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  1. #1

    Irish Whisky and Scotch

    Hey All,

    Looking forward to getting my Christmas bottle of bourbon. But this year as I have started to study about my family history was curious about Irish whiskey and scotch.

    I was wondering what moderately in-exp. bottle of each you'd recommend. Won't break the wallet if I hate them, but also be a quality that would be worthy of a true sense of what they tasted like. We'll say 20-30 dollars or whatever.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    A good example of an Irish would be Jamesons 12 YO.
    A good example of a Scotch would be Balvenie 10 YO.
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

  3. #3
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    For Irish whiskey and for about $40 I really like Redbreast 12.

  4. #4
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    White Horse, Teachers or some of the other blends are good intro Scotches....and Black Bush Black for Irish.

  5. #5
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    I'm very fond of Powers and Redbreast for Irish. Powers in particular has a very cool, menthol feel that's also present in Baby Saz rye whiskey. Like most Irish whiskey, Powers is a blend but it's one that contains a high percentage of pure pot still. Redbreast is 100% pure pot still, a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.

    Unless you have a lot of money to spend on single malt, I'd actually recommend a vatted malt (a blending of single malt whisky, no grain whisky) such as Sheep Dip. Single malts that I do like are Highland Park, Macallan, Glenrothes, Aberlour Abunadh and Balvenie. And Talisker. Among others.

    My own favorite Vatted Malt is Jon, Mark and Robbo's The Rich Spicy One; if you see it, grab it. It's in the neighborhood of $30 per bottle and, like all good things, has come to an end. (Jon and Mark are the brothers Geary; Robbo is David Robertson, a well-regarded Master Blender who gave us Macallan Gran Reserva and the whole series of Macallan malts based on vintage Macallans. Robertson left the enterprise and it is currently moribund.)
    Last edited by shoshani; 12-16-2008 at 13:36.

  6. #6
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Vange View Post
    For Irish whiskey and for about $40 I really like Redbreast 12.
    You just can't beat Redbreast.

    for a little less money Jameson 12 will give a lot of the same taste. I think the last time I bought any Redbreast it was about $43 or $45 dollars compared to Jameson 12 at about $35. But those figures may be off.

    I'm fond of Bushmills 10. It is a single malt which means unlike Redbreast it is made from 100% malted barley as apposed to a mashbill of malted and unmalted barley. At times I think it tastes slightly more malty than Redbreast and at other times I think Redbreast is just as malty, but always with the addition of "something else", perhaps the unmalted component.

  7. #7
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    Redbreast 12 for Irish, The Glenlivet 12 for Scotch. Actually, if you can find a bottle of The Robert Burns Single Malt, it would be a fantastic introduction to Scotch whisky.

  8. #8
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    In your stated price range I'd suggest Bushmill's Black label (Black Bush) Irish and Johnnie Walker Black blended Scotch. Blended whisk(e)y is sometimes a 'curse word' around here, but these two offerings show just how good blended whiskey can taste, when the blender knows his job and has tasty whusk to work with.
    Here's to us, who's like us?
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  9. #9
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by closetbourbonlvr View Post
    Hey All,

    Looking forward to getting my Christmas bottle of bourbon. But this year as I have started to study about my family history was curious about Irish whiskey and scotch.
    My limited research has shown the Irish part of my lineage to be from the area surrounding the Cooley Distillery...but I'm still waiting for an aunt to turn up with the family tree...
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  10. #10
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    Re: Irish Whisky and Scotch

    I was wondering what moderately in-exp. bottle of each you'd recommend. Won't break the wallet if I hate them, but also be a quality that would be worthy of a true sense of what they tasted like. We'll say 20-30 dollars or whatever.
    Hi Closet,

    I believe it would be best to start out with the blends, as they are distilled from malted barley (via copper pot stills, "malt whisky"), and corn (via stainless steel column stills, "grain whisky"). The malt whiskies provide structure and body, while the grain whiskies provide smoothness and drinkability.

    There are 3 major distilling companies in Ireland:

    1) Irish Distillers Group-- the makers of John Jameson, John Powers, and Tullamore DEW. Jameson and Tullamore DEW have a higher percentage of grain whiskey, making them lighter in body. Powers, however, has more of the "pot still" malted barley character. I think they also make a whiskey under the label Clontarf, which is both affordable and enjoyable.

    2) Bushmills-- a distiller in Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.). Their standard blend is an excellent spirit to start out with. IMHO, their spirits are a little more floral and complex than most of their competitors.

    3) Cooley-- the newest of the 3 (the company, in its CURRENT form, is 15 years old), they make some pretty interesting varieties. Their standard blends are Kilbeggan (mild and elegant), Millar's (lighter, more grain spirits, like early Jameson), and Locke's (usually lightly-peated). They also produce whiskeys for some independent distributors. One is called Feckin' (a lot like Kilbeggan, but a little sweeter and heavier), and another is called Michael Collins (I haven't had this one yet).

    All of the whiskeys I have mentioned so far sell for around $20, plus or minus a couple of bucks.


    There are over 150 distilleries in Scotland, with nearly 100 currently producing.

    The big players are as follows:

    1) DiaGeo-- their standard blend is Justerini & Brooks (aka "J&B"), which is fairly inexpensive. Their upscale blends are the Johnny Walker brand. JW Red, their base blend, is a slight step up from J&B-- just slightly more malted barley. JW Black is made from all whiskies aged at least 12 years. JW Green (15-year, fairly smokey), JW Gold (18-year, some Sherry influence), and JW Blue (25-year) are all malt whiskies-- no grain whisky is added, and the prices reflect that.

    2) Pernod-Ricard-- their base blend is Ballantine's, which starts fairly inexpensive, but they do have a wide range, including one blend of spirits aged 30 years or more. Their upscale line is Chivas Regal, which can be had in 12-year, 18-year, 21-year (called "Royal Salute") and 25-year.

    3) John Dewar & Sons-- Dewar's White Label is a famous blended scotch whisky, and considered by many to be the industry standard. They also make a 12-year step-up.

    4) The Famous Grouse is the best-selling whisky in Scotland. Their base blends are both excellent and inexpensive, although they have a comprehensive lineup of older and bolder whiskies.

    5) William Grant & Sons-- while best known for 2 single malts (The Glenfiddich and The Balvenie), they do make Grant's, which is a blend. They also make a 12-year blend, a blend that have been finished in Sherry butts, and one that was finished in ale casks.



    I know that's a ton of information to sift through. If you have some more questions about Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey, feel free to let us know!
    "Suppose he's got a pointed stick!?!"

    - Eric Idle, Monty Python's Flying Circus

 

 

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