Friday Happy Hour: 3 Bottles of Scotch You'll Fall in Love With

By Daniel Ford

“I bet I can drink more whiskey than you,” said a former co-worker at a holiday party.

I was already one whiskey in and primed to drink much, much more. I was surrounded by free booze, I had a free hotel room to go back to, and my future girlfriend was across the room wearing a red dress I couldn’t take my eyes off. I accepted the challenge cheerfully.

I won handily.

My co-worker gave a good showing, but ended up falling asleep at an all night diner while I devoured my victory eggs with ease (I even ended up convincing Stephanie Schaefer to go on a date with me a couple months later, which completely changed my life for the better. I have that red dress to thank.).

I didn't even see it coming... 

I didn't even see it coming... 

I’ve been a whiskey aficionado since my college roommates gave me a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black for my 21st birthday. While that remains my favorite “every day” scotch, I’ve also discovered plenty of others that should be in every whiskey lovers’ collection.

Here are three of my favorites:

Johnnie Walker Blue

I had only one answer when my friend and former St. John’s right-handed pitcher Rob Delaney asked me what I wanted as a senior gift from the team.

Johnnie Walker Blue.

The team wanted to get me something they considered “cooler,” but my answer never changed. They got it for me and it was magnificent. It also came in its own “coffin,” which I’d like to be buried in some day.

I’ve written about this scene from “The West Wing” before, but it’s the best way to explain the magic that’s in each sip of Johnnie Walker Blue (as well as the crippling alcoholism that can result in overuse).

I need a cigar just thinking about it. Let’s move on.


My former managing editor Melissa Bernardo got me a bottle of Talisker for Christmas one year. It did not last long. I usually like to savor bottles people have given me, but this scotch was so smooth and so delicious, I think I finished it within a month. Admittedly, I had some help during work Happy Hours, but still.

If you’ve yet to dabble in single malts, start here.


Oban. Neat. Heavy glass. Repeat.

Also, Oban is the perfect drink to pair with the New York skyline and championship rings.

Besides, Charlie Skinner on “The Newsroom” drinks Oban, so you should too.