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TimmyBoston
08-10-2006, 01:19
What are you favorite Scotches?

I'd say mine are: (in no particular order)

Ardbeg Uigeadail
Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength
Talisker 10
Lagavulin 16 - the White Horse Distillery
Highland Park 25, but unfortunately I can't afford it very often

aarkwilde
08-10-2006, 08:25
Favorite is a hard question. I really like the Ardbeg 10 and Lagavulin 16, but though I have bottles open I drink sparingly from them.

Laphroaig 10 is what I reach for most of the time. It costs significntly less then the others (which shouldn't matter, but does) and is easy to find.

If I had an unlimited budget it would probably be a different story, but as it stands it's my favorite scotch.

mozilla
08-10-2006, 08:37
SPRINGBANK 15YEAR! It's out of sight. The perfect balance of flavors ever put into a bottle of scotch.

hollywood
08-10-2006, 14:53
Although I don't belong in this thread, their is a "funny" story I must tell concerning favorite scotches. As some know, Scotch has to be my least favorite beverage of all-time! I mean I despise this stuff! (lol) My brother (a scotch drinker) knowing this went overseas, and brought back the "best scotch in the world"....as he proclaimed....and begged me to try. He persisted...This is the best scotch in the world, you HAVE to try it! I held my ground...Richard, I DON'T LIKE SCOTCH! This went back and forth for some time until...to shut him up....I tried some of this MAGICAL scotch (sorry guys, for the life of me I don't remember what it was!) So after trying the scotch I told him..."If this is the best the world has to offer, then that solidifies my opinion from drinking this stuff ever again." Enjoy your scotch guys. H'wood

Gillman
08-10-2006, 17:33
But there are so many different kinds of scotch, some rather similar to bourbon whiskey.

If you are considering persisting, I would try Balvenie Double Wood but there are many other approachable malts, e.g., Aberlour, Macallan 12 years old (not the Fine Oak series, the regular Macallan), Glenlivet French Oak 15 years old, Glenmorangie, and, well, it goes on.

Gary

contrarian
08-10-2006, 21:54
Gary has a great list of my favorites going. I would add Springbank 10 and Cragganmore 12.

I used to drink more Lagavulin and Laphroaig, but, no lie, after antibiotics, corticosteroid shots and Flonase, my sense of smell improved and my taste for Islays evaporated.

Jeff

T47
08-10-2006, 22:22
H'wood,
I felt the same way as you. A buddy of mine at work says that to make Scotch, you take Bourbon and pour it through a transients sock...what comes out is Scotch.
Then a buddy gave me a gift of Glenlivet 12 year-old, which I thought was pretty good. Then I tried some Glenmorangie and thought it was even more to my liking.
I won't start collecting Scotch...but at least with those two so far...I shall stay open minded and keep them on my shelf for an occasional taste.

Gillman
08-11-2006, 04:47
I can understand the dislike of scotch because I at one time shared this. I think I know where the dislike originates, it is for the peaty, smoky, sometimes creosote-like smell and taste of a lot of (but not all) scotch whisky. Most of the quality and other blends have some of that taste. However many of the single malts do not, especially those which employ no or very little peated barley malt (malt dried over fires to which peat is added as a fuel). Most of the malts mentioned in the last few posts are peat-free or almost (not sure about Cragganmore, but it is a fine whisky). Only when I started reading about scotch and learning how it was made did I start to realise what it was supposed (a lot of it) to taste like, and finally I acquired a taste. But hey not everyone does ultimately or should, to be sure. Each is entitled to his likes and dislikes. I have a taste for most forms of alcoholic drink but still find tecquila a challenge. I know exactly what it tastes like and why but still have not developed a taste for it.

Gary

brockagh
08-11-2006, 13:55
Lagavulin 16, probably. I also tasted two 1960s Bowmores - a first fill and a second fill sherry cask - that were probably the best whisky I've ever had. Not a standard bottling, though.

TomH
08-11-2006, 15:34
The best I can do is narrow it to favorites of different types

Speyside - Aberlour a'bunadh or a variety of the Macallan bottlings (but I have not opened a 35 year old Glendarroch (Glenfarclas) that I have on the shelf but I expect it might top the list)
Rest of the Highlands - Tullibardine or Oban
Islay - Lagavulin
Misc - Cadenhead Moidart 25 year old (supposedly the leftovers from various bottlings)
Compass Box Hedonism (an excellent vatted grain scotch - a different type of scotch)

Tom

Hedmans Brorsa
08-12-2006, 09:59
Gary,

Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that the US is geared towards products that have been sweetened way above average?

Just a theory, but I remember the first time I visited USA, I just had to buy a can of root beer, mainly because one of my teenage idols, Paul Stanley of Kiss, always plugged it as his fave lemonade.

I wish I hadnīt bothered. It was so sickeningly sweet that I was unable to finish it.

