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Advice Wanted: Scotch Whisky  
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11918 posts, RR: 25
Posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2455 times:

I don't drink Scotch but a good friend does, so I want to buy a decent bottle for him as a gift.

What would you recommend for a bottle in the $40 - $60 or so range?


Inspiration, move me brightly!
55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2825 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2430 times:

You can get a single malt, 14 year old bottle of Oban in that price range. I've been asking the Mrs. for a bottle of that for Christmas for a while.


The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2749 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2428 times:

I don't know the price in the US, but the following ones are good choices:

Single malt:

Oban
Glenfiddich
Glenmorangie
Aberlour

Blended:

Chivas Regal
Johnny Walker
Ballantine's

Then you have a lot more - and maybe better - but also more expensive.



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlinembmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2411 times:

For blended scotch, I'm a big fan of Johnnie Walker Black. For a single malt I don't think you can go wrong. All of the single malts I've tasted are good.

User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1083 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2404 times:

I'd delete Glenfiddich and add Glenrothes or Glenfarclas. You should be able to find a 12 or 15 year old bottle of either one in your price range, and IMHO both are eminently drinkable.

Oban and Aberlour are both good too. I've never tried the Glenmorangie.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently onlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13254 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2375 times:
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Johnny Walker Gold is excellent, as is their single malt - the single malt should be around $50, the Gold about $60-$65. FWIW, Johnny Walker Gold is my "go-to" scotch, and I actually prefer it to Johnny Walker Blue.


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2338 times:

Blended:

Compass Box Asyla
Johnny Walker Green

Single Malt:

The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak
The Macallan Fine Oak 10
The Macallan Fine Oak 12
Highland Park 12

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 5):
Johnny Walker Gold is excellent, as is their single malt - the single malt should be around $50, the Gold about $60-$65. FWIW, Johnny Walker Gold is my "go-to" scotch, and I actually prefer it to Johnny Walker Blue.

I'm more of a fan of the Green myself, with Gold being the runner up. Blue was a tad bit too smoky for me (I'm not a fan of peaty Scotches.)


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 5942 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2301 times:
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18 year old Glenlivet is excellent and should be within your range. I don´t think the 12 or 15 year old is as good as other brands. For single malts.

I really don´t care for the blended ones, but if you go that way, an excellent choice although not as flashy is J&B. I find it more tasty and less rough than either Buchannan´s or Chivas.



MGGS
User currently offlineflood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1381 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

Personally, I don't drink Whisky... my dad sure does. After years of Johnny Walker, Ballentines, Glenfiddich, Chivas etc, his choice is now Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch for roughly $55-60.

Particularly as a gift, I would avoid any of the popular (ie more "mainstream") brands anyway... a bottle of Johnny Walker, etc, while nice, is rather boring imo.


User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

I'll vote for Oban too - my preferred single malt. Scapa comes second.

User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6265 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2266 times:

I'm a huge scotch drinker, so I'll add my two cents.

Oban 14 is a good one indeed...highly recommended.

I also like Ardbeg and Laphroaig, but both are quite smoky/peaty...I love it, but many people don't.

The 18 year Glenlivet really is fantastic, but might be out of your price range. The 15 should do nicely. The 12 is a fine base single malt, but definitely weaker than the rest.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3471 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

The variation in flavour between different malt whiskies is huge, lowland whiskies are generally unpeated, light bodied, delicate in flavour, the other extreme are some if the islay Malts, heavily peated, heavy bodied and a strong flavour. No other spirit has such a variation.
Bearing this in mind, its very hard to buy for someone unless you know their preference.

Ones I would recommend include:

Talisker, peppery tones and peat
Laphroaig, Peaty, with a unique antiseptic smell, drinkers either love it or detest it
Bruichladdich, light peat & lemongrass.
Lagavulin, rich body & peat
Macallan. Sherry tones

Someone mentioned glenfiddich, to me its a mass market whisky, sufficiently bland so as to not upset anyone, but never going to inspire.


User currently offlineczbbflier From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 970 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2227 times:

When I used to drink scotch whiskey, my preference was:

For a daily-ish snort:
The Balvenie 15

For special moments:
Lagavulin 16

For super-special occasions
Laphroaig (Funny someone would say it has an antiseptic taste- to me it was more like smoking a cigar)


User currently offlinejohnkrist From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1397 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2202 times:
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I love Single Malts, but not the smoky ones so much

These are my favourites:

The Balvenie Double Wood, sweet warm full taste
Highland Park 12, works as an avec if you don't like Cognac, intense flavour
Bunnahabhain, rich taste, a hint of bitterness that lingers on the tongue afterwords
Old Pulteney, mild taste with a salty tone that really adds a little extra
Strathisla, one of the whiskies that is included in Chivas Regal, far better alone IMO

All these should be in your price range

Cheers malt fans  



5D Mark III, 7D, 17-40 F4 L, 70-200 F2.8 L IS, EF 1.4x II, EF 2x III, Metz 58-AF1
User currently offlinenighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5093 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2178 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 6):
The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak
The Macallan Fine Oak 10
The Macallan Fine Oak 12

  

Good call - can't go wrong with a wee dram of macallans.

