What's a great scotch for father's day?
June 14, 2007 4:35 PM   Subscribe

My dad drinks scotch and I've gotten him some single malt ones, which I prefer, and he didn't like them too much. I am looking to get him a great high-end scotch. He likes johnny walkers so I've gotten him a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue once and he liked that a lot. So I am hoping to get him something else that's similarly high quality. I am hoping to spend perhaps $75-$500 or so. Don't know much about scotch, esp. blended, so your suggestions would be appreciated.
posted by icollectpurses to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If he really liked Johnnie Walker Blue, he'd love Johnnie Walker Quest, which is even rarer than Blue. It's hard to find and possibly out of your rather broad price range, though.

My advice would be to buy him the best bottle of The Macallan that you can afford. I know it's single malt, but it's just about the smoothest single malt in existence. I've yet to meet anyone who likes any Scotch who didn't like Macallan.
posted by cerebus19 at 4:51 PM on June 14, 2007

I'd suggest Johnnie Walker [insert color within your price range here]. Your price range seems to go from Black to Blue Label. You really can't go wrong with Johnnie Walker, and I'm quite fond of the black label myself.

And thank you for the reminder. I'll be picking up a bottle of Johnnie Walker for my father as well.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:10 PM on June 14, 2007

Te bheag is an excellent blend - it' s unchilfiltered and very smooth - a huge hit with us - but they also now have a lighter whisky MacNaMara which might be worth trying by someone who doesn't like heavily peated stuff.
posted by Flitcraft at 5:16 PM on June 14, 2007

There's a huge, huge range of tastes in scotch. I'd say even for single malt fans there are always scotches that they can't stand. Which single malts did you buy that he didn't like?
posted by mendel at 5:27 PM on June 14, 2007

Response by poster: Glenfiddich, and Glenlevin. He used to drink Glenfiddich but hasn't for close to 20 years i think... I honestly don't know why he doesn't like it too much. I am not sure if it's the fact that it's single malt or because of the taste.

I can't find Johnny Walker Quest.
posted by icollectpurses at 5:31 PM on June 14, 2007

Seconding cerebus19's Macallan recommendation. The 25-year bottle would fall right in the middle of your price range, and it is most excellent. It is also leaps and bounds better than Glenfiddich and Glenlivet (which is what I think you meant; I haven't heard of Glenlevin), so you needn't worry that it will be comparable to something your father knows he dislikes.
posted by brain_drain at 5:35 PM on June 14, 2007

Johnny Walker is delicious, but it is blended to be so.

Single malts are enjoyed for different reasons, and the tastes tend to be more powerful, or more sophisticated.

So it really is a matter of taste. I've had very expensive scotch that tasted like a peat bog, and I've had Oban, which is relatively moderate, and it was excellent. But this is just me.

So, if there is something to recommend, I would say Oban 14 year or maybe the Macallan 18.
posted by four panels at 5:35 PM on June 14, 2007

Seconding mendel, single malts have a wide variance in taste. If your dad didn't like the Glenfiddich or Glenlivet, here's another suggestion. This is a single malt scotch, but the Balvenie Doublewood is very mellow and tasty.
posted by jeffmshaw at 5:47 PM on June 14, 2007

If you really want a blend, I'd go for Ballantine's 30 Year Old. That should run around $300, and is better (IMHO) than Johnnie Walker.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:02 PM on June 14, 2007

I favor bourbon, but the Macallan 25 is one of my favorite scotch/whatever's. Mac 18 is great, but the 25 is over the top.
posted by rhizome at 6:11 PM on June 14, 2007

Has he tried cognac? I prefer whiskey, myself, but cognac is out of this world and smooth, just like a whiskey blend is, because cognacs are also blends. Check out the wikipedia article to learn why and how. I would buy him a bottle of Pierre Ferrand . You can get a small bottle for $40, or they have a great three pack sampler for $100. Even if the youngest variety of PF is very good.