Adding to that, Iīve never had any problems with Scotch. The first one I had, if I remember right, was J. Walker red, and I took to it instantly. I canīt remember what I expected it to taste, though. :)

Gillman
08-12-2006, 12:06
Hedmans, I must say that the European theory of an American predilection for unduly sweet things is not, in my opinion, correct, or if there is such a phenomenon it is not unique to America.

It is easy to point to Coca-Cola and its progeny and other such common things to suggest such a palate. For every drink like that, there is an opposite one that is as popular or almost. Dry ginger ale, which in its original form originated in Canada, and which for a long time was almost as popular as Coke, is an example. Club soda even more so, or coffee (which most Americans don't sweeten unduly in my experience). Lemonade, originally, the first great soft drink of America, was semi-sweet, and so on.

In alcoholic drinks, dry (alcoholic) cider is hardly sweet; traditional European beer was and is far maltier than most American beer; the Europeans hung on to sweet sherry and Madeira long after most Americans abandoned them, etc.

Root beer is just one version of an old country drink (sarsparilla) and in its commercial form is certainly full of sugar but I wouldn't say that today it is all that popular, it was always a minority taste.

Is there not in Sweden or elsewhere in Scandinavia a drink called gluhwein which, from the one time I tasted it in London in a pub in winter, is as sweet or more so than root beer? What about Advocat from Denmark (I think it is)? As you know many of the local hard liquors in Europe are sweetened to be taken after dinner, commercial brandy is quite sweet, etc.

The confectionary of Europe is as sweet as that of America, or more so. In England alone they have countless rich deserts such as puddings of all kinds, pies, toffee (ahem), butterscotch, milk chocolate. The Austrians and Germans patented sugary desserts (all those tortes). In savoury foods, the use of sugar in European cookery is widespread from mint sauce with lamb, pork with prunes (that is French by the way, and known in parts of Scandinavia), Polish bigos with its sweetish sauerkraut, Italian tomato sauce with natural sweetness, Flemish beef carbonade (beef, sugar and beer), and so on. The French chocolate croissant for the morning fare is as sweet as toast and jam.

Bourbon is not really sweet by comparison to good whisky. Good whisky is malty and rich (think of Macallan or any good blend).

I think it is the smoky tang of scotch (some scotch) that accounts for this dislike: it is unexpected and people can't "place" (account for) it. Also, a lot of the day to day Scotch blends are just not that good: no surprise someone would disdain them in relation to an all-straight whiskey such as, say, VOB. Especially when VOB is half the price...

Gary

Powertrip
08-12-2006, 18:00
Best Scotch I have ever tasted?
- Brora 30 year old.

Best AFFORDABLE drinking scotch(s)?
- Macallan Fine Oak 15year
- Balvenie Single Barrel 15yr
- Bowmore 17yr
- Lagavulin 16yr

brockagh
08-13-2006, 01:37
Hedmans, I must say that the European theory of an American predilection for unduly sweet things is not, in my opinion, correct, or if there is such a phenomenon it is not unique to America.

I don't think it's a European theory.

Hedmans Brorsa
08-13-2006, 02:44
Point taken, Gary. It was just speculation in response to the, at least for me, inexplicably hostile reactions to Scotch from grown-ups.

I had severe problems with many things when I was a kid, for instance, coffee, grape fruit, cooked fish etc. Gradually, my revulsion towards these and other things disappeared when I grew older.

I can certainly verify that the Austrians have a penchant for sweet cakes (and delicious they are, too) but at least compared to Scandinavia, I think that over-sweetened products tend to be more common in the USA.

Gillman
08-13-2006, 04:52
I take all the other points in turn. No question some people within the U.S. think the diet is too heavy in refined sugars, but I have often heard the point made by Europeans (once by a - portly - genever salesman to my face in Belgium). Some of this focus derives from observations on the sizes of portions in fast food outlets, something ("supersizing") that is fairly new (last 20 years or so and is starting to self-correct).

The traditional foods of most countries incorporate, as I tried to show, many sweet elements. Recently in the NYT a review of Czech beers called some of the famous lagers "sugary". Beer is a staple there almost like Coke is in the U.S... Northern countries (which part of the U.S. is) show more of this tendency due to the need for calories and resistance to cold. This came from a time when heating was less available or efficient than today, and cultural preferences hang on. Southern countries with a hotter climate generally offer a lighter, drier style of food and drink (although note how coffee and tea are fairly sweet in most warm countries in the world, at least where sugar is affordable).

I don't think again (and this is just my opinion) that scotch whisky is really drier than bourbon, not good scotch, but rather it tastes different and surely qualifies, I agree, as an adult taste, one that is not easily acquired in one's youth.

Gary

thehighking
08-13-2006, 17:23
Best Scotch I have ever tasted?
- Brora 30 year old.

Best AFFORDABLE drinking scotch(s)?
- Macallan Fine Oak 15year
- Balvenie Single Barrel 15yr
- Bowmore 17yr
- Lagavulin 16yr

You're the first person who has had anything good to say about the Fine Oak Macallan.

