Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

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RufusA
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Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby RufusA » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:11 pm

Following on from a thread on the Chat forum about giving whisky to clients, it made me think about what would be good *giving* whisky!

So with Christmas just round the corner what bottles make good gifts to non-whisky lovers. Ideally it should:

i) Be available in reasonable quantities (not rare bin ends).
ii) Be palatable to people who don't usually drink whisky and enjoy the taste of stale ash and iodine rubbed in to old leather and saddle soap.
iii) Come in a nice easily wrappable box / tube.
iv) Not cost the earth (less than £30 would be good, with a £50 option for special friends).
v) Show you as a person of descernment, so no obvious "classic malts" line up, blends, or 10YO GlenMaciddicch.

Thoughts?

Rufus.

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Elagabalus
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby Elagabalus » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:34 am

Well unless you are certain about what they like, any smooth Speysider would be a safe bet.

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Elagabalus
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby Elagabalus » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:39 am

Let me add to that.

I've always thought that the best gifts are items given that the person doesn't need, isn't useful in any practical way but are infact frivolous yet decadent indulgences. Things that perhaps such and such an individual would never treat themselves to for whatever reason. This is why a good whisk(e)y makes such a great gift.

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Elagabalus
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby Elagabalus » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:51 am

This thread made me want to buy a bottle of Balvenie 10, which was the first SMS I tried willingly :P. I currently have some in my glencairn glass and I am rather unmoved. I really enjoyed this before, I wonder why I am no longer impressed. Perhaps a bad bottle? Perhaps the weekend binge on JW Gold and JW Blue label warped my tastebuds. I will post this thread in the Q&A for some advice.

TheLaddie
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby TheLaddie » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:59 am

When faced with this situation recently I went for a Cragganmore 12. It should appeal to the non whisky drinker, is widely available as one of Diageo's Classic Malts, reasonably priced yet has a good enough reputaion for complexity to please the knowledgeable recipient.

jruddy
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby jruddy » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:04 pm

Though you've asked not to, I'm going to have to be obvious here...

I'm not sure abot the price in UK, but I think the Highland Park 12 would be my choice for an introductory bottle. It seems to have a little of everything going for it - if they don't like HP 12 at all, they probably won't like scotch.

Scapa 14 is a light & easy going 'friendly' malt that (shudder) should mix well.

My third choice would probably not be a SMS, but a better blend like JW Black.

Finally Redbreast 12 is a very good Irish and is responsible for my return to Whisk(e)y after a 20 year departure. (A departure which was fuelled by a 26oz bottle of Jack Daniels... :dead: )

---------------------------

Now - not so obvious would be the Glenrothes 1985 - though it will burst your budget - it fills your need quite well...

I find Ardbeg 10 to be the most approachable Islay for new drinkers.

RufusA
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby RufusA » Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:48 pm

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Glenrothes was a good suggestion, particularly with the pretty bottles. However the special reserve lacks lustre, and the 1985 is a little rich cost wise!

HP is an obvious suggestion, and well liked with plenty of supermarket offers on it. A definite maybe if I get desperate.

Cragganmore is one I keep forgetting - don't know why. Can't remember the last time I drank it (probably WL), but a definite contender, and has a little bit of complexity to set it apart from some over sherried malts one could mention.

The Glenlivet couldn't offend anyone, and with Asda offering stupid prices for a bottle, I could afford to not offend them with two.

A lunchtime at my local favourite whisky shop may be called for (glass in hand), and with a bit of luck I might persuade them to deliver as well!

:coffee:

Rufus.

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zippy
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby zippy » Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:07 pm

Well if you are trying to show that you are a person of discernment surely that would steer you away from discounted specials in the supermarket? :)

I was once browsing the whisky selection at Amsterdam airport and a guy aked me his advice on what kind of whisky to get his father in law (who liked whisky but was no devotee.) I suggested the Scapa 14yo, but the guy thought the box looked a bit cheap and picked up a Glenfiddich or something. I still think the Scapa is a good bet (although it is occasionally on offer in the supermarket) otherwise Highland Park as mentioned before is an excellent choice.

One of the new Glenmorangies might be a better bet though, such as the Quinta Ruban. It looks damn classy in the new cognac style bottle and I suspect it tastes pretty good too, particularly for a non-enthusiast. The box is a lot easier to wrap than a tube!

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Elagabalus
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby Elagabalus » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:19 am

It also depends on who you are buying for.

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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:00 am

zippy wrote:Well if you are trying to show that you are a person of discernment surely that would steer you away from discounted specials in the supermarket?


They don't have to know it's a supermarket special!

The cool thing this time of year is that there are lots of nifty gift sets available for stupid prices. Open them up, gift the whisky, and keep the bonus items!

The bad thing is it's usually bottom-of-the-line Glenfiddich or Bowmore, and a couple of useless tumblers.

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pmullin
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby pmullin » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:42 am

Some obvious choices (some mentioned above) would be:
- Balvenie Double Wood
- Macallan 10
- Highland Park 12
- Dalmore 12

I would also throw in Glengoyne as a nice easy-drinking dram, which is not quite as common as the others. The Benromach Organic would also be a great choice.

You might also consider a nice bourbon, like Woodford Reserve, if you can get a hold of some.

famork7
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Re: Best whisky as a Christmas gift?

Postby famork7 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:38 am

I have been in the malt whisky business for nearly 40 years and I have perhaps a few set ways, but having researched and written two books about the industry and having visited all distilleries and tasted most I would recommend
Highland Park 12 and 18
Dalmore 12
Bruichladdich - almost any of their range
Lagavulin 16
Ardbeg- with an age statement
Glenrothes - and more Glenrothes!
last - but not least - Springbank and Longrow....wow!!
Hope your friends have a great Christmas!


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