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View Full Version : Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?



rob
08-23-2005, 23:01
I've written a lot and talked about this subject on more occasions than I can remember, but not from the opposite direction I am about to ask you about. Having started as a Scotch drinker, blends as well as single malts (and Irish whiskey), at first I did not take much interest in bourbon. My loss. What irritates me tremendously is when Scotch drinkers shrug when asked about American whisky (that includes all variants). "Don't like it at all", some respond.

That is all OK with me, as long as the person in question knows what he is talking about. If s/he had tried an Eagle Rare, Wild Turkey Rye and Maker's Mark, I will tip my hat and say, "you've found your passion, go with it". But they are not the ones that irritate the f**k out of me, rather, it is the ones who trust prejudices handed on from their peers. They accept it as fact.

Bottom line: I think many Scotch drinkers dismiss American whiskey on mere principle without having enough experience. (Why do I care/get irritated? Dunno, call me an altruistic philanthropist who want to broaden their horizons http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif)

To my question: those hard-boiled bourbon afficiniados here, are you regarding Scotch the same way? As inferior/not as interesting. If so, what do you base your opinions on?

/Robert the curious

BourbonJoe
08-24-2005, 03:54
Well Rob,
I, for one, do not like Scotch, never have. I just do not like a smoky, peaty taste in my whiskey. I would also imagine some Scotch drinkers feel the same way about corn whiskey. Different strokes for different folks.
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

CrispyCritter
08-24-2005, 04:36
For me, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, a pour of bourbon is what I want, while other times, I reach for the Scotch, whether it's a sherried Speysider, a peaty Islay, or a middle-of-the road Highland.

Sometimes I switch styles multiple times in one session.

I can't say that one is "better" than the other, though. However, at least in the US, bourbon tends to offer more for the money - I can get a bottle of Stagg for about half of what I paid for my now-no-longer-available Ardbeg 1977 (which is going to stay unopened for a long while). I had a bottle of '77 early this year, and it was superb (provided you like peat in the first place, as I do). Fortunately, I managed to find another one before it disappeared for good, but it was still on the very top end of what I'd be willing to pay for a bottle of anything.

pbrian
08-24-2005, 05:58
I too just don't like the smoky peaty characteristics of scotch. Which is why I do like Irish whiskey very much. Redbreast and Jameson 12 yo are some of the best whiskies in the world, imho. And Powers isn't so bad as an everyday pour and/or something to put over ice. That said, I do have an open bottle of The Macallan that gets some attention every now and again. It's simply a finely made whisky that I don't find too peaty. Even still, these whiskies only get poured about once for every ten times I pour myself some bourbon. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

kbuzbee
08-24-2005, 06:22
Rob, I like almost all Scotchs but will usually choose a Bourbon. I just like the way Bourbon is put together. The big exceptions are the peaty Islays, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. I just love those two. When I want one of them, only they will do.

Cheers,

Ken

halpap
08-24-2005, 07:04
I like both Scotch and Bourbon and will drink one or the other depending on my mood. I think Bourbon gives you much more for your money, so my everyday pours tend to be Bourbon. My occasion pours are better bourbons such as Stagg, ER 17 or AH Hirsch or any one of a number of scotches.

Chaz7
08-24-2005, 10:01
Rob lately, all I've been drinking is bourbon, and I considered myself quite the scotch fan. I like all reagions, and each is very different. But bourbon is now my drink of choice. I have said before, I anticipate a bourbon trend (or explosion), and we will see a lot of scotch drinkers wooed over.

kbuzbee
08-24-2005, 10:14
I have said before, I anticipate a bourbon trend (or explosion), and we will see a lot of scotch drinkers wooed over.



Which should knock the price through the roof.... Wonderful, thanks for the great news http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Ken

DrinkyBanjo
08-24-2005, 10:35
I agree with you. I like Irish, Scotch, American, and of course Bourbon. Lately I've been drinking more Bourbon than the others but sometimes I'm looking for things that Bourbon doesn't offer.

