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  1. #71
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Murray McDavid Leapfrog. This is a Laphroaig independent bottling (not all that common an occurrence): unchillfiltered, no caramel color. The whisky was barreled in bourbon cask in 1987, bottled in 1999. Superb. It displays its origins nicely: peat fills the room; vaguely vanilla-oak sweetness tries to matter, but doesn't. A big deal was made of this stuff upon its release, since Laphroaig didn't allow the distillery name to be put on the bottle (or more correctly, Allied didn't allow it). I'd say it's a great independent bottling, and given that it's my favorite Scottish distillery, this is a great whisky. Worthy of legendary status? Perhaps not, but I picked my bottles up for a song, relatively speaking. Damn fine whisky.

  2. #72
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt View Post
    I almost bought that 15-year, but I opted for Talisker 10 instead. Wow! Fantastic stuff. I'm usually not much for the smokey Scotches, but there is such a rich, complex layer of malt in this whisky that I am amazed! The smoke adds some great balance. One of the best whiskies I have yet taste.
    You have to try the 18 yr old. Same smokiness with spice and smooooth as can be.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  3. #73
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt View Post
    You are comparing an aged single malt to a young blend. It's hard to quantify taste vs. price, but I bet if you were to compare them side-by-side, you'd be spitting the White Horse out after having Highland Park.
    Probably so. Actually, I should compare them side by side.

  4. #74
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAspirit1 View Post
    Probably so. Actually, I should compare them side by side.
    One of the things that everyone should be aware of is that if a blend uses a specific malt, that malt may not be anywhere near what would be recognized from its bottlings.

    Case in point: Famous Grouse contains Highland Park and Macallan. However, the HP and Macallan may be younger or older than what gets bottled as a single malt, and may in fact have a different finish. (Macallan does use a small amount of bourbon casks, probably for whisky intended for blending. Independent bottlers have issued bourbon-cask Mac, but you will never find it in the distillery's own bottlings, which focus on first- and second-fill sherry for the single malt expressions.)

    White Horse has Lagavulin in it; that's one of its "heart" constituents. But it may well be Lagavulin that is matured further inland, away from the sea exposure and thus the brine.

    (I am that rare heretic who believes that, so far as Scotch and especially Irish whisk[e]y is concerned, blends have their place in the world and there are some mighty complex and delicious blends out there, not all of which are or have to be expensive.)

  5. #75
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by shoshani View Post
    Macallan does use a small amount of bourbon casks, probably for whisky intended for blending. Independent bottlers have issued bourbon-cask Mac, but you will never find it in the distillery's own bottlings, which focus on first- and second-fill sherry for the single malt expressions.
    I cannot say this with 100% certainty, but I am fairly sure the MacAllan casks meant for blenders are probably Dry Oloroso Sherry casks-- their refusal to break with traditional Spanish Oak was their primary selling point, for blenders and single-malt drinkers alike.

    MacAllan does use a small number of American Oak casks for their Fine Oak series, which are matured in both Spanish and American Oak, following competitors' trends.

    While it is possible that some American Oak-matured MacAllan may be used in blends, I would say it is unlikely, as the dominant Sherry notes are MacAllan's real value to a blender.
    "Suppose he's got a pointed stick!?!"

    - Eric Idle, Monty Python's Flying Circus

  6. #76
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    I'm thoroughly enjoying a few drams of Lagavulin 16 and now Talisker 18. Like peat for dinner and then smoke for dessert.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  7. #77
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2008
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    NW Burbs of Chgo, IL
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Laga 16 and words cannot describe how friggin good it is!!

  8. #78
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Started with aberlour a'bunadh batch #18 and then caol ila 12 yr. Damn good whiskey.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  9. #79
    Irreverent One
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Last night picked up a bottle of Highland Park 18yo. Never had it before.

    Poured a couple of ounces into a port glass when I got home.

    Wow. Except for a hint of peat, the nose could be that of a good brandy or cognac. As for the taste, a single word - balance - sums it up. Peat...but not too much. Sherry...but not too much. Oak...but not too much. Malt...but not too much. If Goldilocks was a whisky drinker, this would be her Scotch.

    Super smooth finish. Great stuff. Paul Pacult calls this "the best whisky in the world". I wouldn't go that far, because there are a number of bourbons I prefer to this, but it's definitely the best Scotch I've ever had.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  10. #80
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CorvallisCracker View Post
    As for the taste, a single word - balance - sums it up. Peat...but not too much. Sherry...but not too much. Oak...but not too much. Malt...but not too much. If Goldilocks was a whisky drinker, this would be her Scotch.

    Super smooth finish. Great stuff. Paul Pacult calls this "the best whisky in the world". I wouldn't go that far, because there are a number of bourbons I prefer to this, but it's definitely the best Scotch I've ever had.
    Yes, indeed. I've had 18YO HP once (a gift from a friend) and while it has a little of everything...but not too much , my experience is that it comes in waves. It's not all together. The peat hits, the honey flows, the oak and sherry traipse nimbly, but it's like an arpeggio. The notes are all there, but not being played as a chord - rather, everything is coming up and going down and intermingling.

    It is, without a doubt, the most interesting Scotch I've ever had. I'm holding back trying the younger expressions for fear that they will never be the equal of this one.

    BTW, regarding Paul Pacult's description, Michael Jackson said something similar. He called Highland Park "The greatest all-rounder in the world of whisky". I don't recall whether he said this about a particular expression or the entire range, but so far as Scotch whisky goes, it's pretty accurate.

 

 

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