Is Whisky more expensive in Scotland?

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Is Whisky more expensive in Scotland?

Postby Durttbeag » Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:01 pm

Hello All

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


:lol: :D :D

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Postby Lawrence » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:45 pm

Generally, but not always, the prices are a little higher. However if you are planning to return to Canada with some gems that cannot be bought at home then I have always taken the attitude that that is the price we pay. If you have a chance drop in on the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh for a dram and a meal, the selecetion of single malts and food is very good fro very reasonable prices. If I remember correctly drams of over 30 year old whiskies are about C$14 and the food is excellent. Another gem is the bar/restaurant in the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center at the top of the Royal Mile. I had drams of Laphroaig 30 and Ardbeg 30 for very low prices.

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Postby richard » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:49 pm

it depends where you go the whisky shop chain are what i call a tourist trap overpriced
you are better of going to a good quality whisky shop as well as oddbins and some local off licences carry a reasonable amount of whisky it just pays to shop around


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Postby karlejnar » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:03 pm

I'll second some of the comments, however I found the TWS is Callander to have reasonable prices.

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.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:18 pm

What's the itinerary, Db?

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.

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Postby Durttbeag » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:08 pm

G'day all

Thanks for all the info.
I will keep all your comments in mind when choosing the goodies.

Mr Tattieheid,
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.

Durttbeag :D

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Postby Admiral » Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:35 am

Durttbeag wrote:
G'day all

Any chance you're not originally from Canada? :D

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Postby Durttbeag » Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:02 pm

Hello Admiral.

Yes I was born and raised here in Canada.
Born in the maritime province of New Brunswick and raised in Montreal.

I am a goofball who likes to joke around and make silly accents.

What a better combo than Scotch and a good laugh.


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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:31 pm

All together now: "G'day y'all, eh?"

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Postby Durttbeag » Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:36 pm

Ahhh..... MrTattieHeid has got it. ha ha ha :lol:
He knows us Canadians.

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Postby andrewfenton » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:31 pm

British alcohol taxes are quite high, but that's usually compensated for by being so close to the source. Whisky is definitely cheaper in the ultra low tax whisky countries though (specifically Luxembourg), excepting rarer bottlings.

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.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:52 pm

Royal Mile cheap? Well I'll be. That's not the impression I have been under. But you live there, and I don't, so I will duly eat my words.

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Postby andrewfenton » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:11 am

Hrrrm, well for the bottlings I buy they're usually the cheapest (and that's before the 10% discount I get for being a regular customer :D ). The only places that are cheaper are supermarkets, mainly Tescos but occasionally Sainsburys, and very rarely Oddbins when they have discounts for buying multiple bottles. Of course, maybe RMW aren't so cheap for more expensive bottles, so I can't really comment there.

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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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:41 am

I agree that Loch Fyne has the best prices that I have seen, and it's a must for us travelers. I try to route my trip through Inveraray so I can stop in before I go home. Maybe I should loop the other way and go there first--by the time I get there I already have too many bottles!

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Postby Frodo » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:22 am

Just a shot in the dark here, but what about Gordon & McPhail. Don't they own a retail store as well as the IB buisiness? I'd thought I died and gone to heaven in a store like that...

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:31 am

That's in Elgin, Frodo, and it's another must stop if I can get around that way. Good source for Rare Malts as well as G&M bottles. I usually walk in and, as soon as I stop grinning enough to speak, say, "One of each, please!"

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