Since my new found appreciation for the strong flavors of American whiskey I most likely won't be drinking as much of the others but I'll never put either of them down for long.

Chuck_Osborn
08-24-2005, 11:52
A single malt, a single barrel, a good Irish whiskey (Connemara). Wonderful unabashed choices I feel fortunate to have at my disposal. These are all extraordinary opportunities for whisk(e)y lovers. Stick a quality cigar in my pie hole at the same time and I'm all that!

TMH
08-24-2005, 13:06
There seems to be a wide spread notion that Scotch=Peat&Smoke. This may be because Scotch of that type is often mentioned the most. I used to also believe that was the case, until I had the good fortune of tasting several Scotch bottles (thanks to Doug http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif), which I think any open minded Bourbon drinker would enjoy. That being said, these bottles of which I speak are not widely available and considerably more expense than your average mid-shelf Bourbon. This may explain why so many Bourbon drinkers don't have the good fortune of enjoying a Scotch, which matches their flavor preference.

If I may repeat what Doug explained to me at our last Study Group meeting, the spectrum of Scotch is far wider than Bourbon. If you took all the flavor varieties of Scotch and lined them up (I don't mean brands) they would be far wider than all the flavor varieties of Bourbon. This leads me to believe we won't see a large number of Scotch drinkers enter the Bourbon market.

I do not mean to diminish all the great Bourbon we are blessed with. I'm only trying to point out to those who don't like Scotch that there very well may be a bottle out there you would enjoy.

Both spirits have their place and both spirits should be respected and enjoyed.

Chaz7
08-24-2005, 15:17
There seems to be a wide spread notion that Scotch=Peat&Smoke...
Both spirits have their place and both spirits should be respected and enjoyed.


Very well said. As I said, scotch was my drink of choice, but bourbon is now my main drink. If I go to a bar, and my selection is Old Crow or Macallan, you could probably figure out which I'd go for. And as for the prices going up because we are in for, my opinion, a bourbon trend (look at how the press is handling it)well, yeah that's probably a given. But my most expensive bourbon in my collection is PVW 20 y.o, @$65.00. That's where most of the decent scotches start!

ratcheer
08-24-2005, 16:30
As I said in a recent post, I enjoy scotch, especially good scotch. I prefer bourbon, so I only have scotch a very few times a year. But I definitely don't turn my nose up at scotch.

Tim

voigtman
08-24-2005, 16:54
For me, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, a pour of bourbon is what I want, while other times, I reach for the Scotch, whether it's a sherried Speysider, a peaty Islay, or a middle-of-the road Highland.

Sometimes I switch styles multiple times in one session.

I can't say that one is "better" than the other, though. However, at least in the US, bourbon tends to offer more for the money - I can get a bottle of Stagg for about half of what I paid for my now-no-longer-available Ardbeg 1977 (which is going to stay unopened for a long while). I had a bottle of '77 early this year, and it was superb (provided you like peat in the first place, as I do). Fortunately, I managed to find another one before it disappeared for good, but it was still on the very top end of what I'd be willing to pay for a bottle of anything.



I very much second all the points Crispy Critter makes. Most commonly nowadays, I start with a fine straight bourbon then have a single malt scotch and then maybe a straight rye or switch again to bourbon or another scotch style. I strongly agree about the value of bourbon relative to scotch of the same quality. For single malts, it is now routine to spend $4 - $5/year of aging for malts of modest ages while that is near the top end for the top bourbons, e.g., Pappy 20 here is $89.99, which is $4.5/year of aging. And I agree the Ardbeg 1977 is great: good I got one stashed! Ed V.

voigtman
08-24-2005, 17:04
There seems to be a wide spread notion that Scotch=Peat&Smoke. This may be because Scotch of that type is often mentioned the most. ...(Big edit) ...I do not mean to diminish all the great Bourbon we are blessed with. I'm only trying to point out to those who don't like Scotch that there very well may be a bottle out there you would enjoy.

Both spirits have their place and both spirits should be respected and enjoyed.



