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Best Scotch for about $100-200 per bottle?

Posted on 07/07/2014 10:01:11 PM PDT by KJC1

I am not a Scotch or whiskey drinker; I am asking FReepers on behalf of a friend of mine.

He used to drink Johnnie Walker Black, and insists they changed something to make it inferior. The price on Black has since gone down.

Then, he switched to Gold and sometimes Blue. He thinks the Gold has gone downhill, and the "jury" is still out on the quality of the Blue.

I'd like to buy him a bottle of something nice that will make him happy. But, as I said above, I'm not a Scotch drinker so I'd be an ineffective judge of what is good or not, especially keeping in mind his most recent taste is for Gold and Blue.

My friend is a Vietnam Vet and retired Police Sergeant and does not get online much, and I thought FR would be a great place for suggestions.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: scotch; whisky
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All suggestions will be appreciated. I'm looking in the $100-200 price range.

If he used to like Johnnie Walker Gold and Blue, what would most likely fit the bill?

1 posted on 07/07/2014 10:01:11 PM PDT by KJC1
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To: KJC1
Save your money and buy him something else. The scotch whiskey game is for pretentious losers. After the first sip, your tongue loses sensitivity and you may as well be drinking Cutty Sark. If you insist on wasting your money on booze, buy him a single malt like Glenlivet. Same old skullcracker but a really impressive label on the bottle.
2 posted on 07/07/2014 10:05:55 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: KJC1

Usquabach is my personal favorite, worth every penny if you can find it that is.


3 posted on 07/07/2014 10:06:17 PM PDT by GunHoardingCapitalist (Join me in the world of next Tuesday!)
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To: KJC1

Back when I were enjoying the odd glass or two, I favored Bullet, Knob Creek, and Islay.

They are not the pricey end of the range, but they all share a smokey flavor. Almost earthy in the case of Islay.


4 posted on 07/07/2014 10:07:54 PM PDT by EC1
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To: KJC1; hinckley buzzard

He should switch to good bourbon.

5 posted on 07/07/2014 10:07:58 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: KJC1

You can get Old English Furniture Polish for about $3 a bottle. Tastes pretty much the same.


6 posted on 07/07/2014 10:08:32 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: KJC1

17 year, or better 25(?) year Macallan. Then again, who is to say what would taste “the best” to another person, with different tastes?


7 posted on 07/07/2014 10:09:42 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: GunHoardingCapitalist

Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll put that on my list to look up.


8 posted on 07/07/2014 10:10:51 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: KJC1

http://www.worldwhiskiesawards.com/2014/

http://www.thestreet.com/story/12315341/2/10-best-bottles-of-scotch-on-the-planet.html

http://www.menshealth.com/guy-gourmet/2013-whiskey-lovers-gift-guide

have fun!


9 posted on 07/07/2014 10:11:03 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: P-Marlowe

Best post all night!


10 posted on 07/07/2014 10:12:27 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: KJC1

The big division in Scotches is single malt versus blended. I am not the biggest Scotch drinker but I have gone through phases where I liked it a fair amount. I absolutely agree that JW Black, in particular, ain’t what it used to be.

If your purpose is to spend an exhorbitant amount of money for a bottle of booze, I think if it were me I would buy an assortment of single malt scotches, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Laphroiag (sp?) and a dozen or so others. All of those are quite tasty. Personally, I believe that if you spend 5x as much as those excellent SM scotches, you are paying a load of money for 1.5% “better” scotch.

However, just realize that most scotch drinkers will not like blended after they try single.

Here’s a scotch-hunting secret: Trader Joes’ single malt scotch is probably bought “as available” from various single-malt makers and everyone I know who is a SM fan likes it.


11 posted on 07/07/2014 10:12:29 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: KJC1

Yes, Johnnie Walker is highly rated for a common scotch.
If you want to be exotic, 21 yr old Glenlevit would also be quite nice.
He may also enjoy a single malt scotch such as Laphroaig.
To me, the single malts tasted like iodine, haha.


12 posted on 07/07/2014 10:16:35 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: KJC1
$100 to $200 per bottle?

Is that the 55 gallon size?

Get a good bottle of Maker's Mark.