I personally can't stand it.

The 18 year old Macallan (sherry cask) is one of my favorites, though. Some others:

- Balvenie 21 Portwood
- Ardbeg (any)
- Rosebank (any)
- Springbank 25, 30

ratcheer
08-13-2006, 19:33
I do not have wide experience with fine scotch, but the best I ever tasted was The Balvenie 15-year old single barrel. It may have been the finest tasting spirit I have ever tasted.

Tim

Frodo
08-14-2006, 05:29
I guess my favourite distillery is Ardbeg - anything they bottle that I've tried is pretty good although the prices for the high-end products are climbing out of sight. I like lagavulin, Coal Ila and Bowmore quite alot as well.

Recently got a bottle of 1990 Imperial bottled in 2002 by Connisouers Choice for $60 cdn and I think I just bargooned!!!

I don't think I can identify a favourite scotch as I'm always trying new ones. There are something like 90+ distilleries currently working, each with multiple expressions in the marketplace. Add in the products from mothballed and dismantled distilleries, there's a TON of stuff to try out there. For example, currently impressed by Laphroag Quarter Cask.

Powertrip
08-14-2006, 08:27
You're the first person who has had anything good to say about the Fine Oak Macallan.

I personally can't stand it.


Its funny you know. I have tried all the other Fine Oak's (cept the 30 year) and I don't care for them half as much as the 15yr. I find the balance in the 15yr is just magical, and its been consistent in various bottles of it.

Powertrip
08-14-2006, 08:28
Recently got a bottle of 1990 Imperial bottled in 2002 by Connisouers Choice for $60 cdn and I think I just bargooned!!!


As Napolean Dynamite might say: "Luckyyyyy...."

CrispyCritter
08-14-2006, 21:08
Just a theory, but I remember the first time I visited USA, I just had to buy a can of root beer...
Root beer is very much an American phenomenon. My brother-in-law (English) and his kin felt that root beer tasted like Germolene (a British antiseptic). :bigeyes:

Then again, as much as I like gravlax, I wouldn't consider eating lutefisk. :slappin:

CrispyCritter
08-14-2006, 21:31
Although I've been fortunate enough to find Ardbeg 10yo at a sweet price (at an out-of-the-way liquor store about 65 km from home), otherwise, Aberlour 10yo is one of the best deals around. Of course, the two are about as different as white wine is from red - but I love them both.

Laproaig 10CS and Quarter Cask? Yummmmmm..... even if they don't offer quite as much bang-for-the-buck, they're still outstanding.

Bruichladdich bottlings tend to be a bit on the pricy side, but they are very well-crafted whiskies that I would never consider turning down. Most 'Laddies are lightly peated, but the 3-D and Moine Mhor are a peat freak's dream.

As for the best Scotch I've ever tasted? Well, the best Speyside was Glenrothes 1974, and the best Islay was Ardbeg 1977. The best blend would have to be Campbeltown Loch 25yo, but Compass Box Asyla is nipping right on its heels - and it's still available. Alloa 40yo single grain was incredible as well - almost buttery-soft.

Clynelish is one that I'd consider to be underrated - it has some of the "coastal" character of Islays, but it's a lot gentler than the Laphroaig/Ardbeg style.

Lagavulin? I'm still grieving over its price jump a couple of years ago. Had I listened to my own predictions, I would have bunkered a lot of it. *sigh*

thehighking
08-15-2006, 08:15
Lagavulin? I'm still grieving over its price jump a couple of years ago. Had I listened to my own predictions, I would have bunkered a lot of it. *sigh*

I think a lot of is where you buy it---I still find stores here and there that have it for $40-45. (Unless you used to buy it for even less than that?)

People thought that there was a Lagavulin shortage for awhile so the prices jumped, but there was/is no shortage, so they may re-stabilize.

chasking
08-15-2006, 08:59
If I could only ever get one Scotch again for the rest of time, and it was a standard bottling, it would be Lagavulin 16yo, although it's a close thing between that and Ardbeg 10yo. I love them both. Among the non-Islays I'd have to go with Longmorn. The standard 15yo is great, and I've had a couple older independent bottlings that were amazing. The Isle of Jura 21yo that is supposed to be coming out soon (and may be out by now; I haven't been to a liquor store lately) will be a strong contender too.

DrinkyBanjo
08-15-2006, 10:04
I'm a big fan of Lagavulin 16 and 12 but I think Ardbeg 10 is a bit on the light side to be compared with those heavy weights. The Uigeadail on the other hand.....

clayton
08-15-2006, 14:02
I've been enjoying Caol Ila 18 quite a bit recently. Not as sweet as the other Islays, but rich in another way. Tasty.

Other faves include Highland Park 18, Ardbeg 10, Laphroaig QC, and Talisker 10.

doubleblank
08-15-2006, 19:39
My three faves runing the full spectrum of flavors are as follows........Balvenie 15yo SB ........Talisker 10 yo when I want some peat........and Lagavulin 16yo when I want the whole hog. All standard bottlings.

