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bluesbassdad
05-24-2006, 14:28
A comment in a bourbon-related thread caused me to think about this topic.

I tend to regard the few scotches I drink as year-rounders, with possibly a slight bias toward warm weather, not cold as the original poster suggested. Perhaps that's due to the nature of the scotches I prefer.

The only single-malt I've bought more than once is Highland Park 12. I can't say it's worth the money, compared to bourbon of the same price, but it's a fine drink IMO. I gave away a nearly full bottle of Laphroig 10 (I think it was). I tried Lagavulin 16 in a bar once and struggled to finish it. However, it was interesting enough I'd like to try it again someday. Of the blends, I like Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker black -- don't care for the red, haven't tried others. I can drink Dewar's, my frugal son's favorite, but I'd rather not. I gave away a barely touched bottle of Chivas Regal 12.

Bottlings that I at least finished but don't expect to replace include Macallan 12, Dalmore 12 (finished it last month -- on my shelf three years), Glenlivet 12 and Glenfiddich 12. If any of those ages are wrong, just subsitute the youngest available.

My point is that I'm guessing that a tendency to regard scotch as a winter drink might reflect a fondness (and willingness to pay for) much older, more heavily peated scotches, possibly of the barrel-proof variety.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

DrinkyBanjo
05-24-2006, 16:05
I tend to lean towards the island drams, Islay (Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg) Orkney (Highland Park) & Skye (Talisker) for my favorite Scotches. I seem to enjoy them more in the winter than in the summer which is when I used to do a lot of beer drinking (still do) but that was before I met Bourbon. Seems that Bourbon is a great year round dram if you ask me. For the winter months you can enjoy the higher proofed ones and in the summer there are plenty that taste great and go down easy.

I'm going to have some of the guys over tonight and we are going to sample 'peated' whiskies from different countries.

USA (McCarthy's) Ireland (Connemara) and Scotland (Bruichladdich Peat Proposal).

At the end of the night we'll have a GTS, always do!

Frodo
05-24-2006, 17:37
The thing about about scotch is that the sheer diversity of styles means that what someone likes, another may not. I for example like heavilly peated singles, whereas my grandfather likes premium blends such as Chivas Regal. It makes sence to me that the heavily peated whiskies would be preferred during inclement weather whereas the more laid-back malts would be considered more accessable any time.

I guess it comes down to what type of malt whisky you prefer...

ratcheer
05-24-2006, 18:19
I went to one of those hotel events (technical trade show) last week. They didn't have any bourbon. When I asked if they had bourbon, they offered me Jack Black or Crown Royal. Sigh. :rolleyes:

So, I asked for a Chivas Regal 12-yr on the rocks. It was as smooth as water and almost as tasty, which is to say I didn't care for it. How on earth can they age something for twelve years and have it come out tasteless?

Tim

Gillman
05-24-2006, 18:49
Tim, it is my view that Chivas 12 has declined in quality over the years, possibly because so many of the fine malts are being offered as singles. When there is less to put into the quality blends, those blends lose part of their quality. Either that or the house is looking to blandify the drink for a broader audience. Maybe it is a bit of both.

Gary

TNbourbon
05-24-2006, 20:55
Dave, sounds like you and I have run in the same Scotch circles. That's pretty much my lineup, too, with about the same commentary (I like some, like the Dalmore, perhaps a bit more than you; and I'd add the unfinished Glenmorangies). But I've never heard of "My Frugal Son's Favorite" -- sounds like the price may be right!:grin:

bluesbassdad
05-24-2006, 21:47
Tim,

I liked the Dalmore, but it was one-dimensional in comparison to the Highland Park. Even so, if I could buy it here at Trader Joe's (SoCal food chain) prices, I'd revisit it at some point. I like it better than Mac, GlenL and GlenF, all of which cost more, IIRC.

I've had a couple of minis of the Glenmorangie (18, I believe) but my recollection of it is vague. Perhaps I should review my old posts to see how much I liked it.

Yes, my kid never met a dollar he didn't like better than the finest liquor. He has resisted my efforts to introduce him to better scotch. "But what if I like it better than Dewars?", he has all but asked.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Hedmans Brorsa
05-25-2006, 03:55
Possibly due to the increasing demand, many standard single malt bottlings has witnessed a slight decrease in quality during the recent five or six years. Not a dramatic one but still perceptible.

In my view, HP 12 is one of the few who hasn´t been affected by this. Another one that holds it ground pretty well is the Bowmore 12yo (much derided in "SM expert circles") especially if you seek out the tax-free 86 proof version (the standard bottling is 80 proof).

A real disappointment to me was a recent purchase of Macallan 18yo. Despite being assured by those "in the know" that it signified a vast improvement upon earlier releases, it wasn´t a patch on the bottlings offered in the second half of the 90´s.

By far the most impressive SM I´ve had in recent times is Benriach Authenticus 21yo, a heavily peated expression of Benriach which is released annually in small quantities. I´ve tried many non-Islay malts with a higher peat level than usual (Ardmore, Ledaig, Brora, Longrow etc) but this is the first time that I´ve come across one that easily could be mistaken for an Islay. I´m not sure if it can be tracked down on the other side of the Atlantic, but if you see it, get it! (It won´t be cheap, though).

CrispyCritter
05-26-2006, 21:28
Aberlour has been a favorite of mine, ever since I brought home a bottle from the UK. The 10yo is one of the less-expensive singles out there - but I still feel it's one of the best deals in the SMS world - and each batch of A'Bunadh that I've tried has been superb. Think of it as Speyside's answer to GTS.

