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My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

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My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:04 am

Hi all,

Today I spent the day on Coast of Maine. I attended the Irish Fest in Belfast (lots of fun) as well as visiting Rockland. I went to HAPPY HOUR at the new "The Pearl" Restaurant (in Rockland). I started out with a Guinness, then a Tullamore Dew (not much choice in Irish Whiskey) a big plate of fresh Oysters, a second Guinness and I topped it all off with (IMHO) an OUTSTANDING Scotch. Now please bear in mind that the only Scotch I have ever had has been "The Famous Grouse Gold Reserve", Tamdhu 10, Glenlivet and Teachers Highland Cream. What I had today was "Head and Shoulders" above the others by a HUGH margin. Truthfully, I was about to completely "blow off" Scotch (in favor of Irish Whiskey) until I sampled my first ever dram of OBAN 14. Holy $#!t ! All I can say is, I had NO idea Scotch could be this damn good! So please, all you Scotch experts, knowing that I am loving OBAN 14, what other Scotch do I now seriously have to consider ? Thank you for any help/suggestions. Oooh, you can be sure OBAN 14 will be on my
"to buy" list.

Regards,
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby lockejn » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:19 am

Oban? What's that? :D

Clynelish 14 and Old Pulteney 12. They're not same-same by any stretch, but I tend to lump those three together in my head.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:34 am

Hi lock,

When you say "what the..." do you mean you disagree with what "I think" is an outstanding Whiskey ? Remember, I'm kind of new at this Scotch thing. Is there something out there that's going to make
OBAN 14 taste like swill ?

Regards,
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:40 am

Hi lock,

I MIS-read what you said. I wanted to EDIT my response.
What the Hell happened to the EDIT buttons ? I can't find them!

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby bredman » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:45 am

SixCats! wrote: Now please bear in mind that the only Scotch I have ever had has been "The Famous Grouse Gold Reserve", Tamdhu 10, Glenlivet and Teachers Highland Cream. What I had today was "Head and Shoulders" above the others by a HUGH margin. Truthfully, I was about to completely "blow off" Scotch

SixCats, that is a small ( and dull ) scotch history! Thank goodness you have found your way before it was too late. There are thousands ( ? ) of available expressions, with countless surprises waiting for you.

Oban is a highland whisky with a notable 'coastal' element. You could try Old Pulteney, Balblair, or even Glenmo'. Also Scapa, Benriach, Clynelish, Glendronach, Glencadam, and others. More advice coming.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:16 am

lockejn wrote:Oban? What's that? :D

Clynelish 14 and Old Pulteney 12. They're not same-same by any stretch, but I tend to lump those three together in my head.


I will second Clynelish 14 and OP 12, also Talisker 10. Maybe a lighter Islay such as Bunnahabhain 12 or Caol Ila 12. If you want to go bold go Lagavulin 16. :thumbsup:
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby dramtastic » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:29 am

If you were blown away by Oban 14 then wait untill you try the REALLY good stuff :)
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby MacDeffe » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:46 am

Hi Sixcats

I think you're up for a lot of good experiences

Other recommended malt are Springbank, Highland Park, Clynelish 14, Tomatin 18..the list is endless

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:56 pm

Hi all,

Thank you all for the suggestions. I have done a ton of research
(over the last couple of months) and I have several list of ratings/rankings/reviews of Scotch I'd like to try. I realize that OBAN 14 is suppose to rate perhaps a "79" (out of 100) by reviewers such as MJ. It's just that I wasn't prepared for the HUGH difference in quality OBAN 14 provides vs. (per bredman comment) my small & dull Scotch history. Again, I have only been drinking Scotch for perhaps three months so, this is all new to me and I haven't much experience. I guess what I am trying to get at is, can I again expect to be "BLOWN AWAY" once I've tasted something on the order of Lagavulin 16, Highland Park 18, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Laphroaig QC, Talisker 18 etc. In other words, is the above Scotch going to make OBAN 14 (which I think now taste great) later taste like swill ? Is the quality difference between OBAN 14 vs. Lagavulin 16 going to be as wide as OBAN 14 vs. Teachers Highland Cream ? Thanks again all.

