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View Full Version : Scotch Purchases - Input please



ggilbertva
01-03-2007, 14:38
I'm headed to the Caribbean first of Feb and will be stopping in St. Maarten. Last time I was there, liquor prices were silly cheap (e.g. JW Blue $85). I want to add to my small scotch collection while there and would appreciate some input into some good scotch's that may be considered "must have".

I tend to lean toward a Highland over the Islay or Lowland. I do like Balvenie which is a Speyside.

Thanks in advance. :cool:

oldironstomach
01-03-2007, 15:11
I'm partial to Islay, so my "must haves" are mostly off your list (and start with Ardbeg). But of the Highlands, two cask-strength independent bottlings that recently stood out were a 22yo Mortlach (Scott's, 1979/2001) and a magnificent 25yo Longmorn (Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 1978-2003). Both whiskys are said to benefit tremendously from extra age (I haven't had a chance to taste the Longmorn side-by-side with the current factory 15yo bottling) but if you can find an affordable older example of either, especially the Longmorn, that's what I'd pick.

I should point out that when these stood out, we were tasting them along with four other Highlands, all reputable cask strength indy bottlings, as well as a half-dozen-plus Islays. The Balvenie DoubleWood, which I like, wouldn't have stood a chance in this company.

ratcheer
01-03-2007, 15:52
Well, it may be old hat, but I still always enjoy The Glenlivet. My favorite is also The Balvenie.

Tim

Frodo
01-04-2007, 08:46
I tend to lean toward a Highland over the Islay or Lowland. I do like Balvenie which is a Speyside.

I might recommend trying some atypical Islays such as Bruichladdich or Bunnahabhain. No peat in Bunnahabhain and only abit in the Bruichladdich. Other than this, older Glenfiddich has great stature amongst scotch lovers.

Just a couple of ideas...

ggilbertva
01-04-2007, 18:44
Thanks for the feedback. I will use your suggestion when browsing the stores. I'll report back my findings.....

CrispyCritter
01-04-2007, 22:47
Also, with Islays, Bowmore tends to be moderately peated - less intense than the Ardbeg/Laphroaig/Lagavulin peat monsters.

Highland Park (from Orkney) is also medium-peated, but Orkney's peat has a heather-honey character that is very different from the Islay seaside bonfire.

tango-papa
01-04-2007, 23:11
I want to add to my small scotch collection while there and would appreciate some input into some good scotch's that may be considered "must have".

I tend to lean toward a Highland over the Islay or Lowland. I do like Balvenie which is a Speyside.

Thanks in advance. :cool:

Were I going, my list would include the following (in no specific order):

The Balvenie 21 yr Portwood
The Macallan 15 yr, 18 yr & 25 yr
Laphroaig 30 yr
Springbank - the older the better
Longrow - any of 'em I could find
The Dalmore 21 yr
Highland Park 25 yr
Aberlour 21 yr

Happy hunting!
~tp

ggilbertva
01-05-2007, 14:23
TP,

I do have the Dalmore 21 which has not been opened yet. I have so many bottles of bourbon open, along with a couple of scotch's that I'm going to wait until I clean out some of my stock. I'm especially interested in the Balvenie, Highland Park and Macallan. I think I'm more excited about hunting for scotch that cruising the carib.

tango-papa
01-05-2007, 17:12
TP,

I do have the Dalmore 21 which has not been opened yet. I have so many bottles of bourbon open, along with a couple of scotch's that I'm going to wait until I clean out some of my stock. I'm especially interested in the Balvenie, Highland Park and Macallan. I think I'm more excited about hunting for scotch that cruising the carib.

I try to limit my open bottles at three to five each so I hear ya. Currently have 4 open bottles of Bourbon and 5 open Scotch.
FWIW, based on what you've said you like, I'd jump on a bottle of Aberlour 21 if you see it - really fantastic and unavailable in the US except duty free.

~tp

ThomasH
01-05-2007, 17:28
I would definitely go for brands only available in duty free. Sometimes these include versions that are cask strength. I think the place you are going is the same area that someone mentioned they bought a bottle of Blantons silver for 22.00. If i found a botlle of this for this cheap of price, I would buy it immediately!

Thomas

ggilbertva
01-05-2007, 20:56
Actually, you both make a very good point. It hadn't even crossed my mind to look for duty free only selections. My father in law told me to shop the duty free in St. Thomas. He said it had a great selection. But I guess I should also be looking for items not sold in the U.S. such as Blantons Silver. I should start my list now so I don't forget....

I'm not sure how I'm going to get all this booze home....I may have to take an empty suitcase.

ggilbertva
01-05-2007, 21:00
I would definitely go for brands only available in duty free. Sometimes these include versions that are cask strength. I think the place you are going is the same area that someone mentioned they bought a bottle of Blantons silver for 22.00. If i found a botlle of this for this cheap of price, I would buy it immediately!

Thomas

The last time I was in St. Marteen I was astounded at at the liquor prices. I think Bacardi Gold was less than $10 a bottle and JW Blue was a silly $85 a bottle. Here in VA, that same bottle sells for $220.

tango-papa
01-05-2007, 21:14
The last time I was in St. Marteen I was astounded at at the liquor prices. I think Bacardi Gold was less than $10 a bottle and JW Blue was a silly $85 a bottle. Here in VA, that same bottle sells for $220.

