Scotch and Whiskey question

I have the opportunity to get my hands on some older bottles of scotch or whiskey. I’m looking to get one of these bottles for my brother who is a big fan of scotch. Problem is–I have no idea what is good, if these are still drinkable, or what they are worth.

Here is what I can get ahold of:

1970 Crown Royal, Calvert Gin, Passport Scotch, Black Velvet, Kamchatka Vodka, Calvert Extra (w/box), Kentucky Tavern (w/box), 2 Lord Calvert Canadian (w/box),
Desmond and Duff Deluxe Scotch 12yr. (w/box), 3 Seagram’s 7 (2 w/holiday boxes, 1 w/o), and Canadian Club w/box and tax stamp 1974 and an extra, different CC box.

If anyone could help me out and suggest which of these my brother would probably like the best–I would appreciate it.

If he really likes Scotch, you want to look for single malt. Most of the brand names are blends, and may be nice, but the best is going to be single malt. If there is a specialty liquor store near you, they may be able to advise you of the various options.

For what it’s worth, the year on the bottle is not important. Scotch doesn’t improve in the bottle, like wine. Any helpful aging was done in the barrel before it was bottled.

Taking a few of your listed items:

1970 Crown Royal – blended. No big deal.
Calvert Gin, – well, this isn’t even Scotch, it’s gin. Entirely different animal.
Kamchatka Vodka – *ditto. It’s vodka. *
Kentucky Tavern (w/box), – *this is probably Kentucky bourbon, which many people like, but again, it’s not Scotch. *
2 Lord Calvert Canadian (w/box), – Again, Canadian whiskey, not Scotch.
3 Seagram’s 7 (2 w/holiday boxes, 1 w/o), – *Just another blended whisky, nothing special. *
Canadian Club w/box and tax stamp 1974 and an extra, different CC box. – *Basic run-of-the-mill Canadian whisky. Tax stamp is irrelevant. *

Back in the day, when I could drink, I loved me some single malt Scotch. One of my favorites was Glenmorangie. Tastes vary; some Scotch is very peaty, some is less so, some folks like one, some like the other.

Just google “Single malt scotch” and you’ll come up with a lot of sites. The Scotch Connoisseur is easy reading and has some interesting links. BTW, if it’s Scotch, it’s “whisky,” not “whiskey.”

A Scottish friend of mine, who enjoyed whisky, recommended Macallan:

Also, in Scotland, it’s “whisky”, “Scotch whisky” or “malt whisky” and not “Scotch”. I got yelled at in a pub in Edinburgh. (Well, not quite yelled at; just informed, very firmly, that I am “not allowed” to call it “Scotch”.)

None of what you list is anything special. In fact, most are probably garbage. Liquor doesn’t age in the bottle, so what you have there is just a bunch of old bottles.

As for Scotch, check out this thread for some suggestions.

Fantastic. Thanks for the advice everyone–glad I didn’t pony up a small fortune for those bottles.

Glenmorangie is an awesome Scotch whisky (I prefer the Port Wood Finsh, but the Maderia Wood Finish is good too, and I understand they have a Burgandy Finish out). Not terribly peaty and very smooth. (I generally prefer Irish whiskeys and am not a big fan of peat flavor, but I’ll take Glenmorangie any day.) Single malt isn’t really an indicator of good quality–they’re are plenty of crappy single malts–but most good Scotch whisky is single malt.

None of the liqours mentioned by the OP is especially impressive (some, like Black Velvet and Canadian Club, are pretty much bottom shelf stuff), and as MLS says, whiskeys and other liquors don’t age in the bottle like wines do. (Many wines don’t really age that well, either, so just because it’s of an old vintage doesn’t necessarially make it any good; it may have already peaked, or just be bad to begin with.) I’d find out what your brother prefers–Scotch drinkers tend to have strong preferences, and there are large differences in the tastes of various Scotch whiskys–and get him a bottle of that rather than guess at it.


At this late date, none of the above mentioned are suitable for consumption. Send them to me, and I will take care of them safely, in accordance with HazMat procedures. No charge, since you are a member of Str. Dope. Membership does have its privileges after all.

Kentucky Tavern was the preferred plonk bourbon of my apartment when I was an undergrad. Around $6.50 for a fifth, IIRC, and worth every penny.

(It should be noted that we also drank a lot of Old Milwaukee, which occupies about the same place on the totem pole of beer that KT does for bourbon.)