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Jul 17, 2008 07:11 PM

Help with Scotch/Whiskey for Groomsmen Gifts???

Getting married at the end of next month and I'd like to buy my groomsmen a bottle of either scotch or whiskey. Can anyone recommend some great scotches or whiskey and stores around the city to get them. I'd like for the choice to be somewhat unique/rare as none of the guys are from the area. So, McAllen or other brand name scotches/whiskies won't do. Anything under $100/bottle works.

I realize this is a fairly open ended questions and everyone has their own tastes in scotches/whiskies, but I was hoping to get a little help from the experts.


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  1. Dunno if Lagavulin is special enough to suit you, but it is my favorite. The 16-year-old is widely available at about $60/bottle. It's smoky and smooth.

    7 Replies
    1. re: small h

      +1 on Lagavulin 16. I also like Talisker quite a bit -- get the Distiller's Edition if you can find it. Haven't heard of McAllen :-) -- I think that's Macallan, and the 18 year old version -- around $90/bottle -- is certainly nothing to dismiss just because it's well known. It's really great stuff.

      For American whiskey, which is my personal preference at the moment, I might go for Blanton's Single Barrel or Eagle Rare 17 Year.

      1. re: davis_sq_pro

        ditto on all this. If your friends are not big scotch drinkers, though, I'd stick with Speyside whisky- it's sweeter. (Macallan is a speyside.) I love Talisker, but it has a more petey flavor.

        1. re: LizR

          I'd be a little leery of buying an Isla Scots for anyone who isn't a heavyweight Scotch drinker. It's definitely an aquired taste. I'd reccommend the Macallan 18 or the glengoyne 17 y/o or the Springbank, all wonderful whiskies but without the havy peat/seaweed overtones of the Islas.

        2. re: davis_sq_pro

          Right! McAllen is the border town in TX.

          I love the options on these post. Now I need to find a good liquor store in new york that has these.

          I'm going to want to buy a bottle of each one for myself now!

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            Talisker's Distiller's Edition 1992 is the way to go. It's my absolute favorite Scotch right now. In fact, I gravitate to the double matured Scotchs I'm discovering, like Abelour 16yr & BenRiach. They're richer and tastier, but if you default to the smokier/peetier Scotchs, Talisker DE is the way to go. '92s are almost all sold out, '91are totally gone, and '93 will begin being imported in about 3 mos. '93s are the only ones currently being sold in the US, and the fact that they're made in limited batches makes them that much more special.

            Macallan 12 yo is good if you like the sweet sherry tasting Scotchs, but I prefer the opposite end of Scotchs like Laphroaig & Caol Ila 12yr...BenRiach if you like peet, less smoke...and Old Pulteney which is a sweet smoke Scotch.

            At my ofc, we have Thursday night Scotch tastings, so we learn pretty quickly what kind of Scotchs we fruity, smokey, sherry, peety...etc. Most important lesson learned is that, unlike wines, age has nothing to do with whether a Scotch will taste just have to know what kind of taste you're looking for...and let me tell you, it's fun learning.

            Btw, I've pretty much bought the last Talisker DE '92 bottles in the SF Bay Waiting for K&L to get in the '93s.

            1. re: Kona

              You do Scotch Tastings at the office?? I want to work there!!
              Since you're in the Bay Area, do you plan on attending Whiskey Fest?

              1. re: David Carlson

                Ditto the employment - got a branch in Seattle?

        3. flieshman's whiskey or a simple single malt something like Glenleviet or Glenfiddish that will cater to a broader group

          1. It sounds like you are asking for something that will be appealing to people who are perhaps not huge Scotch afficianados and something a little different than you would find in a run of the mill bar. Based on those assumptions, I would recommend Highland Park which is a full-flavored Scotch but not too smoky. Lagavulin, as was suggested by small h, is an excellent malt, but is very smoky and might not appeal to everyone.

            The ten year old HP should meet your needs just fine. Since I don't know what city you're in, I can't give you tips, but any premium liquor store should have it.

            4 Replies
              1. re: bhb1978

                Park Avenue Liquors in Manhattan has one of the best Scotch selections in the City. LeNell's in Redhook, Brooklyn has one of the best American whiskey selections in the country (at least outside of Kentucky).

              2. re: sku

                Agree with Sku 100 percent - Highland Park 12 is a wonderful whisky, and it won't break the bank. Park Avenue Liquors is fantastic, and if you are on the West side, try Gotham Wines & Liquors.

                CA Scotch Chick

                1. re: sku

                  I agree with your assessment. Other low-price alternatives would be a Jura 8 or Dahlmore. Alternative

                  I love Lagavulin, and most Islays for that matter, but many people have strong reactions to Islays and either love or loathe them at first.

                2. OP, do your groomsmen drink scotch, or is this simply a gift idea?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    All drink scotch and/or whiskey, albeit some more than others.

                    I've just received crappy groomsmen gifts in the past that I never used.

                    I'd rather buy something for them that they could consume.

                  2. Here is a link to a long-running discussion on single-malts: