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Islay

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Islay

Postby Wub » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:27 pm

A quote from Iain Banks' "Raw Spirit"...

The three southern coastal whiskies of Islay - with Laphroaig in particular providing the most radical example - constitute what is almost a different drink from whisky.

Whatever you may think about the book (I enjoyed it at first, being a fan of Banks' fiction, but I got really bored with cars and roads), this satement (at least to my beginner's ears) rings true.

So far I've been totally blown away by Laphroaig (10 and QC) and Ardbeg 10 (I wouldn't want to pick a favourite between those two distilleries yet). I wasn't so impressed with the Lavgavulin 16; perhaps because it's not as BIG (but somehow the bottle has diminshed more rapidly than I expected).

The other whiskies I've tried (with the possible exception of the Talisker 10) just don't do it for me. I liked Highland Park at first but after a bad experience with Teacher's Highland Cream, it's gone way down in my estimation (I now find the cookie-like finish distasteful).

I'm going to try the other Islay single malts (though I understand they're not as peaty as those mentioned above). I'm also going to try other whiskies as well...but in the end it may turn out that I only drink whiskies form the the southern cost of Islay.

Mark

PS: I ordered "Peat, Smoke & Spirit" from Amazon.co.uk today. I'm looking foward to it.
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Re: Islay

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:14 pm

Hi Mark

Wub wrote:
Whatever you may think about the book (I enjoyed it at first, being a fan of Banks' fiction, but I got really bored with cars and roads).....



Funnily enough both myself and my wife thought that , we both ended skipping over the "Now i'm driving this Car" bits.....

Wub wrote: I wasn't so impressed with the Lavgavulin 16; perhaps because it's not as BIG (but somehow the bottle has diminshed more rapidly than I expected).



I personally find the 16 too sweet , try getting the Lagavulin 12yo L.E. , it will be more to your liking .
I don't know what the shop selections are like in your area or Melbourne it's self but on the Islay front try an Independent bottling of Caol Ila or maybe even the Natural Cask Strength Distillery Bottling .
See if you can also find one of the Signatory 1997 Heavily Peated Bunnahabhains from a sherry cask , superb stuff .

I wouldn't write off the non islay stuff so quick as well , it may take a while for you to find what you like , maybe try to attend some tastings , join the Australian branch of the SMWS or there's Craig Daniels Mob the MWSOA .

Happy Hunting !
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Re: Islay

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 am

Mark,

I will second what SOI said, don't write off other whiskies yet. I would say that a fair amount of us became highly infatuated with Islay whiskies in the beginning (heck many of us still are today)n by therir big bold flavors. Most of us have come around on other whiskies and enjoy them a great amount.

I know for me after my Islay infatuation I moved onto sherried whiskies (such as Macallan sherried, Aberlour A'bunadh, and if you want to mix sherry and peat how about Ardbeg Uigeadail or Lagavulin Distillers edition) because they also have bold flavors.

You may find that you palate changes over time but remember to drink whiskies that you enjoy.

Sean
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Re: Islay

Postby Swedish Chef » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:05 am

I was also overwhelmed by Islay whiskeys at first, the more peat smoke the better. But slowly I've started to enjoy the less peated ones as well, as my nose and palate slowly evolves. I still love Islay whisky (and Talisker) but there many more great whiskies out there.
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Re: Islay

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:46 am

Wub wrote:A quote from Iain Banks' "Raw Spirit"...

The three southern coastal whiskies of Islay - with Laphroaig in particular providing the most radical example - constitute what is almost a different drink from whisky.


Well then star your own bloody forum! :P

Wub wrote:PS: I ordered "Peat, Smoke & Spirit" from Amazon.co.uk today. I'm looking foward to it.

As well you might--I think it's the best book on whisky I've read, not only describing the various distilleries, but putting the industry into its social, historic, and geographic context. If you aren't dying to visit Islay after reading it, you have no soul.
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Re: Islay

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:47 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Well then star your own bloody forum! :P

"Start". Where's the $%#ing edit button?
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Re: Islay

Postby Wub » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:04 pm

I might have been a bit over-enthusiatic (having had too many drams of the Laphroaig). I'm not really in any postion to judge, since I've tried such a small sample of Scotch whisky, but discovering Laphroaig and Ardbeg in middle age is a bit like reaching 45 and tasting dark chocolate, or blue vein cheese, for the first time. I hope I find other whiskies that excite me as much, but if I don't then...well, it doesn't really matter because at least I've found something...

Mark
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