- Bunnahabhain 28-year Signatory Collection. This was a gift Scotch that is, essentially, my major celebration Scotch. Cardinals won the World Series, bought a house, got a grant, etc. Smooth and tastes like caramel.
- Highland Park 18. Has won several sort of "Scotch of the Year" type awards. It's not as complex as other Scotches I've had, but it's sort of a sweet, smooth Scotch that will likely appeal to a wide variety of drinkers.
- Ardbeg Alligator. In contrast, this will not appeal to a wide variety of drinkers. It is a peaty, burning, smoky/charcoal Scotch that has a very distinct taste acquired from being aged in charred barrels. It's not for everyone, and it takes a little bit of water to soften up, but the uniqueness outweighs the harshness.
I'm lucky enough to live, literally, within walking distance of the world's largest liquor store, so typically when I'm shopping for Scotch, I have plenty to choose from. I've also given the Octomore 3.1/152 as a gift, which was the fourth edition in their super-phenolic distillations, and it makes for a very uniquely peaty, nose-filling sensation that lasts forever. Hard to find, but absolutely well worth it. Comes in a kind of silly black matte bottle, however: