questionswhat is the best scotch for the money?

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Preferences are going to be all over the board also. Personally, I enjoy single malts that have a smoky, peaty taste to them. But that's me. Since I don't really get to indulge frequently, I don't have any preferred brands that I could suggest.

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What @woadwarrior: said...

Lowland, Highland or Islay and everything in between...
Also need a price point... Good malts start around $35.00 and go up, up, up from there...

Most of these are $50.00 and up to $100.00
Lowland - Glen Kinchie or Auchentoschen 3 wood
Highland - Highland Park 15yr or Talisker distiller's Edition, Oban if you like more smoke...
Islay - these are liquid smoke... Laphroig 10 yr, Lagavulin 16yr or any of the Ardbegs if you have the change...
There are hundreds of others if these aren't enough for you...

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@hobbitss: I'd be comfy up til around $80 this time 'round. Have tried Glenlivet 12 yo found it ok not knock my sox off, The McCallan 10yo I thought was fantastic. Wondering how the French Oak might be of that brand.

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Grow a rough beard, get a cardboard sign and beg people for scotch. It's always the best for the money if it's free.

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As an extension of this question, what is the most drinkable scotch at the ~$20 price point?

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Scotch value is going to depend a LOT on your preferences. That said, you may want to consider the Canadian pseudo-scotch now being produced (I think) in Nova Scotia (so it at least makes some sense ... given that that area was settled by Scots). Can't remember the name right now, but it's Glen-something (yes, I know that doesn't really help :P), and I seem to recall reviews being rather favorable.

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The only Scotch I will go out of my way to drink is Glenlivet, I've been told its because it's one of the least "Scotchy".

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I'm a huge fan of The Balvenie myself especially the 17 year they released a few years ago. But as others have said, what scotch you like is going to depend on your personal tastes. What tastes phenomenal to one person will be merely acceptable to someone else and undrinkable to yet another.

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@jgribb1: If you are asking about the Glenlivet 15, French Oak, it is my favorite of the three - 12yo, 15yo and 18yo.

Dalwhinnie is my favorite Highland, and I like anything Islay - the Peatier/smokier the better.

That being said, I also like J&B in water, Chivas Regal in either Coke or Sunkist Soda (and it must be Sunkist - not some other orange soda), and Johnny Walker Red or Black in ginger ale.

So I guess what I am saying is that it is all up to personal taste.

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Best Scotch for the money is hands down McClellands. I can't tell you the exact distilleries each comes from, but they bottle a Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside and Islay single malt, and each can be had for anywhere from $20-$30 per 750ml bottle. It's damn drinkable stuff. Highlands is my favorite, but each represents its region quite well. It won't compete with a $100 bottle of Glenlivet or Macallan, but it holds its own against whiskys at twice its own retail. If you need to go cheap, skip the rotgut and find a McClellands blend you enjoy.

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I really enjoy smokey scotches, so I like Islay mostly.
Here's my regulars:
Laphroaig 10 can be found at Costco here in N. CA for under $30 a bottle, which is a steal.
Ardbeg is one of my favorites with an amazing finish, but it is in the $50+ range.
If I'm feeling cheap I'll go for Finlaggin, which is supposedly an underage Lagavulin that can be found at Trader Joe's for under $20 and is worth a look. Have fun.

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Also a big Balvenie fan as well but they when asked the question, I usually give the same answer...Talisker, it's my standard house scotch, it's got a little smoke, but not overwhelming like laphroig, it's also light like a speyside. Kind of a good all around scotch for around $50-$70 /bottle.

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@jgribb1: The MacAllen 10 is a fantastic Highland whisky, let alone a 10 yr whisky. The MacAllen 12, I would wager, is the definitive Highland Whisky that remains affordable enough for a daily dram or two.

These are my picks for daily dram. Costs around $30-$50 for a fifth, or about $2-$3/dram depending on how much you pour.

Speyside: Bare minimum would be Glenfiddich/Glenlivet 12. The Balvenie was pretty decent, but my favorite Speyside was the Singleton (Glendullan) 12. Nice and spicy with bit of fruit, and generally harder to find than the other Glens.

Highland: As said, I think the MacAllens 10/12 is best bang for the buck. The 12 is a treat with lots of brown sugar, maple, raisin up front. Pair that with a nice meaty steaky dinner.

Islay: Laphroaig if you can find it. Finlaggan if you got a Trader Joe's nearby. Both are liquid smoke, iodine, seacoast, and peat all rolled into one. Once you go Islay, it's hard to go back. IF you like Islay like I do.

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@jgribb1: If you like the Macallan 10, then definitely go with either Macallan 12 or the Macallan Fine Oak 15. The Fine Oak 15 is one of my favorites.

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Not sure about scotch, but love Blantons. And there's a craft distillery in NOVA called Catoctin Creek Distillery who makes a wonderful rye.

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@jgribb1: Try the Glenlivet French Oak and the regular 15yr.. Also, the McCallan Fine Oak 15yr will be very good, I wouldn't bother with the Fine Oak 17yr as the extra 2 yrs in barrel doesn't equal the extra money they want for it... The older Glenfiddich bottlings (15 & 18yr) are also very good as are all of the Balvenie releases especially the 17s which are all different...
If you have the time check out www.maltadvocate.com and www.whiskyadvocate.com/whisky_reviews.asp
good reading to go with your daily dram....

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The French Oak is great, but I tried out a brand named Jura and the Scotch was called "Superstition". Loved it! Smaller brand but everyone I have introduced it to seems to really like it.

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@joslynmsu: Isle of Jura Superstition... Really good isn't it... Kind of spicy... Enjoy it on a really cold night...

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I'd like to buy my boyfriend a bottle of really, really GREAT (not just GOOD) for XMAS. Around the $75-$100 bottle is OK. Tips??

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@mizzbellabella: If your boyfriend is a scotch drinker then most of us would agree that the preferred scotch to get as a gift would be a "Single Malt" scotch. You will easily hit the prince range you listed with any of the common brands such as Glenlivet, The Macallan, or Glenmorangie. If you were my girlfriend I would be your personal slave for a month if I got a bottle of Macallan 18 for a gift! (maybe 2 months!)