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  1. #21
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    The Classic Malts of Scotland mini set may be hard to find, depending on what's in your area. The Classic Malts of Scotland series is still going strong (and expanding), but I think the mini set may have been discontinued a few years ago. Anyone have further info? I got mine up in the Boston area but still see them occasionally in DC.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  2. #22
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Did a breif google for them and found them across the big pond quite a bit but will do a more in depth search when time allows.

    Thanks again Dan!
    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."

  3. #23
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    I think I know of a store in DC that still has them, but I recall their price being $40 for the box, which seems pretty steep to me for 300ml of whiskey. (I realize one can't expect to get the same price ratio from minis as a 750ml bottle.) I don't know what it is going for elsehere, and don't really remember what I paid for mine back when I got it up in Boston.

    Tracy, if you can't find it anywhere else, I may be able to talk the guy down to $35 and ship it to you. But you may want to see if any of your local stores (particularly ones with dusties) have it first.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  4. #24
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    A place in Athens, GA apparently has them for $29.99

    http://www.fivepointsbottleshop.com/...pid/27572.aspx
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  5. #25
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    I may be new to bourbon, but I feel well qualified to weigh in on scotch, especially malts. I currently have 59 expressions from 34 distilleries open. the most I ever had was 96 expressions from 64 distilleries.

    I won't try to add to the tasting notes previously given, because they were all excellent.

    Lagavulin is by far the smokiest of all malts. It may not have the peatiness of Laphroaig or Ardbeg, and it definitely lacks the iodine and seaweed hints of Laphroaig, but it is always smoky. IMO the distiller's edition is a touch more smoky than the 16.

    AVB hit the nail on the head on the descriptions of both Bunnahabain and Old Pultney. I usually refer to Bunnahabain as "the island highland". Dalmore 12 and Old Pultney are, IMO, the best price/quality values available.

    I take exception to the strict classification of malts by region. On the South side of Islay are three distilleries within walking distance of each other that give Islay whisky it's definition: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg. Caol Ila has these characteristics to a lesser extent, and IMO is the saltiest of all malts. However Talisker, Clynelish, and Brora fit more with the South Islay whiskys than Bruichladdich or Bunnahabain. Further they are totally different from some of their highland neighbors like Glenmorangie, Dalmore, Teanich, and Glen Ord (and the four of them have vast differences).

    IMO one of the best guides to malts is Whisky Classified by David Wishart. I'm not sure if it's available in the US. David is an Economics Professor (but we won't hold that against him) at Edinburgh University and a devoted malt drinker. He classifies malts by their flavor characteristics rather than the location of their distillery. I've seen a similar book in the US, but I can't recall who wrote it, maybe Jim Murray? It definitely wasn't Michael Jackson.

    This is the longest post I've ever made on this site, I'd better close.

    Stu

  6. #26
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Hightower View Post

    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.
    Hi Tracy-
    I was recently turned on to Lagavulin 16 and I've grown to really love it. The smokiness can be a little daunting; I can still taste the smoke the next day sometimes. The campfire description is spot on, but remember one thing; it's a campfire on the beach. Spend a little time by the ocean and it'll begin to make sense in a visceral way. Sea air, seaweed, bikini tops coming off.
    Smokiness is not present in most scotches and is an acquired taste. If you're looking for a scotch that is really top-notch (and not smoky) without killing your wallet, I'd recommend Balvenie 15 YO SB. Not smoky at all, 100 proof, very tasty. I like scotch at 86 proof, it just seems right. But the Balvenie at 100 proof is perfect. It may be, in my limited experience, my favorite. Pour yourself a triple, grill up a big, fat steak, can't be beat.
    That being said, I bet the smoky Islay whiskys will grow on you if you give them a chance. Maybe not an every day pour, but definitely worth some effort.
    Good luck to ya.
    Cheers!

  7. #27
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Thank you for the kind words, in your very well written post. As you've seen I've reviewed 125 drams now, have a bit over 200 expressions from 108 distilleries, soon to be 110. Slowly trying to get one from everybody that produced since 1956 (125).

    I like your description of the Island Highland, mind if I use it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    AVB hit the nail on the head on the descriptions of both Bunnahabain and Old Pultney. I usually refer to Bunnahabain as "the island highland". Dalmore 12 and Old Pultney are, IMO, the best price/quality values available.

    Stu
    Illuminati in training

  8. #28
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    AVB hit the nail on the head on the descriptions of both Bunnahabain and Old Pultney. I usually refer to Bunnahabain as "the island highland". Dalmore 12 and Old Pultney are, IMO, the best price/quality values available.
    I keep thinking about pick up some Old Pulteney, but I think your post and AVB's review may have finally tipped the balance toward giving it a shot. I do hope to find a bit of salty marine character in it, although I understand it is less seaside-tasting than one might think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    I take exception to the strict classification of malts by region. On the South side of Islay are three distilleries within walking distance of each other that give Islay whisky it's definition: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg. Caol Ila has these characteristics to a lesser extent, and IMO is the saltiest of all malts. However Talisker, Clynelish, and Brora fit more with the South Islay whiskys than Bruichladdich or Bunnahabain. Further they are totally different from some of their highland neighbors like Glenmorangie, Dalmore, Teanich, and Glen Ord (and the four of them have vast differences).
    I agree. There are broad similarities between many distilleries in a region, but it is hardly the most relevant way to categorize malts. However, it's easy, and generally somewhat useful, so I think that's why it stays in use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    IMO one of the best guides to malts is Whisky Classified by David Wishart. I'm not sure if it's available in the US. David is an Economics Professor (but we won't hold that against him) at Edinburgh University and a devoted malt drinker. He classifies malts by their flavor characteristics rather than the location of their distillery. I've seen a similar book in the US, but I can't recall who wrote it, maybe Jim Murray? It definitely wasn't Michael Jackson.
    Yes, it's an excellent book and it's available in the US. Really helped clarify things for me when considering new malt purchases. Once you find a few things you like, you can find others with similar taste classifications and branch out from there.

    http://www.amazon.com/Whisky-Classified-choosing-single-flavour/dp/1862057168/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207159891&sr= 8-1
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  9. #29
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    Quote Originally Posted by AVB View Post
    Thank you for the kind words, in your very well written post. As you've seen I've reviewed 125 drams now, have a bit over 200 expressions from 108 distilleries, soon to be 110. Slowly trying to get one from everybody that produced since 1956 (125).

    I like your description of the Island Highland, mind if I use it?

    Feel free, I'd enjoy meeting you in person some time. I'll have to change my statement about 2 members of this board having better noses than mine to 3. Do you ever go to Feis Ile?

    Stu

  10. #30
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Which "Lighter Side of Islay"

    I've never been but I have done the Whisky Trail. As for nosing....there's many a better out there than I.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    Do you ever go to Feis Ile?

    Stu
    Illuminati in training

 

 

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