Forager’s Surprise

I log every bottle I buy. The expression, the location where I bought it, the cost and my tasting notes. No specific reason, it’s just what I do. In July 2013, when my wife and I were in Frederick, Maryland, we visited the local liquor store. The selection was not terrible broad but I found a Cragganmore 12 year for $51 CDN. Sure, not a hard to find bottle or a particularly bold purchase but the store we visited had a fairly limited selection and I like Cragganmore, and I liked the price. Yes, yes, the exchange rate, I know. Back then the Canadian dollar was close to par with the US dollar so really it was a good buy. When we got home to Toronto, I dutifully logged the bottle and left it at that. That bottle of Cragganmore is long gone, sacrificed to a cottage weekend with the guys but, apparently, the visit to that particular store wasn’t.

We recently celebrated our anniversary, our 12th anniversary. To my surprise I was presently with the following:

Macallan 12



My wife had, very stealthily, bought this at the same store where I bought the Cragganmore and tucked it away for three full years with the intent of giving it to me for our 12th. Yes, I was very surprised. This was the real Macallan, not  the sorry NAS version we are relegated to here in Canada, and the rest of the non-USA portion of the world for that matter. It’s sort of a standard expression against which all other Speysiders are measured and, most will agree, vastly superior to the rather tepid ‘colour’ range and the 1824 range of NAS releases that are now Macallan’s core in most of the world.

Regular reader of this blog know that when I have recently visited the US, Pennsylvania in particular, I have been buying Yamazaki 12 because I can. I had pretty much overlooked this gem and cannot say how happy I was to receive this wonderful bottle from an even more wonderful woman. To all the gentlemen out there reading this post, please feel free to share with your significant other. I’ve got a really, really good one.

Happy foraging!





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Whisky Forager

I collect whisky. I like good prices for whisky. Living in Toronto doesn’t often allow for both but I'm lucky enough to travel a lot for work. I get to shop around for whisky and I want to share the good buying opportunities that I come across. That’s the premise. I’m not writing about tasting or grading whisky, there’s plenty of other sources for those opinions. I just want to share opportune finds for quality bottles at below market prices. A couple of years ago after discovering a pricing discrepancy at LCBO that provided a few deeply discounted bottles for my collection, I realized that there are lots of opportunities to purchase good single malts at a discount price. And not just outside of Canada but also sometimes in Ontario. It may be hard to believe, but the LCBO can be your ally just as often as it’s your nemesis. This is not a commercial site, I only share my finds based on my own opinions of good prices and good bottles.

One thought on “Forager’s Surprise”

  1. I had a very similar experience in discovering this whisky recently! Ok, not the sweet gift from significant other part, but I did find a bottle of this (or something similar – 12 Year Old, sherry matured Macallan) at a bottle shop for a very reasonable price and snaffled it up without a moments hesitation. Finally I can find out what Macallan are truly about, without having to wade through the confusing colour coded system.
    Keep on waffling,


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