My other suggestion out of the box is single malt Jack Daniels. It's very very smooth, if he's someone who already enjoys Jack.
posted by about_time at 6:15 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:17 PM on June 14, 2007

Also, I own a bottle of the 25 MacCallan. It is very very good, and surprisingly different from the 18. It's not smoother, it's amazingly more complex instead. I say this because in my view, people buy blends because they are smoother than singles.
posted by about_time at 6:18 PM on June 14, 2007

It is Canadian Whiskey (which just means it is made with more rye and in Canada) - but Crown Royal has Crown Royal XR (Extra Rare) out right now. It is whiskey held over from the old Waterloo distallery which burned down. There is a very limited amount of it left. It is really smooth.
posted by eggerspretty at 7:01 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Frankly, after about $75 to $100 you are paying far more for rarity than for flavor. I would be especially wary of infinity minus one years old types. If he likes the Johhny Walker blends he will probably like Talisker. If you want to spring for something $$$, the Macallan 25 yr is pretty great, and while expensive, is not a total rip off.
posted by caddis at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Macallan is one single malt that is quite good at the 18 and 25 year old ages. I have a bottle of the 18 here, but I have also tried the 25 and it is indeed quite good.

Glenlivet also gets my recommendation as well for a scotch that ages well.

There are other single malts that I like, that are good values or have a particular flavour that I enjoy, but that can vary from person to person. The Macallan is the kind of pick that's simply high quality and shouldn't disappoint.
posted by cotterpin at 7:43 PM on June 14, 2007

Given what you've said of your dad's tastes in scotch, I would stay far away from Laphroaig, or Islay malts in general.

Seconding the Macallan and Oban recommendations.
posted by needled at 7:46 PM on June 14, 2007

Oh, I might as well mention since it's on topic, but one lighter scotch that doesn't get enough recognition, IMO, is Craggenmore. It's a speyside, bordering on sweet, floral, and very very drinkable for a 12 year old. That's actually a bit *below* your price range, but perhaps you might find it a little older and more expensive (not that, IMO, you would need to)
posted by cotterpin at 8:26 PM on June 14, 2007

I don't like a lot of Scotch - I'm more a bourbon and rye guy - but I do like Aberlour's top shelf offering called "a'bunadh." It is just fantastic. It is a single malt, but if you're ever going to convert him, this is the whisky that will do it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:02 PM on June 14, 2007

Johnny Walker uses a signifcant proportion of Cardhu.
I do like Oban better than Cardhu, but the Cardhu is probably smoother.
posted by juv3nal at 12:11 AM on June 15, 2007

Have a look at the Scottish Malt Whisky Society website. The society is a club with premises in Edinburgh and a few other cities. They specialise in cask whiskies but also bottle malts and do their own blending. The distilleries involved are usually not explicitly named for branding reasons - but they normally will say where the distillery is located so it is often possible to work this out. They are generally very helpful if you are looking for something specific. The UK part of the site is probably the most useful one to look at first.
posted by rongorongo at 2:22 AM on June 15, 2007

Much as it pains me to recommend blends, if he likes them, he likes them.
Have you tried Johnny Walker Green? It's got two of my favourites in it (Talisker and Caol Ila) in it, amongst a host of others.
posted by Kreiger at 2:48 AM on June 15, 2007

I recently held a big scotch tasting (14 bottles) and the big favorite with the group was Macallan (in this case 12 year old). I also was a big fan of Balvenie 15. Neither of these are at the bottom end of your price range (!), so maybe both?
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2007

I'm honestly surprised there's this much consensus on The Macallen, but I heartily concur. It is a spectacular dram.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 7:54 AM on June 15, 2007

Great suggestions here! Also highly recommend reading Michael Jackson's guide to scotch. It is a reference book that no scotch lover should be without!
posted by kuppajava at 8:00 AM on June 15, 2007

Have to suggest Springbank for single malts. The 21 year was possibly the finest liquid that has ever passed my lips. It's also insanely expensive - like $400 a bottle last time I checked. The 15 year Springbank is a modest $90-100 and is very excellent although may be hard to find depending on where you live.

Other than that, I loves me some Oban, Bunnahabhain (pronounced Boo-ya-bain), and Lagavulin (Classic Islay - best appreciated if you like the taste of whiskey served from a burnt out oak stump... mmmmmm.. good with a nice cigar, say Arturo Peunte Especials).

posted by elendil71 at 9:19 AM on June 15, 2007

Whoops, that Arturo Fuente... my bad
posted by elendil71 at 9:22 AM on June 15, 2007

This is probably too low-brow for you, but I'm a big Lagavulin fan, myself. I hardly ever drink, but when I do, that's usually it.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:25 AM on June 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you for your suggestions, maybe I'll get him two different kinds to try!
posted by icollectpurses at 2:24 PM on June 15, 2007

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