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Favourite Islay malt

Take part in our whisky polls and votes. You can also post your own polls in this forum.

What is your favourite Islay malt?

Ardbeg
37
31%
Bowmore
11
9%
Bruichladdich
3
3%
Bunnahabhain
3
3%
Caol Ila
5
4%
Lagavulin
37
31%
Laphroaig
18
15%
Port Ellen
3
3%
None, I don't like any Islay malts
2
2%
 
Total votes : 119

Postby patrick dicaprio » Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:53 pm

i would go for Lagavulin, but i will confess that this is because the 16yo is my favorite whisky, i cannot say i have ever had any others. all of the ardbegs i have had wree very good so if we are looking for breadth of expressions, i might go for ardbeg. Caol Ila is also good but a step down from the top two.

Pat
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Islay Single Malt

Postby PeatPirate » Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:11 am

Hi all,

I voted Ardbeg, because Ardbeg 10Y made me a single-malt lover, and I promised to never forget. But in fact it's not so simple to answer the question which is my favourite Islay malt.

It's all a matter of price/quality balance. I like the bowmore seadragon 30Y (USD 350,00 a bottle these days) more than the Ardbeg 10Y...... Bowmore is my favourite brand because they have a lot of good malts to choose from. The Bowmore 17 Y is one of my all time classics, complex , fruity and balanced, with some peat, but not medicinal like some other (younger) Islay whisky's.

In fact I like all Islay whisky brands. Even the one's with less peat like bunnahabhain and some bruichladdies :-)

Even Lagavullin is not so bad :-D

I heard some rumours about a possible takeover of Laphroaig by some big company like for instance diageo. I have a small advice for them. Keep your filthy hands off Laphroaig!! If you want to buy an Islay distillery, buy Port Ellen and give us back Port Ellen as a working distillery. Love Port ellen :-)
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Re: Islay Single Malt

Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:32 am

PeatPirate wrote:Hi all,
It's all a matter of price/quality balance.


Ahhhhh! Someone who speaks my language!
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:46 pm

Diageo already own Port Ellen and...they demolished it once, the chances of them rebuilding it now are remote at best.
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Postby Sándor » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:58 pm

Ardbeg with Bunna as close second :D !
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Postby pavv » Sun Dec 25, 2005 4:17 pm

I just love Lagavullin....16Y & !2Y CS...i Adore those


but....

I like the Uigeadail better

so i voted Ardbeg

(I wish i could have a 17y or a '77 but those are hard to find and even harder to afford)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:12 am

Hi Pavv -
welcome to the forum
You can still get Arbeg 17 from the distillery.
Think they've run out of their stock of '77 (until they find another "lost" crate or two :wink:)
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Favorite Islay?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Jan 07, 2006 4:36 am

1979 Port Ellen 22 yo which I gave a personal score of 95 out of 100. When it was acquired the cost was $240.00 Can and that price has been maintained by the local store. My number two would be Laphroaig 10 yo closely followed by Lagavulin 16 yo, the 1979 has not as yet been broached. I only enjoy the Laphroaig and LAgavulin in the basement as my wife can't handle the smoke.

We had a tasting last Autumn (we do two tastings a year with two flights of 6 (1/2 ounce servings) with a pause between for a light meal) and compared the 10 yo Ardbeg from the distillery with the Provenance 10yo offering. The distillery won hands down. Bruce (the local liquor store manager) opined that the difference could be attributed to the distillery Ardbeg being aged surrounded by not only differen ages of casks but also those from different distilleries which are stored for safe keeping. Also that where the cask was stored and moved around in the warehouse could have a positive influence. The Provenance cask would then have to be stored elsewhere to have missed the benefits of the Ardbeg warehouse. Anyone know if this is correct? I'd like to know definitively for our March tasting.

All I can say is that I and the other 8 fellows preferred the Ardbeg from the distillery. The other, well my most damning comment is "it was indifferent".

We also tried and enjoyed the Laphroiag quarter cask which was pleasantly comparable to the 10 yo of the same make.
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Re: Favorite Islay?

