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  1. #1261
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Tonight, I started with a Laphroaig 10 year old. Whoa!!!! I was not prepared for the taste. It is a bit challenging for me. I only recently (within the last month) developed a taste for Whisk(e)y of any kind. It started out with Canadian Club, then moved to Maker's Mark, then I tried a miniature of Famous Grouse (the second level up from the basic) and I enjoyed it and the smoky aftertaste. So here I go thinking alright, I want smoke so I go for the Laphroaig based what a friend of mine told me that he likes to drink. Had I known what I was in for I would have gone for probably Johnnie Walker Black and eased into the Laphroaig. Oh well, I have a whole bottle of it, paid good money for it, guess I will have to learn to enjoy it.

    Actually, I do like the smoke but I didn't expect it to be so powerful.

    Question....Would it be fair to compare Laphroaig as compared to other scotches like say Miller to Sam Adams. Sam being a bit more full flavored? Maybe that is a bad choice for beers but I think you know what I mean.

    By the way, I switched to Buffalo Trace and I still taste the smoke. Buffalo Trace taste wise was like going to soda pop.

  2. #1262
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    You picked a powerful one there bgast1, I'd say your beer analogy is good but the range is much wider than Miller vs Sam Adams. Laphroaig is one of the Island Whiskys, those distilled in the Islands off the coast of Scotland, which as a group are the heaviest in smoke and peat.

    There are a lot of Scottish brands in the mid range of flavor and power, Grouse being one that has long held the spot as the largest seller in Scotland, and the other major brands such as Grant, Teachers, Buchanan, Bells are also in the middle. Walker is on the heavier side and J&B might be called the Miller of the bunch.

    With the single malts the heavy hitters start with the Islands off the North Coast of Scotland and as you proceed South the whiskys grow lighter in taste and body until you get to the Southern Borders (Lowlands) where they are lightest of all.

  3. #1263
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    So then does that mean that the Laphroaig may not like the lighter scotches or do all scotches have a bit of smokey flavor? I know that the Famous Grouse was not even close to as pronounced as Laphroaig. I am going to have some tomorrow again but I will be prepared for the taste.

    Everyone I know that drinks Laphroaig says that it should be enjoyed neat or with just a few drops of water. with Bourbon, I like it with ice cubes. At first I mixed with water but now I can drink it neat as well if I want, but I still like the coolness of the ice.

  4. #1264
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Smoke from heavy to just a whiff is one of the elements of Scottish Whisky, whether blend or single malt. Discovering which one you like is part of the fun.

    The way to appreciate whisky is how it tastes best to you. Neat is not the best way for me because I find the alcohol conceals much of the subtleties. Ice cuts the burn and water brings out the nuances so that's how I take it.

  5. #1265
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Bgast, squire hit it on the nose-let your taste dictate how you take it. When I try a new whiskey, I start neat. Add a little water or an ice cube and try again. Add a little more if that improved the flavor. You may find, as I do, that how you drink it varies from whiskey to whiskey. Some are drastically improved with a little water, some are ruined; but working through the variations to get the perfect dram is worth it....and fun.

  6. #1266
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Thanks. I am going to try the way that I traditionally learned to drink whisky tonight with the the Laphroaig. The ice and water I am only now learning to drink some bourbons neat and that isn't my preference yet but I am getting there and I am finding that the flavor is much stronger neat. I'll report back tonight after I try the Laphroiag the way I usually drink whisky. I also supposedly will have some miniatures of JWB and Chivas Regal stocked in the Liquor store that I go to.

    I am going over to the scotch recommendations thread and read that and maybe post in there as well.
    Last edited by bgast1; 04-02-2011 at 11:41.

  7. #1267
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Wow!!!! What a difference a little ice and water make. I couldn't wait until this evening This Laphroaig that I am enjoying is superb!!!!!! Not nearly as overpowering as neat and great smokey flavor. I love it. Next time I am going to go with a little less water though.

  8. #1268
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Wow!!!! What a difference a little ice and water make. I couldn't wait until this evening This Laphroaig that I am enjoying is superb!!!!!! Not nearly as overpowering as neat and great smokey flavor. I love it. Next time I am going to go with a little less water though for more flavor

    Sorry for the double post. I don't know what happened.
    Last edited by bgast1; 04-02-2011 at 12:20.

  9. #1269
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Grants The Family Reserve. Inexpensive and acceptable but certainly no Laphroaig.

    Edit..Further note. I am now almost done with my drink of Grants. It isn't all that impressive to me. But maybe that is because I had a sip of Laphroiag earlier and the smoke is still lingering. I don't know what to do for later today. Whether to go back to the Laphroaig (sp) or just drink the Grants. Going back to bourbon might be a waste as I probably will not be able to discern the flavors of the Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey 101 that I have as long as the smoke is over powering. If anyone knows how to refresh the palate so that the smoke is not overpowering so that I can attempt to enjoy other things, I am all ears.
    Last edited by bgast1; 04-02-2011 at 13:48.

  10. #1270
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by bgast1 View Post
    If anyone knows how to refresh the palate so that the smoke is not overpowering so that I can attempt to enjoy other things, I am all ears.
    Drink lots of water, and give yourself some time - maybe some milk or creamy sauce/food. Some of the smokier/peatier Scotch - like Laphroaig CS, it can be nearly impossible to "unsmoke" your pallet for an entire evening. You just stick with the Islay whisky and enjoy the "campfire experience."

    A note of correction to something above - not all Scotch is smokey anymore (maybe true 100+ years ago, but not now). In fact, a great number of Scotches, if not the majority, have no smoke or peat trace to them.

    Nor is it true that N to S whisky "lightens up" - the smokiest/peatiest whisky (in general) comes from Islay - an island off the southern coast, and the area of Campbeltown a very southern region also peats whisky (Glen Scotia, Sprinbank & especially Longrow). That said, even Islay has some non/lightly-peated offerings, much as there are some heavily peated Lowland scotches. Generally speaking (and it's truly only a generalization) Island whisky tends to be at least a little peated (Skye, Jura, Islay, Orkney) but there are exceptions. Speysiders tend to be sherried, and beyond that? Hard to say. The Campbeltown region in the south only has Springbank or Glen Scotia, both of which peated to some degree, but Kilkerran & Hazleburn aren't.... Go figure!

    Laphroaig is a great one - and the 10yr was my first intro to the peat monsters as well - in fact it's what hooked me on whisk(e)y beyond simply having a passing interest - so let's hope it does the same for you!

    Hope that helps.

 

 

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