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.
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.
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... )
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.
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!
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!
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.
- 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.
Highland Park 12 and 18
Bruichladdich - almost any of their range
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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