Author Topic: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal  (Read 7166 times)

okits

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I'd like to give DH a bottle of scotch a notch (or several) nicer than what I'd usually gift him.

Here's the last thing I gave him (pretty typical of past gifts; see what ~$60 bottle is on sale for 10% off, read some internet reviews, buy if positive opinions dominant.) He liked it.

He's not a connoisseur and I don't know if he'll save it predominantly for special occasions or work through the whole bottle in a few weeks.  But I thought it would be nice for him to have something a bit fancier to try (and this fits with my current money-saving endeavour of gifting booze, so it comes out of the gift budget and we can shrink the alcohol budget.  He doesn't want or need much of anything else, anyway.)

Suggestions for decent-value, higher-end, or simply enjoyable bottles very much appreciated. :) I'm limited to what the government liquor store carries, but I'm hoping something suggested here is available for purchase locally.

Thank you!

Edit: "it would" not "I'd" :P
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 12:58:07 AM by okits »

TheEngineer

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 05:35:04 AM »
You could try Japanese whiskey.
It can be a little pricey, but it's very high quality.
I had a couple of 10 yo single malt bottles from Nikka distillery. Cost me 90$ / 750ml or a little less.
Good times...

Apeshifter

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2016, 06:26:57 AM »
You've enticed me out of my non-posting hole since: I like Scotch, saving money, and end up dealing with the LCBO.

I'm more of a "common-sewer" than a  connaisseur  but here's my $0.02 since I gift and receive a bit of Sotch:

Amrut (Okay its just Whisky not Scotch since its made in India) but its at a bit higher price point and is a mild single malt. I get more caramel flavours out of it than how they describe the profile.. but bottom line I find this one particularly yummy! The only problem is I may not be the only one. So although my local LCBO stocks it from time to time, it has a tendency to fly off the shelves..

Glenmorangie You may have seen this or gifted it before in the LCBO (Should be commonly available) but its rather mild floral and fruity in flavour. Even friends that don't like Scotch will happily drink it.

McClelland's Single Malt Highland Scotch About the most "Mustachian" (if that can really be applied to Single Malt Scotch) as its the cheapest, tastiest Highland option, I can find in the LCBO. Despite this being 1/2 the price of the Amrut, I'd rather have one bottle of the Amrut over two bottles of this, for what that's worth.

Jura Supersitition Bit more Smoke, though fairly approachable. Another one of my more mild go tos.
 
Laphroaig Quarter Cask Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky We're entering flavour country with this one. (Read: more peaty and smokey tasting) Though if you're going to head into smoke and peat territory I think this is a good place to start. I find it combines the smoke and peat with the caramel flavours present in a few of my other listings into something fairly approachable. Friends that don't like peaty and smokey Scotches will still happily drink this one.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 12:11:39 PM »
Lagavulin 16. Scotch lovers **** in their pants when they see it on the restaurant bar menu.  It's about as impressive as an under $100 bottle can be.

human

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 12:26:14 PM »
Lagavulin 16. Scotch lovers **** in their pants when they see it on the restaurant bar menu.  It's about as impressive as an under $100 bottle can be.

 I agree, except in Ontario it's well over 100 bucks now. The price has gone up but about 30 bucks in the past 10 years.

You can't go wrong with Macallan though
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 12:28:46 PM by human »

Spork

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 01:14:28 PM »
You've enticed me out of my non-posting hole since: I like Scotch, saving money, and end up dealing with the LCBO.

I'm more of a "common-sewer" than a  connaisseur  but here's my $0.02 since I gift and receive a bit of Sotch:

Amrut (Okay its just Whisky not Scotch since its made in India) but its at a bit higher price point and is a mild single malt. I get more caramel flavours out of it than how they describe the profile.. but bottom line I find this one particularly yummy! The only problem is I may not be the only one. So although my local LCBO stocks it from time to time, it has a tendency to fly off the shelves..

Glenmorangie You may have seen this or gifted it before in the LCBO (Should be commonly available) but its rather mild floral and fruity in flavour. Even friends that don't like Scotch will happily drink it.

