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  1. #821
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Flamborough, Ontario
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    766

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    My favourite cheap blends are probably Black Grouse and Whyte and Mackay Special. I'm not a huge fan of Teacher's; I find it a bit thin and uninteresting. Islay Mist 8 is also very good. The best blends I've had overall are Johnnie Walker Black, Dewar's Special Reserve and Whyte and Mackay The Thirteen.

    I tend to be ambivalent toward blends. On the one hand I agree that it is foolish and ignorant to dismiss them as being inferior by definition. On the other, I do agree with the argument that blends tend toward a sort of homogenized flavour, "a bit of everything" thrown in there: some peat, some sherry, some honey, some grain. Many of them seem to try to achieve a similar profile whereas you get greater variation with sinle malts. Also, cheap blends lack the fullness of body and texture that you get with single malts.

    But in any case it's not a fair comparison. These entry-level blends occupy a lower market segment and don't aspire to be sophisticated sipping whiskies. You have to take them for what they're worth, enjoy them for what they are. That said, if I were rich I doubt I would drink Ballantine's Finest. I might spring for some Ballantine's 30 year old, though . I hear that's a different story altogether...

  2. #822
    Virtuoso
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    Feb 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    1,399

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt View Post
    My favourite cheap blends are probably Black Grouse and Whyte and Mackay Special. I'm not a huge fan of Teacher's; I find it a bit thin and uninteresting. Islay Mist 8 is also very good. The best blends I've had overall are Johnnie Walker Black, Dewar's Special Reserve and Whyte and Mackay The Thirteen.

    I tend to be ambivalent toward blends. On the one hand I agree that it is foolish and ignorant to dismiss them as being inferior by definition. On the other, I do agree with the argument that blends tend toward a sort of homogenized flavour, "a bit of everything" thrown in there: some peat, some sherry, some honey, some grain. Many of them seem to try to achieve a similar profile whereas you get greater variation with sinle malts. Also, cheap blends lack the fullness of body and texture that you get with single malts.

    But in any case it's not a fair comparison. These entry-level blends occupy a lower market segment and don't aspire to be sophisticated sipping whiskies. You have to take them for what they're worth, enjoy them for what they are. That said, if I were rich I doubt I would drink Ballantine's Finest. I might spring for some Ballantine's 30 year old, though . I hear that's a different story altogether...
    I have to get my hands on some Black Grouse.... Haven't seen it in these parts though....
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  3. #823
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Massillon, Oh.
    Posts
    1,244

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt View Post
    My favourite cheap blends are probably Black Grouse and Whyte and Mackay Special. I'm not a huge fan of Teacher's; I find it a bit thin and uninteresting. Islay Mist 8 is also very good. The best blends I've had overall are Johnnie Walker Black, Dewar's Special Reserve and Whyte and Mackay The Thirteen.

    I tend to be ambivalent toward blends. On the one hand I agree that it is foolish and ignorant to dismiss them as being inferior by definition. On the other, I do agree with the argument that blends tend toward a sort of homogenized flavour, "a bit of everything" thrown in there: some peat, some sherry, some honey, some grain. Many of them seem to try to achieve a similar profile whereas you get greater variation with sinle malts. Also, cheap blends lack the fullness of body and texture that you get with single malts.

    But in any case it's not a fair comparison. These entry-level blends occupy a lower market segment and don't aspire to be sophisticated sipping whiskies. You have to take them for what they're worth, enjoy them for what they are. That said, if I were rich I doubt I would drink Ballantine's Finest. I might spring for some Ballantine's 30 year old, though . I hear that's a different story altogether...
    I agree. I have a bottle of Ballantine's Finest that I've had for 3 years. It doesn't taste horrible, but it just isn't anything I want to drink... very boring and uninteresting. I usually opt for JW Black for an affordable pour, and I have to be out of single malt to drink it...lol.

    I much prefer single malt over any blends that I've had... and I've had quite a few. You're right, most blends taste similar. I call them the kitchen sink whisky... some of everything. Unfortunately, for the most part, I find them all to be very boring.

    Having said that, I haven't tried the higher end blends like JW Blue or Gold, Chivas 25 year old or Dewar's Signature. I would hope those would be very good whiskies, for the price.