13 posted on 07/07/2014 10:17:01 PM PDT by Washi
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To: KJC1

The Whisky he’s been drinking is all “Blended Scotch”. a whole different world from The Single Malts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
most of them are 12 years old and run in the $50. dollar range.
it’s a good place to start. Pick one Laddie,


14 posted on 07/07/2014 10:17:20 PM PDT by Pompah
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To: KJC1

Oh aye, my personal favorite is Talisker (which is made on the Isle of Skye), although I also love Lagavulin and Laphroig, both of which come from the Isle of Islay.

Slainte.


15 posted on 07/07/2014 10:21:40 PM PDT by eddiespaghetti ((with the meatball eyes))
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To: KJC1

Glenmorangie

I have tasted this Whiskey and it is easily one of the best I have ever tasted. It is pricey and the cost will go up with the age of the whiskey.


16 posted on 07/07/2014 10:22:09 PM PDT by Nachum (Obamacare: It's. The. Flaw.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder; All

Good input, thank you.

The single malt versus blended info is particularly helpful. My friend is not into the snobby thing at all, he is set in his ways and knows what he likes and doesn’t like. Your post was very helpful, thank you.


17 posted on 07/07/2014 10:25:01 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: blueplum

Thank you for the links.


18 posted on 07/07/2014 10:26:36 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: KJC1

Balvannie Doublewood. The Macallans.


19 posted on 07/07/2014 10:28:34 PM PDT by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: KJC1

Glenlivet.

With Bremner Wafers, cream cheese, and a smear of caviar.


20 posted on 07/07/2014 10:29:35 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: KJC1

For a good selection, go to Cavabenitowhisky.com

I happened on this store in Andorra. They have 928 single malts to choose from. And a few others.


21 posted on 07/07/2014 10:30:05 PM PDT by alpo (What would Selco do?)
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To: KJC1

Oban ...


22 posted on 07/07/2014 10:30:33 PM PDT by DragonMarine (Capitalism works, but it has to be paid for. (From the halls of Montezuma...))
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To: KJC1

Johnnie Walker has no business calling itself scotch.


23 posted on 07/07/2014 10:33:14 PM PDT by cardinal4
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To: KJC1
My favorite scotch is Oban. You can get the "standard" 14 year edition for around $60.

There is a rarer 18 year edition that sells for somewhere from $100 to $150.

Oban is truly special. It is a single malt so it has a more complex flavor than a blended scotch like Johnnie Walker. It's milder than some of the smokier single malts and tastes more refined like a Glenlivet or Glenfiddich, but to my taste buds is miles above in overall flavor.

Look at reviews around the web and you will see that Oban is highly regarded by all scotch lovers.

24 posted on 07/07/2014 10:33:49 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: hinckley buzzard

Very good single malts can be had for well under $100. There is a wide array of flavors. I like the peaty Islays, but enjoy most decent scotches. There is not a pretentious bone in my body. Cutty Sark is paint stripper in a bottle. Bitter, crappy stuff with a turpentine aftertaste. A decent scotch will not ever taste like Cutty Crap.
Hell, I’ll even drink an Irish whiskey if offered.


25 posted on 07/07/2014 10:35:10 PM PDT by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: alpo

Andorra? Believe it or not I’ve been there, lol. I will check out your link, but I would imagine the shipping charges would be significant. Thanks for the link!


26 posted on 07/07/2014 10:35:57 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: Arthur McGowan
Better yet, a fine olive tapenade over thin, lightly toasted sourdough, caviar, a dab of crème fraiche on top and a side shot of single malt. Wow, just once in your life is worth the pleasure.
27 posted on 07/07/2014 10:38:06 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: KJC1

I love you want to spend that money on your friend...however at the end of the day he should be grateful for the grift not how much you spent


28 posted on 07/07/2014 10:43:34 PM PDT by svcw (Not 'hope and change' but 'dopes in chains')
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To: KJC1

You’re welcome. The thing about scotch is that dark smoky flavor, and it’s very slightly hallucinogenic from all the weird stuff in it. The blended types are meant to be uniform bottle-to-bottle, so that “oddness” is kind of blended out. On purpose.

