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Me and own bottlings (OB's)

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Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby MacDeffe » Sat May 15, 2010 12:37 pm

First time I had a real ale I hated it, but after a few practise runs I picked up the taste and today I avoid to drink "normal" beers like Carlsberg, Tuborg (in dk) and Stella, Heinekens and most other SIL's (standard international lagers). Only one I like is Pilsner Urquell of the major brands, I do like several minor and micro brands thou when it comes to lagers(pilsners)

Now this isnt a thread about beer but whisky. After been drinking whisky seriously (anorak-level) for more than a decade I don't really find much joy in OB's anymore. The chilllfiltration and high water content simply makes them too boring and bland for me.

If I have to enjoy a distillery bottling these days I need to search out for some cask strength version or subsidiary a 46% ucf bottling. Fortunately the latter bottling style has become much more frequent the last few years

The best place for me to find whisky to enjoy is the IB's who puts out a huge range of Single Cask bottlings, or vattings of a few casks, giving a great choice, constant new things to try out and at a higher quality

Anyone else has the same experience ?

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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat May 15, 2010 2:08 pm

That will be a lot of us. Its a big difference going from 40% to 46%ncf. I was recently in a town looking for a whisky to drink, after searching every possible outlet all i could find were 40% bottlings so i jumped in the car and drove to a neighbouring town on a mission for 46% or above, it was worth it as i found a Talisker 10 ( well almost 46% ).
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Ganga » Sat May 15, 2010 6:23 pm

I think there have been some changes in the OB lineups over the last 20 years or more. Besides many starting to at least provide some bottlings that are UCF and 46%, I believe there is less use of e150.

I generally prefer cask strength, especially for Islay whiskies and I don't have problems finding higher proof OBs. Think Talisker 25. : ) Or BenRiach 23, 1986.

The quality of IBs tends to be all over the place; it's just that we seem to discuss only the better ones. I had a Cadenhead Edradour a few years ago that was absolutely garbage. The standard 10 was a much better whisky.

I guess my final conclusion is that you get a mixed bag of results. Then again, the US doesn't get quite the range of IBs that the Euro folk have access to.
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Maccy » Mon May 24, 2010 5:58 am

Interesting thread - I am with Ganga on this in that I am sometimes unsure about IB's. I only have one open at present - a Dhallus Dhu which is very pleasant but I keep wondring if there is better.

I tried some very good IB's from Berry Bros and Milroys at a recent tasting and thought the whiskies were very good so will research a bit more into them I think (I'll but a few!).
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Maccy » Mon May 24, 2010 6:58 pm

So today I picked up a couple of IB's from Berry Brothers - A St Magdelene and a Linkwood.

Keep you posted!
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 25, 2010 4:48 am

OBs can be very poor too. Theres fun to be found in the hunt for a decent IB.

Compare the feeling of finding a decent IB by chance, against another 'run of the mill' OB. It must be said i am drinking a bad MMD Bladnoch 16 Amarone Finish!!
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby dramtastic » Tue May 25, 2010 7:26 am

I've found joy and sorrow in both OB's and IB's.

Now you may not know this but I drink Japanese whisky from time to time :) and there are no such thing as IB's unless they are bottled for the SMWS. They do however have a quite high proportion of single cask and cask strength bottlings in the OB ranges it seems to me in comparison the Scotch whisky.

I'd say conservatively 90% of Ichiro's Malts, 90% of Karuizawa's, 50% of Yamazaki's, 50% of Hakushu's, 50% of Yoichi's on offer are cask strength with a huge range of single casks. Now that is not to say that the majority of the actual bottles sold in Japan is cask strength, just that they offer a lot of them if you are so inclined.
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby The Third Dram » Wed May 26, 2010 6:57 pm

Ganga wrote:I think there have been some changes in the OB lineups over the last 20 years or more.

I think Ganga is spot-on concerning the 'politics' of product range and marketing of official bottlings over the last while. At one time, the dearth of special (high-proof, cask-strength or other) releases from the distilleries or their parent firms meant that independent bottlers practically had that segment of the market to themselves.

How times have changed!
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Piero » Wed May 26, 2010 11:48 pm

MacDeffe - I'm with you on this one. The problem for the whisky drinker as I see it is that once you grow to love to cask strength, and especially single cask, whiskies your tastes move in exactly the opposite direction to the one the proprietary whisky bottlings are trying to achieve.

For obvious reasons the distilleries, or their paymasters, want to create consistent and reliable whiskies that reflect their brand and which can be marketed reliably.

Conversely, as a whisky appreciator, what you are looking for is something exciting, varied and interesting. In other words a marketing man's nightmare. The independent bottlers aren't tied to brand guidelines and so can take more risks.

That being said sometimes they pass that risk on to their customers. I've bought a few shockers. On the whole though I'd rather drink something at, or close to, cask strength and make the dilution decision myself. And I definitely want to surprised from time to time even if that means the occasional disappointment.
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Willie JJ » Sat May 29, 2010 1:23 am

Collector57 wrote:Hmmm, it seems to me there are so many OBs that I can find an exciting OB as easily as an exciting IB.

Nowadays I think that is true. Increasingly the distilleries are providing CS and SC bottles that are competing with the IBs. In the past the IBs were relatively good value for these kind of products, but in the last year or two IB prices have really been moving up too. In particular Douglas Laing and Ian Macleod products seem to have got very expensive and some other bottlers seem to be jumping on the bandwagon. Personally I enjoy the variety, but its getting increasingly expensive. Thank goodness for the Bladnoch bottlings.
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby Maccy » Sat May 29, 2010 8:17 am

Collector57 wrote:Hmmm, it seems to me there are so many OBs that I can find an exciting OB as easily as an exciting IB.
The reason for that is that for me, if it's anything I haven't had before, there's an element of excitement, whether OB or IB.


Yes Nick - I must say that there is an element of excitement in every new bottle that I buy too.
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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby MacDeffe » Sat May 29, 2010 8:39 am

Today we have a get together, 8 persons each bringing 2 bottles. With a theme

Our themes can be a distillery (we had Port Ellen, Brora, Glenlivet, Caperdonich etc.), it can be regions or subregions, it can be age and so on)

This time it shows up as 19 IB and 1 OB which is more or less how it was last times

I will be bringing a 33yo Glenkinchie (AD RAttray), 42yo Tamdhu (AD Rattray) and 24yo Royal Lochnagar (Norse Cask)

If you still think OB's offers a choice for people like me you don't get the point

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Re: Me and own bottlings (OB's)

Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:54 am

I agree with Ganga. IBs are all over the place in terms of quality, no matter the bottler. I've been shying away from cask strength whiskies in general, but I find that OB cask strength bottlings (Laphroaig C/S, e.g.) tend to be of higher quality diluted than IB cask strength, which can sometimes fall apart.

After drinking whisky at 55%, 43-50% does taste weak, but as long as I keep my drams in the no burn zone, i can consistently enjoy all sorts of bottlings.
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