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby bredman » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:00 pm

SixCats! wrote: I realize that OBAN 14 is suppose to rate perhaps a "79" (out of 100) by reviewers such as MJ.

I guess what I am trying to get at is, can I again expect to be "BLOWN AWAY"

MJ's ratings make less sense to me than the ratings of others. I note JM scores it '84' which is more like it.

You will be 'blown away' many times, but there will be pitfalls, like the rest of us there are many 'well made' whiskies you will not be keen on as there is much variation in flavours. Your own tastes and preferences will alter over time also - enjoy the never ending journey.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby Ardbeg311 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:23 pm

SixCats! wrote:.....can I again expect to be "BLOWN AWAY" once I've tasted something on the order of Lagavulin 16, Highland Park 18, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Laphroaig QC, Talisker 18 etc. Regards,
SixCats!


Probably. You are at a great point in your scotch tasting experience as you will have far more "blown away" experiences now with the excitement of all the new whisky experiences to be sampled. You will still have them in the future, but they will be less and less as you become familiar with sms.

If you are concerned about finances I would recommend that you taste as many as whiskies as you can before you start laying down some serious cash on bottles or else you will find yourself stuck with some bottles that you wish you didn't buy. Once bitten, it will be hard not to buy everything in sight. You don't want to be blown away by your bank statement.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby lockejn » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:31 pm

Ardbeg311 wrote:If you are concerned about finances I would recommend that you taste as many as whiskies as you can before you start laying down some serious cash on bottles or else you will find yourself stuck with some bottles that you wish you didn't buy. Once bitten, it will be hard not to buy everything in sight. You don't want to be blown away by your bank statement.

Agreed. Personally I'd stick with the "younger" bottlings until you have a real serious grasp on what you like and don't like. Spending $80 on an 18y whisky blind could be an expensive mistake.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:55 pm

Remember tha whisky tasting is subjective and while many people may rate a whisky highly, you may not like it. I would say to pay as much attention to flavors as ratings. If someone rates a whisky highly but you don't enjoy the flavors they are talking about then you might want to stay away.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:23 pm

Hi all,

Thanks again for all the replies. I guess I have reached the point of no return! Well, I am glad to have tasted OBAN 14 as now I at least have a "stepping off point" to personally judge my likes and dis-likes. The amount of money I am able to spend on Whiskey/Whisky is always an issue. I do my best to buy "on sale" items. I MOSTLY buy Irish Whiskey for a couple of reasons. First, I like Irish Whiskey! Second, Irish Whiskey such as Jameson 12, Black Bush, The Irishman, etc. is
(in most cases) at least twenty dollars less expensive than a middle of the road Scotch. An example would be (NH pricing) Jameson 12 ($30.99) for a 750ml vs. OBAN 14 ($49.49). Now, I don't mean to imply that I won't be buying Scotch, I just mean that I must exercise more caution when making a Scotch purchase as I can't afford to buy Scotch as often due to it's higher cost. Now, OP 12 cost $34.99 for a 750 ml
(NH pricing). If OP 12 is truly in the same league as OBAN 14, I may very well give OP 12 the nod. I am trying my best (at least for the time being) to keep my "per bottle" cost around fifty dollars (TOPS). That being said, I have little doubt that in the future, I will make that ONE special expensive purchase. More than likely, I will take my chances with Lagavulin 16.

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby lockejn » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:45 am

Just out of curiosity, Cats, which NH liquor store do you visit?
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:15 am

Hi lock,

I mostly visit the store at the PORTSMOUTH Traffic Circle just over the bridge from Maine.

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby dramtastic » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:13 am

Collector57 wrote:And I've just had an Old Pulteney 12 to remind myself what excellent value this is :)


30% off at one of my locals at the moment so I might have to go grab a bottle.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:16 pm

pkt77242 wrote:Remember that whisky tasting is subjective and while many people may rate a whisky highly, you may not like it. I would say to pay as much attention to flavors as ratings. If someone rates a whisky highly but you don't enjoy the flavors they are talking about then you might want to stay away.

