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Megawatt
03-28-2010, 10:41
I was at a bar that stocks some 60 different bottles of Scotch and I thought I'd share a few notes for those that are interested. I tried four new Scotches:

Springbank 10 year old: a lovely, soft, smoky dram. I was not expecting such peat but it was presented in perfect balance with delicate floral malt. Really opened up after a few minutes. I'd love to get to know this one better

Speyburn 10 year old: this recently became available at the LCBO so I thought I'd try it here first. Very impressed. Clean, sweet, fruity malt flavour, barely a hint of smoke. This is the sort of thing I go for. At $47 I hope I can find a bottle of this at a local store.

The Arran Malt 100 Proof: I've now tried five or six whiskies from this distillery and they never disappoint. The 100 proof was the highlight of the night for me. It is very pale, no chill-filtration or added colour, and bottled at 57% alc/vol (100 proof is 57% in the UK). With a bit of water lovely vanilla and citrus wafted from the glass. In the mouth it is sweet and lively with tingling spice. Wonderful development of flavours. So nice to have a strong young Arran without a fancy cask finish once in a while.

Poit Dhubh 8 year old: This is a vatted malt from the Praban La Ninne company on the Isle of Skye. I was not sure what to expect and what I got was unexpected. The aroma was strong, pungent, and musty like an damp cellar, alongside some ripe fruit and earthy peat. The palate displayed interesting vegetable flavours: cucumber and celery? It was not a bad whisky but was the least impressive of the night. I doubt I would buy a bottle but it was worth trying anyway.

There were several I didn't get to try: Oban Distillers Edition, Peat Reek 10, I can't even remember what else. Actually the low point of the night was when I told the waitress I really enjoyed Springbank 10, and she seemed surprised. Why? Because she would never touch a Scotch with an age statement of less than 12 years. By her own admission she would take Glenfiddich 12 over Talisker 10, Ardbeg 10, Springbank 10, The Macallan Cask Strength...you get the idea.

matthew0715
03-28-2010, 11:09
I told the waitress I really enjoyed Springbank 10, and she seemed surprised. Why? Because she would never touch a Scotch with an age statement of less than 12 years.

Argh! That's the kind of attitude that really bugs me and why I so enjoy this website. This is where I can learn that a cheap, ugly bottle might be well worth trying and a handsomely packaged, well-aged spirit may be past its prime and unworthy of even a second thought. Thanks for the tasting notes.

Matt

Dramiel McHinson
03-28-2010, 12:07
she would never touch a Scotch with an age statement of less than 12 years. By her own admission she would take Glenfiddich 12 over Talisker 10, Ardbeg 10, Springbank 10, The Macallan Cask Strength...you get the idea.

The poor waitress is doomed to pay high prices for age statements that don't always mean much. A retired master distiller for a scotch distillery (I'll leave him as an unknown to keep him out of any impending food fight) told a good friend of mine and I that in their distillery, anything past ten years was a mistake. That's not to say it isn't currently done purposely in huge numbers. A 50 year old whisky in a crystal designer bottle can command as good a price as a cask of 10 year old standard pour. You just hope it taste as heavenly as the price.

ebo
03-28-2010, 12:56
Argh! That's the kind of attitude that really bugs me and why I so enjoy this website. This is where I can learn that a cheap, ugly bottle might be well worth trying and a handsomely packaged, well-aged spirit may be past its prime and unworthy of even a second thought. Thanks for the tasting notes.

Matt

Agreed. Glenmorangie 10 is a fine whisky, as is Talisker 10. Nothing wrong with whisky that isn't 12 years old, or more. Sometimes, older is not better... just more expensive.

Megawatt
03-28-2010, 15:55
Hey, let's not kid ourselves. Older can be better. I'd take an 18-year-old Talisker, Highland Park or Glenfiddich over the younger varieties any day. But to automatically rule out younger whiskies is just stupid. Especially when the Isle of Arran produces such fantastic whiskies at 8 years or less.

ebo
03-28-2010, 16:20
Hey, let's not kid ourselves. Older can be better. I'd take an 18-year-old Talisker, Highland Park or Glenfiddich over the younger varieties any day. But to automatically rule out younger whiskies is just stupid. Especially when the Isle of Arran produces such fantastic whiskies at 8 years or less.

Exactly. I didn't mean to say that older whisky isn't great, only that it isn't necassarily better, in a lot of cases. I love Macallan 18 and Highland Park 18, but I usually have to settle for the 12 year old versions because of price. Arran is some very good whisky... too bad I can't get it locally.

Megawatt
03-28-2010, 16:32
Yeah, when the waitress made that comment I had to restrain myself. I told her, "I don't want to say that is a silly statement, but..." She described all Scotches younger than 12 years as "Meh". :smiley_acbt:

TomH
03-28-2010, 21:22
I wish more people felt the way that waitress felt....it might make getting Ardbeg Rollercoaster easier !!

Tom


Yeah, when the waitress made that comment I had to restrain myself. I told her, "I don't want to say that is a silly statement, but..." She described all Scotches younger than 12 years as "Meh". :smiley_acbt:

Stu
03-28-2010, 23:27
I've had some excellent 5 year old malts and some terrible malts much more than 10 years.

JamesW
04-05-2010, 14:35
Hey, let's not kid ourselves. Older can be better. I'd take an 18-year-old Talisker, Highland Park or Glenfiddich over the younger varieties any day. But to automatically rule out younger whiskies is just stupid. Especially when the Isle of Arran produces such fantastic whiskies at 8 years or less.

I agree for the most part but I have to say that the Talisker 18's I've had lately have been disappointing (they have lost their punch) and I tend to prefer the 10 most nights.