Agree completely. And there also seems to be a notion that scotch is sherried if it is not peated. Nothing wrong with heavily sherried malts like Macallans prior to their Fine Oak series, but most single malts are peated at very low levels or not at all and very few malts are heavily sherried, e.g., Macallan, Aberlour, Glenfarclas and Glendronach are the main ones in this regard. Other distilleries release heavily sherried versions if they want to, but sherry is not their house style like it is the four I listed. There are many single malts that have negligible (or even zero) peatiness, no smoke whatsoever (smokiness is very rare: Lagavilun 16 is the only common example), and no sherry influence. Examples are Glenmorangie 15, Balvenie 15, Scapa 12, Royal Lochnagar 12, Glen Keith, Bruichladdich 10 and lots more. Ed V.

TNbourbon
08-24-2005, 19:51
I usually have several bourbons open (right now, it's 19 -- geesh, just a month or so ago I'd whittled it down to a half-dozen! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif) -- and, even so, there are nights when I just can't decide what I want.
Some of those nights, I decide instead to bide my time with one of the 5 or 6 Scotches I have open, most of the lightly-peated or Speyside variety.
Bourbon's my easy favorite, with straight rye hindered only by the relative lack of choices.
But, that said, I do drink some Scotch, and enjoy it.

pbrian
08-24-2005, 19:52
If you took all the flavor varieties of Scotch and lined them up (I don't mean brands) they would be far wider than all the flavor varieties of Bourbon.



But would it be much wider than the spectrum from a straight Rye Whiskey to a straight Wheat Whiskey (realizing that wheat whiskey is a new phenomenum)?

AVB
08-24-2005, 20:10
You might as well ask which is better – blondes, brunettes or redheads. It is all a matter of personal preference. Being a Scotch and Bourbon drinker for over 30 years I can say that in my experience there are good and bad on both sides. The one thing that Scotch has is a greater variety. I have 120 bottles of 80 different distilleries while my bourbon collection of 40 bottles is made by perhaps 10 different distilleries if that.

rob
08-25-2005, 04:30
That was not really my point with the question. Rather, there is a snobbery among some of the Scotch drinkers which holds that American whiskey is simply inferior. Period.

At the end of the day it's like you say, of course: to each his own. But the case here is why not be more open-minded to other types of whisky and have a go at different types before dismissing the entire category.

/Robert

Chaz7
08-25-2005, 08:13
Rob, Interestingly, most of the replies (myself included)are from bourbon drinkers who enjoy Scotch. But to your point, how many Scotch drinkers would say they enjoy bourbon? I enjoy my bourbon neat, my scotch with a drop of water, I prefer red wine to white and my gin martinis (as a purist, I should not have to specify "gin") with blue cheese stuffed olives. But I enjoy them all. I should be able to say to my wine snobs, or the single malt afficianados "I love bourbon" with out a befuddled look of bedeviled bewilderment.But part of the appeal to some luxuries for a few people is the "look at me and how refined I am" attitude. Me, I just enjoy what the good Lord has blessed us with.

TMH
08-25-2005, 11:02
If you took all the flavor varieties of Scotch and lined them up (I don't mean brands) they would be far wider than all the flavor varieties of Bourbon.



But would it be much wider than the spectrum from a straight Rye Whiskey to a straight Wheat Whiskey (realizing that wheat whiskey is a new phenomenum)?



Based on my limited sampling of Bourbon and Scotch coupled with knowledge that has been passed on to me from individuals whose Bourbon and Scotch collection is vast, yes I would say the Bourbon spectrum is much tighter.

That is not to say Bourbon is less interesting or bourbons all taste the same, it just seems to me that Bourbon (Rye through Wheat)has a closer range of flavors than Scotch. I think despite its tighter range of flavors, Bourbon has some amazing and unique flavor profiles. There is no reason to feel Bourbon is inferior to Scotch.

Here's a few questions for those with greater knowledge on Scotch and Bourbon:

Is there something about corn that leaves a greater flavor characteristic in Bourbon than malted barley does in Scotch?

Or is it the greater number of distilleries and various regions of Scotch, which accounts for the great range of flavors found in Scotch?

