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Old 09-22-2010, 06:29 PM   #1
dwoodward
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Default Scotch's that wont break the bank

I have never really had a good scotch before. Nothing that stood out and made me want to actually drink scotch. I love liquors such as bourbon and tequila and I find that my tastes are rather expensive. Luckily for bourbon and tequila, expensive tastes is only 30-40 dollars a bottle.

Last night at the liquor store, I had no intention of buying, I went in for a 6 pack of beer while the girlfriend went shopping. While browsing I stumbled across the scotch isle. I was looking, almost everything on the top shelf was 100 dollars or more.

I decided because I have never tried a scotch that was anything above bottom of the barrel I purchased a middleshelf bottle of Chivas Regal - 12 Years. I took it home and tonight I am sipping at it in my rocks glass over a few ice cubes. It is fantastic. Decent priced at 25 dollars a bottle. I am actually interested in trying a few other scotch's now.

I am looking for recommendations, looking for bottles that can be had in the 20-40 dollar range.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Maclelland's... It's single malt... It's like 12 years old... It's usually about $25 for a 750ml bottle... And it's suprisingly good! Find it at almost any liqour store.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Ardbeg 10 y.o. would be my (current) recommendation.

Also, for a blended whisky, I don't know the US price, but it's about 30/bottle here, Johnnie Walker Green Label is pretty good!
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

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Originally Posted by Lumpold View Post
Ardbeg 10 y.o. would be my (current) recommendation.

Also, for a blended whisky, I don't know the US price, but it's about 30/bottle here, Johnnie Walker Green Label is pretty good!
While I like the Ardbeg, I think it is a bit peaty for someone new to scotch.

My suggestions would be The Glenlivet 12 year or Glenmorangie.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

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While I like the Ardbeg, I think it is a bit peaty for someone new to scotch.

My suggestions would be The Glenlivet 12 year or Glenmorangie.
While I agree it is heavy on the peat, I just got a friend of mine in to scotch (from bourbon) with this... then again, he is a bit of a monster.

[edit: we also drink a lot of herby-medicene like drinks together - jager, chatreuse, fennel liqour, so in retrospect, he was probably always going to like the Ardbeg]
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Balvenie Doublewood.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

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The Glenlivet 12
Other excellent lower-priced mainstream-palate-friendly malts I'd recommend would be Cragganmore 12, Highland Park 12 and Bunnahabhain 12. These are all whiskies that, if you develop as most malt nerds do, you will never lose interest in (outgrow). They can all be had for +/- $40 each.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

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Balvenie Doublewood.


Very nice Single that won't break the bank.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Nice suggestions here. On the single malt side, I'd also suggest Glenfiddich, which is usually priced the same as the Glenlivit. For a blend, Dewars 12 yr and JW Black label are decent.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Macallan 12 year old sherry cask. Not very far out of your budget, and really a great scotch.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Macallan 12 is a good $55-$60 a bottle, but it is worth it. I'd save some $$$ and go for it.

Glenlivet or Glenfiddich are in the $35 range.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

How far from Canada are you? I know here on the west coast you can get really good deals at the duty free. I am not sure how long of a drive it would be for you through ND, but if you can make the trip, you can pick up a few liters for around $30-$45 of really top shelf stuff.

You have two options to start with and a third if you start to really get into scotch.

Blended(a mix of different single malts typically from all over Scotland, they do this to maintain a uniform flavor profile across multiple bottlings)

This produced a very uniform product that will always taste the same year to year. Chivas and JW are your best bet here. JW Green use to be a single malt and I think it still is.

Single malt (this is a blend of barrels with the oldest being on the lable but some of the whisky could be much younger, again this is done to maintain flavor)

single malt tends to be much more complex and display the flavor from where it is from.

i love the Islay malts, If you want to try there start with Lagavulin.

I would say the best starter scotch is Dalwhinnie, it has a great peat flavor that is mild but still there and has much more complex flavors in there as well.

As you get into it you can start to collect bottles just like you collect cigars. Also you can explore your third option which are barrel or cask bottling's, these are one barrel put straight to the bottle. They are all very different from barrel to barrel and you can get thousands of different barrels from one distillery. It is a lot of fun, enjoy.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

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Maclelland's... It's single malt... It's like 12 years old... It's usually about $25 for a 750ml bottle... And it's suprisingly good! Find it at almost any liqour store.
That's more like my price range. I'll have to pick up a bottle of that next time I'm out. Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

For about $30 you can get Johnnie Walker Black, and outstanding blend! Others in that range that are very good as well:

Dewers
Glenlivet 12 Y.O.
Teacher's Cream
Famous Grouse 12 Y.O.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

Don't know if you can find it in your area but Old Putney is a wonderful single malt, but you really can't go wrong with JW Black.

However, for the price of cheap Scotch you can get great Bourbon and Rye these days so I tend to stick to Jack D and Crown Royal
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

I love a good Bourbon and, especially, a good Rye, but I'll take mid-shelf Scotch over top-shelf Bourbon or Rye, 9 times out of 10.

Can't really go wrong either way, though.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

A lot of great suggestions although IMHO an Islay may be a bit of a strong flavor profile for a single malt newbie.

The Maclelland's, from all four regions, are nice, inexpensive places to start and experiment with learning about how different single malts are from each region. Glen Moray is a very nice inexpensive 12 year old Speyside single malt.

Another nice blend is Grant's Family Reserve. Very reasonably priced. It is blended, in part, from Glenfiddich and Balvenie single malts.

Price is very much dependent on where you live. I can get Maclelland's 1.75 Liter where I work with no employee discount for $29.99, The Glen Moray 12 year old 750 ml. for $19.99 and the Grant's 1.75L for $21.99.

Just remember, part of the fun is experimenting and finding what you like.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

I was well-served by my first bottle of Highland Park 12. I think it was about $40.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

If you like sweet you might try Auchentoshen single lowland malt classic. Very inexpensive. Tastes great, around 25 bucks depending on where you live. Been a favorite for a few years price not withstanding.
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Scotch's that wont break the bank

as far as single malts, my liquor store only has glenlivet, glenfiddich, and highland park. prices start at $53 and up
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