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Scotch - Upper End Question

Old 12-10-2011, 05:39 AM
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Default Scotch - Upper End Question

My brother is a big scotch drinker, I was thinking about getting him a high end bottle for Christmas.

He currently likes a scotch called: "LAPHROAIG"

Personally, I've never heard of it, but apparently its a higher end bottle.

Can someone suggest a really good brand that he wouldn't normally go buy himself?

How about "etched glasses"? Both of my brothers own a hunting camp and they kinda like stuff like that at night on their bar.

High ball glasses and pilsner type for beer.

Tis the season
Old 12-10-2011, 06:16 AM
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I'm fairly new to drinking Scotch (1.5 yrs). Some friends converted me. But I really like Oban. Priced from $40 to $200 depending on age.

Of course there are much higher end brands, I've tried $500 bottles and to be honest don't notice that much of a difference. But like I said I'm new to it, ask me again in 5 yrs!!!

Could'nt see spending $750 and up for a bottle except maybe to keep it for yrs, to make speacial occasions more speacial. But for a glass "when ever" I like Oban. Not familiar with the one you mentioned, but there are so many brands out there.
Old 12-10-2011, 07:05 AM
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Your brother has good taste. Laphroaig is very well rated. It has a very very strong flavor of peat and seaweed (iodine). Your brother is not drinking kool aid like Glenlivet 10 yr. You don't say if he is drinking the 10yr or 18yr. I going to talk about the younger versions. In the same brand you may also find an older scotch but the price can go from $40 to $200 a bottle.

To match a "strong" flavor, I suggest in the following order:

Ledaig - 10 yr - blond color but very peaty. Nothing has the intensity of Laphroaig but Ledaig comes close.

Edradour - 10 yr

Talisker - 18 yr.


If you want "strong" go with Ledaig. The next two are very good, have flavor, but don't overpower you like either "L"

One more suggestion. There is an Irish Whiskey called "Midleton" which is very good. it is not as well known as the scotches I listed and might be more a surprise gift. It will be more expensive - about $100?


I have the above in my closet. I also have Oban and like it - it just doesn't have the power to match Laphroaig or a good cigar.
Old 12-10-2011, 07:20 AM
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Not familiar with those but of several in my little collection I prefer Macallan 18 and JW Blue with a nice Cuban...
Old 12-10-2011, 07:33 AM
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Best advise for any 'new' scotch drinker is to hang with rich friends who have expensive taste and keep their 'man-caves' well stocked. Or when traveling and staying in the big cities check if an establishment has any of the very top shelf and try them as an after dinner treat until you find one that you can afford and like. Post dinner cigar time wagers with others on team watching telecast games work well at this. Avoid trying to expense them or blowing a days per diem for a taste at all costs....(-:
Old 12-10-2011, 07:59 AM
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I drink blended scotch and for me it is JW Blue all the way. Lower on the scale but a little offbeat are Johnnie Walker Double Black ( new this year) and Johnnie Walker Swing, which has a boating heritage. I like both and Swing is very unknown to most.

I had a boss whose family was from Scotland. His recommendation was always Lagavulin, for something a litle out of the ordinary. It all depends on his 'taste' and your wallet.
Old 12-10-2011, 08:11 AM
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Laphroaig is very nice Scotch. I bought a bottle for Thanksgiving. If you buy him a nice bottle for Xmas buy a good Cheesecake to compliment it. There is nothing better then a good Scotch and Cheesecake(or Chocolate) after a meal...Thats just me. Im not sure if that is a "popular" thing to do. I personally love it
Old 12-10-2011, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Boehler View Post
My brother is a big scotch drinker, I was thinking about getting him a high end bottle for Christmas.

He currently likes a scotch called: "LAPHROAIG"

Personally, I've never heard of it, but apparently its a higher end bottle.

Can someone suggest a really good brand that he wouldn't normally go buy himself?

How about "etched glasses"? Both of my brothers own a hunting camp and they kinda like stuff like that at night on their bar.

High ball glasses and pilsner type for beer.




Tis the season


I second the Talisker if you don't want to duplicate, but stay in the same flavor profile. He would most likely appreciate an Oban or a Highland Park as well.
Old 12-10-2011, 08:54 AM
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One of my favorites is Balvenie single malt. I've had the 10, 12 and 15. All are very good with some obvious differences mccallan 18 is also exceptional. I've had several bottles of Johnny walker blue and didn't really care for it. It is an excellent scotch, but it is too peaty for me. Of course I drank it though. Depending on how much you want to spend, have you considered several moderately priced bottles as a sampler instead of 1expensive bottle?
Old 12-10-2011, 09:49 AM
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Oban 14. I have tried them all.
Old 12-10-2011, 10:12 AM
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An Auchentoshan,Glen fiddich or livet, Dalmore are available in various ages fairly reasonablly and would be appreciated.
More $$$$ gets you others mentioned and can get expensive quickly.

