View Full Version : 21 year old SMS bottlings...
For me, before Bourbon, there was Single Malt Scotch...
And while I have grown to enjoy collecting and drinking Bourbon much more than SMS, I still enjoy a quality dram of Scotch from time to time as well.
I really enjoy Aberlour 21, Balvenie Portwood 21 and Dalmore 21.
Fortunately, all three of these are still somewhat readily available to me at 'older' prices - which is the only reason I still drink them.
Curious if anyone has any favorite 21 year Single Malts they might recommend to go along with those listed above?
Have my eye on a Glenfarclas 21, but having never tasted any, don't want to chance that I might not like it. Cannot find any minis of Glenfarclas anywhere and so I defer to all-y'all.
Thanks in advance for any recommendations and opinions.
My favorite malts come from Islay with Ardbeg as my #3,#2 Caol Ila and mt #1 is Port Ellen which is closed years ago so the bottling of that whisky is minimal 20 years old.Glenfarclas is a good one but i don`t know if they have mini`s ,i have a look around here for you:grin: .Eric.
The availability of SMS differs somewhat between Europe and the US, i.e. I am not sure what you can find in your neck of the woods.
However, a great, underrated distillery is Benriach. They have a 21 yo called "Authenticus" which, for my money, is some of the best SMS you can get today. It is heavily peated, though, so if thatīs not your cuppa tea, I would recommend the "standard" 20yo Benriach. It is malty, slightly spicy and with moderate amounts of toffee.
The best whisky Iīve ever had was earlier bottlings of Springbank 21yo. Sadly, the distillery was mothballed during large parts of the 80īs, which means that you can only get it at exorbitant prices. Even without the price tag, I wouldnīt recommend it, since you cannot be sure what you get. The last bottle I had, just before it disappeared was disappointingly sub-par.
The Glenlivet 21yo used to be great but it was ages since I last tried one. It has received somewhat lukewarm reviews of lately, so I have refrained from investing.
Perhaps this site can help you further ,sometimes you can get a good bargain. www.whiskyauction.com (http://www.whiskyauction.com) .Sometimes they also offer good Bourbons and the guys doing this auction are reliable.Eric.
Based on the three you listed you seem to go for the sherried style of scotch. You might like The Inverarity Ancestral 14 ( which is really Balmenach) available from Shoppers Vineyard (http://www.shoppersvineyard.com/theinverarity/the-inverarity-14yr-single-malt-scotch-whisky-11267.html)
The only 21yo SMCW I've tried lately is the Glenlivet 21yo Archive. Victor over at Village Liquors sold it for $79. The release at Spec's runs about $110 or more. I like it a lot. Balanced in all areas. I don't drink a lot of scotch, but I've found myself reaching for this one when I do.
The 21 yo's you listed are very good, although the Aberlour 21 is very difficult to find anymore. By the way, have you tried any 17/18 yo's? If not, there are some very good scotch whiskies in the 17 and 18 yo range (and a bit more affordable). The Glenlivet 21 yo is very good. The Glenlivet 18 yo is, for me, excellent being not quite so dry with a little more range and character. If you like the fruitier and sweeter malts, the Auchentoshan 21 yo is very good and brings out the malt character in a nice way. The Glenfarclas 21 yo and 17 yo are both very good, having more of a sherry flavor present. The Glenfiddich 21 yo is nice but, for me, not quite as good as some of the others. For other 17/18 yo's, if you're willing to try a peatier scotch the Talisker 18 yo is excellent (one of my personal favorites, complexe and very smooth and only $55 cash at Spec's) and the Bowmore 17 yo is very good (but grab this one quick, it will soon be replaced by an 18 yo). Note that age tends to mellow and round out the peat some so that it doesn't seem to come on quite as strong as in the younger versions. The Highland Park 18 yo is also excellent, not quite as peaty but still robust with plenty of character and an underlying hint of sherry. The Macallan 18 yo is excellent with a very rich sherry flavor. Some other very good ones are the Glenmorangie 18 yo and Bruichladdich 17 yo (shown on packaging as XVII).
This was long, but I hope you got some ideas here.
Auchentoshan 21 is also very nice for a 21 year.
I had an older Glenlivet 21 Archive with a dark blue label which I loved and got it for $70. The new boxed Glenlivet 21 is a different label and comes in a nice box and retails for $100+. I assume it's the same whisky, but I haven't had the 'new' one yet.
Balv 21 portwood is one of my favs. I also have a Glenfarclas 25 and it's great. A nice, pure, clean single malt.
I typcially stay away from heavily peated Islay offerings, but I think I am in the minority of people that dislike that style.
If you can really float it, Highland Park 25 is an exceptional dram.
Diging up an old one here..but the Glenfarclas 21 is very nice..It various from year to hear, but has a nice balance of sherry, malt, and a bit of peat..the oak is in check...
The Glenfiddich 21 is fun, a bit lighter then some, not a full bodied malt...
The Highland Park 1977 21yo Bicentenary malt (at binnys now) is just amazing, and a fair price at $120..
Forget the Laddis in that range- too pricy for what you get..same with the Macallan Fine oak range....
Aberfeldy is a nice malt when done by indies- I don't like the 12. far to thin, almost blend-like..I hear the 21 has a touch of peat and is nicly malty...
Don;t have my tasting notes handy, but this is off the topc of my head..
Isle of Jura 21yo is something to write home about. I don't usually go that old with Scotch but I had some at Whiskeyfest 2006---they were promoting it in advance of its launch. It was an amazing whiskey.
Interesting. The Jura 21yr is being sold at the LCBO for $130 cdn. That's a song over here BTW...
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