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scotch whisky

Hi everyone,
We are headed to England/Scotland next month. Neither my husband or I are big drinkers and not so interested in the whiskey scene, but we have a couple of people who want us to bring them back something unique that we cannot get in the US. We will be staying in the Trossachs region, Fort William, Isle of Skye, Inverness and Edinburgh. Does anyone have a recommendation for good whiskey somewhere that is close to any of these towns, a kind that you cannot get in the US? Thanks for your help!

Posted by
5678 posts

You might find it easiest to go to one of the stores in Edinburgh that sells lots of different Whiskey's. They will know what routinely gets exported. The Whiskey Heritage Centre has a shop as well as rather hokey tours. I bet they could set you up with a good one. There are whiskey shops on Prince's Street as well.

Find out if you friends favor a particular type of whiskey. Do they like the peaty ones from the west or are they more of a Speyside type? If they like peaty whiskeys you might find something interesting at Talisker Distillery on Skye. The Famous Grouse Experience is in the Trossachs, but that's a blend so don't be lured in. ; )


Posted by
9363 posts

Keep in mind that you will have to transport it in your checked luggage unless you buy it at a duty free shop after security at the airport. Even then, you have to be flying direct to your destination or it will be confiscated at your intermediate stop.

Posted by
658 posts

This is a problem that can best be solved on the ground in Scotland. Ask your friends to list the 5 types of single malt they most prefer. Take that list to any of the whisky specialist stores in either Fort William, Inverness or Edinburgh. Ask them to recommend something that is off the beaten path that will interest your friends.

Don’t be surprised if they suggest a malt blend, like The Antiquary. In the recent dominance of single malts over the past 25 years the blended malt has fallen in popularity, yet many will say that they outpass each of the malts in the blend. The art of the whisky blender is a noble art indeed and all of the great distilleries has at least one malt blend that is a local speciality. Many of these are only sold locally and never exported even as far as England.

Posted by
425 posts

In April of this year I went to the Edradour Distillery which is about 45 minutes from Edinburgh near the town of Pitlochry. Pitlochry by the way had the absolute best fish and chip shop of the whole trip. Edradour is sold in the US, but in limited supply. At the distillery you can find many many finishes that you will not see in the US. I brought back a Port Wood finish that has been called by friends as the best whisky they have ever tried.

Just outside Inverness is the distillery for Dalmore. Dalmore is abundant here, but you can get a 15 or 20 year bottle there that is not available in the US.

There is a great whisky shop in Edinburgh called Cadenheads. It is located on the Royal Mile and has anything and everything you might want in a whisky. I belived that RC went there on one of his shows. I also bought a bottle there from one of the kegs they had in stock. The clerk wasn't very friendly and the place was kinda dusty, but the selection was unbeatable.

Good luck!

Posted by
3428 posts

My two favorite single malts are Balvenie (double wood, 12 year reserve) or Dalwhinie (any ) They are lighter than some and lightly peated with sherry/ wine undertones. (yes, I am one of those rare women who LIKE Scoych). While both are available in the US, they are rather rare. In the Whiskey shops in both Edinburg and Inverness, you can buy Mini Bottles of many whiskeyes. Maybe you could pick up a few of these to put in your 3-1-1 bag rather than having to check luggage.

Posted by
178 posts

As a helpful hint, this will sound strange but it works for us. When we travel and plan on bringing back wine or whisky, we pack our clothes in a cat litter bucket inside our checked luggage. Then when we return, we place the bottles inside the bucket with clothing cushioning it. We have yet to have an accident. :) :) :)

Posted by
208 posts

Amber -
I'm voting for Highland Park. It is the world's northernmost distillery, it has cute cats Malt and Barley to keep the mice out of the distillery process AND you can't buy it here in the USA.

I would second the notion for Talisker as well - I've not had it, but my whisky friends love it.

Posted by
425 posts

Bonne, come to Georgia. I buy Highland Park all the time at my local bottle shop. I agree, it's a great whisky and the trip to the distillary is an adventure, but you can buy it in the US.

Posted by
191 posts

I've heard Talisker is really good too (not a scotch drinker) and I can't speak for the US, but we can get it in Canada (but it's very expensive). So if you're looking for something that's unavailable on this side of the pond, Talisker may not be it.

Posted by
177 posts

Has anyone been to the Glenkenchie Distillery Southeast of Edinburgh? We are thinking about going there in October. We have been to the Highlands in the past and are going south to York this time. Any other suggestions about sights in the borders would be helpful. Thanks.

Posted by
100 posts

Thanks everyone,
great suggestions as always!

Posted by
25 posts

I second Al's suggestion and ask for something simular but something that you can't get/or hard to find in the USA.

"Ask your friends to list the 5 types of single malt they most prefer. Take that list to any of the whisky specialist stores....."

Or you could go tacky and get a personlized bottle of Famous Grouse at the Famous Grouse tour. You can put your own message on the lable.

Posted by
13 posts

Amber, you might also bring some little nips of this:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Drambuie (pronounced IPA: [dræm'bju?i] or IPA: [dræm'bu?i]) is a honey- and herb-flavoured golden scotch whisky liqueur made from aged malt whisky, heather honey and a secret blend of herbs and spices. The flavor suggests saffron, honey, anise, nutmeg and herbs.

It is produced in Broxburn, Scotland, and can be served straight-up, on ice, or used as an ingredient in a mixed drink, such as the Rusty Nail cocktail. It can also be served as a Flaming Drambuie. A measure is served in a high glass tumbler. The spirit is swirled around gently to give the side of the glass a light coating of alcohol, which is then lit. The drinker immediately places their hand over the top of the glass and the alcohol burns the oxygen sealed in the glass to create a noticeable vacuum effect. As soon as the flame is extinguished the drinker drains the glass in one go. A variant of this is for the drinker to then put a straw in the glass afterwards and inhale the remnants of the glass through the nose.

Drambuie can also be used as an ingredient in cookery, such as in the dessert Drambuie Creams[1].

The alcoholic content of this liqueur is 40% (80° proof).

It is Scotch-based for a change of pace.