I am off to Scotland in September for 9 days.
I have read that buying Scotch whiskies in Scotland
is more expensive than anywhere else.
Can somone confirm this?
Here is a listing of the prices that I pay here in Canada (Montreal)
Lagavulin 16 $85 Canadian Dollars
Laphroaig 10 $48 Cdn
Dalmore 12 $47 Cdn
Ardbeg 1977 $125 Cdn
Longrow 10 $120 Cdn
Talisker 10 $72 Cdn
Higlandpark 18 $98 Cdn
On the mentioned malts, I think it would be difficult to get a better price in Scotland. And if they're available locally, why bother taking them over at a higher price. Go for the more rare bottlings, that aren't available locally.
One point though, I recommend you get out and buy the Ardbeg 1977 now. It's a very good malt IMHO. Bought one last year at Ardbeg, the price was £69, so £15 or so more expensive than the canadian price. And now they're out of it, and probably no more will turn up from the distillery. So once again, get it while you can.
The Longrow 10 seems a bit pricy, but depends on the year of bottling. They usually come in small batches, so the price might be OK.
Forget about looking for some great bargain--you might find some things cheaper than you can get at home, but it won't be so much that it's worth schlepping it across the ocean. Instead look for things you can't get at home, particularly independent bottlings. Richard may be right that the Whisky Shop is pricey, but they have some house label bottles that aren't available anywhere else. If you hang out and gab a bit, they may offer you a taste of something. If you're in Edinburgh, there's one in the Waverly Shops, just above the train station.
Royal Mile, up toward the castle, is the mecca, but they do tend to be pricey. Nice windowshopping, though. Richard's right about Oddbins, and there's one a little down the hill from Royal Mile, but they don't usually have much unusual. (Is that obvious or what?) Still further down the hill is the Cadenheads shop, which is definitely worth a visit--all their own bottlings, some of very good value.
Again assuming you're in Edinburgh, spend and evening or two in the Bow Bar, sampling from their menu of 125 or so malts and blethering with like-minded people. (And have a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, among other fine ales available there.) I had a dram of a Cadenheads Clynelish there that I liked so much that I went down to the shop the next day and bought a bottle.
If you can, visit Inveraray and the Loch Fyne Whisky Shop. They will ship to the US and Canada, but there is some risk involved--they will explain it to you. Stay the night at the George Hotel and enjoy their vast malt menu.
If you visit Speyside, the whisky shop in Dufftown is worth visiting, and if you can get to Elgin, the Gordon & MacPhail shop is worth the trip.
Finally, be aware of your customs limit. I always come home through Boston, and the agents there don't seem to be interested in hassling someone bringing home a few bottles for himself, but I am always prepared to pay duty on any bottles over the limit (two).
Let us know where you're going, and enjoy your trip! Scotland is awesome.
Thanks for all the info.
I will keep all your comments in mind when choosing the goodies.
Sorry I could not hook up with you when you came to Montreal.
Here is my email address, drop me a line.
I am the only Scotch lover that I know around here
so it can get pretty lonely at times, my wife likes to listen to me talk
passionately about the stuff, but it can wear her down at times.
I do have one friend that I have hooked on the wonderful work of Malt, so this is good. Drinking with a chum is the best.
Since I am new to this forum, I will let you know a bit about the Durttbeag,.
I am a 36 year old Scotch / Whisky drinking Male from Montreal, Canada
I have been into Scotch for eight years.
I own aprox 56 bottles of Single malt Scotch that I keep in a well stocked wall bar in my Study. (proper glasses, distilled water always on hand, etc...)
I like all Scotches and Whisky's but my weakness is for Islay and the other islands.
I must say that this Forum is well ran and most of you folks sound very decent.
Once the wife and I decide on our Scotland itinerary, I will post it for your opinions.
To the original poster's examples, here's what I'd pay in Edinburgh
Lagavulin 16 $85 Canadian Dollars - 36 pounds, C$82 @RMW
Laphroaig 10 $48 Cdn - 21 pounds, C$48 @Tesco
Dalmore 12 $47 Cdn - 21 pounds, C$48 @RMW
Ardbeg 1977 $125 Cdn - not sure
Longrow 10 $120 Cdn - 38.50 pounds, C$86 @RMW
Talisker 10 $72 Cdn - 25 pounds, C$57 @Tesco
Higlandpark 18 $98 Cdn - 51 pounds, C$116 @RMW
(note HP18 is insanely expensive in Britain generally, that's a price rise that's going to hit the rest of the world in the near future)
Most of the above are fairly regular whiskies, so there's not much benefit buying them in Britain. The real trick is getting stuff you can't abroad - for example, Highland Park fans might like the Signatory 1990/2004 46% bottling, which is about the same price as the regular 12yr OB but vastly superior. Feel free to post some distilleries or taste preferences you have, I can point out the local special offers in Edinburgh at any time (for example, A'Bunadh is pretty damn cheap in some supermarkets now).
As for shops, Royal Mile Whiskies is generally the cheapest place in Edinburgh, except when Tescos have a special offer on. The Whisky Shop is consistently about 15% more expensive, and Oddbins usually a pound or two more each bottle (excepting offers). Cadenheads further down the Royal Mile is worth visiting for interesting bottlings though, particularly their gorgeous Ardbegs.
The only other retailer I see with consistently lower prices is Loch Fyne, but there's usually only a pound or so in it. Given that would mean mailordering for me it's simply not worth it.
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