However, a Scotch should be old enough to order it's own Scotch...



That'll teach you
User currently offlineEDICHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2160 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 11):
to me its a mass market whisky, sufficiently bland so as to not upset anyone, but never going to inspire.

This is the conundrum if buying for someone else. You can go 'safe' and buy a mainstream blended which won't in all likelihood be disliked, but will hardly be memorable either. On the other hand the difference between the vast number of single malts is immense and individual taste is hugely important.

For example my choice is Laphroaig, because I love the peatiness of the island malts, but I have mates who will only touch lowland malts. None of us are right or wrong, it's just personal taste.


User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6265 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2132 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 14):
However, a Scotch should be old enough to order it's own Scotch...

I love that line. I use it a wee bit too often and start to annoy people though  
Quoting EDICHC (Reply 15):
This is the conundrum if buying for someone else.

That's why I don't buy scotch for anyone. People are so different...most people would never believe I love the Islay peaty whisky, so if they buy me something it's usually a basic one like a Glenlivet 12...by all means, acceptable, but not my favorite. Likewise, if I were to buy them an Ardbeg, they would choke it down in front of me and then toss the rest of the bottle as soon as I left.

Funny story about the first time I had Ardbeg - it was at an upscale steakhouse bar in downtown Chicago. A waitress walked by and asked what was on fire...nothing, love, just my glass of whisky.



Does anyone have single malt whisky glasses? My fiance just bought me some for my birthday after I saw them at her fathers house earlier this year. It really brings out the aroma in the pungent Islays.


User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2111 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 6):

The Macallan 12 Sherry Oak
The Macallan Fine Oak 10
The Macallan Fine Oak 12
Highland Park 12
Quoting johnkrist (Reply 13):
The Balvenie Double Wood, sweet warm full taste
Highland Park 12, works as an avec if you don't like Cognac, intense flavour

A testimony to Airliners net's excellent taste for knowledgeable moderators and collaborators. Well done.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2107 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 11):
Bearing this in mind, its very hard to buy for someone unless you know their preference.

Indeed, that's the challenge. I suppose I should have engaged him in a discussion of whisky months ago to gauge his tastes, but it's too late for that now.

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 15):
This is the conundrum if buying for someone else. You can go 'safe' and buy a mainstream blended which won't in all likelihood be disliked, but will hardly be memorable either. On the other hand the difference between the vast number of single malts is immense and individual taste is hugely important.
Quoting sw733 (Reply 16):
That's why I don't buy scotch for anyone. People are so different...most people would never believe I love the Islay peaty whisky, so if they buy me something it's usually a basic one like a Glenlivet 12...by all means, acceptable, but not my favorite. Likewise, if I were to buy them an Ardbeg, they would choke it down in front of me and then toss the rest of the bottle as soon as I left.

Excellent points.

Given all of the above, I suppose I should aim for 'safe-ish, but off the beaten track'?

Does that suggest anything to anyone?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6265 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2100 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Given all of the above, I suppose I should aim for 'safe-ish, but off the beaten track'?

Dalmore 12 or Oban 14. It makes it clear that you didn't spend too much (which is a good thing...spending too much can make the gift receiver feel awkward) but that you did spend enough to get a quality whisky at a decent price and put a little bit of thought and research in to it beyond Glenlivet/Glenfiddich.

You can also refer to this website for ideas and ratings - http://www.forpeatsake.com/


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2093 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 19):
You can also refer to this website for ideas and ratings - http://www.forpeatsake.com/

Very informative, thanks!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAA757MIA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 244 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2074 times:

Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 2):
Chivas Regal
Johnny Walker

  

Old Parr... if you can find it where you live.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11918 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2042 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 16):
Does anyone have single malt whisky glasses? My fiance just bought me some for my birthday after I saw them at her fathers house earlier this year. It really brings out the aroma in the pungent Islays.

Interesting thought.

Amazon has the following list: http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...13218421/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_k_1_3_last

I was once at an Irish-style pub and a friend bought me a shot of Redbreast Irish Whiskey (which I myself quite like) which was served with much unwanted fanfare and delay in a glass like this, which Amazon tells me is actually a brandy glass:



I didn't think the large globe-shaped bottom was correct, one had to chase the whiskey (spelled the Irish way) around a bit to get a taste of it, but the glass did a nice job of capturing and presenting the aroma.

The most popular whisky glass seems to be the Glencairn Crystal Whisky Tasting Glass:



Seems quite nice. Not as bulbous as the brandy glass, yet shaped to capture aroma. Just added it to my Amazon Wish List, so if/when I chose to get them I can share my opinion about them.

Are your whisky glasses similar? If not, do you have a link so I can have a look at them?

[Edited 2011-12-21 10:16:44]


Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 14):
Good call - can't go wrong with a wee dram of macallans.

However, a Scotch should be old enough to order it's own Scotch...

