Scotch is the perfect gift for a parent, sibling, boss, or mentor. Heck, it’s also a nice gift to give yourself this holiday season. While it can be hard to ignore those flashy little gift sets that contain a bottle and a couple of glasses, you’re probably better off putting your money towards a higher quality bottle. A great bottle of scotch can impress your recipient, or simply show your appreciation for that person’s role in your life. If you want to splurge on a great bottle of scotch for yourself or someone else this holiday season, here are five great options.
1. Compass Box “The Peat Monster”
The Peat Monster is a blend of Islay malts that gets matured in a blend of American and new French oak. It is not chill filtered, and clocks in at 48.9% ABV. The cool box and wacky label art make this a great gift for the whisky fan in your life who appreciate both smoky whisky and cool graphics. Expect to pay around $120 for this bottle.
2. Chivas “Royal Salute” 21-Year Blend
Whisky snobs (myself included) tend to be dismissive of blended scotch, and praise single malt instead. That being said, a blend that’s over 20 years old really makes an exceptional gift. This whisky clocks in at 40% ABV, and is bottled in a decorative red decanter made out of ceramic. That ceramic decanter will really stand out in a home bar, and your lucky giftee will think of you every time they pour a glass. Expect to pay about $150 for this bottle.
Named for a farm near Port Charlotte on the Rhinns of Islay, the Octomore is billed as “the world’s most heavily peated single malt.” This ballsy, 104 proof scotch is about $150 for this bottle. Who doesn’t love the name “Octomore”?
If you’re on a tight budget, your ideal of a “splurge” might be more modest. While I actually prefer the Laphroaig 10-yr Single Malt (which is about $50) to some of Laphroaig’s more premium offerings (sorry, Laphroaid Cairdeas), there is something to be said for the supremely tasty the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, which is usually around $60. It clocks in at 96 proof.
It was a huge upset when this single malt from Japan was awarded the title of Best Whisky in the World by whisky connoisseur Jim Murray. It may not be “scotch” in the strictest sense of the term, but this whiskey is a must-buy for anyone who is curious about how Japan could make a better whisky than the Scots. Of course, this proclamation has made this whisky hard to come by, and the few bottles I saw online were on auction sites, and going for several hundred dollars. You should be able to find this for under $200 if you can find it outside of an auction.