Good Scotch To Set Aside For Son...
I'm VERY new to scotch. My uncle introduced it to me over the summer and I fell in love instantly (oddly enough). I'm not a liquor drinking, barely a beer drinker, and generally when someone refers to a hard liquor as "smooth", I call BS. I had never had anything that didn't taste and smell like rubbing alcohol, and up until recently, I had refused to believe that any of it was "smooth", and those that said otherwise must have been too drunk to get their adjectives right. I now feel differently. I wish I could tell you the brand or year that he drank, but I know that when I ask him about it later, he told me to start with "Macallan Cask Strength". He has his shipped in with his businesses tooling from Europe, and it's apparently pretty expensive. Problem is, now that I've had something REALLY good and, surprisingly, smooth, I don't like anything else I've tried. I've tried the black, blue, and red labels of Johnny Walker...well, that's it so far. Anyway, this is really not the reason I started this thread, but I'd like to get some advice on where to start my own personal trip through single malt scotch. Any advice? Now, for my original question, I'd like to buy a nice bottle of scotch to set aside for my little boy for when he turns 21/gets married or something, and I'm curious as to what would age well? Any suggestions for that as well? I don't mind spending a little on this one because it would be special...by a little, I'd still not like to spend over $200-300. Any insight, advice, words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. -Luke-
I have no special advice, but here's what I'd recommend because of quality and beautiful presentation:
Macallan 25 (~$600)
Balvenie 25 Single Barrel
Get a case of George T. Stagg when it comes out (~80 per bottle, but is awesome bourbon)
I'm sure others will chime in. Store whatever you get carefully. Also, scotch doesn't age in the bottle but can be ruined if stored poorly.
All of these are sure to become more expensive as time goes on.
PS - Macallan cask strength is relatively inexpensive.
Dr. Spencer's recommendations are good. I would add: Auchentoshan 18, Cragganmore 1984, Highland Park 18 or older, Longmorn 16 or Cask Strength 17, Springbank 10-Year 100 Proof (yes, 10-year -- age does not equate to quality), and Talisker 18 or older. And if you enjoyed the Macallan, you might check out some of their older Fine Oak expressions.
The best way to take a good trip without risking a purchase of a bottle you might not enjoy, or without breaking the bank, is to find a place locally that holds tastings.
As for storage, if you are going to put a bottle or two aside, you should keep it in a cool place, away from light, unopened.
Enjoy the journey!
+1 for whisky does not age in the bottle.
I would recommend the Old Pulteney 21 that was just awarded the top spot in the forthcoming 2012 Whisky Bible by Jim Murray. It also has the benefit of being available online (at least for now) for $100. I haven't opened my bottle and understand there's strong debate on the 97.5 rating. But, for your purposes, I don't think you could find a more relevant bottle.
Since whisky doesn't age in the bottle, your endeavor would be more appropriate with a case of wine.
However, if you want to do whisky, then I would recommend a vintage bottling of the Glenrothes. They bottle certain years' casks when they are ready to be bottled, not just when they are a certain age. This produces unique bottlings that will never be reproduced.
You can find a 1985 vintage right now if you look hard enough, which will be impossible to find a few years or more from now. I have one set back.
Another option would be to find a special edition bottling, but you never know if it will be worth your investment.
Buying a standard offering would be nearly pointless, as it could only get worse, and won't get any better. Standard offerings are blended by the distillery to be the same year after year, so there isn't much purpose having an older version of the same whisky.
Personally, I would either get a vintage, a single barrel, or a bottle of vintage port.
I did the same thing for my two children. I bought bottles that were bottled as near to their birthday as possible. Jack has got three bottles of Laphroiag 2007 Feis Ile, and Chloe has got three bottles of Ardbeg Rollercoaster............I hope they will both like smoke and peat when they are older:-)
Here's what I'm doing. I'm buying up whisky from the year of my sons birth as it comes on the market. It's more labor intensive, but I think it will be worth it down the line. We can share many whiskies from many brands of many ages. You can buy specific year vintages like the Glenrothes noted above, single cask bottles with the distillation date noted, special editions, etc. If he's seventeen and Glenmorangie releases a new 17 yr old special edition, that's good enough for me as well. I'll note the purchase date.
I wouldn't get any random x year old on his x birthday because you don't know if it was distilled on his birth year, or a year or two earlier, etc. However a new release product will be datable to a particular year. This ignores that there likely is older whisky in these releases and I'm fine with that. Otherwise single cask is really all you could get.
It's all just a bit of fun anyway. Whisky it's not in my investment portfolio.
I'm doing the same to have a few drams for my 40th that were also born in 1972, and a nice 40yr old of course! :D
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