Very, very sage advice! :thumbsup:

Now you need to try and figure out exactly what it is about that 14-year old Oban that you like so much. Is it the fruitiness? The contribution of the oak (predominantly vanilla)? The hint of saltiness? The way in which the various flavour elements come together?
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:05 am

Hi Three D,

Yes indeed, good advice to be sure. I VERY much (first) enjoyed the aroma of OBAN 14. One the whole, I would have to say your last comment was a BIG factor. I just like the way ALL the elements came together.
Smooth, non burning, sweet, salty, not too much peat or smoke, tasty, etc. It sure is hard to discribe. Again, I know, I realize that no one can tell me what IS better. I know it's all subjective. That being said, I can take the suggestions (with some Sea Salt) and go from there.

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby corbuso » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:44 am

Oban is not a highly regarded whisky, but I enjoyed very much. A mixture of peat smoke and maritime flavours and rather light.
If you like the Oban, you might give a taste to Springbank
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:23 pm

Hi Cor,

Thanks for the recommendation of Springbank. Ya know, what I don't get is, OBAN 14 not being considered "highly regarded". By that I mean, while doing my Scotch research on line, I came across many many positive comments about OBAN 14 yet, it's not considered "highly regarded".
I find it all a bit confusing. Funny.

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby lockejn » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 pm

Collector57 wrote:It's all relative. When you have had a good few more single malts, you'll probably start to see that there are much "better" malts out there than the Oban.
Of course, as it's also personal taste, it may be that Oban is a perfect fit to your taste preferences and you'll still tink tis is the most outstanding.
But I doubt it.

+1

While Oban is one of my favorites, I still recognize its relative shortcomings in terms of intrinsic quality. That is to say, I understand why other folks think less of it but I love it anyways.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby bredman » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:12 pm

SixCats! wrote:I came across many many positive comments about OBAN 14 yet, it's not considered "highly regarded".
I find it all a bit confusing. Funny.

Regards,
SixCats!

Generally smw is very well made, but they cant all be 'the best', someone has to be the average joe. Oban was much better IMO a few years ago, it seems that the owners have decided to take it in a new direction. There are many 'average' whiskies i find to be excellent.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:04 am

Hi all,

OK, I may be adding to (my) confusion but, let me try anyway.
What Scotch is considered a better Whisky than OBAN 14 that is of the same TYPE/FLAVOR (cut out of the same cloth if you will) yet superior ?
I am aware of the BIG GUNS such a Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Talisker, Highland Park, Ardberg, etc. but, are they not VERY different in taste ?

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby bredman » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:07 am

The Oban i used to enjoy was a 'good old coastal highlander' with a light whiff of smoke. The few drams i had of it recently showed a different character. I've checked around some tasting notes and it seems to be much more fruity. You could check Old Pulteney, Glenmorangie, even Dalwhinnie, perhaps Balblair which seems to be on the up recently. BenRiach is well regarded.

The Oban followers here will be along with good advice.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby Ardbeg311 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:44 am

Sounds like you're looking for Oban 32yo 1969 (55.1%, OB, bottled in 2002). I've not had it, but it is supposed to be outstanding. :thumbsup:
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:41 pm

Oban 14 was possibly the 2nd malt I tried, preceded only by ...Lagavulin 16! now that is a really hard act to follow - to me one of those whiskies that makes others seem "normal!" I do remember a nice week in Wales wih my girlfriend and a bottle of Oban 14 - I remember it's malty, salty, peachy palate. But that was 7 years ago... it hasn't been one of my "must-haves" since. Nothing wrong with it. However I'm surprised more people haven't directed you to Highland Park. I'd say they have much in common, tho' today I would buy HP before Oban anyday. In facet I just finished an HP 12 and it disappeared rapidly.