That being said, I'm a fan of the Islays as well - whether lightly peated like Bunnahabhain or most Bruichladdichs, or the peat monsters like Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg. Sadly, Lagavulin has become just too expensive. The last Laga I bought was $52 - and when I went looking for one again, it was $77. :bigeyes: For a few bucks more, I can get Ardbeg Uigeadail, which is cask-strength.

Blends? I have a bottle of Campbeltown Loch 25yo waiting for a special occasion. If you find one on the shelf, BUY IT! It's out of this world, and there is no more to be had. I regret not buying more bottles of this when it was still available. Compass Box Asyla is quite worthy, as well - I consider it to be the closest thing to CL25 that I can get, now that CL25 itself is gone. Then there's Cluny - absolutely dirt cheap ($8 for a bottle, when I got it!), yet good enough (IMO) to drink neat. It's a bit smokier than CL25 or Asyla - there must be a dollop or two of Islay in the blend. No one's going to mistake it for top shelf, but it still offers a lot of bang for the buck.

Chivas? Well, it wasn't bad, but for its price I could get Aberlour, Asyla, or any one of a number of upper-middle-shelf bourbons.

As far as seasons go, the Islays (and Talisker) indeed make nice winter drams - but I like a hit of peat in the summer, now and then - and they would go very well with a campfire. Compass Box Asyla is a nice, light summer pour, and Speysiders tend to be year-round for me, when I'm not drinking bourbon or rye.

TimmyBoston
05-27-2006, 00:53
I love Scotch and I love bourbon, but I am very seasonal with my drinking of each, now this is a generalization not an absolute. With Scotches, my favorites are Laphroiag, Talisker, Highland Park and Lagavulin, primarily scotches with a high malt character and an above average peat level. Both of these qualities go well with a very cold day. I love the warm feeling as I sip a dram. While on the other hand, Bourbon is lighter in character to the Scotches mentioned above, and for me is an ideal summery whisky, but it is very good on a cold day as well. Tequila, ie Cielo Anejo, is another great summer drink.

Tim

Anyone else notice how many Tim's have posted on this particular forum?

mitchshrader
05-28-2006, 12:08
seem to do best in colder weather.. after all, look at the climate where they're made. They're suited to the people who live there..

Lagavulin or Laphroaig, a yellow slicker and a face full of ocean spray.. yes, it all fits. Miserable grim wet chilled winter with darkish at 4pm .. yes.. a wee dram before dinner would go very nicely..

But, I'm NOT an Islay fan, you can have your peat and I'll have the Macallan or anything that direction, it's my great misfortune to like the sherried ones.

I'd say a Dalmore 12, that 'Double Gold' one, is a fair everyday scotch. It doesn't resemble the peat monsters at all.. closer to a good canadian than those, in flavor..

bluesbassdad
05-28-2006, 12:48
I recently finished off the last quarter of a bottle of Dalmore 12 over a several day period. I had planned to stretch it out until I had a bottle of Highland Park 12 to compare, but I got carried away. The HP arrived a day or so later. I thought I'd missed my chance to compare.

In fact, when I opened the HP, I immediately smelled the peat. It carried over to palate and finish, as well.

In short, the difference between the two was so pronounced that the peat in the HP, which I've previously said has no single, dominant characteristic, seemed almost overpowering.

I wish I'd kept a few drops of the Dalmore. I'd like to become acclimated to the HP again and then switch back. I seem to recall thinking that Dalmore was cloyingly sweet when I opened that bottle years ago. I wonder if I would have that same impression again after my taster came to accept HP as the baseline.

Veering slightly toward my original topic, I wonder whether Highland Park 12 y/o would qualify as a four-season scotch.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

chasking
06-01-2006, 09:40
I tend to think of Lowland malts as summer drinks, particularly Littlemill 8yo (an endangered species, alas) and Auchentoshan Select. The big Islays would seem appropriate for winter, but I find myself drinking them all the time.

My favorite malts are Ardbeg and Lagavulin of the Islays, and Longmorn of the Speysiders. I recently found a 30yo Longmorn bottling from Blackadder that was distilled on my birthday! I cracked it open when I turned 40 recently. Damn, that's good.

At Whiskeyfest I got a taste of a forthcoming 21yo from Isle of Jura. I don't think it's available yet but that is going to be a winner! I'm saving up for that and the Heaven Hill 21yo rye.

TimmyBoston
07-18-2006, 03:58
I recently finished off the last quarter of a bottle of Dalmore 12 over a several day period. I had planned to stretch it out until I had a bottle of Highland Park 12 to compare, but I got carried away. The HP arrived a day or so later. I thought I'd missed my chance to compare.

In fact, when I opened the HP, I immediately smelled the peat. It carried over to palate and finish, as well.

In short, the difference between the two was so pronounced that the peat in the HP, which I've previously said has no single, dominant characteristic, seemed almost overpowering.

I wish I'd kept a few drops of the Dalmore. I'd like to become acclimated to the HP again and then switch back. I seem to recall thinking that Dalmore was cloyingly sweet when I opened that bottle years ago. I wonder if I would have that same impression again after my taster came to accept HP as the baseline.

Veering slightly toward my original topic, I wonder whether Highland Park 12 y/o would qualify as a four-season scotch.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

I've always seen Highland Park being viewed as all-rounder in the Scotch world. And also I've always viewed HP as one of the most heathery scotches I own. I think it is very well balanced and a quality product for anyone wishing to explore Scotch.