Your description reminds me a lot of Ardbeg Ugedail. It's one of the best scotches I've ever had, and around these parts it's cheaper than Day.
At a tasting today I was able to try Knappogue Castle 1951. Pretty incredible stuff.
Like I guess a lot of y'all, I like a good smokey peaty Islay - especially in the Fall. In fact, I go that direction a lot, which is in many ways opposite of the direction of the Lowlands, or so I thought. In my whisky roamings, other than Auchentoshan, I've pretty much neglected the Lowlands. ... and my 2009 Whisky Bible handed Glenkinchie 12 a pitiful score of 66, but then expert Jim Murray in the same book recommends that I spit out whisky, even at home, "especially at home" so really I wondered if he was possibly out of his mind when he wrote the assessment of that particular whisky, too. And I found Glenkinchie 12 at a very reasonable price, about $35 for a liter... so we gave it a shot. I don't do numbers, but ...
it's got that clean rich barley nose and initial taste, not too sweet, but the barley sugar is there, a little citrus goin' on too, but mostly a nose, taste and feel like Wheaties, the breakfast of champions. No smoke, no peat, a lot like Glengoyne (probably my anti-Islay favorite), but then the darker flavors ... oak, smoky peat, ...creep in and build during the long finish. The next sip initially washes away the darker flavors and then brings them back at the finish. A very interesting pour, and this household gives it two thumbs up. ... maybe would've missed that finish if we'd have spit :grin:.
I'll be sippin McClellands Islay isle tonight...not bad at all...Cheers!
Was in a nearby Trader Joe's (in the LA area), and saw two new Trader Joe's brand expressions, both bottled by Alexander Murray & Co. One was a Highland 10 yr old, 80 proof, that says on the front that it's "matured in oak casks." $19.99. On the back, the description: "It has a golden honey color and a floral nose with hints of diced apples, toffee and a smooth oaky finish."
Tasting it neat in a Glencairn, I would have to say that's pretty accurate. Nose: rounded sweetness, hints of apple/pear. Palate: a fair amount of harshness/burn initially, that resolves into sweet sherry notes. Finish: creamy vanilla with more of that sherry flavor.
Tastes like a 10 yr-old Macallan, to me. A little less smooth, a little more brash than the 12 yr. Still very enjoyable, though, esp. since I like sherry flavors. To me, a pretty good value.
Will try the 18 yr Speyside some other time. I'd love to hear what you guys think of these. They also had some more bottles of the well-received Trader Joe's brand irish, too.
Inspired by the recent discussion of Ardbeg Day, I decided to pit the Day against Uigedail, wee dram vs. wee dram.
The Day has a more delicate nose, but neither have overpowering peat. The sherry on the Oogie is strong in the nose, with some toffee/butterscotch in there too.
The Uigedail is more brash on the palette, with a bit of alcohol sting. I like the complexity of the taste, and the thick mouthfeel. The peat comes out here more, with a long finish.
The Day is very smooth on palette entry, and is more of a taste crescendo than a punch in the face. Very long finish here as well, but with fewer bitter notes. Sweet and almost refreshing.
They are both outstanding malts, but I would give the nod to the Day for it's overall presentation.
I know a place that has four of these on the shelf for $85, and I think it might be worth the $30 premium over the Uigedail, considering its not going to be around forever.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Old Pulteney 17 I sampled yesterday at Binny's. I was also knocked out by a lightly smokey Clynelish I tried but for the life of me I can't remember the exact bottling. I think I'll call Joe or Pat at Binny's tomorrow to find out and I'll report back. Whatever it was really hit the spot. Delicious!
Bought a dusty (late '70s) Ballantine's yesterday. I asked for the 12 year, but there was some confusion and I was distracted by the bourbon dusties I was getting, so I didn't notice until I left that they gave me the regular version instead. It's pretty nasty, like most old blends, but some of the traits are nice, like a clear phenolic component that's a bit more muscular than modern blends. Maybe these old blends tasted better when they were fresh.
Some Ardmore Traditional Cask during the Texans/Bears game. Will probably reach for another dark side selection next as well.