Randy

CrispyCritter
08-15-2006, 19:43
Another old favorite of mine is Aberlour A'Bunadh. It's generally around 60% ABV, and being entirely sherry-casked, has a sweet, spicy flavor. Each batch I've tried has had definite differences, but they all follow the same basic theme.

thehighking
08-16-2006, 06:16
Another old favorite of mine is Aberlour A'Bunadh. It's generally around 60% ABV, and being entirely sherry-casked, has a sweet, spicy flavor. Each batch I've tried has had definite differences, but they all follow the same basic theme.

If you tend to like that sort of thing you should try some Glenfarclas...very much in the Macallan, Aberlour, sherry-monster range...but different.

Bamber
08-16-2006, 07:49
I do not have wide experience with fine scotch, but the best I ever tasted was The Balvenie 15-year old single barrel. It may have been the finest tasting spirit I have ever tasted.

Tim

I think this is a great whisky too, but I'm shocked to hear you say this ! Including all bourbons ?

My stock answer to this is Highland Park 18yo, but truthfully it was probably a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling of Glenugie (24yo). No point recommmending it as the distillery is demolished and that particular dram on lives on in a few peoples' memories :( Glenugie is very distinctive and full of tropical fruit flavours (and plasticine ! - but nice) and if you ever get a chance to try it go for it.

ratcheer
08-16-2006, 15:30
I think this is a great whisky too, but I'm shocked to hear you say this ! Including all bourbons ?



I'm afraid so. It was absolutely delightful.

They have it at my state's ABC stores, but at about $80 per bottle, I have managed to pass it up, so far.

Tim

Bamber
08-17-2006, 03:38
Your not alone in liking the SB Balvenie:

http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3878

I guess I'd have a tough time buying it too, if it cost the equivalent of 2 bottles of PVW 15yo

Vange
08-17-2006, 06:49
I second the Aberlour A'Bunadh, it is very good. It's one of my "affordable" favorites. My favorite to date, I have only had a few drams though, is Macallan 25 year. Near perfect to me.

I am definietly a speyside and sherry in my scotch type of guy, I do not like the Islays. I own a Lagavulin 16 (a gift) and it sits on my shelf waiting for Islay fans to finish it.

Gillman
08-17-2006, 06:54
I have a friend who keeps a bottle of Lag 16 solely for the purpose of adding a few eye-drops to a glass of Speyside or sherry cask whiskey. He did (I have to say) get the idea from me. The very light but detectable smokiness added really picks up the drink, adds complexity.

Gary

bluesbassdad
08-17-2006, 12:10
Gary,

I can vouch for the value of this approach, albeit in another context (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showpost.php?p=67098&postcount=1), one not on-topic in this thread.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Gillman
08-17-2006, 12:26
Yes, thanks Dave, and I had seen the post you mentioned. It describes a very similar approach, but in the context of straight (American) whiskey. In effect, the relative blandness and youth of the base whiskey are ameliorated significantly by a small addition of older, more pungent whiskey.

I first got the idea from an 1885 blending manual by Joseph Fleischman which I have mentioned many times on the board. Excerpts can be studied at www.pre-pro.com. (It is easiest to find by using the site index function - look under "whiskey recipes").

Gary

bluesbassdad
08-17-2006, 16:20
Gary,

As I glanced at the five or so recipes just now, a mental image of the hero of the novel Red Likker, by Irwin S. Cobb (http://pecantreebooks.com/homeless13.html)popped into my head. I believe his last name was Bird. He frequently railed against the rectifiers, who he believed were a stain on the industry.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Gillman
08-17-2006, 17:37
Yes, I know, but that view is a simplification.

First, cheap whiskey was not a bad thing in that it made available to people who wanted spirituous drink, but could not afford the best, a whiskey-like drink.

Second, rectified liquor in one sense is superior to congener-laden whiskey (especially the early 1800's, not-very-aged pot still product).

Third, if you read on in Fleischman, you will see that he includes blends which step up in a strict gradation the amount of straight whiskey, indeed to 100%. Thus, there is a spectrum of flavors, or quality if you will, and one can (or could, rather) choose by reference to the depth of one's purse and one's taste.

Personally, I like Fleischman's blends which comprise 80% straight whiskey or more. Properly made, they are better than most bourbon on the market - then or now. :)

Gary

bluesbassdad
08-17-2006, 22:22
Personally, I like Fleischman's blends which comprise 80% straight whiskey or more. Properly made, they are better than most bourbon on the market - then or now.

Gary,

I'll try it if I ever get the chance.

A fictional character's (and a very rigid one, at that) beliefs will not dissuade me.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Powertrip
08-19-2006, 07:35
I think a lot of is where you buy it---I still find stores here and there that have it for $40-45.
People thought that there was a Lagavulin shortage for awhile so the prices jumped, but there was/is no shortage, so they may re-stabilize.

