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  1. #51
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by PAspirit1 View Post
    Hey Megawatt,

    I noticed you have a bottle or The Macallan F.O. 10. I'm finishing a bottle of that now. I like it. Another Speysider I've had good amount of is The Glenlivet French Oak 12. I like the latter more.
    Yeah, I'm about halfway through my bottle of Macallan Fine Oak. At first I found it almost too syrupy-sweet, but I've come to really like the flavour. It almost reminds me of a sweeter bourbon at times. I've never tried The Glenlivet French Oak, just the regular 12 year. I thought it was very nice for the price.

  2. #52
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by boss302 View Post
    .....
    My personal favorite scotch whisky is the Talisker. The smoke level is moderate in this very powerful spirit, which possesses an almost paprika-like spiciness to it, in my opinion.

    Then, of course, there are the Islay (pronounced "eye"-luh) malts. Caol Ila 12-year is a good one to start off with, as its lighter body is reminiscent of the lighter Speysides we are all familiar with, like the Glenfiddich. The heaviest and smokiest would have to be the Lagavulin.....
    Talisker is one of my favorites, too. Has a "smoky" taste.

    The Islay malts are "peaty", that medicinal, iodine taste. I think that Lagavulin and Bowmore are on the lighter side. Laphroig is stronger and Ardbeg is even more--too much for me. Another scotch with some peat is Isle of Jura.

    For more traditional single malts, Balvenie (vowels pronounced like "bad penny", I've read) Doublewood and Highland Park are excellent choices.
    "A man can take a little bourbon without getting drunk, but if you hold his mouth open and pour in a quart, he's going to get sick on it."
    LBJ

  3. #53
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoys View Post
    The Islay malts are "peaty", that medicinal, iodine taste. I think that Lagavulin and Bowmore are on the lighter side. Laphroig is stronger and Ardbeg is even more--too much for me. Another scotch with some peat is Isle of Jura.
    The barley in Talisker has been smoked over peat (rotten bog wood and vegetation dug up from old riverbeds), like the Islays... just simply not as heavily-so.

    The more medicinal taste in an Islay malt likely comes from a myriad of other factors as well.

    Caol Ila is the lightest of the Islays I've tried so far, though I have yet to try Bunnahabain, Ardbeg, or Bruichladdich, as they are difficult to obtain in my state. If you are new to Islay malts, Caol Ila would be my recommendation.

    Bowmore is probably the most "well-rounded" of the Islay malts, and is bottled in a very broad range of expressions.

    Laphroaig is probably the most "medicinal" tasting, but, after taking some time with it, a little bit of water unlocks a pleasant sweetness.

    Lagavulin isn't as "medicinal" tasting as Laphroaig, but I find it the most heavily-smoked. The peat is very full and rich in this one, in my opinion.


    For more traditional single malts, Balvenie (vowels pronounced like "bad penny", I've read) Doublewood and Highland Park are excellent choices.
    Ah, somebody has been reading the excellent works of Michael Jackson, I see. Before I read that book, I had been pronouncing it "Bal-vee-nee." The Celts and the Romans hated each other, and I feel this is reflected by the fact that Celtic languages, like Scotch-Gaelic, does not transpose well into the Latin alphabet...

    From Balvenie's website, it looks like the "Founder's Reserve" 10-year (one of my favorite everyday pours) had been discontinued. The 12-year "Double Wood" now appears to be the primary expression.
    "Suppose he's got a pointed stick!?!"

    - Eric Idle, Monty Python's Flying Circus

  4. #54
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by boss302 View Post
    .......
    From Balvenie's website, it looks like the "Founder's Reserve" 10-year (one of my favorite everyday pours) had been discontinued. The 12-year "Double Wood" now appears to be the primary expression.
    Yikes! Sorry to hear it's being discontinued. The "Founder's Reserve" was the first Single malt I ever purchased and it got me hooked. I thought it was a great label and expression to introduce someone to single malt scotch. I always kept a bottle on hand, but started branching out in my tastes the past two or three years. Hopefully I will find a bottle or two to keep for a rainy day.
    Dave

    You're not drunk if you can lay on the floor without holdin' on.-Joe E. Lewis


  5. #55
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskydude View Post
    Yikes! Sorry to hear it's being discontinued. The "Founder's Reserve" was the first Single malt I ever purchased and it got me hooked. I thought it was a great label and expression to introduce someone to single malt scotch. I always kept a bottle on hand, but started branching out in my tastes the past two or three years. Hopefully I will find a bottle or two to keep for a rainy day.
    I've heard the Balvenie 10 yo Founder's Reserved is not being discontinued entirely, but will be sold only in the duty free shops. When this starts, I'm not sure.

  6. #56
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Nice post Boss on Islay malts. As a big time Isay fan, let me say that your appeciation of Caol Ila is spot on. Caol Ila can vary, however, from more heavily peated to very lightly peated- it is the work hourse of the Islays in terms of blending- so they various peating levels. Also, Caol Ilas oiliness seems to, IMHO, give it a good deal of body when it is young- I just love them in the 7-9 year range. That being said, they also can be wonderuf when they are old. Here are my tasting notes for two "older" Coal Ilas.

