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10 year old, 12 year old...

General chat and talk about whisky.

10 year old, 12 year old...

Postby Marvin » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:42 pm

You know all those whisky awards for different aged whiskies? I think they should have broader categories. how much difference is there going to be between 10 and 12 years? I would argue categories should be as follows:

under 8 year
8-13 year
14-19 year
20-29 year
30+

That's 5 categories, nice and simple. And the majority of wiskies would fall into the 2nd and 3rd categories. That would giving more meaningful results imo.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:37 am

All whiskies in these categories? Islay, Speyside, Island etc???? Hhhmm, not quite sure it would work comparing a Ardbeg 10 with an Aberlour 10 etc etc. Cask strength, OB bottlings IB? I think this needs more work Marvin. Maybe the IWSA got there first?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:12 am

Do any of us really pay any attention to these, anyway? Less relevant than the Grammys in my book (and that's saying a lot). Feel free to give your own awards, Marvin--I'll rate them as much.
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Postby Marvin » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:37 am

Lawrence wrote:All whiskies in these categories? Islay, Speyside, Island etc???? Hhhmm, not quite sure it would work comparing a Ardbeg 10 with an Aberlour 10 etc etc. Cask strength, OB bottlings IB? I think this needs more work Marvin. Maybe the IWSA got there first?


I dont believe in this Islay shit tbh. Where a whisky is made should not really matter.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:42 pm

I think these "awards" are interesting because they often point me to stellar bottlings that I would not have discovered without careful pointing. I thionk the age categories are fairly meaningless, though. I would categorize by price bracket using e.g. price in Scotland.
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Postby Drrich1965 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:06 pm

Marvin wrote:
Lawrence wrote:All whiskies in these categories? Islay, Speyside, Island etc???? Hhhmm, not quite sure it would work comparing a Ardbeg 10 with an Aberlour 10 etc etc. Cask strength, OB bottlings IB? I think this needs more work Marvin. Maybe the IWSA got there first?


I dont believe in this Islay shit tbh. Where a whisky is made should not really matter.



So single malt made in Oregon, USA will be the same as that made in Scotland? No influence of water, soil, local peat, maturatuion techniques, materials that make the hardware, warehousing location, traditions of distilation that may be from local tradition, ect, ect ect???
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:12 pm

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle, and is messy.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:10 pm

More and more industry types are saying that location of maturation actually does have an effect. I will copy in a paragraph later today on this subject from the Malt Advocate, but in true Marvin fashion will do so else where on the forum.
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Postby Iain » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:08 pm

"All whiskies in these categories? Islay, Speyside, Island etc????"

Nowadays, when Grants are producing "Islay cask finishes" of a Speyside(ish) malt, when some Benriach is peaty and when Bunny (from the '80s, at least) is sometimes not peaty at all, does Islay/Speyside mean anything?

And what does "Island" mean, taste-wise? Are Juras and Highland Parks and Arrans so similar?

Just a thought - I'm sure some folks will disagree :wink:
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:28 pm

From Issue Fourth Quarter 2006 of the Malt Advocate magazine in an article by Gavin Smith;

"Grant Carmichael is a former general manager for the Distillers Company Ltd and United Distillers and lives in retirement on Islay. Grant reckons that 'if you mature it on the island you'll get a more mellow whisky at the end of the day. Mature it on the dry east coast of the mainland, for example, a much drier climate than here, you'll get a greater evaporation, so the volume comes down, but the strength remains high, so it can be quite sharp. Whereas on Islay, you don't lose the same in evaporation because of the damp, salty air, and the salty air helps, let's be honest. It's breathing in some moisture surrounding these warehouses down by the shore, and this is what gives all those south coast distilleries their saltiness. It's from the air.'

You people who say with such conviction that location makes NO difference need to pause and think about this. All the information is not yet in and more and more serious and informed industry types are starting to say that location does make a difference. It may not be huge but in some cases but in others it maybe.
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Postby Iain » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:49 pm

Lawrence, I'm sure that there is a very slight difference resulting from the place of maturation.

I just assume that as Mr Carmichael sent much of his whisky to be matured on the mainland (does he say how much and where?), then his bosses at UDV weren't too bothered and felt that the level of peating and quality/type of casks they used was more important.

Does anyone know how many of the Islay distilleries mature the bulk of their whisky on Islay? Bruichladdich?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:22 pm

That precise information is available in Peat Smoke & Spirit by Andrew Jefford (and how many times has it been said here what a great book that is?). For the record, for branded single malt:

Ardbeg: 100% at present; in the future, at least the first ten years

Bowmore: 100%

Bruichladdich: 100%

Bunnahabhain: 100%

Caol Ila: almost none

Lagavulin: well under 50% [and most of that at Caol Ila]

Laphroaig: 70%

Lawrence, I don't think anyone says it makes no difference where you mature it. I just think it's overstated. Of course temperature and humidity make a difference, and that varies from place to place. Seaside warehouses like those at Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Bowmore are of course going to be damper than ones at Broxburn, or even those up the hill. And there may be prevailing winds and weather patterns at each of those places that make some difference, but those won't even be the same from year to year. I doubt it makes much difference whether a seaside warehouse is in Islay or Arran or Skye, or much of anywhere else; those just happen to be the places that have seaside warehouses.