Now when you first come across the bold maritime, smoky whiskies such as Lagavulin and Talisker, it can be a bit of a shock to the system! "Love it or hate it" is what one whisky writer said of Laphroaig(arguably the most raw and medicinal of them all!) But certainly unforgettable!

Definitely try Lagavulin. I never met anyone who didn;t like it!

Apart from my mother who thjinks it smells like something you clean the lavatory with...
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:17 am

Hi Regga,

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. As a matter of fact, I bought a 750 ml bottle of Highland Park 12 a couple of months ago
when it was on sale in NH. I have "stored it away" until Fall arrives
(along with a bottle of Ardbeg 10). I'm glad to hear that you RAPIDLY enjoyed your bottle of HP 12. Oooh, after all my research on Whiskey/Whisky, if there is ONE (more costly) bottle that I will take a chance on, it will be LAGAVULIN 16. I'm hoping that Laga 16 it will go on sale during the Christmas Holiday season.

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby lockejn » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:21 am

Six, there's often a stellar deal or two in the fall for "Scotsfest". I think it's early September, but I'm not sure. Last year there were coupons in the local paper for buy one single malt get one half off. $100 of whisky for $75 is hard to beat.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby SixCats! » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:27 pm

Hi Lock,

Thanks for the "heads up" on Scotsfest. I will keep an eye open!
Oooh, btw, "The Irishman Original Clan" Irish Whiskey is on sale this month in NH. $28.00 a 750ml is a darn good price (five dollars off) regular price. I hope to ad a couple of bottles to my "stash".

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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby peergynt323 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:24 am

SixCats! wrote:Hi lock,

When you say "what the..." do you mean you disagree with what "I think" is an outstanding Whiskey ? Remember, I'm kind of new at this Scotch thing. Is there something out there that's going to make
OBAN 14 taste like swill ?

Regards,
SixCats!


Indeed. Personally, I think Oban 14yo does taste like swill (or rather like someone dropped a used grill brush into my bottle of whisky) but I think the Oban 18yo special release was an exceptional whisky that shows off the capabilities of the distillery.
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:28 pm

Hi SIxCats ... imagine bumping into me over here. This is where I cut my teeth so to speak before we set up the Irish Whiskey Society site. You'll learn alot by listening to the guys on this forum. All good suggestions so far, I myself would recomend the HP 12yo to build up your taste buds for peat. I too liked the Oban 14yo when I first tasted it. I presume it is still part of the Classic Malts plinth. Go to a bar with that has one of these and you can taste Dalwhinnie (Honeyed with a dash of heather and smoke) Cragganmore (Very drinkable and soft but nothing special), Glenkinchie (The only CM I've never tried don't know why?), The last 2 you might want to build up to ... Talisker (Spicey pepper burst, wonderful) Lagavulin (Nice Sweetness with a ton of heavy but smooth smoke) .

However one word of warning ... people love their whisky and all will have different views and are very enthusiastac (which is great) ... but the warning comes when asking for advice ... you'll soon find that by the end of the thread there are people suggesting $100+ whiskies to make sure you keep reigning them in :lol:


I do hope you realise you are on a slippery slope ... I started in a similar situation ... first as a one whiskey man now I am totally off the reservation wanting to taste as much as I can :oops:
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Re: My first OUTSTANDING Scotch!

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:37 am

SixCats! wrote:Hi Regga,

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. As a matter of fact, I bought a 750 ml bottle of Highland Park 12 a couple of months ago
when it was on sale in NH. I have "stored it away" until Fall arrives
(along with a bottle of Ardbeg 10). I'm glad to hear that you RAPIDLY enjoyed your bottle of HP 12. Oooh, after all my research on Whiskey/Whisky, if there is ONE (more costly) bottle that I will take a chance on, it will be LAGAVULIN 16. I'm hoping that Laga 16 it will go on sale during the Christmas Holiday season.

Regards,
SixCats!


Ardbeg? That is the polar opposite of Oban. Hopefully you like a peat and smoke monster like no other. Happy sipping!
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