    91
    Sm
    Coal Ila 23yo Rare Malts. 61.7%. Bottle 3813. (dist 1978 bott 05/2002)
    November 12, 2007. Well, tasted my oldest malt to date a few minutes ago, now one I have wanted to taste for some time. Nose: Powerful. Complex as complex can be. Meat, pepper, peat, something almost meaty, feinty, but nice. Wow. Mouth: Would have thought this was a very austere Port Ellen. White pepper, peat, like a hot wind blowing down your throat, blowing into your mind, your soul, oh my. This is one of those malts that is intense even for those how have long become accustomed to malt. A reminder to my early days of malt, when I was blown away by the intensity of some Islays, like the first time having a Lagavulin. This is special. Just a hint of sweetness at the finish for balance and complexity, a very coy sweetness. Finish: More pepper, more intensity, some oaky dryness. One that explains, at least a bit, why someone (an accountant most likely, but non the less) thought this could replace PE. This is very similar.
    88
    Sm
    Caol Ila 1979 19yo (43%, G & M, Cooper's Choice)
    May 3, 2007. Particularly smooth for a Caol Ila. The years have mellowed it out. It still retains if fire, as this is one that has a great deal of peat. The finish is very long, straight ahead, and satisfying. The nose is more complex, with some sweet malt notes to provide the foil to the musty peat. Old books and leather. This one is really nice. On second tasting, what I get from the nose is actually very farmy. Wet hay that lingers. I love the contrast with the mouth, which is peaty and dry, with a bit of sweetness at the end. I am not sure why I never score Caol Ila in the nineties; as in some ways it is one of my favorite malt. While some people are turned off from the oily body, I just love it!

    Bowmore, as you say, is one that is more of a middle of the road Islay- it also seems to get mix results. I have tired 15 expressions to date, and I rate all from average to fantastic..The 12 year old in the new packages is very nicely balanced.

    As you mentioned, most Laddie's are not very peated, and only a few Bunnaha' are as well.

    Not having tried Ardbeg, I reccomend finding some way of getting on of the 10 year olds before they are replaced with the new packaging- classic..

    All this talk of Islays, I think I will have a bit of my Signatory 7 year old Laphroigh- as I said, don't pass on the young Islays!

    PS- The concpet of "traditional" in single malts is abit tough. If you go back a century, most Speysides (i.e. Balvenie), were in all likeyhood moderatly peated, or at least slightly so... Old Macallans and Glen Gariochs are evidence of this..they are smokey, without being medicinal, like some of the Islays.

    That said, the Balvenie 10 is a good pour, are are most Balvenies..the 21 Port wood is a stunner- a bit steep in terms of price. The 12 and 15 are lovely as well, with the 12 being a bit heavier on the sherry...I have not had the new 17 year old Sherry, I hear it is good, but I am not a fan of the "sherry monsters".
    Last edited by drrich1965; 02-02-2008 at 13:07.

  7. #57
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by drrich1965 View Post
    Nice post Boss on Islay malts. As a big time Isay fan, let me say that your appeciation of Caol Ila is spot on. Caol Ila can vary, however, from more heavily peated to very lightly peated- it is the work hourse of the Islays in terms of blending- so they various peating levels. Also, Caol Ilas oiliness seems to, IMHO, give it a good deal of body when it is young- I just love them in the 7-9 year range. That being said, they also can be wonderuf when they are old. Here are my tasting notes for two "older" Coal Ilas.
    I'm sort of at the other end of the spectrum-- I like the interplay between the peat smoke, the sea salt, and a robust woodiness. I like my Islay malts generally around 15 years. The Lagavulin 16 is probably my favorite, though the Laphroaig 15 and Bowmore 17 are also thoroughly enjoyable.

    But, I have to confess-- Bowmore's most interesting expressions, like Dawn, and Dusk, are NSA, and therefore probably somewhat young.

    It's interesting you bring up younger Islays, as that is what seems to be the real trend lately. Older Speysides are growing in demand, but on Islay, it seems the younger ones are sort of stealing the show.


    PS- The concpet of "traditional" in single malts is abit tough. If you go back a century, most Speysides (i.e. Balvenie), were in all likeyhood moderatly peated, or at least slightly so... Old Macallans and Glen Gariochs are evidence of this..they are smokey, without being medicinal, like some of the Islays.

    Don't forget that the earliest Scotch whiskies were matured in Sherry casks exclusively. By that measure, the only truely "traditional" single malt is the MacAllan.

    The use of American oak in Scotland is still a very recent development.
    "Suppose he's got a pointed stick!?!"

    - Eric Idle, Monty Python's Flying Circus

  8. #58
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    I can't believe that Lagavulin is on the lighter side of Islay malts. I could not get past the medicinal nose, and I'm not sure that I ever will. As I've probably already mentioned, I picked up a bottle of Auchentoshan 10 Lowland malt, and even that is a little too smokey. It leaves the impression of having had ashes in your mouth. But I do find that I enjoy it on some perverse level, though...

    To quickly mention a great blend; I picked up some Dewar's 12 on sale at $8 off, having never tried Dewar's before, and it is quite nice. Sweet and malty with just a touch of smoke. A very well-balanced dram...

  9. #59
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt View Post
    To quickly mention a great blend; I picked up some Dewar's 12 on sale at $8 off, having never tried Dewar's before, and it is quite nice. Sweet and malty with just a touch of smoke. A very well-balanced dram...
    You got lucky here - must be a manager's sale at one specific shop. If you like it, you may want to stock up, as $32 for this is a great deal IMHO.

  10. #60
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    Re: Let's talk Scotch

    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
    You got lucky here - must be a manager's sale at one specific shop. If you like it, you may want to stock up, as $32 for this is a great deal IMHO.

    Quite right. Everything on the rack was 20% off, and at first I thought it was all wine, but then I noticed a bunch of these bottles. Seems like the best deals are store-specific...

 

 

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