I have never seen a pricing phenomenon in the scotch world like that of the Lagavulin 16yr. Here in Canada, I have seen it for as low as $58 to as high as $106, and it blows me away. There is one place where I live that has it at $58, then exactly a 95 second walk away is another store that has it for $98 (I've timed the walk cause I was so baffled).
I think some places try to cash in on its reputation so the mark up must be astronomical.

Flying Scot
08-19-2006, 07:50
Hi,

I've been drinking good quality Scotches for 20+ years (I live in Edinburgh) and have recently started to explore small batch bourbon. I have to say, my preference is leaning towards the bourbons. There is no doubt that overall, bourbon is sweeter than scotch, but this is not neccessarily a bad thing. The mellow caramel, toffee, cocoa and allspice notes that can be found in good bourbon are noticeably absent in most scotches. There are sweet notes in scotch whisky, but they are lighter, even when the addition of a small amount of water releases further ester flavours.

It's useful to note that scotch has pronounced regional flavours. Many of the whisky brands that have been mentioned in this thread come from Islay, which has by far the most pronounced flavour characteristics of any region. Smoke, peat, salt and iodine tend to dominate and this might not be welcome to an accustomed bourbon drinker, at least without a period of acclimatisation. Also, it's worth trying to find cask strength, unfiltered malts. There is a big difference in taste. For malts that are closer to bourbon in flavour, try to find some Lowland Malts such as Rosebank, Tullibardine, Glenkinchie or Auchentoshan. They tend to be lighter, sweeter and fruitier. Also, Speyside malts lack the peat and smoke that is found in Islay.

Good scotch, especially cask strength, is universally drunk at room temperature with a small amount of water, at least by serious drinkers here in Scotland. This combination of temperature and dilution really optimise the nose and taste of the whisky.

At the moment, I am finding bourbons to be more enjoyable, especially with a cigar. I enjoy Buffalo Trace as my 'everyday' bourbon and am working my way through Makers Mark, Knob Creek (9year old) and Woodford. I have to say, despite some of the negative press here, I've found the Woodford to be quite enjoyable. I've also had a complete sampling from Julian Van Winkle of his entire range, including his rye and these really are in a different class.

Regards
Ernst

ratcheer
08-19-2006, 08:50
Thanks for posting, Ernst. Welcome to SB.com! I hope you will try to drop in with us, often.

Also, I have also always enjoyed Woodford, but I haven't had it, recently. Probably not in a few years.

Tim

bluesbassdad
08-19-2006, 14:01
Ernst,

Welcome!

My attention was drawn to your reference to Woodford Reserve. The reaction to it among folks here has varied dramatically during my few years here. When first introduced it was almost universally loved. Only when the addition of pot still bourbon began did numerous negative comments appear. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have tasted only the early bottles. I have one, and it is delightful, with lots of honey notes -- not just sweetness but hints of the aromas of the flowers the bees visited.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

thehighking
08-19-2006, 20:07
I have never seen a pricing phenomenon in the scotch world like that of the Lagavulin 16yr. Here in Canada, I have seen it for as low as $58 to as high as $106, and it blows me away. There is one place where I live that has it at $58, then exactly a 95 second walk away is another store that has it for $98 (I've timed the walk cause I was so baffled).
I think some places try to cash in on its reputation so the mark up must be astronomical.

Yeah---although I've noticed this is true with many Scotches. Macallan suffers from this phenomenon, too as does Balvenie.

I have two stores here in Baltimore about 4 miles apart. One sells the 18 year old Macallan for 142, the other for 118. Not a huge difference, but enough for me to go to one over the other.

Lagavulin, around here, I've seen anywhere from low 40s to high 80s.

Powertrip
08-21-2006, 16:34
I second the Aberlour A'Bunadh, it is very good. It's one of my "affordable" favorites.

Damn you all for liking the A'Bunadh.
I've been holding back from buying a bottle cause I'm broke flatter than piss on a platter, but I here so many people saying its so good (escpecially the batch 014) that I'm going to buy a bottle right now!
Whisky wins again....

Bamber
08-22-2006, 10:07
The batch 14 is excellent. Not heard a bad word said about it.

chasking
08-22-2006, 13:18
The price of Lagavulin 16yo has gone up substantially in recent years because demand outstripped supply, at least at its previous price point. IIRC, about three years ago they ran out. It was simply not to be found, at least around here; they had to wait for more casks to reach 16 years to bottle another batch, and when that reached the market, the price had jumped about 25% or so. The supply/demand ratio seems to have stabilized at that level.

