We’ve all experienced the scotch gift gamble. You want to get a special bottle for the discerning sipper, but perhaps you’re not familiar with their favourites or worse, you don’t know much at all about scotch and are reliant on the ramblings of bloggers for advice (shudder). It can make gift giving a bit intimidating.

I’ve written before about how picky my mom is about her scotch. Matter of fact, the only Scotch that consistently does it for her is Glenmorangie 10. Not that it’s the best whisky (she’s admitted as much) but it hits the spot for her every time at a price that doesn’t cause her to grimace.

But what does she get when there IS money to splurge? Or better yet, what do friends, family and colleagues get her if they want to do something extra special? The answer is invariably a bottle of the Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt. Here’s the good news — it’s not just a convenient special gift for my mom. Dalwhinnie 15 is the perfect solution to the ever-looming scotch gift gamble.

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Scotch Whisky Review

Ok, so it’s not cheap. Dalwhinnie 15 is going to set you back north of $100. But if you’re looking at the mid to upscale scotches for a special gift, this is the price playground you’ll be in, so brace your wallet.

Once you’ve accepted the cost, everything else is smooth sailing. You’ve guaranteed your giftee will be impressed by the amount you’ve spent (Dalwhinnie 15 is pretty well known), and besides, the bottle looks pretty slick. But as always, the taste test is the most important aspect, and here is where Dalwhinnie 15 is most impressive.

It pours a fairly pale gold looking viscous and oily as an older scotch should. For a Highland scotch, it’s remarkably aromatic with potent floral notes clamouring out of the glass, and a good backbone of earth and peat. Right off the bat you know your getting something more than just a run of the mill sweet and subtle Highlander.

Dalwhinnie 15 has a lighter body than you might expect, but an awesome oily mouthfeel to compensate. It’s deliciously bready, reminding me of nothing so much as a malty ale, with some sweet honey thrown in to boot. It also expresses a lovely subdued earthiness towards the end which serves to ratchet up the complexity another notch. The finish is lengthy and sweet, easing you in to the next sip with very little alcoholic burn.


Final Verdict

When you're buying a higher end scotch for a gift, it's probably for someone special (or at least someone you want to impress.) Peoples' tastes differ wildly, so it's best not to gamble on something too far off centre. Dalwhinnie 15 is the perfect scotch for this scenario, sure to please even the pickiest of peat-heads. Don't just take my word for it -- ask my mom. It's the one scotch even she'll make an exception for when sipping slow.