If Bourbon's popularity continues to grow and more and more distilleries open, in years to come would you expect the flavor profile of Bourbon to widen?

kbuzbee
08-25-2005, 11:08
If Bourbon's popularity continues to grow and more and more distilleries open, in years to come would you expect the flavor profile of Bourbon to widen?



Sadly, it seems the price of entry into distilling in this country is just too steep. The amount of capital you need to weather the first 6-10 years while your product ages (including taxes!) is huge. There are ways around this but you pretty much just can't get a distilling license and start cooking.... It would be great if you could.

Ken

chasking
08-25-2005, 12:54
Here's a few questions for those with greater knowledge on Scotch and Bourbon:

Is there something about corn that leaves a greater flavor characteristic in Bourbon than malted barley does in Scotch?

Or is it the greater number of distilleries and various regions of Scotch, which accounts for the great range of flavors found in Scotch?

If Bourbon's popularity continues to grow and more and more distilleries open, in years to come would you expect the flavor profile of Bourbon to widen?



I'm not sure how qualified I am to answer these questions, but here are a few thoughts and observations:

There are several variables in the SMSW equation that are not present when producing bourbon, including differences in barrels and peating of the malt. Certainly heavily peated whiskies (e.g., Lagavulin, Ardbeg) and heavily sherried whiskies (e.g., a'bunadh, Macallan) are among the more commonly cited extremes, contrasted with cleaner and lighter styles like Glenmorangie or Auchentoshan. If all SMSW was made with unpeated malt and aged in new barrels, the range of flavors would certainly be less broad.

I suspect, however, that it would still be broader than the bourbon range, because of the wide diversity in stills used in SMSW production. There are so many distilleries in Scotland, and each has its own stills which are each different to a greater or lesser extent from all the others. I suspect (although I don't know) that the use of pot stills contributes to the variability of flavor. The size and shape of the still seems to affect how many and which cogeners end up in the final distillate, which I think also contributes to the variety of SMSW.

I think these factors are more important than regional factors when it comes to variety in SMSW. Regional differences are mainly traditional---fine whiskey in the style of one region can be made in another region, or even in another country; see e.g. Connemara, which is Irish but similar to Islay SMSW, or any of a number of other Irish or Japanese malt whiskeys which in a blind tasting would be indistinguishable from SMSW.

Another very important factor explaining the diversity of SMSW is the Scotch whiskey market. Most Scotch is blended, so there is a market for more unusual malts, since they can be used to add a bit of flavor or character to a blend, even if the Scotch-drinking public at large might not embrace such a malt full-strength as a single. Most American whiskey is sold for consumption in its natural form, not for blending. So, it is not too surprising that practically all bourbon is aimed at a similar, middle-of-the-road flavor profile. (I seem to recall hearing somewhere that Seagrams makes (or made) some unusual whiskies that went into Seven Crown, but were not sold on their own. Intriguing, if true.)

Remember, a generation or two ago, malt distillers (with a very few exceptions) didn't even bother selling their product directly to the public because it was perceived that nobody would want pure malt whiskey because it was so strongly flavored.

As to whether the range of bourbon flavors expands, that will depend probably on the results of some of the experiments being conducted right now---Ken Weber has alluded to numerous barrels of experimental spirits aging in the BT warehouses, and of course Heaven Hill is bringing out their straight wheat whiskey this year. If departures from the mainstream are accepted in the marketplace, then we should see more of them. As tradition-bound as the whiskey industry is, this may be a golden opportunity.

jbutler
08-25-2005, 13:28
Rob's original question and the preponderant response seem to be about non-bourbon. We have a forum for that. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

AVB
08-25-2005, 14:12
I would say that even if bourbon becomes vastly more popular the majority will still fall in a midrange flavor profile. This, I believe, is due to the restrictions on what bourbon is defined as. Now if you open up the subject and call it "American Whiskey" then I would say there would be a great increase in flavors and styles.

rob
08-25-2005, 18:35
Rob, Interestingly, most of the replies (myself included)are from bourbon drinkers who enjoy Scotch. But to your point, how many Scotch drinkers would say they enjoy bourbon?