Personally I thought it was underpriced before. The 16yo was Lagavulin's "base" whiskey, and back then it was priced in the high $40s, at least around here. That was closer to the "base" whiskeys of its primary analogs: Laphroaig 10yo, Ardbeg 10yo, Bowmore 12yo. But those brands each had older versions that sold for much more: Laphroaig 15yo, Bowmore 17yo, Ardbeg 17yo (which was still available then). Those were all around $70. I always thought Lagavulin 16yo belonged in that company, rather than with the younger versions. Now it is priced accordingly. In fact, I still think it's a good deal, although I wish I had bunkered a case back then.

DrinkyBanjo
08-22-2006, 14:41
The batch 14 is excellent. Not heard a bad word said about it.

I have a bottle of batch 13. Reminds me very much of Red Wine. Anyone else?

AVB
08-22-2006, 18:44
They have released a 12 yo cask strength Lagavulin at 115.4 proof although at a higher price point. The one I found was $140 here but has since gone up so I bought it in the UK for about $100.

brockagh
08-23-2006, 11:16
Is this the 12 yr old? There's two versions of that. I don't know which one I've tried.

AVB
08-23-2006, 12:56
I'm thinking you want to attach a pic but didn't. The 12 yo cask strength looks just like the regular 16 except it says 12 and "Special Release" on the box.

BourbonBalls
08-23-2006, 16:10
Has anyone tried the Batch 16? Thats availble to me now and I don't want to spring for a bottle unless I'm a little more informed....

thanks

contrarian
08-23-2006, 18:22
I'm halfway through a Batch 16, BB, but it's my first bottle of a'bunadh so I can't compare.

It is outstanding whisky loaded with sherry, oak, raisin and orange flavors with just a bit of smoke on the finish. IMO, it's a bourbon lover's SMSW and I think many will find it too sweet. Islay lovers who don't like the sherry flavors in Macallan will mostly think this is disgusting.

It is extremely easy to drink at cask strength. I paid $62, and, while I'd prefer to never pay more for any whiskey than I pay for Stagg, I will buy another and another when this is gone.

Jeff

Virus_Of_Life
08-23-2006, 23:21
OK, I am not a scotch drinker but seeing this thread over and over again kept reminding me a scotch I had a couple weeks ago. It definitely would not be my favorite; so I may not be able to say what my favorite scotch is, I can say it most certainly is NOT Oban, 14 year I believe it was. My friend who convinced me to try it, really liked it and said it was a good scotch. I think it is safe to say he liked my Pappy 20 more than I liked his Oban! :slappin: So I'll keep trying his scotch as long as he keeps trying my bourbon because I could already see a convert in the making... :grin:

bluesbassdad
08-24-2006, 12:31
Christian,

I've never drunk Oban; I don't know whether it's a good gateway scotch for a bourbon drinker or not.

Next time the two of you get together, ask your friend for a sip of Famous Grouse (a blend) or Highland Park 12 y/o. If neither of them appeal to you, then I would hazard a guess that won't become a fan of scotch. Of course, that's only a guess.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Virus_Of_Life
08-24-2006, 16:31
Christian,

I've never drunk Oban; I don't know whether it's a good gateway scotch for a bourbon drinker or not.

Next time the two of you get together, ask your friend for a sip of Famous Grouse (a blend) or Highland Park 12 y/o. If neither of them appeal to you, then I would hazard a guess that won't become a fan of scotch. Of course, that's only a guess.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Honestly Dave, years ago I used to drink Glenfiddich 15 year and quite liked it. But this same friend mentioned that was hardly a scotch as it had literally no peaty smokiness that many scotch lovers enjoy. I will say this though, the Oban had a better almost sweet flavor neat but once I dropped a few icecubes in it became bad... I'd take a good tequila over a scotch any day.

CrispyCritter
08-24-2006, 16:43
I've found that I don't really like bourbon or Scotch on the rocks. Even though I use ice from reverse-osmosis filtered water, I don't like how an on-the-rocks drink gets steadily diluted - and sometimes the whiskey takes on a sickly flavor. That happened to me with Knob Creek a while back...

Of course, when I mix cocktails, the ice is very important - but it gets strained out when I pour the mixture into the glass.

TimmyBoston
08-25-2006, 04:42
OK, I am not a scotch drinker but seeing this thread over and over again kept reminding me a scotch I had a couple weeks ago. It definitely would not be my favorite; so I may not be able to say what my favorite scotch is, I can say it most certainly is NOT Oban, 14 year I believe it was. My friend who convinced me to try it, really liked it and said it was a good scotch. I think it is safe to say he liked my Pappy 20 more than I liked his Oban! :slappin: So I'll keep trying his scotch as long as he keeps trying my bourbon because I could already see a convert in the making... :grin:

I have had Oban 14 a few times and I didn't care for it. Especially considering it runs around $60 a bottle in my area. I am a big fan of Scotch but I just didn't like it. IMO I don't know if they're a really good starter for a bourbon fan, because IMO Scotch and Bourbon are such totally different spirits. My starter was Glenlivet 12, but another good starter might be Highland Park 12, but it's a great all-rounder, it has a lot of very common flavors that can exist in all regions of Scotch. It's also one of my favorites, I always keep a bottle on hand. If you like smokey things, the Islay starter IMO is Laphroaig 10, I love it, too. Also I liked bourbon more immediately than I liked Scotch. I bought a bottle of Glenlivet and had to drink it a few times before I really liked it that much then I started getting the cravings.....

chasking
08-25-2006, 07:16
If you like smokey things, the Islay starter IMO is Laphroaig 10, I love it, too.