McClelland's Single Malt Highland Scotch About the most "Mustachian" (if that can really be applied to Single Malt Scotch) as its the cheapest, tastiest Highland option, I can find in the LCBO. Despite this being 1/2 the price of the Amrut, I'd rather have one bottle of the Amrut over two bottles of this, for what that's worth.

Jura Supersitition Bit more Smoke, though fairly approachable. Another one of my more mild go tos.
 
Laphroaig Quarter Cask Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky We're entering flavour country with this one. (Read: more peaty and smokey tasting) Though if you're going to head into smoke and peat territory I think this is a good place to start. I find it combines the smoke and peat with the caramel flavours present in a few of my other listings into something fairly approachable. Friends that don't like peaty and smokey Scotches will still happily drink this one.

Apeshifter:  We could be brothers (or siblings... not sure if you're male or female.
Glenmorangie is my "high end" scotch of choice.  Almost any age is good.
McClelland's Highland is my "house scotch".  I had to have a talk to the local liquor stores to get them to stock it.
Laphroig - I've only had the original.  It's a harsh mistress.... but it's a harsh mistress I like. We first bought it in a whiskey shop in Scotland.  The guy behind the counter said "Aye, it's wicked stuff."

tyort1

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 01:31:23 PM »
Highland Park scotch has the best balance between maltiness, honey, heather, and a very tiny touch of peat.  Outstanding, and the 12 year old is relatively inexpensive.

human

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 01:40:45 PM »
I bought a highland park 18 for a really good friend's birthday, we opened it together it was amazing. Pretty pricy though.

wenchsenior

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2016, 03:09:04 PM »
If you want a very smooth, aromatic, great quality without the peaty element, Dalmore is excellent. The 12 year old starts around 60$ and you can age/price up from there. This scotch has the added bonus of smelling like fermented apricots. Man, do I love sniffing that stuff.

ETA: I also second the vote for Glenmorangie, again, if you want to avoid the mossy/peaty quality.

GrOW

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2016, 03:57:47 PM »
Glenlivet 1.75L bottle is a real bargain here at mid $60s.

Laphroaig and lagavulin are awesome BUT you have to like smokier scotches.

human

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2016, 03:59:18 PM »
That's 90 bucks at the lcbo.

Edit the dalmore that is.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 04:00:53 PM by human »

starguru

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Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2016, 04:02:57 PM »
Lagavulin 16. Scotch lovers **** in their pants when they see it on the restaurant bar menu.  It's about as impressive as an under $100 bottle can be.
I second this.  Lagavulin is just wonderful.   I like any laphroig as a close second.

LLCoolDave

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2016, 04:03:22 PM »
I've worked in several restaurants over the years. IMO Oban 14 is one of the most nuanced/balanced scotches out there for a moderate price. Unless someone is really into Laphroig 10, which tastes like seaweed and smoke, any scotch drinker will appreciate the Oban.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 04:09:06 PM by LLCoolDave »

brute

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2016, 04:49:17 PM »
I can usually get Auchentoshan 12 for $38 a bottle. Not overly flavorful, but very smooth and one my favorites.

Clynelish 14 was very nice, still under $45 though it may have been on sale.

My favorite right now of my collection is glenmorangie signet, but that was an rather unmustachian purchase. (It's to celebrate my wedding, yay, lets buy something that costs 8x more than my usual that's only 2x better)  But seriously, it's amazing stuff.

crazy jane

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2016, 06:57:46 PM »
Crawford's for best value in a bottle of scotch.

okits

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2016, 01:22:57 AM »
Thank you for all the great suggestions, everyone!  I'm saving this list for future ideas, and will pick a present this week for DH.

Fellow Ontarians: isn't it such a punch in the stomach to see how expensive things are at the LCBO?  Even when our dollar was around parity, so it's a heavy tax bite we're paying.  Hurray for government monopolies!

worms

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2016, 02:22:59 PM »
Looking at the list on LCBO, I would think the moustachian option would be to go no further up the price scale than the Smiths Glenlivet 12 (here).