How well do you like your brother.....???? (-:
Old 12-10-2011, 11:05 AM
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Personally I prefer Clan Mcgregor. It's usually about $19 for a half gallon, sometimes on sale for $17. The Heathrowe airport used to have, might still have it, a cigar/scotch shop. The scotch section had a back wall with bottles behind glass. Those bottles started at $1k and went up to about $45k. The more $$ were aged something like 70 years. Pretty crazy.
Old 12-10-2011, 11:17 AM
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Just bought a McAllen 15 for my son for Christmas and a McAllen 10 for my wife's oncologist. The son and I put down a couple Aberlour A'bunadh shots the other night. Of the Laphroigs and other upper end stuff, I like this one best. But, I'm not a Scotch drinker, preferring Bourbon. Something else to think about though, is the age. I have a 750ml White Hourse in the basement which has to be at least 30 years old. That is, bought from the liquor store about 30 years ago. It was probably 6-10 years old in the bottle. It's now extremely enjoyable. I'm guessing the years of darkness and even temperature have been kind to it. Just be comfortable knowing that anything over probably $50-$75 a bottle will be appreciated by most Scotch drinkers. If they find fault with stuff in that price range, they're just showing off or trying to be difficult, because while prices often skyrocket from that range, at those prices, you won't find a bad Scotch, just maybe some that don't suit everyone's tastes.
Old 12-10-2011, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by horsepen View Post
Just bought a McAllen 15 for my son for Christmas and a McAllen 10 for my wife's oncologist. The son and I put down a couple Aberlour A'bunadh shots the other night. Of the Laphroigs and other upper end stuff, I like this one best. But, I'm not a Scotch drinker, preferring Bourbon. Something else to think about though, is the age. I have a 750ml White Hourse in the basement which has to be at least 30 years old. That is, bought from the liquor store about 30 years ago. It was probably 6-10 years old in the bottle. It's now extremely enjoyable. I'm guessing the years of darkness and even temperature have been kind to it. Just be comfortable knowing that anything over probably $50-$75 a bottle will be appreciated by most Scotch drinkers. If they find fault with stuff in that price range, they're just showing off or trying to be difficult, because while prices often skyrocket from that range, at those prices, you won't find a bad Scotch, just maybe some that don't suit everyone's tastes.
Im confused? And just asking. Just because you buy a 10yr old Scotch and keep it for 30yrs doesnt mean its a 40yr old Scotch...Has to be in the barrel to age?? Right?
Old 12-10-2011, 11:37 AM
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If your brother likes Laphroig, he enjoys, as I say, getting hit with a peat truck...very powerful peat flavor and a good scotch. Those smokey ones are usually from the Islay (pronounced I-LAH) region. Another in the same league as Laphroig but a little lighter (I said a little lighter) is Lagavulin 16. A more unusual one from that region is Bruichladdich. That would be a conversation piece as I suspect he hasn't had that. Talisker is a great scotch (actually my favorite) but technically not an Islay scotch though hard to see a huge separation from the Islays.

One funny thing about scotches is that more aging years is not necessarily better. A Talisker 10 year stands up very favorably to a Lagavulin 16. There is an optimum aging length for a given batch or process in a distillery. More years won't make it better...in fact can be inferior. Avoid getting dragged into big price tags chasing aging years. Find reviews of a given distillery's product at a specific barrel aging years.

Another great Islay scotch is Bowmore. There are also numerous Balvenies. The Doublewood and the 15 are really good. The Carribean Cask is something different with rum/vanilla overtones.

For the money, you can't beat Talisker 10 in my experience/opinion. Oban is a very good scotch as well, albeit a highland.

Last edited by capecuddy; 12-10-2011 at 02:30 PM.
Old 12-10-2011, 12:29 PM
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My favorites are

Macallan 18 and 12

Dahlwinnie 18


Old 12-10-2011, 12:57 PM
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[quote=bamaboy473;4206373]
Originally Posted by abeal2 View Post
Personally I prefer Clan Mcgregor. /QUOTE]

glad I read this post.
I was starting to think that I was the only scotch drinker around here that didn't want to have to get a loan in order to get a buzz

Fortunately (for me) my taste buds don't signal much difference between alcoholic beverages, so there can be some good come out of that. As a joke, my son gave me a bottle of..."Scotch Whiskey", that's the brand name. As a joke, I enjoyed every drop of it
Ballantine Ale Ballantine Scotch - all the same to me. Like the flavor of the Ale more - whiskey if I am in a hurry $3. for the 40, $20 for the fifth

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Old 12-10-2011, 02:55 PM
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crap!

I can't pronounce half the stuff you guys are talking about.

To put the gift into perspective, I was thinking two bottles, perhaps about $100 a piece, not the same taste, for obvious reasons. Something to stock his bar with and have decent bragging rights (although he drinks with no one)..
Old 12-10-2011, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Boehler View Post
crap!

I can't pronounce half the stuff you guys are talking about.

To put the gift into perspective, I was thinking two bottles, perhaps about $100 a piece, not the same taste, for obvious reasons. Something to stock his bar with and have decent bragging rights (although he drinks with no one)..
Bruichladdich and Talisker would be my suggestions. If you can't find Bruichladdich, I'd go with Oban.
Old 12-10-2011, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by capecuddy View Post
Bruichladdich and Talisker would be my suggestions. If you can't find Bruichladdich, I'd go with Oban.
Now Mike can't pronounce more than half of the suggestions

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