I would use Ardbeg 10yo as a starter Islay. Laphroaig (and Bowmore) have very distinct flavors that tend to induce a love-it-or-hate-it reaction---apparently Laphroaig produced a "love it" reaction in you, but that is not a universal response. The distinct Laphroaig taste is not entirely due to the peat character. I think the Ardbeg is a more neutral (although still delicious) whiskey. If someone likes the smoky aspect of the whiskey, then I would stretch out and try the other peaty Islays.

I guess I can just easily see somebody trying Laphroaig and hating it, and writing off the other Islays even though s/he would have loved Ardbeg or Lagavulin, since they are so different.

TimmyBoston
08-25-2006, 13:00
I would use Ardbeg 10yo as a starter Islay. Laphroaig (and Bowmore) have very distinct flavors that tend to induce a love-it-or-hate-it reaction---apparently Laphroaig produced a "love it" reaction in you, but that is not a universal response. The distinct Laphroaig taste is not entirely due to the peat character. I think the Ardbeg is a more neutral (although still delicious) whiskey. If someone likes the smoky aspect of the whiskey, then I would stretch out and try the other peaty Islays.

I guess I can just easily see somebody trying Laphroaig and hating it, and writing off the other Islays even though s/he would have loved Ardbeg or Lagavulin, since they are so different.


I've always used Laphroaig as a starter Islay because the flavors are so much sweeter, well in the case of a 10 x 10 comparison. I also like Ardbeg and Lagavulin, but the Lagavulin's $100 a bottle around here, If you can find it. But I also find a lot of seaspray, saline and iodine flavors (love it or hate it) in the Ardbeg as well.

Hedmans Brorsa
08-26-2006, 02:43
But I also find a lot of seaspray, saline and iodine flavors (love it or hate it) in the Ardbeg as well.

Absolutely! Personally, I find the proposition of Ardbeg 10yo to be a better first Islay, somewhat misleading. To me, Bowmore of any guise, is much more milder and sweeter. My father (primarily a Cognac drinker) finds peat hard to stomach. He can (barely) tolerate Bowmore but he loathes Ardbeg 10yo.

In my circles Bowmore goes under the somewhat derogatory alias of "Perfume Islay". I like it, though.

brockagh
08-26-2006, 03:41
There's a theory that Bowmore produced this perfumed malt for a short period, and we're sampling it now. It's supposed to be going back to a more non-perfumed style, whether this is true or not.

I prefer Bowmore and Lagavulin to Ardbeg. I think Ardbeg is talked up, although it is very good. All tastes differ, of course.

TimmyBoston
08-27-2006, 02:01
I prefer Bowmore and Lagavulin to Ardbeg. I think Ardbeg is talked up, although it is very good. All tastes differ, of course.

I disagree with the preference of Bowmore, I personally don't think any of it that I've tried is outstanding. But it's by no means bad, just not to my taste, now also I've never tried the older vintages, so I can't compare them. But I do agree that Ardbeg is somewhat talked up. The ten for example is a fine dram, but nothing spectacular in my mind. I generally prefer Laphroaig 10, but I also have a soft spot for it. Now in terms of Ardbeg, the Uigaedail is wonderful, one of the finest spirits I've ever had in my life. But it isn't terribly common, while only one of the high end liquor stores in in my area carry it I only know of one bar that stocks it and its in Denver Colorado, "Pints" is its name, and supposedly has the largest selection of Scotch outside the UK.

Now Lagavulin is great, but IMO opinion that White Horse (distillery) that is no longer produced is outstanding, while the Port Ellen which is now more commonly available is good but not in the same league as the White Horse. I have a bottle of each, open, and there is a huge disparity.

brockagh
08-27-2006, 08:19
I disagree with the preference of Bowmore, I personally don't think any of it that I've tried is outstanding. But it's by no means bad, just not to my taste, now also I've never tried the older vintages, so I can't compare them. But I do agree that Ardbeg is somewhat talked up. The ten for example is a fine dram, but nothing spectacular in my mind. I generally prefer Laphroaig 10, but I also have a soft spot for it. Now in terms of Ardbeg, the Uigaedail is wonderful, one of the finest spirits I've ever had in my life. But it isn't terribly common, while only one of the high end liquor stores in in my area carry it I only know of one bar that stocks it and its in Denver Colorado, "Pints" is its name, and supposedly has the largest selection of Scotch outside the UK.