And IMO it’s not especially snobby...you don’t have to be snobby to like a good, not even a super-duper steak over a hot dog. It’s simply a much richer experience by virtually any measure. And a nice single malt (almost all of them are) is only a little more expensive than a JW Red or similar semi-premium brand. JW Blue is pretty good, but silly expensive; I’d rather have Glenlivet any day. Cheap scotch, on the other hand, is truly vile swill.


29 posted on 07/07/2014 10:45:37 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

Thanks for the info on Oban.

One thing my friend did NOT like was Johnnie Walker Double Black. If I remember correctly it was the extra peaty/smoky flavor that turned him off.


30 posted on 07/07/2014 10:46:38 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: KJC1

Balvenie 12 yr or Balvenie 14yr Caribbean.

Oban


31 posted on 07/07/2014 10:48:35 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: KJC1

All the suggestions I would have made, have been made. Just thought I’d say I concur with everything in your profile! FReegards!


32 posted on 07/07/2014 10:51:19 PM PDT by JennysCool (My hypocrisy goes only so far)
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To: KJC1

Also found out all Cuban cigars imported into Europe come through Andorra.
Castro made a deal with them. Something to do with taxes.

Did you see the sporting goods store by the river across from the Novotel?
Owner has shot about every game animal in the world and has them stuffed and on display.


33 posted on 07/07/2014 10:53:26 PM PDT by alpo (What would Selco do?)
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To: KJC1

I would buy your friend a selection of the miniature bottles of single-malt; let him sample, and he can decide which he likes best, while letting him know that he can expect a special gift of a full-size bottle of his favorite. Among the miniatures, you should include Talisker, Cardhu, and Caol Ila, as they are the base single malts of Johnnie Walker Black, and likely to be among the ones he likes best. Don’t forget Laphroaig (deep, smoky, peaty), Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Cragganmore, Glenfiddich, Oban, and Lagavulin, to round up a nice 10 selections. If none of these make his day, there are many, many more that he could sample; the above choices are amongst the best this world offers.


34 posted on 07/07/2014 10:55:04 PM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: KJC1
If your friend prefers blended scotch whisky then you probably want to stick with that. Dewar's, Chivas Regal, and Crown Royal all have higher end editions that are in the $100-200 price range. Take a look at Dewar's Signature brand, for example.

If you do go with a single malt, then stick with those from the Highland region like Oban, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, etc. These scotches have milder tastes that more closely approximate the blended whiskeys.

Stay away from Islay scotches like Lagavulin and Laphroaig. I personally love these scotches, but they have very smoky and unique tastes. Some even leave a hint of iodine in the mouth. Truly an acquired taste.

There are many who will recommend Talisker. I have tasted Talisker and was not impressed, but it could just be my taste buds. It tasted a little flat to me the couple of times I tried it. Oban, Glenlivet, and Glenfiddich have much more rounded and full tastes that are much more satifying IMHO.

35 posted on 07/07/2014 10:55:31 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: KJC1

http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-whisky


36 posted on 07/07/2014 10:57:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: KJC1

18 YO Macallan (~$160-200). I carted a bottle up to the top of White mountain :-) Only had a sip there though, couple shots and I’d be a mummy up there.

Bulleit is spectacular bourbon for the price too, if he’s partial to that.


37 posted on 07/07/2014 10:58:03 PM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: KJC1
I'll second the Macallan...

Macallan 18

Heck, get him the 12 year old Macallan. It's only $49 and is nothing to sneeze at. 18 is a little extravagant, unless the guy's your lifelong best friend, imo.

Don't think you can get the 25 year old Macallan for less than $200. But if you find some, let me know! Worth every penny. Like drinking silk.

38 posted on 07/07/2014 11:00:58 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: svcw
I love you want to spend that money on your friend...however at the end of the day he should be grateful for the grift not how much you spent

We are both grateful for each other's friendship, which is forever. I just want to do something nice for him, which he doesn't expect or even anticipate. He's an old-school American, a dying breed. Anything I can do to make him happy I will do; it's not about the money, but I don't want to buy him something he will not enjoy.

39 posted on 07/07/2014 11:02:11 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: Vendome

It’s nice to know that one of the best liquor stores in California agrees with me on Oban.


