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  1. #1
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    Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    After all my recent bourbon purchases, I think it's time to add a new Scotch to the bar. I like peated and unpeated offerings, though I prefer the peat to be somewhat balanced. I found Laphroaig 10 to be just a bit too much. My favorites that I've tried so far have been Talisker 18, CB Hedonism, and an Oban 1969 32yr that I was lucky enough to get a few ounces of.

    Right now I have a CB Hedonism, which I love, and an Ardmore Traditional Cask, which is decent enough for $29, but if it was much more expensive I'd probably pass on it.

    Here are the bottles that I've been eyeing lately. Any of them stand out as a must-buy?

    CB Spice Tree
    CB Peat Monster
    Highland Park 12
    Balvenie 15 Single Barrel
    Talisker Distiller's Edition
    Oban 14

    I'm trying to keep it under $100. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by amg View Post
    After all my recent bourbon purchases, I think it's time to add a new Scotch to the bar. I like peated and unpeated offerings, though I prefer the peat to be somewhat balanced. I found Laphroaig 10 to be just a bit too much. My favorites that I've tried so far have been Talisker 18, CB Hedonism, and an Oban 1969 32yr that I was lucky enough to get a few ounces of.

    Right now I have a CB Hedonism, which I love, and an Ardmore Traditional Cask, which is decent enough for $29, but if it was much more expensive I'd probably pass on it.

    Here are the bottles that I've been eyeing lately. Any of them stand out as a must-buy?

    CB Spice Tree
    CB Peat Monster
    Highland Park 12
    Balvenie 15 Single Barrel
    Talisker Distiller's Edition
    Oban 14

    I'm trying to keep it under $100. Any thoughts?
    I like the Spice Tree so I recommend that if it is under $100. Others really like the CB Peat Monster but I have not had that as much. Might see if you can go up a step and slip the HP 15 in under $100 as well. Well worth it to me. The Taly Distiller Editions tend to vary a bit each year and I am not sure what the latest one is so harder to judge that one. I have liked them in the past for the most part. The 18 is much better to me but hard to find for less than $100 these days. The Balvenie 15 is another good "pure malt flavor" option.

    Don't have much experience with the Oban and it is seemingly climbing in price daily so I may not get much. The 18 price is now just slightly beyond ridiculous.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2010
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    Ohio
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    190

    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Of those on your list, I've had the HP12, Balvenie 15, and Oban 14. I wouldn't recommend the HP12. It was fine, but didn't stand out. I love the Balvenie, but being a Single Barrel, each one will vary. I've had a couple different barrels though and both have been really good. I've only had the Oban 14 once. I don't recall specifics, but remember enjoying it.

    If you want to go peated, you can try tracking down a Bruichladdich Port Charlotte release. I've had the PC6 & PC10 Tro Na Linntean and both were fantastic. They're discontinued now, but should be right around $100.

  4. #4
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Poking around I see the Oban on some sites for around $100 so maybe it is just the local price that has gotten ridiculous. At $100 the 18 might be worth a shot.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  5. #5
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Between CB Spice Tree and Balvenie 15 Single Barrel for a Speyside light peat I'd recommend the Spice Tree for price and repeatability

    For the more peated side of your choices (Peat Monster and Oban) both are great, the Peat Monster would give you a little more peat and brine (I have a real love of Oban as it was the whisky that led me down the path of smoke, but now I always have a bottle of Peat Monster open). Since you were not that crazy about the Ardmore, I might recommend you go with the Peat Monster.

    Now for your Peat/Sherry combo's, like others have said, I would definitely recommend upgrading the the HP15 that would keep you below the price of the Talisker DE. As far as which to buy, if you want the same intense profile as the Talisker you tried, but refined with the sherry finish go with the DE, if you want to try something a little more subtle go with the HP.

    BTW, I've got a couple of these open (and can easily be coaxed to open 1 or 2 more) that will be available for tasting at the Indy get together Saturday (see thread in bourbon social area). Also since you like Hedonism, I'm probably going to be opening a bottle of Hedonism Maximus that really shows how good aged grain whisky can shine.
    Last edited by TomH; 05-15-2014 at 10:54.

  6. #6
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Get some Springbank. The 10 at 46% and the 12 at CS are both standard, though I actually have had neither recently. Either should be a great place to start. Springbank brings in a wisp of peat and if you want more, go for the Longrow. It's not like Islay peat, nor is it like Talisker; it's really much more about earth and dirt, but with the same clean malt backbone as the Springbank. If you have access to the Longrow 10/100, that's where I'd start.

    Also, can't go wrong with Clynelish. I consider it a must-have, especially for someone just getting into Scotch.
    "A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end-- In the meantime it is good to drink whiskey."
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  7. #7
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    I can try to help you get some of these if they're running expensive in your parts. Around here I think the prices that I can get are as follows: (and these are my rankings in order of favorites)

    1. Balvenie 15 - $64 + tax
    2. Spice Tree - $60 + tax
    3. Oban 14 - $53 + tax
    4. HP15 - $55 + tax (agree with others that it's worth stepping up to the 15 from the 12)

    I think that I can even dig up the HP18 for $100 out the door possibly.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronWF View Post
    Get some Springbank. The 10 at 46% and the 12 at CS are both standard, though I actually have had neither recently. Either should be a great place to start. Springbank brings in a wisp of peat and if you want more, go for the Longrow. It's not like Islay peat, nor is it like Talisker; it's really much more about earth and dirt, but with the same clean malt backbone as the Springbank. If you have access to the Longrow 10/100, that's where I'd start.

    Also, can't go wrong with Clynelish. I consider it a must-have, especially for someone just getting into Scotch.
    I really like the Sprinkbank 12 Cask Strength. Well worth trying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
    I can try to help you get some of these if they're running expensive in your parts. Around here I think the prices that I can get are as follows: (and these are my rankings in order of favorites)

    1. Balvenie 15 - $64 + tax
    2. Spice Tree - $60 + tax
    3. Oban 14 - $53 + tax
    4. HP15 - $55 + tax (agree with others that it's worth stepping up to the 15 from the 12)

    I think that I can even dig up the HP18 for $100 out the door possibly.
    I need to go shopping in St. Paul!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  9. #9
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by TomH View Post
    BTW, I've got a couple of these open (and can easily be coaxed to open 1 or 2 more) that will be available for tasting at the Indy get together Saturday (see thread in bourbon social area). Also since you like Hedonism, I'm probably going to be opening a bottle of Hedonism Maximus that really shows how good aged grain whisky can shine.
    Hmm, that Hedonism Maximus might be enough to get me to abandon my own gathering and drive to Indy!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  10. #10
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    Re: Recommend my next bottle of Scotch

    Now I really wish I didn't already have plans on Saturday! Sounds like a good time.

    Prices aren't too outlandish here, but things vary quite a bit by brand/store combination. I have seen HP18 for just shy of $100. Might have to pull the trigger on that... or I could get a Clynelish AND a Spice Tree and just be a little bit over budget... as usual the answer is "all of them".

    Diageo prices are really skyrocketing, though. The current release of Tali 18 is $120+ (I got one a couple years ago for $80) and I haven't seen an Oban 18 locally for less than $150.

 

 

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