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Nov 13, 2011 09:53 AM

ISO Black Bottle Scotch

Hi, Chowhounds. I am looking for a source for Black Bottle Scotch in the greater Boston area. Have car, will travel. Has anyone run across it in a liquor store, or can you recommend a liquor store that is known for its Scotch selection? Thanks in advance - trying to insure a very happy birthday for my husband!

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  1. I have seen it at Marty's in Newton. Their general Scotch selection is pretty good, although prices can be quite high comparatively (they do occasionally have a good sale on a specific make and that price is tough to beat), but for BB it won't matter too much. They also have a good selection of independent bottles, but with these you have to know what you are doing and will likely want to have tasted it in the past before committing to it. I don't find staff very helpful there for whisky. For the standard commercial bottles its tough to beat the prices in NH. There are other good stores around for selection, but it really depends on specifically what you want - creativity vs. # of bottles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Highland Park

      Thanks for the suggestion - we'll have to go check Marty's out.

    2. I think best selection of fine spirits in the area with great expertise is Federal Wine & Spirits on State street. They were named retailer of the year 2011 by Whiskey Magazine.

      You can email for a Scotch update list. And, Joe is a walking, breathing, tasting encyclopedia on all types of spirits. Over the years, he's introduced us to some great bourbon and Irish Whiskey.


      Federal Wine & Spirits
      29 State St, Boston, MA

      6 Replies
      1. re: BostonZest

        Thanks for the reminder about Federal, PennyZest. I haven't been there in, seriously, over ten years. But, I remember they had a surprisingly good selection given their very low-key street presence.

        1. re: BostonZest

          Thanks for the suggestion - I emailed Joe, and they definitely carry it. Husband is delighted :)

          1. re: Grumblecakes

            Definitely agree that Joe is the person to go to for Scotch in Boston (may get better prices elsewhere but not the selection or knowledge)

            1. re: ScotchandSirloin

              Agree that Federal has a great selection particularly for their tiny size, and that Joe is an excellent resource for spirits, but if the OP is interested only in Black Bottle, I would go with the cheapest and closest place and the one with the easiest parking. Nothing against Black Bottle, but its a pretty straight-forward and relatively inexpensive Scotch purchase and doesn't require much expert knowledge other than that it is in stock. If the OP is after other interesting rare makes or independent bottlings, then they should go to Joe equipped with knowledge about the styles and taste profiles that the whisky drinker prefers. Without this knowledge, Joe's resources will not be put to full potential. I would not go to Federal to make a common purchase of a standard commercial bottling available at most reasonable stores.

              1. re: Highland Park

                I'm not the scotch fan, my husband is. But I can tell you that the reason we are particularly interested in the Black Bottle is because he had it at the Aviary in Chicago, in a great drink called the Blood and Sand. He's not a total neophyte, just interested in reproducing that particular drink. I am sure that he would enjoy trying other scotches, and that he would appreciate some guidance.

                1. re: Grumblecakes

                  OK. I see. Most of my comments aside from where to find Black Bottle pertain to Single Malt Scotch (Malt Whisky). Black Bottle is a blended Scotch which means that it is comprised of about 50% grain whisky and 50% malt whisky (from many different distilleries). Malt whisky is not typically mixed to make cocktails, although some do it much to the chagrin of most malt whisky drinkers. Malt whisky is best served neat or with a touch of water. There are many avenues that one can take to learn about whisky, both blends and single malts, including tastings offered at liquor stores. However like most food-related topics, education is best obtained by reading about the different styles and experimenting with the different flavor profiles to determine what you really like, and these preferences, like food, will change over time. There are many online resources and publications devoted to discovering whisky, particularly single malts. Learning about the various Scotch producing regions of Scotland is a good start as this will give you a general idea of what to expect when tasting one. There are also some decent threads on the Spirits board of Chowhound worth a quick read. Best of luck to you.

        2. Saw it at Alewife Wine and Spirits today.

          1 Reply
          1. re: StriperGuy

            Saw it again last night at Marty's. They had the two expressions: no age statement for 17.99 and the 10 year old for 37.99.