I'm glad you asked that, because that is exactly the feeling I've been getting when I read all your answers (thanks everyone) on this forum: bourbon drinkers are more open to Scotch than vice versa. I honestly think that's great.



I should be able to say to my wine snobs, or the single malt afficianados "I love bourbon" with out a befuddled look of bedeviled bewilderment.




You nailed it right on the head! This is a major source of irritation for me (yes I know - I should not care at all, just enjoy what I do and not care what others say, but I can't help myself! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif ). I really think that as a whole, the American bourbon market has more quality to offer than the whole Scottish single malt. Sure, I do not like Jim Beam White or the Rye, I do not care much for the 4-year-old Ancient Age etc, but generally, America is the Mekka/Heaven/Hell/Nirvana - whatever catches your fancy - of quality whisky.




But part of the appeal to some luxuries for a few people is the "look at me and how refined I am" attitude. Me, I just enjoy what the good Lord has blessed us with.



I hear you loud and clear. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I could not agree more. If you have time to kill or waiting for the wife to..., you may get a kick out of reading my columns ("Rob's column") on my site.

/Robert

Hedmans Brorsa
08-26-2005, 05:48
My take on this, based on, ahem, sociological observations made at my home front is that what we´re dealing with is ignorance and insecurity masked as cocksure snobbery.

I recently learned that Sweden is, in proportional terms, the leading single malt Scotch consumer of the world. That may be flattering but most of the people behind these statistics are Johnny-come-latelys.

Two or three years ago these people gulped down Jim Beam and Ballantine´s but now they regard themselves as having moved one step up the ladder. Part of this "promotion" is to regard Bourbon and blended Scotch as more or less undrinkable.

Now, you are hard pressed to find any more zealous adherents than recent converts. They "know" the truth, period. The last thing they need is some smartarse informing them that Jim Beam also offer premium bottlings and that the 17yo version of Ballantine´s is actually a world class whisky.

This kind of information shakes their very foundations so it just bounces off them. A fascinationg psychological phenomenon which I have encountered on many an occasion. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

brian12069
08-26-2005, 14:13
I don't mind trying Scotch. My problem is I have never tried any that tastes good. I kind of wish I could actually find a Scotch that I enjoy. Now on the other hand...I enjoy almost all bourbon. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

kbuzbee
08-26-2005, 14:33
I don't mind trying Scotch. My problem is I have never tried any that tastes good. I kind of wish I could actually find a Scotch that I enjoy. Now on the other hand...I enjoy almost all bourbon. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif



Brian, do you like strong flavors?? Kick ass chili? Booker's? Strong BBQ?? If so, try Laphroaig 10 yo. It is monsterously peaty. Scotch drinkers will tell you not to try this until you have spent years developing a Scotch palate but it's like the second Scotch I ever tried and I love it.

Let me know,

Ken

barturtle
08-26-2005, 15:19
I have been drinking bourbon since...well let's not get into that as I was much too young, but I didn't really "get" scotch until I had Highland Park 12yr. After drinking many scotches and not really disliking them just not really liking them enough to pony up the cash to have them at home, that is the one that opened my eyes

brian12069
08-27-2005, 05:22
kbuzbee ....I just wrote myself a note and I will try it.

Bamber
08-29-2005, 04:56
Personally I love Bourbon and Scotch and drink both to excess. I think the very best whiskies are American, but that Scotch has more variety.

Anyone who dismisses either, without really exploring it, is being closed minded by definition.

With a lot of Europeans I think bourbon-bashing comes down to anti-amercanism pure and simple.

I do however note that Americans and Brits seem to have very different food tatses. I speak to Americans regularly on the net and if I had a pound for everyone who says the food in London and Edinburgh is terrible .... Anyway I think it is great but have been generally unimpressed by the food I have eaten in the US. Now I like America and have plans to move across the pond one day, but having been raised in this country (UK), I think somethings may have been hardwired. Maybe that is why some Bourbon lovers just hate Scotch.

