Which Scotch is Best?

Sounds like an opinionated Scotsman touting his own bottles and the virtues of single malts! Well done. Personally, I enjoy a lot of single malts but find the whole concept to be partially rooted in fad and partially rooted in ancient tradition and delicious drinking. I’m sure you know most of the single malts are in fact blended from various barrels for balancing and consistency. There are a lot more single malts available now that were previously solely used as ingredients for blended scotches such as johnnie walker. Hello trader joe’s scotch collection lol. I do have my favorites in this area on single malts of course and lots of nice brands ID’d above. I still think that blended scotch gets short shrift. I wouldn’t use the words hate or rubbish when it comes to johnnie walker blue. Where some single malts might hit high intensity peaty or smokey notes ie islays etc some can be really aggressive for at least some segment, and the same and opposite can be said for the other end of the spectrum. That’s why I think that the blue makes such a nice gift. It’s well balanced and delicious and can appeal to a gift recipient that you know nothing about. I’d be hesitant to just recommend my personal favorite single malts to anyone I don’t know. cheers everyone!


I’ve always thought that the 10 YO Laphroaig was better than the more expensive more aged Laphroaigs. I like that one a lot too. I also think Chivas 12 is a great deal and tasty stuff and a delicious gift if not a gift for the most special occasion or thank you.

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I’ve run into more people who like JW than those who don’t which puts me squarely into the minority.

The irony in my preference for Glenmorangie is that they create their barrels from American White Oak then gives them to Jack Daniel’s to use. Then they go back to Glenmorangie to finish the Scotch in. The irony……I hate Jack Daniel’s. I’m using the word hate here and I mean every single letter of the word. :joy:

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Funny stuff - enjoyable whiskey chat!

I’m not a Jack fan either - I did get a bottle of the Sinatra select as a gift and i confess i enjoyed it. Course it came with a vintage frank concert too. I usually like frank as much as jack daniels but somehow it worked. In the end all liquor takes me to my happy place I guess.

The various glenmorangies are great values and we enjoy them too!


Not only did undergrad ruin JD I can’t get within 100 yards of Yukon Jack either.


haha i feel ya! still a top shelf brand for that era!

still think wild turkey is much worse than JD and that’s sayin something.

I like ryes sorta in a Sazerac but canadian whisky never been my thing either. i would not drink yukon jack.

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You are smarter than me.

Bulleit makes a very flavorful mid shelf rye. So good I’ve almost given up on top shelfs like Whistlepig and Knob Creek. I do it in Manhattans with M&R vermouth.


I didn’t feel so smart when I woke up this morning!



My husband is a big fan of rye as well, and has found that Redemption Rye (or their high-rye Bourbon) outshines many more expensive bottles. Bulleit too. Both are great in a Manhattan, though I must respectfully disagree about your choice of vermouth - M&R is only acceptable in a pinch! :wink: I vastly prefer Dolin.


Agreed on both counts. For instance, I would NEVER recommend Laphroaig to anyone unless I knew for sure they loved, and I do mean LOVED, smoke. I bought a bottle once and it sat on our bar for years until I finally used it in cocktails to kill the ashtray taste. Blended scotch gets a bad rap because there are so many terrible, cheap blends, but if you are willing to spend a little more and choose your producer carefully, there are some really nice options.



Ardbeg 10 - peat

Glendronach 12 - Sherry cask


Talisker 18 - peat

Glendronach 18 - Sherry cask

These 4 are among my personal favourites.

My go to whisky’s are Lagavulin 16 & 8 and Macallan 12.


Palettes are different. Tried and not a big fan of Redemption. I’ve tried Dolin, and even Carpana Antica (in search for the perfect Man), but I keep coming back to M&R.

Currently, my perfect Man is a mix of bottom shelf CC and the Bulleit 95, with just a dash of M&R and Tillen Farms maraschinos with a dash of the syrup (tried the highly recommended Luxardos as well, but like the Carpano, they just taste stale).

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Absolutely. I like three parts rye to one part vermouth with a heavy dash of bitters. No maraschino juice, but if I have Luxardo cherries (I actually prefer the Fabbri Amarena brand), I’ll replace half the vermouth with a little of that syrup. I always have unsweetened tart cherries in the freezer, so I use those to garnish and keep my drink cold.

Yeah, bitters are not really my thing. I’ll sometimes add a dash of Angostura (and sometimes their orange) bitters. Also have been thinking about Fee Bros cherry bitters… have you tried those? I’d have to order them by mail as no local places have them.

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Oy, the Scotch advice has morphed into a rye discussion. We’ll bite – a very long time ago we found among the best deals in the whiskey department was Jim Bean yellow label rye, thoug it seems to have disappeared. Now in the mid-shelf we look for Bulleit and Rittenhouse – there also might have been a stray bottle of Canadian Club real rye (not “Canadian”) we found when a long way from our area code.

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I haven’t tried the cherry but I do have a bottle of their rhubarb bitters. I like the flavor, but it is much more subtle than classic Angostura bitters. I like to add them to a gin and soda or other less-strongly flavored cocktail, but I stick with Angostura for Manhattans. Of which, by the way, I had two with dinner tonight, thanks to this thread! :tumbler_glass::star_struck:


Johnnie Walker Blue makes for a wonderful gift, both in taste and appearance. Can’t go wrong.


I’ve lived with a Scotch guy for over two decades. He also loves Islay as well as Speyside. Ardbeg is a current favorite with him and a number of his Scotch buddies. We have a Corryvreckan in the cupboard ($90+) at the moment along with a Lagavulin 16, Laphroig 10, Dalwhinne 15, Auchroisk Single Cask 17 yr Speyside (private label Trader Joe’s), GlenDronach 12, Glenrothes 10, Glen Garioch 12 and a single malt Irish whiskey: Barr an Uisce 1803 (16 yr). I hope you find something he will appreciate which is my challenge every year at holiday time.

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