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 Post subject: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:20 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:02 am
Posts: 266
Okay, a little background here. I do not drink much at all, in fact I can tell you how much I drink per year. Two glasses of wine a year at Christmas parties, a bottle of Moet Chandon at New Years with my wife, two or three mojitos a year and maybe a beer once or twice a month.

I grew up in the sticks in a farming community where Pabst and Boons farm were king and my only real exposure beyond that was when I lived in Spain where I tried many a different drink but nothing really set with me. I learned that Amaretto is overly sweet, cheap whiskey is similar to that sensation you get if siphoning gas, rum is mellow and scotch while for me it has a little bite is much smoother than whiskey or bourbon (at least in my experience). Having said that, my wife does enjoy a glass now and again, well at the weekends. She is not the type to say "hey, I like this so pick me some up" but rather wants me to figure it out for myself. :lol:

Me, I am more of a cigar person but that is neither here nor now and I am no expert in that area either. Anyway, I have seen her drink things like Chivas and Cardhu. I have no idea if this is good, cheap or a middle of the road kind of thing. But I noticed she is running low and she is not the surprise me with flowers type, not at all. I have done my research online but as I have little interest in a "good drink" it is just not something that resonates with me and I find it harder to understand things that just don't tickle my fancy.

While I am not too particular on price I don't want to spend a bundle on something she may or may not like. So I was thinking something in the sub $100 range. That said, without help I would likely pick out something akin to bathtub gin if left to decide for myself. So any suggestions on either somewhere to start or how to go about deciding would be much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:38 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:41 am
Posts: 274
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Chivas and Cardhu are Speyside scotches, so keeping with that area, you can try Balvenie. Their Doublewood is a very nice scotch. Aberlour is a bit bolder.

You might try Highland Scotches. Dalmore and Oban are widely available, but there are many others.

I like the Islay scotches, but they might be too peaty for her.

A far as cigars--EP Carillo Chort Run 2103, Illusione cg:4, Illusione Rothchildes, Alec Bradley Prensado, Ashton Heritage Puro Sol, La Gloria Cubana Artisan Obelisco, La Palina MAduro, Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill, Quesada Jalapa, Rocky Patel Vintage 1992, AF Hemmingway, so many good ones.



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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:28 pm
Posts: 1182
I'm with silver on this one, avoid islay until you know you like peat. Balvenie is always a safe bet, I also think the glenlivet 15 is superior to the 18 so that can save some coin. Macallan 10 or 12 can also serve as a fine example of a scotch to gift to any scotch drinker without knowing their tastes and preferences.

As a wild card, check out teeling irish whiskey.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Posts: 963
I'd stay away for Islay for the reason Ed mentions. If she likes Chivas and Cardhu, I'd recommend something from Glenmorangie or a high-end blender like Compass Box that's widely available.

From Compass Box, the Asyla or Hedonism. The Asyla is a a relaxing blend I particularly like on languid summer days.

From Glenmorangie, perhaps the Lasanta or Quinta Ruban. Glenmorangie is noted for aging their scotches for an extra year or two in port, or sherry, or wine barrels to impart nuances to traditional scotch. I am fond of whiskies that spent some time in former port casks.

Somewhat more traditionally, I'd second Ed's recommendation on Balvenie, especially the Doublewood. The Doublewood spent some time in sherry, adding a hint of sweetness.

My favorite all-round, moderately priced traditional scotch is Highland Park. The 15-year-old is in your budget, the 18 outside of it lest on sale. Be aware these have a very mild touch of peat, but they are well balanced.

(My wife would divorce me if I smoked cigars. She hates, hates, hates the smell of tobacco. Gives her a bad reaction.)



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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:02 am
Posts: 266
Thanks guys, I am currently looking at all of those online. Having a state store system in PA I will likely have to order because the selection isn't typically good. My wife also likes rum and she has to order what she likes, no big deal they just don't keep it in stock.

Again, I am not a drinker but if it helps I can tell you other things that she likes and dislikes. I assume much like cigars whiskey holds multiple flavors such as some are rich and woody whereas others have that sweet grassy flavor. Anyway...

A list of other things she likes if this will help narrow down the list.

Jack Daniels single barrel
Brugal 1888
Beefeater 24

She really does not like anything sweet such as Amaretto or Liquor 43.

I don't know if that helps narrow things down but I figure it can't hurt.

Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:41 am
Posts: 274
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Does she drink her scotch up or with ice? If she ices, then you might want to try a scotch-based cocktail. A Scotch Old-Fashioned is a great drink. Or pick up some Drambuie and make her a Rusty Nail. Dewars White Label is a good mixing scotch.



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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:19 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 12:20 am
Posts: 4071
Balvenie is always a crowd pleaser but where possible I swap out for Edradour. Very similar but less corporate behemoth.

My first pick though was in the same vein as Jeffery's, Compass Box Great King Street. Super whisky for the money.

The Highland Park is another good pick.

I do agree the Abolour is more bold and may hold off on that. Similarly, I find the Glenmorangie bottlings that are finished in wine casks are pretty sweet.

...course, if I'm being honest, the Balvenie lot is too sweet for me too.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:02 am
Posts: 266
easilver wrote:Does she drink her scotch up or with ice? If she ices, then you might want to try a scotch-based cocktail. A Scotch Old-Fashioned is a great drink. Or pick up some Drambuie and make her a Rusty Nail. Dewars White Label is a good mixing scotch.


She drinks it straight. I may be over emphasizing the no sweet thing. A hint of sweetness is one thing, full out sweet drinks are another. She drinks everything straight with the exception of gin.


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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:21 am
Posts: 876
Location: Long Island, NY
You're getting great advice above. But can't help but take a crack at this on my own.


Out of sheer pragmatism (given your issues in PA with the State Store System) I immediately thought a blend from one of the larger corporate distillers [apologies Cedar just being practical here ] -- for consistency and availability both in the store, and if she likes it she may actually be likely to find it available when you guys go out.

Within your price range I've become fond of Johnie Walker Gold Label. I keep a bottle of the less expensive Black Label for relatives and the Gold for myself. :mrgreen:

It's a simple, easy smooth drink that I just don't need to work very hard to appreciate.

Every one of the recommendations below with which I was familiar are excellent and I've enjoyed them. But if you think simple and smooth is what she might enjoy then there you have my 2 cents.



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 Post subject: Re: Scotch recommendation/gift (Clueless)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:02 am
Posts: 266
Robstreperous wrote:You're getting great advice above. But can't help but take a crack at this on my own.


Out of sheer pragmatism (given your issues in PA with the State Store System) I immediately thought a blend from one of the larger corporate distillers [apologies Cedar just being practical here ] -- for consistency and availability both in the store, and if she likes it she may actually be likely to find it available when you guys go out.

Within your price range I've become fond of Johnie Walker Gold Label. I keep a bottle of the less expensive Black Label for relatives and the Gold for myself. :mrgreen:

It's a simple, easy smooth drink that I just don't need to work very hard to appreciate.

Every one of the recommendations below with which I was familiar are excellent and I've enjoyed them. But if you think simple and smooth is what she might enjoy then there you have my 2 cents.



I didn't know they still made gold, my grandfather drank it but I am pretty sure I recall him complaining that he couldn't get it anymore. She has had black label before but typically goes back to Chivas. I am actually going to have to drink this stuff to understand, I guess. :lol: (That is unlikely to happen.)


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