Now Lagavulin is great, but IMO opinion that White Horse (distillery) that is no longer produced is outstanding, while the Port Ellen which is now more commonly available is good but not in the same league as the White Horse. I have a bottle of each, open, and there is a huge disparity.


I was lucky enough to try two Bowmores from 1964. One was from a first fill sherry cask and the other was from a second fill sherry cask. They were the best two whiskys I've tasted.

Of course, this is jut my opionion, but the Bowmore 17 is wonderful, although the Bowmore 12 is very disappointing.

I also love the Ugiedail, but I wish it was just a bit less salty.

AVB
08-28-2006, 09:59
There were 3 "versions" of the 1964 Black Bowmore, a 29, 30 and 31 yo that were released over a period of 3 years. Prepare to spend at least $6000 for the set if someone sells their's. Back in '94 I bought the 29 yo for just around $100 if I remember correctly. Now it's about a $1500 if you can find one. It was good though!

Later there was a small release (95 bottles) of another 1964 Bowmore bottled at 35 years old and sometimes called "Black Bowmore 2" I've never even seen this bottling.


I was lucky enough to try two Bowmores from 1964. One was from a first fill sherry cask and the other was from a second fill sherry cask. They were the best two whiskys I've tasted.

Joeluka
08-28-2006, 11:24
Binnys has all three of the "Black Bowmore 2's" They go for $1999 a bottle.

brockagh
08-28-2006, 12:54
yeah, Black Bowmore is one I'd love to try. I think Bowmore was producing great stuff during the '60s. I also tasted a very young Bowmore from the cask that was in great shape. I think it could be a return to greatness.

Bowmore is particulary good when matured in sherry casks, I believe.

AVB
08-28-2006, 13:00
Binnys is missing the Olosoro Cask one which is the most limited of the 3 newer releases.


Binnys has all three of the "Black Bowmore 2's" They go for $1999 a bottle.

Powertrip
08-29-2006, 11:36
To me, Bowmore of any guise, is much more milder and sweeter. In my circles Bowmore goes under the somewhat derogatory alias of "Perfume Islay". I like it, though.

I will personally agree with this. Sometimes too much peat gets to me, Bowmore; being kinda halfway there, is a great introduction to peat.

dougdog
09-05-2006, 09:51
The price of Lagavulin 16yo has gone up substantially in recent years because demand outstripped supply, at least at its previous price point. IIRC, about three years ago they ran out. It was simply not to be found, at least around here; they had to wait for more casks to reach 16 years to bottle another batch, and when that reached the market, the price had jumped about 25% or so. The supply/demand ratio seems to have stabilized at that level.

Personally I thought it was underpriced before. The 16yo was Lagavulin's "base" whiskey, and back then it was priced in the high $40s, at least around here. That was closer to the "base" whiskeys of its primary analogs: Laphroaig 10yo, Ardbeg 10yo, Bowmore 12yo. But those brands each had older versions that sold for much more: Laphroaig 15yo, Bowmore 17yo, Ardbeg 17yo (which was still available then). Those were all around $70. I always thought Lagavulin 16yo belonged in that company, rather than with the younger versions. Now it is priced accordingly. In fact, I still think it's a good deal, although I wish I had bunkered a case back then.

Chuck,

I agree with what you have posted, you are spot on!

For what ever it is worth: My friend Tim, (TMH) had mentioned to me, at a past get-together, about the difference in bottlings. I asked what? He taught me to look at the fine print on the front of the label, distinguishing the "White Horse" version from the "Port Ellen" version. In the past, I never could figure out why the Lag tasted different from bottle to bottle. I never had my glasses on to read the fine print and never had two bottles side by side to notice the different logo and fine print. (Proving how unobservant I can be at times)

Seems in my past hunting trips that I was privileged to gather up some of the older stuff (White Horse) and didn't even know what I had...Tim has corrected that for me and I'll be ever grateful. With an open bottle of each, I've got to say though, I do prefer the White Horse to the PE version, but both are good in their own rights...

Bamber
09-05-2006, 10:54
You might want to hold your white horses before opening any more - those older bottles are very sought after and you could make yourself a pretty penny.

CrispyCritter
09-05-2006, 19:48
Then again, I buy my bottles for drinking - even if it isn't going to be opened for a long time. The Ardbeg 1977 in my bunker is not going to show up on eBay!

By the time I tried Lagavulin, any White Horse bottles had long disappeared from the shelves around here, so I don't have that as a benchmark to judge newer bottlings. That being said, at some point I might just have to resign myself to the new reality and buy another bottle of Laga, in spite of it being 50% more expensive than my last one. :hot:

EricABQ
09-15-2006, 17:04
Talisker 18 is easily my favorite Scotch. And, at $60 a bottle, it's a value (relative to other single malts that is.)

I also like Laphroaig 15 when I'm in the mood for an Islay, and Macallan 12 for a non-peaty.

I also think The Glenlivet 15 French Oak is a great value, especially when compared to the price of the Macallan Fine Oak 15.