There are 10 days until Christmas which means you have 18 days left to find something special for someone special (no one shops on Christmas Eve, do they?). Well the Edmonton Scotch Club is here to help…if you are buying for someone that loves scotch, that is. If they don’t love scotch, just re-gift them that peach candle you got from your aunt last year. (Please watch the video!)
Let’s start with the easiest gift of all for the scotch lover in your life…scotch…or any whisky, really…well not any…just the good stuff.
- The Reliables: These distillery bottlings can always be counted on to taste pretty much the same and they offer great quality for a decent price (decent is a very relative term, these days).
- Lagavulin 16: The quintessential Islay whisky. The price has gone up but it is still an all-time fave from a great distillery. Just make sure the person likes peat…unless you want them to not like it so that you can drink it all.
- Talisker 10: Another peated classic. This might be my favourite core range peated whisky.
- Tomatin 15: The rumour is they have stopped producing this stuff but there is still a lot of it out there so find some and buy some…one for you and one for your gift. It is fruity and delicious.
- Arran 18: All of their stuff is fantastic but the 18 is extra fantastic. If you haven’t discovered this distillery yet, do so fast before their prices start creeping up. Right now they are one of the best values on the market.
- Springbank 10 or 15: A cool distillery that makes whisky the old fashioned way. If you’re buying for someone that likes peat but only drinks stuff from Islay, get them one of these bottles and watch them smile after the first sip and not stop smiling till the bottle is gone.
- Auchentoshan 3 Wood: Affordable. More than drinkable. Very suitable for someone who is just getting into scotch.
- Benriach (one of their special cask finish bottles in the $70-$100 range): This distillery is creeping up my list of favourites. If you can fine the 16 year Sauternes Finish…buy a bottle and thank me later. Or have whoever you bought it for thank me later.
- Two Brewers Release 04: The 4th release from this distillery wayyyyy up in the frozen depths of Canada, in the Yukon. This is the 4th, and by all accounts the best, release from this young Canadian distillery. Is it scotch? Nope. Is it delicious? Absolutely!
- Octomore 7.4: Octomore aged in virgin oak. A chance to see more of the true octomore spirit than ever before..and it tastes wonderful. This is my 2nd favourite Octomore release that I have tried. 6.3 still owns my heart and palate.
- *There are obviously hundreds of bottles that could fall into this category but these came to mind first.
2. Special Bottles: For a group gift or if you are just flat out rich…here are some suggestions.
- Laphroaig Lore: This bottle won our 2016 Islay tasting and was a huge surprise. NAS or no NAS…it is TAS-ty!! (see what I did there?) Rumour has it that Lore contains spirit from casks aged 7-21 years of age…either way…it’s good. Worth the price tag? Let’s not get into that, right now.
- Tomatin 1988: This 25 year old bottle finished 2nd at our charity tasting and is probably one of the smoothest whiskies I have ever drank. Mind-blowingly good stuff.
- Greedy Angel’s Chairman’s Reserve 12YO: Ok…this is probably way too expensive, but if Donald Trump or any professional athletes are reading this and need a gift for a really nice father-in-law…do it! Our club was fortunate enough to buy a bottle of the Greedy Angels 10 year and it was exquisite. I could get into the whole Amrut story and Angel’s share and all that but just google it yourself cause my fingers are sore and cold (it’s minus 40 here with windchill, right now!!!). Only 100 bottles of this stuff are being made, by the way. Oh, and if Donald Trump is reading this…can you retweet us, please??
- Talisker 25: Why is this on the list? Because I really want one and I am hoping Donald Trump is reading and will buy me one. That is all.
- Whisky Books: The World Atlas of Whisky, Scotch Whisky Treasures, The Malt Whisky Year Book, 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, and ‘Whisky’ by Aeneas MacDonald; a book that was published in 1930 with an original run of 1600 copies but has since been re-released. There are many more, of course, but these are ones that I have either read, am reading, or plan to read.
- An SMWS Membership: I say this every year but it really is a great gift that most people won’t buy for themselves. Go to their website and read all the info. All you need to know is that they bottle great single cask whisky at cask strength.
3. Whisky Glassware: Whether it’s a set of Glencairn Glasses (the standards or the crystal ones), a fancy new Norlan whisky glass or just some classy highball type whisky glasses, your whisky loving friend will never be disappointed to find new glasses under the tree. *A crystal decanter was given to me last year…also fantastic!
4. Whisky Advent Calendar: So there are only 10 days till Xmas so you’re thinking “why the fuck would I buy someone an advent calendar?” Well, there are a few reasons: 1) Whisky doesn’t go bad…so they can just drink those little 50ml bottles whenever they please or they could do a January advent or any month they choose! 2) You could buy it now and probably (don’t quote me on this) get a discount and save it for next Christmas!! Either way, Advents are a great way to expose someone to 25 new whiskies at a reasonable price.
5. Don’t give them anything: For me, Christmas is all about spending time (and drinking whisky) with friends and family. Rather than buying them a gift, drop by for a dram over the holidays. Maybe bring that bottle you’ve been wanting to open but you’re just waiting for that special occasion. Your whisky bud would probably be so honoured that he/she would forget you didn’t get them a gift.
That’s all for now. This was a last minute, poorly written gift guide but it’s better than nothing.
Hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!!
From everyone in the Edmonton Scotch Club,