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  1. #11

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    I like Coal Ila as a light-ish Islay.
    Tim

  2. #12
    Enthusiast
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    May 2007
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    374

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    I like Coal Ila as a light-ish Islay.
    I agree fully with you but i also admire Port Ellen for being light-ish.Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhainn are good whiskies on their own,i have some rare bottlings which i seldom drink but they are not what i like in an Islay(i don`t say they are bad),i just appreciate them not too much.
    Eric.
    Netherlands

  3. #13
    Taster
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    Feb 2008
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    Lawrence KS
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    I would tend to agree with that. I generally reach for Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Bowmore or Laphroaig before the other lighter Islays.

  4. #14
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    Sep 2007
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    Charlotte, NC
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    98

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Quote Originally Posted by mier View Post
    I agree fully with you but i also admire Port Ellen for being light-ish.Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhainn are good whiskies on their own,i have some rare bottlings which i seldom drink but they are not what i like in an Islay(i don`t say they are bad),i just appreciate them not too much.
    Eric.

    I have had 9 Port Ellens, and while most are a bit lighter in body, they are not overall what I would call light. Powerful white peper peat, very distinctive. The best ones have a bit of sweetness to for balance, and perhaps just a hint of oilyness for body. Port Ellen was lost as the owner thought Caol Ila would be a good replacment for blends-far more efficient than the PE distillery. They are distinct, of course, but but I would say medium in peat, and medium in body compared to some of the more brooding Islays.

    Gentle? I like the Laddie 10 a great deal, and am now finishing a 20 year old Flirtation. Great for its discounted price, but Laddie is a bit overpriced in my book...

    Banna 12 is a very nice dram- I am loving the 9yo peaty version from Signatory..very buttery, if you can imagine that...

    Also, I will put in a plug for the 6-9 year old independent bottelings of Laphy, Ardbeg, Bowmore, or Caol Ila. The brightness of them is a thing of wonder...not for the feint of heart, however....

  5. #15
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2007
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    Camden, TN
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Hi Dan and others,

    You guys seem to know what you are talking about regarding Scotch so I have a question.

    I have little or no experience with Scotch. A few nights ago a friend called and said he had been given a bottle of Lagavulin Single Islay malt 1991 Distillers Edition Scotch and thought I might like to try it with him.

    I do not have the experience to give a classy reveiw as Dan has so eloquently done so I will simply describe it as best I can.

    The first thing I noticed was the strong scent of what I can only describe as "camp fire smoke" . At first it was not unpleasant but strong. The first taste translated that scent to my taste buds or I am trying to say that it tasted like the scent should have tased to my mind. It was smooth all the way through with no burn but the smoky taste remained. As it disipated the finish was quite pleasant and I kiked it a lot.

    The problem. The more I drank it, the more the camp fire smoke taste and smell became unpleasant untill I could no longer stand to swallow it and had to stop. I really did like the finish and the lack of alcohol burn and it was very warming as well but was suprised and dissapointed in my reaction to the smoky taste.

    My question. Is this smoky flavor consistant with all Scotch or just Islay Scotch or simply this particular scotch. I would like to broaden my horizons but I really do not think that I can drink anything else with that taste and smell and as I said I am suprised and dissapointed at my strong reaction to it.

    Your input would be appreciated.
    When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
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    May 2005
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    Near York, PA
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    897

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Being one of the "Others" I'll answer your question. Lagavulin is well known for the flavors you mentioned as are a few other of the Islay malts. This comes from drying the maltings with a peat fire. The slower the drying the more peat flavor is imparted to the malt.

    While Islay Scotch is known for it's peatiness most other scotch is dried with natural gas and so does not have that style of flavoring. I've always recommended the Balvenie DoubleWood, Dalmore 12, or Aberlour 15 (now 16), as good scotch to start out with as the Lagauvilns, Laphroaigs and Caol Ilas of the world take a bit of getting used to for most people.
    Illuminati in training

  7. #17

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Tracy,
    I'm a big Single Malt Scotch guy, 21 bottles in my collection . AVB gives good advice. One thing that's great about Scotch is that a Scotch distilled and aged in one region can taste nearly completely different than one distilled and aged in another.

    I have Lagavulin 16, and I like it very much. But Islay is an acquired taste. Had I tried as my first Scotch, I doubt that I would have ever bought a bottle of any Scotch.

    A good example of a typical Single Malt Scotch IMO is The Balvenie 10 YO. Can't go wrong with Balvenie 12 YO Double Wood, Dalmore 12, Glenfiddich 12, Glenlivet 12. A particular expression that I have introduced many to Single Malt Scotch is the Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera Reserve (only about $40-45). Great stuff, and those not accostomed to Scotch sure seem to like it. My .02

  8. #18
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2007
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    Camden, TN
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Guys, I appreciate the info and am so glad to hear that the smokiness is not charachteristic of all Scotches. I did have a very strong reaction to that flavor and smell and there is only one thing I can compare it to.

    Having been born and raised on the Texas Gulf coast, I have ALWAYS loved raw oysters. Last year, I had a bad batch and I have not been able to eat one since. That is how strong a reaction I had and it is very dissapointing so your suggestions and advice is encouraging and appreciated.

    Thanks Again!
    When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."

  9. #19
    Disciple
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    Aug 2004
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    Arlington, VA
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    1,886

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Tracy,

    As the other mentioned, the "camp smoke flavor" you describe is smoked peat. It is generally only found in large amounts in Islay malts, and a few other island scotches (e.g., Talisker, and to a lesser extent, Highland Park.)

    A lot of people have that reaction to heavily peated whiskeys at first - I even did my first time drinking one. I think it's an acquired taste. I quite enjoy those flavors now, and Islay and island malts are among my favorite whiskeys. But I wouldn't want to experience them all the time.

    As the others have mentioned, there are many other styles of scotch that are unpeated or only very lightly peated. You should be pretty safe with most Highland, Speyside, and Lowland scotches. I would recommend trying something like Glenmorangie 10 year (aka "The Original" in the new packaging) or the Dalmore 12 year. These are both going to be a bit sweet and with "butterscotch" flavors that you're likely familiar with. Prob a good place to start for a bourbon drinker.

    If you're looking for something with pretty mild, light, subtle flavors, I'd recommend The Glenlivet 12 Year Old or anything from the Lowland distilleries (Glenkinchie 10 yr probably being the easiest to find.)

    You can usually find minis of The Glenlivet at most liquor stores. You may also be able to find a three-pack of Glenfiddich minis, which will include the Glenfiddich 15 year Solera Reserve mentioned above. It looks like this:

    And if you're lucky, you might find a pack of 6 minis called the Classic Malts of Scotland. You won't like two of them just yet (the Lagavulin, and the Talisker) so set those aside for now, but you'll probably enjoy the other four. It looks like this:

    Last edited by Sijan; 03-31-2008 at 10:37.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  10. #20
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Camden, TN
    Posts
    181

    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Thanks Dan,

    That looks like the way to go to taste a variety without breaking the bank or wasting a Whisley that I will not finish. I appreciate it and will look for the set.

    Thanks.
    When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."

 

 

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