Something to do with corn vs. malt and sweet vs. savoury ?

kbuzbee
08-29-2005, 05:43
One of my favourite European jokes is that “Heaven is an
English policeman, a French chef, a German engineer, an Italian lover, and
everything organised by the Swiss, whereas Hell is an English chef, a French
engineer, a German policeman, a Swiss lover and everything organised by the
Italians”. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/coffeedrinker.gif

brian12069
08-29-2005, 15:25
kbuzbee...I tried Laphroaig 10 yo....ahhhhhhh....all I can say is it tasted like battery acid mixed with moss and bark...really didn't like it...

CrispyCritter
08-29-2005, 22:16
I speak to Americans regularly on the net and if I had a pound for everyone who says the food in London and Edinburgh is terrible .... Anyway I think it is great but have been generally unimpressed by the food I have eaten in the US.



The funny thing is, when I visited the UK in 1999, staying in Manchester for a week and a half with my sister's fiance while she was there on a three-month visit, I didn't have a bad meal the whole time I was there. Indeed, I made it a point of pride to not once set foot in a McDonald's, KFC, or any other American chain.

One particular standout was the fish and chips I had in a backroads pub in north Wales - absolutely to die for! Unfortunately, I couldn't partake of any ale or whisky, as I was driving - let me tell you, when you're sitting in the wrong side of the car driving on the wrong side of the road http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif, it takes every bit of concentration you can muster. I put 1500 miles on that rental, mostly criscrossing Wales, with a couple of trips across the Pennines as well. It returned to its garage undamaged. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/woohoo.gif

The Ocean Haze Hotel in St. David's had a wonderful breakfast, with enough on the plate to keep you going all day.

As a postscript, my sister married him, and they're now living in Michigan. I'm going to have to turn him on to bourbon - he does like Scotches, both of the sherried and peaty persuasions. I think I'll take some Stagg with me the next time I head up there, and maybe a Van Winkle of one sort or another as well.

Bamber
08-30-2005, 00:52
Of course you don't mind a drop of Scotch yourself CC ! So you not minding British food does not completely refute my theory.

I hope your brother in law learns to appreciate Bourbon. All those lovely bottles sitting at cheap prices, waiting ro be grabbed .... I recently converted a very hard nosed Scotch only man to Bourbon, with Knob Creek. Bear in mind he had turned is nosed up at VWFR rye 13yo, VW 15yo, MM, Stagg and the majority of WT's offerings. Bizarrely he now prefers WT 8yo, aftering hating it before.

kbuzbee
08-30-2005, 07:01
kbuzbee...I tried Laphroaig 10 yo....ahhhhhhh....all I can say is it tasted like battery acid mixed with moss and bark...really didn't like it...



I think that is the general reason most Scotch drinkers say not to start with it. For me, it took me back to days working off shore, listening to the ocean and smelling that salt spray. It is such a fantastic experience. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. It will remain one of my all time favorites until the peat moss runs out and it can no longer be made (a time coming all too soon, I'm afraid).

Ken

Bamber
08-30-2005, 07:51
A life without Islay whiskies - barely worth thinking about http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

brockagh
08-30-2005, 08:36
I like Irish, Scotch and bourbon, but, unfortunately, the range of bourbon and other American whiskies over here is poor, so there are many I have yet to taste.

In general, those who limit themselves to scotch and comment about other whiskies they don't know about are pompous twits. They're not the kind of people you want to drink with anyway.

That said, there are lots of poeple who have tried all the variations and just don't like some - this is fine.

kbuzbee
08-30-2005, 11:03
A life without Islay whiskies - barely worth thinking about http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif



I don't know about that but I do find the Lagavulin and Laphroaigs to be delicious. In Scotland this Spring I had a couple different Bruichladdich expressions. They had no where near the characture of the other two. Someday I want to try Ardbeg as well.

I might modify your quote to say ' Scotch without Islay Malts - barely worth thinking about' http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Ken

Bamber
08-31-2005, 00:42
kbuzbee,
Ardbeg is positively definitely the best Scottish distillery. Ardbeg 10yo is mind blowingly good and sits next to a bottle of WT 8yo, AAA 10yo as my daily pour.

