questionscan any scotch drinkers help with gift…


I'm going to recommend something a bit off the beaten path, and you'd have to judge if it's the right fit for him - The Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old. It's aged in old port casks, which imparts a unique fruity flavor, on top of the usual sweet notes that Balvenies usually have. You're probably looking at about $150-200 for this.

If you'd like something a little more traditional, perhaps the Talisker 18 Year Old?


I'm partial to Johnnie Walker myself; I think it's because it's what my parents drank together the night they met. Blue label would fall the range you give. It may not be completely worth the price, but it's definitely something I could justify buying for myself.


I'll assume he likes scotch.

Johnny Walker is great but it's not single malt. It's a blend. All of them from the Red to the Blue. Nothing wrong with JW but it's not a single malt. Costco has the Blue for $150. It has a nice smokey flavor. You can find it at any bar for $25/shot if you want to try it out.

Oban and Balvinie are great. Laphroaig and Lagavulin are a couple usual suspects if he likes the peaty and iodine flavors. Me, I like Macallan. If you get him the Macallan, get him the 18 year which will run about $180. It's much better than the 12 year.


@axphw1: That is a great reason to celebrate with that. : )
We actually bought him some blue label in the past, he drinks Johnnie Walker (not blue label) as his regular, I wanted to get something more unusual this time around, I should have specified that in the OP. Unless you think this would be a good choice, because it is more to his taste? I do not know anything about scotch, just from what he drinks.

@saramwrap: That sounds like a good direction to look in, I will look into it, thanks!


OK, sorry for the confusion, I just phoned his mom, and she says he switched to Dewars, which I gather is a blended scotch. He confused the issue himself, when he recommended a single malt as a gift for someone else, I don't know why.


My suggestion would be to buy a few bottles of single malts. Less expensive ones that have a regional flavour to them.

An Island malt like an Islay, a lowland, a highland etc.

Perhaps get some whiskey stones to go with the single malts.

You could probably find 5 regional single malts for $150 depending on where you live and some stones for $20-30.

They cool the liquid without diluting or imparting an additional falvour.

This way , he and probably you, could experience the differences in taste between the regions.

You might also want to add a Japanese blended or single malt like Suntory to further enhance the learning experience.


@pickypickypicky: Hrm. Dewar's is pretty woody, so maybe he'd like something more similar in flavor - the Talisker and Balvenie are both fruitier and sweeter than Dewar's. It's is not my style, I really don't like woody woodiness in anything I drink. :\


@mikdan: I like this idea. McClelland's makes a Highland, a Lowland, a Speyside, and an Islay. All are single malt, all are pretty good, and can be had for around $20-$25 per bottle.


@mikdan: A tasting flight is not a bad idea, especially if you don't know precisely what someone likes. And sometimes those stones come up as on woot for significantly less (under $10 last time) - I always stock up when they're offered, and give them as gifts.


I'd recommend Talisker 20 or 25 year. It's a very distinct scotch that I feel is often overlooked. Even the 18 year rates consistently well last I knew.


@first2summit: The hoff was just about to suggest Johnnie Walker. When my friend Christopher Hitchens and I wanted a drink that's really going to knock our socks Hoff Johnnie Walker Black was our go to drink. He was a wonderful man, and a dear friend of mine, I think I'll have a drink to him right now...


If he's now a Dewar's guy, maybe get something from their high(er) end. He may be drinking the white label. The higher end ones - 12yr ($30), 18yr ($65), and the Signature ($180) may be worth looking into.

A flight's not necessary a bad idea but the problem with them is palate fatigue. Your taste buds will be so beat up that they won't be able to discern one against another, plus you'll be drunk. The best way to avoid this is to arrange them from mildest to strongest but that requires some knowledge of them beforehand. It also has the potential of becoming that combo platter - not enough of the ones you like, and too much of the ones you don't. .-)

BTW - Dewar's is a blended scotch, too.


To be honest, $40 can get you a 12-year Glenfiddich and it is surprisingly smooth. I prefer it over their 18-year any day. It's actually my favorite scotch-whiskey to date.


Thanks to everyone who responded, you all are the best! And just for the record, all the recommendations for single malt won't go to waste, we know someone else who drinks that and I'll bookmark this thread for the future gifts.
I really love the idea that @first2summit: had, a nice bottle of the Signature Dewars will probably fit the bill. I just wanted to make sure that it was sufficiently special enough for a sincere thank you gift. We are bringing him a plethora of other gifts too, but nothing says thank you like a nice bottle. I will have to wait on the whiskey stones, unless I can find them locally, since we are leaving on Friday.

I am so excited about the vacay, I thought we were going to be couch surfing at his place, what a nice surprise. We always celebrate Festivus whenever we get together, and you guys helped put the finishing touch on the festivities.

I guess I owe each of you a bottle now too, rats.....


Hey @pickypickypicky, sorry I was too late to add any input to the thread, (not much a scotch drinker anyways) But if you want a box of stones I can ship them out to you priority mail and you'll see them before friday. Shoot me an email with you address if you want me to get them out to you tomorrow.


@cowboydann: You are so sweet, CBD, I'll email you.


The Bruichladdich Rum Cask is really nice. Glengoyne Burnfoot is also really tasty and not too expensive. I'm not sure how much these will run you in the States but those are two that I really like that we sell in my store for not a lot of Euros. Any of the Glen Morangies are good. Glen Fiddich is a classic. You don't need to spend a lot of money on Scotch to get a really good whisky. Unless you're like a lot of the tools that come into my shop and have to have something that's 18 years old no matter what because 18 years old means it tastes better than 10 or 12 years old. That is a complete fallacy. Some 18s taste better and some taste worse.


I'm far from an expert on ths topic, but I've been trying the different varieties at my local package store lately. I wish I never bought the 18yo Glenlivet because it's expensive. But it's the best one of the 6 or so I've tried so far.


I worked together with my local distributor to get my hands on a single malt scotch direct from Scotland. I started off searching at Because our was a gift as well, we were looking for specific unique packaging. I, in turn, was told to speak with a distributor in New York. After about 2 weeks, I had a beautiful Single Malt Scotch Whisky in my hands.

So, say you zero in on a Port Ellen 32 Year old - 1978 from the Islay Region. The distributor will get you connected to the right person to make it happen. BTW, that's a $700 bottle of scotch!!

Good luck and happy hunting!!