My favorite is The Macallan Fine Oak 17, but at over $100/bottle, that's a rare treat for me and will have a wee dram if the establishment I am at has it.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 17):

A testimony to Airliners net's excellent taste for knowledgeable moderators and collaborators. Well done.

That or being a crew member here drives you to drink (more).....   


User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6265 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2009 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 22):
Amazon has the following list: http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...13218421/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_k_1_3_last

Yeah she got me the Riedel ones..# 7 (or #8) on that list. They're quite nice.


25 canoecarrier : Looks like you're in good company here. Good thread, you got some great suggestions from other people I'll have to try. And all this time I thought mo
26 Kent350787 : Has anyone started an armagnac thread yet though?
27 Post contains images PITingres : I'm going to stick to my suggestion of Glenfarclas, or possibly a Glenrothes. The Macallan is an excellent whisky, but (IMVHO) is somewhat over-price
28 RaginMav : I will jump on the Macallan band wagon. My personal favorite is The Macallan 15 Fine Oak. It was love at first smell for me. Unfortunately, it may be
29 jamincan : I had some of a friend's Macallan 15 (not sure the cask) earlier this year which was very reasonably priced at the Canadian duty-free. It was excellen
30 srbmod : Concur. Imagine if your first taste of single malt Scotch was a really smokey one and you don't like that style at all, even with a blend. That could
31 AR385 : Coincidentally, I got a bottle of Macallan 12 for Christmas and I found it absolutely bland and tasteless. Maybe the 15 and up are better?
32 NCFC99 : I also love the peaty flavours, Ardbeg, Glenlivet and Laphroaig are right up my street. This is however the best one I have tasted to date, Its about
33 trident3 : I'm not a fan of the heavy or peaty scotches so I tend to go for a lowland, something like Auchentoshan 12 yr old. If you like your beer Fullers do a
34 astuteman : All sound good to me Glass in hand as we speak. Agree with the votes for MaCallan and Glenlivet, too If you're looking for something "middle-of-the-r
35 andz : It's J-O-H-N-N-I-E.... "connoisseurs" (shaking head) I know it's not Scotch but have you tried Connemara peated single malt Irish?
36 Post contains images EA CO AS : You're correct. And being an ass.
37 canoecarrier : I got some Red Label for Christmas this year and I have to say I didn't like it very much. Maybe I'm a sucker for the peated single malts. Like I sai
38 Post contains images RaginMav : The fact that J-O-H-N-N-I-E is being recommended by these "connoisseurs" is bad enough. Signed, Scotch Snob. On a more serious note: I had some of th
39 EA CO AS : Johnn...er, J-O-H-N-N-I-E Walker Red was actually made to be used in mixed drinks only; Black Label was their standard "baseline" scotch, and when mi
40 AR385 : Can you enlighten me on what, aside from ice, water or sparkling water (a la Perrier) do you mix Scotch with? I have a swiss friend who mixes his wit
41 Post contains links srbmod : Some examples: Vermouth (sweet or dry). Drambuie (Rusty Nail) Fruit juices There's quite a few cocktails in which Scotch is an ingredient. One of my
42 peterpuck : I guess no one here drinks Bowmore? Anything from Islay is as good as it gets. (if you like peaty)
43 Bongodog1964 : I'm unconvinced by this idea that Red Label was originally intended to be used in mixed drinks only, as the brand dates back way before most people w
44 PITingres : I do, but the 16 year only please. I find the younger Bowmore's to be rather uninteresting. The older Bowmore is a nice change from my usual Lagavuli
45 canoecarrier : Funny you should mention that, I was so disappointed by the Red Label I went out last night and bought the Black Label to compare. Much better. Not q
46 srbmod : Exactly. I've had Red, Black, Green, Gold, and Blue, and of those, I prefer Green. You can get Gold and Blue at some of the Delta Sky Clubs that have
47 overlander : Why not surprise your friend and buy some whiskey from the country it was first distilled in - Ireland. I recommend Powers as a starting off point. Al
48 johnkrist : There are some greatirish whiskies for sure, I love Sherry finish Connemara and The Tyrconell but those cost USD100+ here in Sweden. Cheaper, and sti
49 Revelation : As the thread starter, I might as well wrap things up. I'm glad to say that I and apparently a few others have learned a lot about scotch whisky via
50 Bongodog1964 : What a result, you bought a present, which your friend appreciated, and you liked it too. To round it off you got to take it home as a gift !
51 EA CO AS : It wasn't a matter of specifically saying "use this in mixed drinks only!" but rather making a younger, less-costly scotch for those who intended to
52 AR385 : Thank you. It still sounds unconvincing to me, but I guess everything needs to be tried once. The site is great. Appreciate it. Thanks. Personally, s
53 canoecarrier : Sorry your friend couldn't share in the joy, but it sounds like it worked out for you. Why wrap things up? This has been very informative. At around
54 EA CO AS : Unfortunately, it's not how long it's in the bottle that matters, but how long it's in the barrel. A 100 year old bottle of 5 year old scotch is stil
55 johnkrist : I have a 52 year old bottle of Jack Daniels, and it does not taste like it's fresh made siblings do. While it does not age in a bottle, production te
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