HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >


Single Malt for a Gift

I have decided to buy my grandfather a nice bottle of scotch for his birthday. I dont know much about scotch, but I do know what he likes. He likes a Glenlivet (18yrs or 21 yrs), but I would like to get him another one to try. The man likes, cheeses, fish, and various tartares and pates. He smokes a cigar occasionally as well. So that is all I can tell you about his palate and his tastes. I would spend around 100 bucks, maybe more. Can you give me some scotch's that may suit his taste?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd get two that "bracket" the Glenlivet, something on the peatier end of the spectrum but not excessively so, like a Bowmore, and something lighter, like A Dalwhinnie or a Glenrothes or skerries, like the Macallan or a sherry finished Glenmorangie.

    1. Sorry, meant "sherried.". What sort of stupid phone thinks "skerries" is a word!?

      1. How about Highland Park 15? It's well-received by discerning scotch drinkers at our restaurant. http://jason-scotchreviews.blogspot.c...

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChristinaMason

          I agree with the Highland Park recommendation, although it comes from much further north in Scotland and has a smokier taste than the Glenlivet, which is from the Speyside region. Balvenie and Glenfarclas are two other distillers in the Speyside region that produce single-malts well worth trying.

        2. Balvenie 17 yo rum cask is one that sounds very interesting to me, you should be able to find it in the $110-120 range.

          Balvenie is a speyside like Glenlivet but IMO a little more interesting at least at the entry level offerings, which is my only basis of comparison so far. I have had the 15 and 21 yr old Balvenie and they are quite good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ncyankee101

            I always recommend The Balvenie as a great bottle for a gift. All of their agings are fantastic and approachable to just about everyone. If you can find the portwood, buy it. but the 15yr and even the 12 yr doublewood are fantastic as well.

            1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

              Agree the Doublewood is excellent, I forgot to mention that is what I meant by my basis for comparison between their entry-level offerings, of course the Doublewood is a little more expensive than the Glenlivet 12, but is so much better IMO.

          2. And now for something completely different. Lagavulin 16 YO. It is a peat bomb and my cigar smoking friends seem to love it with their cigars.

            1. Dont go for a peaty one like the Lagavulin unless you know the drinker likes that flavor.
              Cant go wrong with Macallan 18 IMHO.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AdamD

                Agree with Adam here, though it is an outstanding Islay Scotch Lag's flavor profile has almost nothing in common with Glenlivet. HP 18 would be a much safer choice for just under $100, has some smoke and peat but well balanced and nowhere near a "bomb".

              2. Are there any "Independent Bottlings" available where you live. Something from Old Malt Cask or someone similar? Might be nice to pick up something limited in production. It would really be something special. Also, what does he use for a glass? A couple of Glencairn Glasses and a pitcher would make a great gift.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Tinfoilhat

                  As far as I know, the selection in Quebec (where I live) is pretty weak. Our Liquor is controlled by the Government, and sold by provincial run stores called the SAQ. The odd time you might find a limited edition bottle in some of the stores that specialize in more expensive bottles.

                    1. re: tdg

                      If you can find it , I haven't seen Talisker 18 in stock in the US in a year, and only one place turns up in a google search in the UK - $86 + $50 shipping.

                      1. re: ncyankee101

                        I'm pretty sure I've seen it locally (Boston) recently. A quick check of a couple of places online shows it for $70-80, unless they're actually out of stock:

                        1. re: tdg

                          That's great, those places didn't come up in my search. I just looked at Shoppers vineyard a couple weeks ago for Ardbeg Uigedall and it was out of stock, so they must have just recently gotten some more in. I would have noticed the talisker because I was also price checking talisker 10.

                    2. re: BlueSteak

                      Not sure where you live, but perhaps this thread might help.
                      Plus, cant you order online from SAQ.com?
                      You can also search by brands suggested above and find the closest outlet.

                      1. re: BlueSteak

                        The SAQ signature store downtwon Montreal has a resonable selelction although more expensive than most stores in the US (I live in Montreal). A feature I like about the store is that you can taste several of the Single Malts that they sell. Just ask a sales person. As for the product you are looking for, I personnaly really like Lagavulin but its really heavy on the peat, so its unique and not for everyone. One bottle that I'm enjoying very much right now is Auchentoshan 21 yrs (Code SAQ : 00398776) which you can buy online from saq.com although its 150$. They have a 12 yr for 55$ but its not online. If your interested, WIne spectator had an issue recently that reviewed 50 or so bottles of scotch, talked about paring food with scotch (smoked fish for example) and most of them available are at the SAQ. Your grandfather is a lucky guy.

                        1. re: BlueSteak

                          I checked the SAQ site. They carry Glenlivet Nadurra. That would make a great choice. It is cask strength, a wonderful whiskey, and it is right in your price range. You could even throw in the Glencairn Glass and still make your budget.

                      2. Since your grandfather is already a Glenlivet fan, do consider Glenlivet Nadurra. I bought it for my husband and it's his new favorite. Cask flavor, assertive, 16 years, (higher alcohol).

                        1. One more vote for Lagavulin 16.

                          Last night's lineup was Auchentoshan 18 sherry finish, Compass Box Peat Monster, Highland Park 15, and Lagavulin 16. In a previous tasting, the Auchentoshan 18 was a favorite of mine and my friends, but last night, we all agreed that the Lagavulin 16 was the favorite, it just has some magic to it and comes together beautifully.