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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    I tried Laphoaig last night and have to say I was disgusted. I can't say I wasn't forewarned, but I was actually a bit caught off guard by how medicinal and peaty it was.

    I confess I'm a rather shallow wader in the world of scotch. I picked up this bottle of Laphroaig 10 yr just to find out if it suited my tastes...and it didn't.

    I have heard or read that the Islay malts are generally the peatiest and the Speyside malts are more approachable to the uninitiated...that they are "unpeated".

    Basically I need some advice...please recommend the single malts I should try next. I did like Glennfiddich 12 year which I understand is a Speyside. It was basically good although a bit tame. I'd like to find something a bit more challenging than the Glennfiddich but less distinctive than the Laphroaig. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    I guess Glenfiddich counts as Speyside, even though it's about five miles from the river, while most of them are right on the Spey.

    I have no recommendation for a Speyside malt, since I prefer to stronger ones from the west, but I do have this tip:

    If you are on a road trip in Scotland with someone who is less enthusiastic than you about whisky, you can suggest visiting the Walker's Shortbread factory, which is, conveniently, in the thick of the Speyside distilleries.

  3. #3
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    There are many, many unpeated (or low peat level) single malts from many redgions to choose from in a variety of styles, from light Auchentoshan, to sherried Glendronach and Glenfarclas to rugged Old Pulteney and Dalmore. Given your request for something a bit more challenging than Glenfiddich but not peated, I would try Old Pulteney, Dalmore and some of the Glenmorangie finished casks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    Laphroaig is a bold step for a non scotch drinker..... I like Islay's, but Laphroaig takes me to my limit.

    If you want to try an easier Peated malt, try a Talisker... Less medicinal, easier drinking...
    Cheers,

    Scott

    Reality is an illusion created by a lack of alcohol.

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    Highland Park 12. It has a touch of heathery peat but it's nothing like Islay. I think it's a good option for a bourbon drinker, too. It's honeyed, toffee sweet, and a little floral at the entry, but finishes with a dry elegance.

    Also, don't rule out Bunnahabhain, despite being on Islay there is little or no peat in this malt. I find the 12 y/o sweet, nutty, and salty-sea fresh.

    Both of these are more complex and to me a lot more interesting that Glenfiddich. If you're set on Speyside, Macallan and Aberlour are great examples of what sherry butts do for a top notch distillate. Macallan is a little reminiscent of a good bourbon, too,

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    Birdman provides a good suggestion, Highland Park 12. It's a very good malt, lightly peated and makes for a better introduction into the peaty side of SMSW. Laphroiag's and Ardbeg's are generally for those with more acclimated palates within the world of Scotch.

    Here's a very good resource that helped me find my way when I first discovered SMSW. https://www.lfw.co.uk/diageo/flavourmap.html
    This flavor map provides a compass to help guide your way into the preferred flavor profile(s) that suit your tastes.

    As you can see on "the map", the Laphroaig is in the upper left extreme quadrant where as HP12 is on the "rich" side and not as high above the "peamt line". You might well prefer a sherry influenced expression. Balvenie 12 Double Wood is nice, The Macallan 12 Sherry Cask is a"Sherry Bomb".
    Glenmornagie 10 Original is fruity dram that may interest you as well.

    Best thing to do is go to a bar with a good selection of SMSW and try a dram or two from each quadrant of the flavor map above and discover what zone you prefer and buy a bottle from there.

  7. #7
    Trippah and Admin
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    I'm definitely not a scotch drinker, but I enjoy Dalmore 12. I'll recommend that as a stepping stone.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  8. #8
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    I made a similar mistake with an Ardbeg 10 after thinking Glenfiddich was almost flavorless, damn, that was not to my tastes at all. I at times want a change of pace whisk(e)y, but obviously that was too much, and I don't like the super sweet either, like the Glenlivet Nadurra I tasted was just way too sweet for my tastes.

    Thanks Ox, I had been eyeing Dalmore 12 at a place that had it on sale for I think under $40 a bottle and then mailed me a 15% off coupon, so that'd be cheap enough to venture out.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  9. #9
    Trippah and Admin
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    I should have placed a caveat in that Dalmore has reformulated and i have a bottle of the last iteration of the 12 year, not the current.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Well, I guess this means Islay malts are out...

    First off, stay away from Ardmore. It IS a Speyside, but it's a fully peated one... and a favorite of mine. Try Aberlour 12, McCallan 12 or Balvenie Double Wood. These are sweeter and are aged/finished in Sherry casks.

    You may also want to try Auchentoshan Classic, 12 year or Three wood.
    Last edited by ebo; 04-16-2011 at 13:25.

 

 

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