Your price is a tad higher than over here where it is produced - it's about 22 in the nearest supermarket to the distillery versus about 30 equivalent for you in Ontario.  A good easy-drinking malt that no-one will turn their nose up at.  The only time it doesn't go down well is when you are in a hurry and get stuck behind a tanker of the stuff going down the A9!.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 02:28:09 PM by worms »

tomsang

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2016, 03:58:24 PM »
I have a fairly large Scotch selection from $500 down in price.  I tried Kavalan Soloist a year ago, and just tried something else from them few days ago.  Very tasty.  This would compete with a $500 bottle based on color, nose, taste, etc.  Crazy how the warm, humid climate helps the aging.   

https://www.centralwinemerchants.com/spirits/Kavalan-Kavalan-Single-Malt-w8329807zw?utm_source=Google+Shopping&utm_medium=cpc

http://www.worldwhiskiesawards.com/kavalan-solist-vinho-barrique-single-cask-strength.23950.html

I also agree that the standard Oban 14 is a great all around Scotch. 

If the person likes the Smoky Peaty scotch, then a favorite is Ardbeg Uigeadail





El Marinero

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2016, 04:52:28 PM »

I also agree that the standard Oban 14 is a great all around Scotch. 


I would also pick Oban  ($50 at Costco) unless I knew more about the recipients tastes.

 However,If you want top give ME a bottle, Laphroaig wi=ould be just fine.

Hotstreak

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2016, 08:03:04 PM »
I like Aberlour's cask strength. Good stuff for about $80.

CATman

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2016, 09:04:40 PM »
I second the recommendations for Highland Park 18yr. The 12 stands on it's own, but the 18 is a cut above and worth every penny. I also saw a suggestion for Jura Superstition, also a solid choice.


VaCPA

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2016, 09:12:10 PM »
I dabbled in scotch for a little bit but am now more into Irish whiskey. Redbreast is my pricey bottle and Tullamore Dew is my economical choice.

GrOW

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2016, 04:12:42 PM »
I like Aberlour's cask strength. Good stuff for about $80.

Agreed

pka222

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2016, 05:19:42 PM »
++1 
Lagavulin 16. Scotch lovers **** in their pants when they see it on the restaurant bar menu.  It's about as impressive as an under $100 bottle can be.

bryan995

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2016, 12:09:25 AM »
Oban 14

Ottawa

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2016, 05:22:12 AM »
Te Bheag

This is going to seem out there.  It isn't even a single malt.  But, I was very pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was - it was thrown in at a single malt tasting I went to.  Also, relatively cheap at $39. http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/te-bheag-scotch-whisky/949172

Kitsune

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2016, 12:39:07 PM »
Te Bheag

This is going to seem out there.  It isn't even a single malt.  But, I was very pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was - it was thrown in at a single malt tasting I went to.  Also, relatively cheap at $39. http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/te-bheag-scotch-whisky/949172

Seconding this. It's one of the better scotches under 50$, despite being a blended scotch

Otherwise: Oban. I don't even really LIKE scotch, and I like Oban.

RidinTheAsama

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2016, 01:32:59 PM »
Lagavulin 16. Scotch lovers **** in their pants when they see it on the restaurant bar menu.  It's about as impressive as an under $100 bottle can be.
I second this.  Lagavulin is just wonderful.   I like any laphroig as a close second.

Agreed. Lagavulin 16 is my all time favourite.  A slightly less expensive and almost equally good option is BenRiach Curiositas 10.

okits

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2018, 09:51:39 PM »
Hi everyone, OP here.  I've been using this list for the past two years to buy gifts for DH, and they've all been winners.  :)  So far I've given him the Oban 14, Jura Superstition, Auchentoshan 12, Aberlour 12, and a bottle of Laphroaig (I think it was the Quarter Cask but not sure).  Thank you for your expertise, I think DH has been impressed with my choices even though I told him they were your recommendations.  :)

brute

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Re: Scotch recommendations: good value, a little nicer than normal
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2018, 09:53:36 PM »
Hi everyone, OP here.  I've been using this list for the past two years to buy gifts for DH, and they've all been winners.  :)  So far I've given him the Oban 14, Jura Superstition, Auchentoshan 12, Aberlour 12, and a bottle of Laphroaig (I think it was the Quarter Cask but not sure).  Thank you for your expertise, I think DH has been impressed with my choices even though I told him they were your recommendations.  :)

Awesome! I'm really glad it's been helpful.