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View Full Version : Looking for a Seaside or Peat scotch



camduncan
12-04-2005, 13:33
I'm looking for something to get my Dad for Christmas.
He regularly (daily) drinks Walker Red or Chivas Reagle.
Last year I got him a bottle of Walker Green Label, and for his birthday this year, I got hom a 1992 Glenrothes which he absolutely loves. As we were reading Jim Murrays Whisky Bible and discussing the different scotch regions one night, he mentioned he'd never tried a seaside version.
I'd narrowed a selection down to either a Laphroaig 10yo, Ardbeg 10yo or Bowmore 10yo - all retail for around $60-70 in Australia.
Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions?

kbuzbee
12-04-2005, 15:30
Hi Cameron, I personally love Laphroaig (in all it's expressions). The 10yo is a regular pour for me. That said, most people are put off by the intense iodine, peat smoke and salt (yes, it's salty! Two glasses of Laphroaig and you'll wake up tasting salt on your lips the next day!). It takes me back to my youth working offshore. I don't know anyone who's grown to love Laphroaig. They either think it's just wonderful (me) or they think it should be used to clean grease from their garage floor http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif I would not buy Laphroaig for someone who has never tried it and declared it to be amazingly good.

Ardbeg is very good. To me not quite as intense (but many find that is "better"). It would be a good selection.

One you left off is Lagavulin 16yo. (another Islay malt) This has a lot of the sea and peat qualities of Laphroaig but is (to me) it's a much more sophisticated pour. Because of that it is more approachable. Laphroaig and Lagavulin are my only regular Scotchs. One is the bad boy and one is the gentleman. Which fits your dads personality??

By the way, you say seaside, but we are talking Islay (pronounced isle-la by the way, not isle-laye) here. There are several other "sea side" malts from Jura the Orkneys and such. They are good but no where near the intensity of the better Islay malts (again, to me).

Let us know what you pick.

Ken

voigtman
12-04-2005, 16:28
Cameron, you have a good short list already! I always have Ardbeg 10, Lagavulin 16 and Laphroaig 10 (cask strength, 57.3%) open and all are great, in peaty, yet different, ways. My difficult choice would be Ardbeg 10: very balanced, lots of peat, yet the sweet barley malt taste is not overwhelmed. Just astoundlingly good! Lagavulin 16 is arguably the finest peat and sherry combo routinely sold by any distillery, and it is even smoky smelling: you can enjoy its nose before the glass is anywhere near your face. Exquisite! And all the Laphroaigs (the standard 10 YO, the 10 YO cask strengths (57.3% and 55.4%), the 15 YO, the new Quarter Cask, etc.) are what peat wants to be when it gets to Heaven. Fabulous whisky that makes no apologies for its full bore taste.

The Bowmore 10 is not available around here, but we have the 12 YO, which is very good, the 17 YO, which is a favorite of mine, and lots of other Bowmores are available, with all sorts of names and ages. A new 16 YO, from 1989, is just becoming available and it has started to get good rewiews. I'm looking forward to trying it before too long.

Other good choices are Caol Ila 12, 18 or cask strength, Ledaig 15, Talisker 10 or 18 (or others), some Juras (as Ken said), Longrow 10 ($$), some Broras ($$$), some Port Ellens ($$$) and a scattering of others. There are independent bottlings of all of these, as well, and some are fantastic.

Personally, I'd go with the Ardbeg 10.

It would be interesting to see if your dad likes Laphroaig 10: I'll bet he does.

Cheers, Ed V.

One last thing: I have never gotten any saltiness in any whisky or whiskey and I've looked for it whenever I heard a whisk(e) had it. Funny how taste works.

Dave_in_Canada
12-04-2005, 19:45
Cameron, the advice you have hitherto (is that a word?) received is very good. To try an "island" style malt, might I suggest something that is typical of the style but not extreme (ie. Laphroaig. The bowmore is a great place to start (the 17 y.o. is a fantastic expression). The Ardbeg is very good and an awesome malt. The Laphroaig is really great too, but perhaps more "cultish" if you know what I mean, in that it is perhaps an extreme. That is to say, it might scare him away from many other good Island malts.

If you can find Talisker (10 is common, 18 less common but fantastic) that is from the Isle of Skye and is this lad's favorite malt.

