might surprise those used to the drier taste of Scotch from the Islay region.
Expect aromas of wild heather, pine and cedar that soon become sweeter, revealing notes of crème caramel with apples, pears and mango before a full-bodied and buttery finish.
Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond
Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond is one of the oldest, most historic and collectible labels in the bourbon whisky space.
The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, the first consumer protection law in the U.S., mandates that whiskies designated as bottled-in-bond must be produced at the same distillery by the same distiller in the same distilling season, whether fall or spring.
Also read: A Simple Guide to Aging Bourbon
It must then be aged for at least four years in a warehouse under federal government supervision and then cut and bottled at exactly 100 proof.
While this does not guarantee the quality of the whisky, you can be assured of its authenticity and purity. Fortunately, Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond checks both boxes.
Old Grand-Dad is currently owned by Beam Suntory and marketed as part of "The Olds" collection. Enjoyed neat or over ice, it shows spicy cinnamon notes balanced with caramel, light oak, peanuts and light honey sweetness.
The finish has a mild burn, accompanied by a melon/fruit sweetness and a hint of minty corn.
Given the rising popularity of high rye bourbons, it is surprising that Old Grand-Dad is not a more desirable bottle.
The Mashbill is exceptionally unique, consisting of 63% corn, 27% rye and 10% malted barley, resulting in an exciting, full-bodied whisky.
West Cork Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Some single malts are barrel-aged for decades. Others are aged for only a few years. West Cork Single Malt Irish Whiskey is aged for 10 years in first-fill bourbon barrels.
It is also non-chill filtered at 40% ABV, which is not too common practice nowadays.
Aging the whiskey in oak barrels adds flavor, color and aroma. As the fluid molds to the wood over time, it takes on the flavors of aged barley and oak with notes of vanilla and caramel.
Then the spirit is infused with cereal grains, a hint of brown sugar and dried apples. When you settle down to enjoy a bottle of West Cork Single Malt, the aroma has a malty, fruity-honied essence, while on the palate gives way to cereal notes, alongside toffee, apple and chocolate, and a slight hint of spice, graham and melon.
Essentially, what you get with the West Cork Single Malt is a simple, crisp and refreshing whiskey that is perfect for regular drinking - especially during the summer months.
There you have it! Our roundup for 10 of the 10 most underrated whiskies in the world 2022. What do you think? Is there a whisky you would have liked to see on the list? Let us know in the comments section below.