As for saltiness, it has been established that there is no salt in whisky. Therefore the salty taste in Kildalton malts does not come from salt. I suppose it's possible that there is some sort of catalytic effect whereby salty taste gets into the whisky via some sort of chemical process in which salt is involved, but that seems pretty far-fetched to me. Not every malt matured by the sea tastes salty, does it?
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Postby Admiral » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:54 pm

Marvin said,
Where a whisky is made should not really matter.


Dubious comment in any event, but how a whisky tastes does matter, and so if a heavily peated, marine-like Islay whisky tastes absolutely nothing like a soft, floral Speysider, then how on earth does it make sense to compare them in the same flight? :roll:

Cheers,
AD

PS - Mr T, I thought discussions about salt in whisky had been banned? :wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:01 pm

Don't tell me! Lawrence started it! :P
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:17 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Do any of us really pay any attention to these, anyway? Less relevant than the Grammys in my book (and that's saying a lot). Feel free to give your own awards, Marvin--I'll rate them as much.



Mr TH do you jest the Grammy's

It is very important to the music industry and the world to know the best score to hemorrhoid adds :P
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Postby Marvin » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:59 pm

Drrich1965 wrote:
Marvin wrote:
Lawrence wrote:All whiskies in these categories? Islay, Speyside, Island etc???? Hhhmm, not quite sure it would work comparing a Ardbeg 10 with an Aberlour 10 etc etc. Cask strength, OB bottlings IB? I think this needs more work Marvin. Maybe the IWSA got there first?


I dont believe in this Islay shit tbh. Where a whisky is made should not really matter.



So single malt made in Oregon, USA will be the same as that made in Scotland? No influence of water, soil, local peat, maturatuion techniques, materials that make the hardware, warehousing location, traditions of distilation that may be from local tradition, ect, ect ect???


Soil? Most distilleries buy their barley in they dont get it locally. Maturation techniques are not location dependant. Most of Scotland has good water. How much peat they use is really not location dependant too.
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Postby Drrich1965 » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:19 am

Marvin wrote:
Drrich1965 wrote:
Marvin wrote:
Lawrence wrote:All whiskies in these categories? Islay, Speyside, Island etc???? Hhhmm, not quite sure it would work comparing a Ardbeg 10 with an Aberlour 10 etc etc. Cask strength, OB bottlings IB? I think this needs more work Marvin. Maybe the IWSA got there first?


I dont believe in this Islay shit tbh. Where a whisky is made should not really matter.



So single malt made in Oregon, USA will be the same as that made in Scotland? No influence of water, soil, local peat, maturatuion techniques, materials that make the hardware, warehousing location, traditions of distilation that may be from local tradition, ect, ect ect???


Soil? Most distilleries buy their barley in they dont get it locally. Maturation techniques are not location dependant. Most of Scotland has good water. How much peat they use is really not location dependant too.


It is not a question of good or bad water, but of the elements in the water. Also, micro chemicals in the process, many belive, lead to signigiant flavors.
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Postby Marvin » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:21 am

Not really sure about that, "microchemicals"? What "microchemicals" does Islay have that other places do not? Have there been scientific studies? If not, it's pure conjecture.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:34 am

There's a microchemical plant on the shores of Loch Uigeadail, pumping out the desired microchemicals into Ardbeg's water supply. Unfortunately, a sheep steps on it every now and then, and production is held up while new microchemists are found.

Oops, forgot I'm not supposed to be snarky this week! I'm just being silly, honest.
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Postby Photon » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:38 am

Drrich1965 wrote:So single malt made in Oregon, USA will


...taste pretty good for a three year old.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:35 am

The point I was trying to make was based on a lot of posters saying, in other threads and over the last few years, that location makes no difference. Take a look at the war on terroir thread.

I am glad to see that now that industry is starting to talk about the contirbution of location that some people are starting to open their minds to the possibility of location being a factor. In some cases it may even be significant.

Those that don't are doomed. :D :wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:41 am

Oh woe!

I don't think at all that taking the position that there is no such thing as terroir in the scotch whisky industry is the same as saying that location makes no difference.
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Postby Iain » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:15 am

Lawrence wrote "so if a heavily peated, marine-like Islay whisky tastes absolutely nothing like a soft, floral Speysider, then how on earth does it make sense to compare them in the same flight?"

By the same token, should that marine-like Islay be compared in the same flight as a virtually unpeated Bunny or Laddy that was being made in Islay until quite recently?

It's interesting to compare peaties with other peaties (eg, how does a peaty Benriach compare to a Laphroaig or Lagavulin?), and sherry monsters with other sherry monsters. But the place of origin is not always relevant to the style and character of the dram.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:39 am

Iain wrote:Lawrence wrote "so if a heavily peated, marine-like Islay whisky tastes absolutely nothing like a soft, floral Speysider, then how on earth does it make sense to compare them in the same flight?"


Did I really write that? Where? :shock:

I have not recollection at all. I must have more whisky and restore order to my life.
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Postby Wendy » Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:04 am

Lawrence,
It sounds like a bad case of "post-festival-itis."(lol)

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Postby Lawrence » Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:39 am

Are you still awake??? :shock:
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Postby Iain » Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:15 pm

"Are you still awake???"

Looks like I wasn't.

Sorry Lawrence. Wrong chap :oops:
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:27 am

I was talking to Mr. T, it was about 2:30 am, he needs his sleep the poor chap! :D
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