Another suggestion, and closer to the Glenrothes... Try a Highland Park from the Orkneys (ideally the 18yo if you can get it cheap but the 12 is a fantastic dram)

Whatever you do, enjoy your father's company... and make sure he opens the bottle in your presence so you get to enjoy it with him! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

chasking
12-05-2005, 13:13
I'll echo what others have already said, and recommend the Ardbeg out of those three, but for the following reason: Both Bowmore and Laphroaig have very distinctive flavors that give them a love-it-or-hate-it character. From your post, it sounds like your dad wants to try a peated Scotch, and for his first experience with heavy peat, it would probably be best to start with something that's not quite so...polarizing. Ardbeg is an excellend whisky with a strong peat character. If he likes that, then he may want to try Laphroaig and/or Bowmore, but those are both whiskys that, based on personal preference, a person may hate regardless of whether he does or doesn't like peated whisky.

By saying this I don't mean to criticize Laphroaig, which personally I like, or to in any way suggest that Ardbeg is not a great and distinctive whisky, which it is. But even the most ardent Laphroaig supporter will (if he's honest) admit that it's not for everybody.

Lagavulin is also excellent but unfortunately in the last year or so its popularity has outstripped supplies (they ran out of 16yo completely a year or so ago) and it has almost doubled in price lately, so it's probably not in the same category as the others you listed. Ditto Bowmore 17yo. And, Bowmore takes a while to really come into its own; I would not start somebody on Islay whisky with a younger Bowmore.

So out of those three (Laphroaig 10yo, Ardbeg 10yo, Bowmore 10yo) I think Ardbeg is definitely the one you want, for someone's first experience with peated Islay Scotch. However, a couple others that should be in the same price range and will give a similar experience would be Caol Ila 12yo and Isle of Jura "Superstition". The regular Isle of Jura is not peated, but the "Superstition" in the black box is, and it's pretty good. Talisker 10yo is another one in the same price range, but my recollection of Talisker was that it was a bit of a put-hair-on-your-chest rough tough spirit. For my money, the Ardbeg is a better whisky than any of those others, but YMMV.

barturtle
12-05-2005, 13:55
I agree here that as far as a peated Islay is concerned the Ardbeg is an excellent choice. However when the term seaside is used the malt that comes to my mind is Bunnahabhain. It's an all-but-unpeated malt from Islay and shows off a great seaside briny, salty flavor.

Hedmans Brorsa
12-05-2005, 14:04
As already mentioned by Dave, I would go for the Highland Park 18yo unless the price tag is too outrageous downunder.

In the Island division, this whisky simply stomps all over the opposition. There´s peat, alright, but not overwhelmingly so. You can clearly detect a sherry influence but it never threatens to drench the other flavours, and above all, a truly delicious honey.

Maybe I´m making myself guilty of reading too much between the lines, Cam, but from what you´ve written I draw the conclusion that this is the one for your father. But maybe it isn´t even available in Australia?

P.S I´ve have never heard of a 10yo Bowmore. Is this an antipodean exclusive?

camduncan
12-05-2005, 16:29
Thanks everyone for the suggestions http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

I think the Ardbeg is the best way to go - not a huge peat influence, but enough to get an idea of whether Dad likes it or not.... If he wants to try more peat, then we'll look at the Bowmore or Laproaig...



As already mentioned by Dave, I would go for the Highland Park 18yo unless the price tag is too outrageous downunder.
<snip>
But maybe it isn´t even available in Australia?

P.S I´ve have never heard of a 10yo Bowmore. Is this an antipodean exclusive?



The Highland Park 18yo is available in Australia, but it's a bit expensive at around $165 (The 12yo is more in line with the price range I'm looking at - $60)

Actually, maybe I miss-read the Bowmore - it could be the 12yo that I spotted in the shop http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

kbuzbee
12-05-2005, 18:52
However, a couple others that should be in the same price range and will give a similar experience would be Caol Ila 12yo and Isle of Jura "Superstition". The regular Isle of Jura is not peated, but the "Superstition" in the black box is, and it's pretty good.



I've had my eye out for a bottle of Superstition for a while but it hasn't shown up yet. Has anyone seen this in Ohio???


Ken

brockagh
12-06-2005, 02:54
I would go for the Bowmore, probably the Bowmore 17 or the new Bowmore 16, cask strength.

Right in the middle of the peat scale on Islay.

Hedmans Brorsa
12-06-2005, 04:37
I think the Ardbeg is the best way to go - not a huge peat influence, but enough to get an idea of whether Dad likes it or not.



Er, are you really sure about this? The Ardbeg 10yo is a heavily peated beast. Much more powerful than the relatively mild-mannered Bowmore.

If you´re not really sure whether you father is into peat or not, I would go for the Bowmore (assuming, of course, that it is the standard 12yo).