In reality it is comprised of malts ranging from 13-15 years, from the pre-Glenmoranige period. When it is gone it will be gone forever. If you like peaty whiskies, this is an absolute must !! (Thankfully the Ardbeg Very Young is also very good and shows good promise for the Glenmorangie-owned version).

People talk about Ardbeg 1977 and Laphroaig 30yo as great Islays but if I could only have one more bottle of Scotch this would be it.

kbuzbee
08-31-2005, 06:00
kbuzbee,
Ardbeg is positively definitely the best Scottish distillery. Ardbeg 10yo is mind blowingly good and sits next to a bottle of WT 8yo, AAA 10yo as my daily pour.

In reality it is comprised of malts ranging from 13-15 years, from the pre-Glenmoranige period. When it is gone it will be gone forever. If you like peaty whiskies, this is an absolute must !! (Thankfully the Ardbeg Very Young is also very good and shows good promise for the Glenmorangie-owned version).

People talk about Ardbeg 1977 and Laphroaig 30yo as great Islays but if I could only have one more bottle of Scotch this would be it.



Cool, Bamber, It's definately on my list. Nice to hear from someone who's tried it. I've tried some of the older Laphroaigs, didn't like them as much as the basic 10. It's that raw peat smoke that really wows me. You loose a lot of that even with the 15 yo. The 30 is almost mellow! (an aside, we stayed at a place in Inverness - Dunain Park, they had pours of almost every Scotch you ever hear of... Hmmm. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I'll look for the Ardbeg Friday when I go out.

Ken

Speedy_John
08-31-2005, 06:38
I second the recommendation of the Ardbeg 10. Great whisky at a "reasonable" price (for SMSW, that is). If you like the Laphroaig 10yo, I would most heartily recommend trying the Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength. Outstanding stuff! A true taste of Islay...

SpeedyJohn

Dave_in_Canada
08-31-2005, 08:36
And let's not forget to mention another great Island malt, TALISKER from the Isle of Skye. The 10yr IMHO beats out Ardbeg for it's much longer finish. While the last few years' bottlings were rumoured to be less than up to snuff, the recent bottlings of 10yr. are back in stride. I am slowly working my way through their new release, an 18yr. that is truly remarkable.

brockagh
08-31-2005, 10:00
There's been a lot of complaints recently about the Talisker 10. They were supposed to have toned it down.

The Ardbeg 10 is beautiful. I prefer the Lagavulin 16, but that's much more expensive.

kbuzbee
08-31-2005, 11:20
And let's not forget to mention another great Island malt, TALISKER from the Isle of Skye. The 10yr IMHO beats out Ardbeg for it's much longer finish. While the last few years' bottlings were rumoured to be less than up to snuff, the recent bottlings of 10yr. are back in stride. I am slowly working my way through their new release, an 18yr. that is truly remarkable.



I tried the Talisker a while back. didn't like it nearly as well as either the Laphroaig or the Lagavulin. Between those two the Lagavulin is my favorite but when you want the killer peat only the Laphroaig will do. I did pick up a quarter cask Laphroaig in Scotland that is still sealed on the shelf. Probably have it around Christmas. Haven't tried the cask strength. Sounds nummy though. The other island I haven't tried yet is Jura. Any opinions there??

Ken

CrispyCritter
08-31-2005, 18:28
There's been a lot of complaints recently about the Talisker 10. They were supposed to have toned it down.



They may have had a spell of toned-down product, but it appears that some of the latest Talisker 10 bottles have returned to character. Also, the Talisker 18 that was released earlier this year is excellent - and not that much more expensive than the 10. It's well worth a grab if you find it.

Dave_in_Canada
08-31-2005, 22:14
There's been a lot of complaints recently about the Talisker 10. They were supposed to have toned it down.



They may have had a spell of toned-down product, but it appears that some of the latest Talisker 10 bottles have returned to character. Also, the Talisker 18 that was released earlier this year is excellent - and not that much more expensive than the 10. It's well worth a grab if you find it.