And at $85, in my opinion, is still overpriced :rolleyes: - it's a freakin' blend.

oldironstomach
01-05-2007, 22:11
I'm not sure how I'm going to get all this booze home....I may have to take an empty suitcase.
Definitely take an empty suitcase. I think the IATA limit is now a feeble 50 lbs per piece, and I ended up shelling out around 160 bucks at the airline counter for 40 lbs of excess baggage on the return from Spain...much of that being books and brandy that isn't available here. Would have cost nothing if I'd just brought or bought an extra case. Next time, I'm bringing my own bubblewrap too.

ratcheer
01-06-2007, 06:48
Is there no longer a 5-bottle limit on duty-free liquor brought back in to the States?

The last time I went (1990), you could bring back up to five 750 ml bottles from anywhere. In addition, if you bought Puerto Rican rum in Puerto Rico, you could bring back five bottles of that.

Tim

Special Reserve
01-06-2007, 07:19
A couple of buddies and I went to Canada a month ago, we were there long enough to go to the duty free to purchase over a case of liquor. I purchased 3 bottles, one friend purchased 4 bottles and another 8 bottles.

I had to pay a tax of less than three dollars/bottle to import and my friends paid a comparable amount.

Considering I purchased over $150 worth of liquor for just over $100 it's a bargain.

The duty free shop in Windsor does run great sales on Scotch and may have hard to find "duty free only" bourbon. Unfortunately this time it only had WT and WTRB at a higher cost than what it can be purchased for in Michigan.

OscarV
01-06-2007, 07:25
[quote=special_reserve;78461 Unfortunately this time it only had WT and WTRB at a higher cost than what it can be purchased for in Michigan.[/quote]



Was the WT 101 dated at 8 years old or was it not dated like the kind we get in the USA?

Thanks
Oscar

Special Reserve
01-06-2007, 09:57
If I remember correctly it was not dated. You can call them about any specials they may have. They have their phone numbers on their web site.

http://www.dutyfreetunnel.com/

ThomasH
01-06-2007, 20:16
I go to Windsor 3 or 4 times a year. Try the duty free in Detroit before going across the Ambassador bridge. It is owned by the same company as the duty free at the Windsor tunnel on the way back to the US. Last trip I found a JD Monogram for a friend and a Canadian Club Founders whiskey for myself. Not only didn't I have to pay any duty upon reaching Canada, they didn't even ask if we had any alcohol. The Duty Free on the Canadian side of the bridge is also very nice. In all the times I have been to Windsor, the WT 101 I've found has always been the 8yr. version. I have also spotted WT sherry signature at both duty free stores at the bridge. I totally agree with "Special_ Reserve" that the scotch selection at these stores is excellent. The last that I bought was a bottle of Grants 100 proof blended that is a duty free only item. These stores run specials where you buy 2 or 3 bottles of a brand at a special price. Johnny Walker, Crown Royal and Absolut vodka are all regular promotional sale items at these stores!

Thomas

ggilbertva
02-11-2007, 19:08
I posted some of my findings under General Discussions but figured I would at least post my Scotch findings here also. I went into a store in St. Maarten that had and excellent selection of Scotch and a small collection of Bourbon. I purchased the following selections:

Balvenie 15
Bruichladdich 15
Edradour 10 year Port and Marsala
Macallan 18

The Edradour is a cask strength Single Malt Highland that just about knocked my socks off; it was outstanding. Edradour is the smallest distillery in Scotland and only produces about 12 barrels a week. The Bruichladdich was very good also. I tried the 12 year and loved it. The store owner said the 15 year was even better and recommended it (The owner had an open bottle of almost every selection on the shelf so you could try before you buy).

Prices were very reasonable. Macallan 18 was $90 and the Bruichladdich was somewhere around $45. Both steals in my opinion. Thanks to those that provided input and suggestions. I bought the Edradour because it was an oustanding pour but also because it was cask strength; as suggested by a fellow SB'er.

Cheers.

heatmiser
02-11-2007, 19:50
Nice prices! The Laddie 15 in the US runs me around $75. I like it very much but at $75 I don't buy it often as there are many others at that price point that I like better. Now at $45, that is a steal and would be a regular pour in my house. Right now my regular pours are Scapa 14, Glenfiddich 15 and Dalwhinnie 15.

Personally, I am not that fond of the Balvenie 15. I actually prefer the Balvenie 12 DW and 10 FR over the 15, however, none of them really do it for me. The Macallan 18 is a very good dram as well but even at $90 it is overpriced IMO. I would rather have the Aberlour A'bunadh and it only runs $50 here in CA (and is cask strength). I have never had the Edradour but hear good things about it. Sounds like it is a knock out based on your tasting. I will make it a point to get some in the near future. Happy dramming!

ggilbertva
02-11-2007, 20:00
Actually, the Balvenie Single Barrel was a purchase for my brother. The Bruichladdich on the other hand, is mine and am looking forward to my first pour. I also picked up a bottle of Bushmills 16 year Malt. I know Binny's carries it but it's $70. I paid somewhere around $35.

Binny's also carries the Edradour but don't know if they ship to CA.

Cheers.