Bamber
12-06-2005, 07:55
Ardbeg 10yo - as it tastes best out of those (I guess you mean Bowmore 12yo or 8yo)

chasking
12-06-2005, 10:08
Hey guys, please keep in mind Cameron's target price range when making recommendations. Highland Park 18yo, Bowmore 17yo, and even Lagavulin 16yo are all going to be another notch or two higher in price than what he's looking for. It seems like there's always a better version of any SMSW for more money. Hell, I hear the Laphroaig 30yo is a real stunner! That bit of information will not help Cam out with what he is asking.

However, I will add this: if by "seaside" you mean something other than "peated", then besides Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich 10yo and Highland Park 12yo are also excellent, but they are not smoky in the traditional Islay style. Last time I checked (not real recently, I'll admit)they were available in the same general price range as the others you've listed.

But I'd still go with the Ardbeg. If for no other reason, on general principle: every whisky enthusiast should have at least one bottle of Ardbeg in the cabinet.

brockagh
12-06-2005, 10:39
Ardbeg Very Young is also very nice. You could go for another island with a Jura, of which there are a few expressions. Then there's Arran...I just don't particularly like the Bowmore 12, although I think the 17 is wonderful.

Frodo
12-07-2005, 20:28
Of the three choices you've given, I'd take the Ardbeg 10 as the best value. Laphroaig 10 doesn't have the same following, and Bowmore seems a bit overcosted at that price point. My concern is that the Ardie might be a bit too potent for someone wanting to <u>try</u> a maritime malt. I'd recommend Highland Park 12, Talisker 10, or Clynelish 14 before I went to the Ardie.

Just my $0.02.

mitchshrader
05-28-2006, 12:41
vote to the Highland Park.. if I was buying it.

Of course, if YOU were buying it, I'd get the HP 18, and if *I* was, I'd still get the 18, but I'd be much less happy about it. :rolleyes:

For what it's worth, and admitting all difficulties at such a distance, HP 18 here is < 60$ USD. (Tulsa Oklahoma)..

If someone had Whiskers Australian Tawny Port I might just get very friendly.. :skep:

Gillman
05-28-2006, 13:08
The HP 12 and 18 are personal favorites. I was interested on the other thread to note Dave's reaction to the peat. Some samples of HP seem less peaty than others, maybe that one was quite forward in the peat taste. Anyway HP is a fine dram and deserves its reputation. In terms of cam's original question, I think I'd go for the Arbeg which is to be sure Islay but with a difference, it might appeal to some blend drinkers.

Gary

dougdog
05-31-2006, 13:02
A pretty good "list" has developed here on this thread...

Don't overlook Oban and Scappa as malts with good "costal" or "seaside" notes...both at good prices point too!

camduncan
05-31-2006, 20:18
I picked up a bottle of Old Pulteney 12yo last month for my Dad's birthday...
He now rates this as the best scotch suited to his taste he's ever tried :cool:
Of course, I'll continue to pick him up something different each year for his birthday, Christmas and Fathers Day respectively ;)

mitchshrader
06-14-2006, 13:35
But the Glenrothes 92 that you mentioned, I just got. WIZARD. Tell your dad I quite agree! Very Fine Dram!

If you're not going to get Him a bottle for his next birthday, well..

how would you feel about being adopted? We can get the paperwork started right away.. :grin:

camduncan
06-14-2006, 16:44
I think the 92 Glenrothes is about all gone now :shocked:
I'd like to get him a 72 Glenrothes, but it's $180 AU :bigeyes: - a bit outside my budget :(

ROYAL SCOT
12-05-2006, 20:42
I'm looking for something to get my Dad for Christmas.
He regularly (daily) drinks Walker Red or Chivas Reagle.
Last year I got him a bottle of Walker Green Label, and for his birthday this year, I got hom a 1992 Glenrothes which he absolutely loves. As we were reading Jim Murrays Whisky Bible and discussing the different scotch regions one night, he mentioned he'd never tried a seaside version.
I'd narrowed a selection down to either a Laphroaig 10yo, Ardbeg 10yo or Bowmore 10yo - all retail for around $60-70 in Australia.
Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions?

Buy the first two and Bowmore 17 yr.

ROYAL SCOT
12-05-2006, 20:46
I think the 92 Glenrothes is about all gone now :shocked:
I'd like to get him a 72 Glenrothes, but it's $180 AU :bigeyes: - a bit outside my budget :(


How about The Balvenie 12yr. Double Wood