I'm looking to purchase a bottle of single malt for my friend as a thank you. He's a novice scotch drinker who enjoys Johnnie Walker Green Label.
I'm not really looking to exceed $50 or $75. So if anyone has suggestions of a safe, but rewarding scotch that might advance his palate...
Something that you think would be appropriate or would recommend to someone who is just starting out.
Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum. Two suggestions in your price range and palate.
There are literally hundreds of options.
It will mostly depend on what the stores in your area carry, and how they've priced it. I have found that trying to look up prices online is pointless in my area, as I have seen scotches both overpriced and underpriced compared to the online market.
If he likes Green Label, that would be the safest bet, actually. You know he likes it and it's in your price range. Also, it was cancelled just last year so the last bottles of it are probably going on the shelf right now. You could give it to him with the caption "one of the last..."
Johnnie Walker Gold label is my favorite JW blend. It is very similar in taste to the $200 Blue Label. Gold Label is around $70-90 in most places.
Another option is to ask him what he likes. Ask if he likes smoky scotch, if he really likes smoke, get him Laphroaig or Ardbeg 10; if he only likes a hint of smoke (like Green Label has) get him Highland Park 15.
A lot of people like Glenlivet, but I don't and the 12 year is below your price range (he'd probably know it). Glenfiddich 15 is okay but not worth the price to me, and their 12 year is extremely common and in the lower price range. It is a good entry whisky, smooth, but not very unique.
My favorites for that price: highland park 12-15, Macallan 12 (NOT the "Fine Oak" version, but the one in the dark red box), any Glenmorangie except the "original", Balvenie 15 Year single cask (wonderful stuff), and Dalmore 12.
I guess I'll be looking to try the non-Fine Oak version, as already previously suggested to me, as well as both Gold and Green Label, when I get the chance.
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