40 posted on 07/07/2014 11:12:42 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: KJC1

Laphroaig is my personal choice and was my first introduction to single malt as a boy of 14 or 15 at my dad and uncles lumber mill after work. It is decidedly a characteristic flavor, which one either loves or hates. I have had many kinds of single malts, but it is still my pallets preference. You may need to hover with a 10 or maybe a 15 year to stay under the 100 dollar mark. Perhaps even a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask is doable, depending upon the aging. At the end of the day a friend is a friend any 10 year plus single malt may be fine and welcomed.

Laphroaig has been the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales (the 15-year-old is reportedly his favourite scotch whisky), which was awarded in person during a visit to the distillery in 1994


41 posted on 07/07/2014 11:14:51 PM PDT by Trapper6012
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To: KJC1

Tell him the ability to taste declines with age and nothing is going to bring that back.


42 posted on 07/07/2014 11:28:12 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: DragonMarine
Oban ...

There... I was waiting for someone to say it.

43 posted on 07/07/2014 11:33:37 PM PDT by PrivateIdaho ( "Courage is being scared to death... but saddling up anyway." (John Wayne))
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To: Trapper6012

Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughtful answer. I’ll have to look it up, plus how to pronounce “Laphroaig”.

Thanks again, much appreciated!


44 posted on 07/07/2014 11:35:47 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: KJC1

Some time ago I lived in Lafayette, LA. There is a restaurant there called Charley G’s. The proprietor of the place was a connoisseur of cigars and alcoholic beverages. Every 3 months he sponsored an invitation only dinner where a particular type of alcoholic beverage was featured along with fine cigars to compliment.

I recall the dinner where Scotch was the beverage featured. There was a Scottish gentleman on hand who had been involved with exporting Scotch for many years. He served about 7 Scotch whiskeys, a different one to compliment each course. He told the story of each Scotch before serving. One of them, I can’t recall the distillery, he noted was from one of the oldest in Scotland. He recalled that when Victoria was queen, she had gone out in the countryside to look at properties for a new retreat. She stopped at a property adjacent to the distillery estate and was looking at the property with her entourage. The proprietor of the estate saw the royal party and invited the queen to sample the whiskey. They proceeded to the cellars and sampled whiskey to the point that the queen was sloshed and unable to stand on her own. Anyway, a great story along with a great Scotch makes for a memorable evening.


45 posted on 07/07/2014 11:37:01 PM PDT by RouxStir (No peein' allowed in the gene pool.)
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To: KJC1

I like smooth single-malts such as Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Glenfiddich, at least 12 y.o., 15 y.o. is better. Beyond that , it gets pretty pricey. I don’t care for the smoky, peaty Scotches. To me. they taste like burnt rubber.


46 posted on 07/07/2014 11:37:06 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson
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To: KJC1
How about the Johnny Walker Platinum that was released last year?

Click for >> Review

47 posted on 07/07/2014 11:38:09 PM PDT by deks
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To: All

Thank you all for your responses. Sincerely appreciated.


48 posted on 07/07/2014 11:40:52 PM PDT by KJC1 (When you are dealing with the devil, the only answer is God.)
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To: KJC1

There are many good suggestions in this thread, and they are accurate in distinguishing between the Englishman’s blended Scotch whisky and the Scotsman’s single malt Scotch whisky. However, there is one inescapable problem with all of the possible recommendations. No one but your friend can know what is pleasing to his palate. Only your friend can determine what is good and what tastes like cat pee. That said, there is a solution to the problem.

There are many opportunities to attend Scotch whisky nosings and tastings. Some corporations even go so far as to pay for their employees to attend these events to educate their palates about what does and does not appeal to themselves and their clients. You may find it to be most pleasing for your friend if you were to arrange for him and both of you to attend one of these events to ultimately choose one or more than one of these whiskies to enjoy in future years.

Search the Internet for Scotch whisky tastings and see the sites such as the following example:

http://www.scotchwhiskytasting.com/

P.S. Among my favorites are the very different Dallas Dhu and Laphroaig. Different tastes for different moods.


49 posted on 07/07/2014 11:44:47 PM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: WhiskeyX

Thanks Lads,
Will try the Oban. You still can’t get me to try to choke down a haggis again, arggh.


50 posted on 07/07/2014 11:50:47 PM PDT by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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