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  1. #21
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    I'm strange in that the first scotch I really enjoyed was Laphroaig (although it was the first single malt I had tried as well). For me, the peat/smoke was what I loved about it, because it was entirely different from my bourbon or rye. I actually have struggled the other way. The next dozen single malts I tried didn't really strike a chord because they felt like a shadow of that first experience. I would echo the recommendation of Highland Park 12 as a good place to start at a fair price.
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  2. #22
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    I find peat to be just another facet to enjoy. Some like it, some don't. You don't have to like peat to be a whiskey drinker or scotch drinker by any stretch. To me, peat is best shown through the balance in well crafted malts like Lagavulin or Highland Park. However, it was very trendy during the last decade and there seemed to be a push for peatier expression just to push the envelope. I didn't enjoy many of those as much. I often liken the the peat push of the 00's to the hop push in craft beer. I'm not a big fan of the hop-explosion beers either. I look for balance or interesting characteristics in all whiskey. Not so much just shock and awe.
    Richard
    GBS Member rounding out the top 5
    Are you a Whisk(e)y Apostle?

  3. #23
    Enthusiast
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    May 2014
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    331

    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    Quote Originally Posted by garbanzobean View Post
    Talisker 18 is one of my favorite malts under $100. Not sure I love it at $150, though.
    Sadly, Diageo has ended the era of Talisker 18 under $100 as far as I can tell. Best price I've seen locally is $120.
    Andrew

  4. #24

    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    The only younger peaty Scotch I really enjoy is Talisker 10. Most of the others I find rather monotonous. I either prefer them older (e.g. I much prefer Laphraoig 18 to the 10) where age seems to mellow the peat and lets some other flavours come out to play, or I like peaty whiskeys which get some time in sherry casks (Ardbeg Ugeadail gets my vote over the Ardbeg 10; Talisker Distiller's Edition gets finished in Amoroso Sherry Casks; Lagavulin Distiller's edition gets time in PX cask; Bowmore Darkest and its cask strength version Laimrig gets finished in oloroso casks) as it adds interesting fruit flavours to balance the peat and smoke.

  5. #25
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    I'm somewhere in the middle as far as smokey. I enjoy sherried peat so enjoy things like Lag, but Laph and even Bowmore and Talisker, at least the younger releases, are not to my liking. I do enjoy the briny style scotches like Laddie and Springbank but it's my wife that digs the heavy peat... crazy woman.

  6. #26
    Advanced Taster
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    May 2014
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    Northern California
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    I think it may take you some time to appreciate the peaty and smokier scotches. I don't mind a little peat and smoke, however there are some days where I've been known to crave it and taste a few bottles. It's taken more a couple of years to appreciate it, mind you I still don't reach for that flavor profile. The Lagavulin 16 is very popular but I've never really enjoyed it, I much prefer the the Ardbeg Ugeadail. I really taste the peat with sweet flavor in it. I also have a bottle of the Talisker Speakeasy K&L and Kilchoman Machir Bay which, both of which is nice with a moderate amount of peat and smoke. You might want to give Bunnahabhain a try. Although the whisky is from Islay, I find it's got the brine but with minimal peat and smoke.

  7. #27
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    Nov 2011
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    Central Illinois
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    Quote Originally Posted by veedublin View Post
    I read a few posts about some who didn't like peaty whiskeys initially, but grew to love them. So, how did your love of peat evolve? What did you start to notice or how did your aversion change to enjoyment? Because right now, for me, it's like sucking on a bar of cross-country ski wax.
    Sorry - I liked the peated stuff from the start - but that doesn't mean I like them all equally.

    I have found that I like the profile of Laphroaig better than Ardbeg. And within Laphroaig, I prefer the 18 year - or the Quarter Cask. But these are the heavy hitters of the mainstream Islays and maybe you should try something a bit less in your face to start...

    I've enjoyed Lagavulin 16, but lately find an ashy note that I'm not crazy about given the price. I far prefer Caol Ila 12 - probably my favorite Islay. And I have a bottle of cask strength Caol Ila 7yo from Binny's right now that is incredible. (to me, anyway)

    I like the Laddie 10 - which is supposed to be unpeated, but my taste buds sure get peat from it. And I also like Kilchoman's Machir Bay - pretty young stuff, but so nicely balanced.. but you get the idea.

    I would suggest not judging your like or dislike of peated Scotch (which is only one part of the many Scotch profiles) based on HW Campfire.

    When you get a chance, try an Islay at a bar or from a friend and you might be surprised at how different it is from what you expect. And if you still don't like it - no problem - it's just another step in your on-going whisky exploration...
    <"}}}}}}}><

    Rich

  8. #28

    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    Thanks, all. Fun and interesting responses.

    Yah, tasting Campfire was what prompted me to write the original post, but you're right: I guess I need to try more Islays to expand my palate, and be more discerning.

    That said, how many peat lovers out there also like Campfire? Would you say it's earned its place in your liquor cabinet? Or is it a novelty?

    To that, I wonder if the peaty/smoky flavor of this particular expression maybe tastes "inauthentic"... (Like when Homer Simpson adds Liquid Smoke as the final ingredient to his patented Moon Waffles.)

    Learning. Always learning.

  9. #29
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2014
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    MD
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    I've had Campfire once or twice. It's pretty good, but I wouldn't call it representative of Islay peat. I think they were going for mostly smoky, and tried to avoid briny/salty/phenolic flavors.
    Eric

  10. #30
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    Re: Smoky, peaty whisky. Grow to love it?

    Quote Originally Posted by veedublin View Post
    To that, I wonder if the peaty/smoky flavor of this particular expression maybe tastes "inauthentic"... (Like when Homer Simpson adds Liquid Smoke as the final ingredient to his patented Moon Waffles.)
    Vdub, I continue to be befuddled where you're trying to go with this thread...

    I can't help but ask, why would the peaty/smoky flavor of Campfire be "inauthentic", and likened to some artificial ingredient in a Homer Simpson concoction, when an actual Scottish peated malt whiskey is used as that part of the blend?

    That said, I do find Campfire to be an absurd blend that is so totally whacko that I could, in fact, deem it cartoonish ...And, I have absolutely adored every drop that has passed over my lips.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

 

 

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