Hey crispy, didn't I just say that? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

chasking
09-01-2005, 13:29
The other island I haven't tried yet is Jura. Any opinions there??



The regular Isle of Jura SMSW is not peated to speak of, and to my recollection is a pretty 'dry' whisky---I didn't like it the first time I tried it, but it has sort of grown on me. But, it's nothing like any other Island Scotch I have ever tried.

Recently, however, they came out with an expression called "Superstition" which does have some peat smoke in it and is really quite good. High on my list of things to get.

kbuzbee
09-01-2005, 13:42
The other island I haven't tried yet is Jura. Any opinions there??



The regular Isle of Jura SMSW is not peated to speak of, and to my recollection is a pretty 'dry' whisky---I didn't like it the first time I tried it, but it has sort of grown on me. But, it's nothing like any other Island Scotch I have ever tried.

Recently, however, they came out with an expression called "Superstition" which does have some peat smoke in it and is really quite good. High on my list of things to get.



I saw an ad for Superstition recently. Have not seen it in the stores here though. I did find Laphroaig Cask Strength. It is almost twice the cost of the standard 10 yo. Is that about right???

halpap
09-01-2005, 14:42
The cask strength at Binnys is $56.99. Not sure if that is double the price of the regular 10 year old, but that is about as good a price as there is for that.

kbuzbee
09-01-2005, 14:49
The cask strength at Binnys is $56.99. Not sure if that is double the price of the regular 10 year old, but that is about as good a price as there is for that.



Very good. I prefer to do business locally when I can just as a matter of principle . That has us beat by $10, probably lose most of that to shipping.

Thanks!

Ken

gr8erdane
12-29-2005, 11:56
For the past several years I have been giving a friend a different bottle of single malt for Christmas. His doctor advised him to drink Scotch due to his diabetic condition if he felt he needed to drink. The first year I gave him Oban 14, last year the Glenmorangie gift set with 4 glencairn glasses, and this year I got him Ardbeg 10. Last night we got together and popped the cork. I had enjoyed the Oban, tolerated the Glenmorangie, but this Ardbeg has got to have been the most horrid experience I've had in spirits since I chugged a cup of Everclear by mistake back in my college days. I had greatly anticipated trying it and went into the experience with an open mind. Well, the nose was interesting but it all went south from there for me. Peat is not my cup of tea I guess because from the initial taste I was totally repulsed. The whisky went down so harsh that I could barely make myself empty the glass (I don't waste expensive pours no matter what). As for the finish, I found myself wishing for several minutes that it would. Then I went to our host and found that he had a bottle of Beam Black and tried to wash the taste out with that. No dice. A Guiness? Ardbeg's aftertaste outstouted the stout. Luckily for me the host had hot wings and after a half dozen or so, drenched in extra hot sauce, the taste finally subsided. Either that or the taste buds got scorched enough to stop sending SOS messages.

My hat is off to those of you who drink and enjoy these peaty pours. There will never be a shortage of them on my account, that's for sure.

CrispyCritter
12-29-2005, 15:51
If you have any Ardbeg you don't want, send it my way. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif

Even though I'm a bit of a peat freak, I can understand how it can be off-putting to some - especially something as peaty as the Ardbeg.

I've also noticed that different peat sources tend to have a different character to them - Highland Park, from Orkney, is not heavily peated, but the peat is definitely there. However, the Orkney peat has a heathery note to it that you won't find in the extra-smoky Islays.

FWIW, a bottle from my Ardbeg stash made its way to my brother-in-law as a Christmas present, and it was well appreciated - it's one of his very favorites...

DrinkyBanjo
12-30-2005, 05:25
I love peated whiskies and I do like the Ardbeg 10 at that. It is definitely not my favorite Islay malt, I prefer Laphroaig and Lagavulin, but I know what you mean. I think it, like Laphroaig, is a love/hate taste. I happen to like it but if you don't you are not going to be happy for some time after as it really sticks to you!