Which Scotch is Best?

Hello Everyone,

My husband has scored some major points this month and I’d like to gift him a bottle of Scotch.

The problem is when I go to the Liquor Store I quickly become overwhelmed.
I’ve asked for help but the staff are recommending the cheapest most familiar bottle to them.

Knowing my husband wouldn’t be happy with the choice (he’s not a “scotch snob” yet rather has standards) I’m turning to HO for help.

What would everyone suggest or recommend?

Thanking everone for any input that HO is able to provide.

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Being able to answer this involves asking you a few more questions:

  1. When you say ‘Scotch’ do you mean Scottish whisky, or are you thinking more broadly?
  2. Which are the ones your husband has appreciated in the past? Does he like the peat or is he into smoother/gentler ones? Is he open to a range?

Some I enjoy and I think are widely available (although some casks better than others): Jura, Dalmore, Bunnahabhain. if your husband is a peat head, Caol Islay could make him happy.

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You should probably post a rough cost budget. My favorite is Macallan 12 yr Double Cask, but it’s $59 for 750ml here. Glenlivet makes a 12 yr @ $28 that’s decent. You could also spend hundreds.

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Thank you to both of you.

Your questions are difficult for me to answer because all I know about
Scotch are the words single malt, double wood, Islay and 12 to 15 years.

Part 2 is a little easier to answer:
Balvenie Double Wood 12 years
Lagavulin
Glenlivet

Sometimes Scotch does go on sale so I don’t want to put a price range on it. I would be reluctant to buy an expensive bottle that was reduced, in price, without a recommendation.

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Johnny walker blue can sometimes be had for about 125-150 (sometimes closer to 200) and it’s good smooth stuff. Some folks are all over only single malt but blue is blended and pretty special. Makes a great gift. Paging my wife !

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Sounds like your husband has eclectic tastes. I second the recommendation of chienrouge, consider Johnnie Walker Blue. It’s a splurge, but it’s a combination of smooth and complex that can be a revelation.

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Ha ha ha. Is this title supposes to stir up some problems?

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Stir up how?

Agree with the other posters that Johnnie Walker Blue is a very nice blend. I have a few other single malts to recommend given your husband’s previous favorites:

Auchentoshan Three Wood
Aberlour (16 or A’bunadh, depending on budget)
Glenlivet 15 French Oak or 18 year

Macallan and Glenmorangie also make nice scotches at a variety of price points, particularly if your husband likes scotch aged in other liquors’ casks, like sherry or Port casks, etc.

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I am going to sideway answer your question. I think you got some really nice advice for real Scotch. There are some high quality Japanese whisky, but of course they are not Scotch. Hibiki is one.

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Bowmore 12 year is my usual go to, but it has been difficult to find lately, so, I picked up both Bunnahabhain (12 year old) and Ardbeg (10 year old). I am preferring the Ardbeg, as it is smokier. These are all Islay style, so they are all smoky/peaty to some degree.

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Back when we drank Scotch, our favorite was Glendronach. We even got a tour when we were there years ago - very old school.

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People can be fussy and opinionated about Scotch :slight_smile:

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Would you consider our favorite (and we already agree with a number of the preceding recommendations) – Talisker.

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Bunnahabhain is noted for its lesser (to little) peat, though, despite its origins. I love it for its complexity and character.

I didn’t dislike it, but I found it more sweet than I generally care for. I think it would be a good one for those interested in trying Islays to start with though.

I used to drink Scotch but now pretty much stick to bourbon. When I did it was mainly Glenmorangie and sometimes Macallan. Scotch like all booze is so personal. I hate any Johnnie Walker but most people love it. So good luck. Your husband is a lucky man.

Edited to add: All three in the photo are moderate price. Note the Signet is a blended Scotch.

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When we visited Glendronach, Jimmy MacGregor, the man who gave us the tour, said that all Johnnie Walker is “rubbish”, so you’re in good company.

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I am more of a Rye guy, but for a blend my fav is Chivas Regal 12 YO, and Laphroaig 10 YO or Quarter Cask for a single malt. You can obviously spend more but unless he is a connoisseur/snob these are very good options.

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