As I read your question, this is a gift to you and not a gift you are now responsible to give to give to someone else?
I would go with the Balvenie 21yo Portwood. It is a wonderful, solid whisky that unfortuntely is a bit overpriced now. I like the HP as well, but it is much cheaper and you can always pick up one of these on your own when you have some spare cash. I confess to not being a great fan of the Aberlour (but I've only had #6, #11, #14 batches and never a full bottle).
I have not been thrilled with any of the fine oak Macallans I tried (though I have not had the 30yo).
I may have misread your question in my previous answer. If this bottle is for someone else then I too would go with the HP 18 of the four you list. Everyone I have given it to has liked it a lot and I think your chances of success are greater with this bottle.
Personally, I would like to recieve the Balvenie more than the HP but that is because I like the Balvenie 21 more than the HP 18.
Personally, I like the HP18 best out of the lot, and it is a great all arounder (to quote a famous whisky writer). However, as a gift, the new Balvenie 21 Portwood has a pretty spiffy box, and for a present, makes an impressive presentation. I guess it depends on the person you are given the gift too; is style important, or only substance? Also, in the US, the HP 18 is about 25% cheaper.
Gosh, if it was for me and due to the paucity in my region of Canada, I'd pick the Balvenie 21 yo Portwood first. It's a lovely dram and worth the money in my mind. As an alternative I'd select the Aberlour A'Bunadh CS as I've got one each of batches 13, 14 & 15 and am waiting for 16 to show up on the radar.
Hi MP: FYI Last Tuesday night when I was at the Summerhill Tasting Tower the Aberlour a'bunadh Batch 16 was available for sampling. To ease your pain, not one bottle could be found on the shelves. I haven't been back since so it may be a different story.
Wendy wrote:... FYI Last Tuesday night when I was at the Summerhill Tasting Tower the Aberlour a'bunadh Batch 16 was available for sampling. To ease your pain, not one bottle could be found on the shelves. ...Cheers, Wendy
Pain, what pain? Agony more like. If I'd been able to come to Toronto Whisky Live, I might have had a shot at trying a batch 16! Woe is me. Musky Pete