  4. #824
    Virtuoso
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    Feb 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    1,399

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by ebo View Post
    I agree. I have a bottle of Ballantine's Finest that I've had for 3 years. It doesn't taste horrible, but it just isn't anything I want to drink... very boring and uninteresting. I usually opt for JW Black for an affordable pour, and I have to be out of single malt to drink it...lol.

    I much prefer single malt over any blends that I've had... and I've had quite a few. You're right, most blends taste similar. I call them the kitchen sink whisky... some of everything. Unfortunately, for the most part, I find them all to be very boring.

    Having said that, I haven't tried the higher end blends like JW Blue or Gold, Chivas 25 year old or Dewar's Signature. I would hope those would be very good whiskies, for the price.

    I entirely agree that Ballantines Finest isn't "thrilling" but when I compare that a pour (1.5 oz) of it only costs me $0.50 vs $4.00 for the Laphroaig QC, I start getting a little bit excited about the value. I can sip the Ballantine's and be content. I'm not thinking "wow" this is a complex, thinking man's dram, but I'm not nearly cringeing either. I'm thinking to myself, "damn this is good stuff for half a buck!"

    That said, I'm far from giving up my single malts, I'm just giving them a bit of breathing room so my nightly average burn rate isn't over $10 anymore.

    Cheers.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  5. #825
    Virtuoso
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    Jul 2009
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    Massillon, Oh.
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    1,244

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    I entirely agree that Ballantines Finest isn't "thrilling" but when I compare that a pour (1.5 oz) of it only costs me $0.50 vs $4.00 for the Laphroaig QC, I start getting a little bit excited about the value. I can sip the Ballantine's and be content. I'm not thinking "wow" this is a complex, thinking man's dram, but I'm not nearly cringeing either. I'm thinking to myself, "damn this is good stuff for half a buck!"

    That said, I'm far from giving up my single malts, I'm just giving them a bit of breathing room so my nightly average burn rate isn't over $10 anymore.

    Cheers.
    I can certainly understand that. The reason I got into bourbon was because scotch is too expensive....lol.

  6. #826
    Virtuoso
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    Feb 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    1,399

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Quote Originally Posted by ebo View Post
    I can certainly understand that. The reason I got into bourbon was because scotch is too expensive....lol.
    I'm with you. But I'll say this, the cheapest blended scotch (right now for me that's Ballantine's Finest at $19 for a 1.75L) is easier drinking than the cheapest bourbon for me and less expensive to boot!

    ...and while I love to drink Van Winkles all night long, sometimes you need throw an Old Fitz or Weller Antique in there to lessen the load on your wallet.
    Last edited by JamesW; 02-04-2010 at 16:35.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  7. #827
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Starting the night off with Bunnahabhain 12. This pour has really started growing on me. At first I was put off by the expectation of peat and iodine. Now that the initial shock has subsided, I'm enjoying the this lighter side of Islay much more. Reminds me somehow of a slightly richer and fuller Old Pultney 12 but I don't have any at the moment to do a comparison so I may be off).
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  8. #828
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,993

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Lagavulin 16 at a beer nerd bar last night. I gott some funny looks, but I didn't mind. My pour was about 3 times to big. Not sure how that happened, but I aint gonna complain.

  9. #829
    Virtuoso
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    Jul 2006
    Location
    Harrison Township, MI
    Posts
    1,385

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Well, it has not been poured as of yet, but I plan on doing a side by side tonight. Seems we ended up with a stay hound in the parking lot at work today. While leaving I found Bourbon and SM scotch hanging off my car...Thanks Big Dog!

    Tonight I'm going to try 2 Laphroaig bottlings, the 15 vs 18 releases! I'll report back with my findings. Hope the 18 is wonderful as I just grabbed a case today.

    Cheers
    "So long as the presence of death lurks with anyone who goes through the simple act of swallowing, I will make mine whiskey"

  10. #830
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    27

    Re: What Wee Dram are you enjoying now?

    Bowmore was on the menu tonight...Bowmore Darkest followed by Bowmore Legend. I really enjoy the Darkest's combination of peat, brine, pepper and sherry. While the Legend admittedly isn't one of my favorites, it is still an enjoyable dram and for under $30 a great value Islay single malt whisky.

 

 

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