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:04 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:We had a tasting last Autumn (we do two tastings a year with two flights of 6 (1/2 ounce servings) with a pause between for a light meal) and compared the 10 yo Ardbeg from the distillery with the Provenance 10yo offering. The distillery won hands down. Bruce (the local liquor store manager) opined that the difference could be attributed to the distillery Ardbeg being aged surrounded by not only differen ages of casks but also those from different distilleries which are stored for safe keeping. Also that where the cask was stored and moved around in the warehouse could have a positive influence. The Provenance cask would then have to be stored elsewhere to have missed the benefits of the Ardbeg warehouse. Anyone know if this is correct? I'd like to know definitively for our March tasting.


Hmmmm....... the only other casks i know of been stored in the Ardbeg Warehouses are Laphroaig casks but not in everyone , this was part of the Agreement of the sale of the distillery but whether this is still ongoing is another thing with the various sales of Ardbeg and Laphroaig distilleries of late . I don't think the casks get moved about that much if at all , after all they can usually tell you within a few feet where a cask is ! As for the different ages , they all seem to be grouped in casks of similar ages and usually batches (or at least the warehouses i've been in ) . There's always the age old arguement of location as well , i personally think it counts but the Caol Ila storage seems to add another dimension to the case of not !
If the 10yo Provenance is the Douglas Laing one i would personally put the difference down to several things the major ones being the O.B. been 46% and NCF and the DL one just being 43% and probably Chill filtered (can't remember off the top of my head what DL Provenances are (the OMC/Platinum range are NCF but i'm sure someone will correct me ....). Is the DL warehouse in Glasgow beside the offices ?

Slainté
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:41 pm

MP, the storage/terroir debate is one that will probably never be settled definitively. Does Caol Ila, barreled and stored on the mainland, argue against? How can we know, never having had any that was stored on site? And in cases where we have, individual barrels can have different influence, even if they are from the same source and have the same history. So who can say?
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:04 pm

MP, where are you loacted? Welcome to the forurm by the way.

Lawrence
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:27 pm

Lawrence wrote:MP, where are you loacted? Welcome to the forurm by the way.

Lawrence


I know! I know!
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Where is MP located?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:25 pm

Lawrence in Victoria:

I live far far away in a nearly uninhabitable part of the old British Empire.

Ask Mr. TH. He knows, he knows!
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Postby bernstein » Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:14 pm

Wauzhushk Onigum?
:wink:
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Postby bernstein » Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:17 pm

Oh - and I voted for Lagavulin, for sentimental reasons.
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Favorite Islay

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:44 pm

Bernie,
You are right on the money and in Ojibway too! Are you also a misplaced Northerner? ...or did you endure your misspent youth over here? Now, can you say Washuisk Onigum? I have trouble with "Wassay Gezhig Na Nahn Dah We Igamig" so use the anglicized Washagamis Bay instead.

As for favorite Islay I have to profess an affection towards Laphroaig when I'm in need of a warming dram. The quarter cask which I acquired :arrow: July 23/05 (so, yes you could get one in North America then (sort of, a chum brought it back from England where he was at a conference and donated it for the August tasting.) ) was surprisingly mature for such a young 5-6 year old. Almost comparable to it's bigger 10 yo brother, but not quite.

The only other 5 year old Islay I've sampled was the "Vintage Islay" Single Malt Scotch whisky 5 yo.(Green bottle blue label). Worse than indifferent, raw spirits, and couldn't hold a candle to the quarter cask. If I could've figured out how to recask it for another 5 without incurring the wrath of Her Majesty's Cowboys, I would've. I've been advised that it is an "alias Dram" for Lagavulin.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:00 am

Musky, was that the 40% or the cask strength? (Others who have read this story before, probably more than once, may stop reading now.) I was given a sample of the cs at a shop in Yorkshire a few years ago, and it quite literally left me speechless. Would have bought one then, but there was only the sample bottle. Have looked for it ever since--the 40% is available here, but not the cs. Finally found one in a duty-free in Edinburgh Airport. I haven't opened it yet, but would like to compare it to Ardbeg Very Young. It was indeed slightly-refined jet fuel, but it brought a smile to my face. And my voice returned shortly, as well. The salesperson at the Yorkshire shop also told me that it was Lagavulin, but I wouldn't take that as gospel--I rather doubt Diageo lets any Lagavulin out in this form. After all, there is virtually none sold for blending. I could be wrong, but if I had to bet, I'd bet on Caol Ila, just because it's much more likely to emerge in this state. Such stuff gets rumored to be Lagavulin because Lagavulin is very popular and it's good for business, I think. