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Friend going to london what to bring back

chazzer Apr 22, 2009 06:09 AM

A friend is gong to London next week and willing to bring me back a bottle of scotch. Any recommendations on any that are not available in the US. I prefer a more smoky petti scotch.

  1. Alcachofa May 1, 2009 12:19 PM

    It is not illegal to buy Scotch in the US, so why bother? It's no cheaper there and there are extremely few unavailable in the US.

    A better thing for him to bring back is a bottle of Havana Club rum.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alcachofa
      sku May 2, 2009 02:35 PM

      It's absolutely untrue that theere are "exteremely few" unavailable in the US. There are many, many single malts that are not marketed in the US. For someone who is a real Scotch lover, a trip to London requires bringing some back in the luggage.

      That being said, I'm a big fan of Havana Club, but the OP asked about Scotch, not rum.

    2. ted Apr 22, 2009 02:12 PM

      There's always the Cadenhead shop in Covent Garden. I'd want some guidance from here or from their staff on what to pick. Tell them to pick up a wheel of cheese from the Neal's Yard Dairy store nearby while they're at it. ;-)

      1. sku Apr 22, 2009 10:59 AM

        Lucky you.

        Here are some great malts that are not available in the US:

        Ardbeg Renaissance. This would be my first choice if I had a friend in the UK. If you like the peat, go for this one. This is the 10 year old, cask strength Ardbeg that was released last year; the first ten year old made since the distillery was reopened. It is not available in the US, but I think it is still on shelves in the UK.

        Other malts, though less peaty, that aren't readily available in the US:

        Linkwood: Rugged and full of character.

        Mortlach: Floral and perfumy, though expensive.

        Ardbeg Blasda and non-peated Caol Ila are non-peated versions of traditionally peated Scotches that are not available in the US. I haven't had the Ardbeg but loved the Caol Ila.

        Serendipity is a vatted malt of Ardbeg and Glen Moray, lightly smoky and very nice.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sku
          DavidT Apr 22, 2009 11:21 AM

          The Whisky Shop in San Francisco has 3 different Linkwood bottlings in stock . I don't pretend to by a single-malt expert by any means, but they have a very impressive inventory that is as extensive as any I have seen in the U.S.


          1. re: DavidT
            DavidT Apr 22, 2009 11:33 AM

            Looks like they have a number of Mortlach bottlings in stock as well.

            1. re: DavidT
              sku Apr 22, 2009 11:33 AM

              Thanks DavidT, I should have specified that with regard to Linkwood and Mortlach, there are no distillery bottlings available in the US. There are independent bottlings, such as those carried by the shop you mention.

          2. d
            DavidT Apr 22, 2009 09:50 AM

            I am very certain you and your friend will find that single-malts whiskies are at least 30%-50% more expensive in London (or anywhere else in the U.K.) than they are in many shops and stores in the U.S. Even though the U.S. $ is much stronger vs. the British pound than is was a year ago, this is still very much the case.

            I travel to Scotland twice a year and am always amazed at how much more expensive Scotch whisky is in the U.K. than it is here in the U.S.

            I don't know where you live in the U.S., but you can buy Scotch whisky much cheaper at BevMo or Trader Joe's than you can in the U.K., even at the Heathrow Duty Free shop.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DavidT
              DavidT Apr 22, 2009 09:52 AM

              Here is on ongoing thread on single-malts that will give you plenty of suggestions for the smokey, peaty malts you enjoy:


            2. s
              Steve_K Apr 22, 2009 07:39 AM

              Tell them to go to the whisky shop on Old Compton Street. I can't remember the name off hand, but it's a few doors up from Jerry's. Thousands (literally) of whiskeys from around the world.

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