We don’t have a lot of guides like that on the site. Besides the sub-$25 list and the best cheap scotches list, we actually don’t have any.
So today I want to put together a list of things you can get your favorite scotch aficionado if your budget is a little higher. For this one, we set the price point at $50 because it was a nice round number.
If your budget is less than $50, we also have this a guide for those looking for a gift priced at $25 or less.
At our last price point, $25, we were really limited to blended scotch because there are very few single malts available for less than $25 (if any). If your budget moves up into the $50 range, the world suddenly opens up because there are a lot of high quality single malt scotches available at around $50.
To start, you can basically get a monster 1.75ml of one of the blended scotches we listed in the earlier post – Johnnie Walker Black, Johnnie Red, and Dewars 12 Yr. You’ll look like a champ if you give someone 1.75ml of anything, let alone scotch.
Let’s say you want to go up the maturity ladder and skip the enormous bottles, what’s there? Basically every known name in single malt scotch is available for under $50. Macallan Fine Oak 10 Yr, Macallan 12, Glenlivet 12, Glenfiddich 12, Cragganmore 12, Laphroaig 10, Highland Park 12, Dalmore 12, Glenkinchie 12, Jura 10, Cardhu 12, and so many more. You really have basically every option available to you in the 10-12 year range.
As for recommendations, if you think your recipient would like some smokiness and peat (if they love IPAs, they’ll probably like smokiness/peat) then go with Laphroaig 10 or Highland Park 12. If you think they prefer more sweetness and caramel, you can’t go wrong with Macallan. If you think they like it more floral with spiciness, Glenlivet 12 is a good shot.
If you want to stretch the budget by a few dollars, Balvenie 12 Yr Double Wood is a fantastic bottle that is one of my favorites. It’s got a rich sweetness of honey and vanilla that I could have all day and night.
I actually prefer the look of the bottles but a lot of people prefer putting their scotches in decanters. I can’t argue with the beauty of a nice decanter and at $50 you start to get up into some nicer designs but we’re still looking at glass and not crystal. At this price point, I think it’s best to start looking at decanter sets, which include a decanter and some glasses, instead of just more expensive decanters.
If you research this yourself, you’ll find that decanters don’t get much nicer until you get to the $100 range when they’re made of crystal.
So which sets are worth checking out? The Circleware Excalubur 5pc Whiskey Decanter Set is an affordable set that’s well under the $50 limit and includes a 35oz decanter and four 10.5oz Double Old Fashioned glasses.
Another fine looking set is the Dublin Whiskey Set With Mirror Tray – Triangle Decanter & 6 Shot Glasses. I’m not sure how I feel about the shot glasses but the decanter looks nice and the mirror tray is an added touch. I can get over that Dublin, rather than Edinburgh, is in the name.
For under $25, you should be able to get any single glass you want for drinking anything. At $50, you just start getting two or four of them.
Things do get a little pricier when you start using leaded crystal glasses, like a Riedel Vinum Bar Leaded Crystal Single Malt Whisky Glass, and a set of two will set you back close to $50. It’s 24% lead crystal, which makes it beautiful, but there are risks with lead (less so for a glass since you aren’t storing a liquid in it).
Riedel also has a Sommeliers Collection line that looks just like the “regular” series except it’s just more expensive. The Riedel Sommeliers Series Single Malt Whiskey Glass goes for more than sixty bucks. The only difference I can see is that it’s full lead crystal, instead of 24% lead crystal.
There you have it — our guide for the best scotch whisky gifts under fifty bucks.
Do you have a great gift idea that isn’t on this list? Please let us know in the comments.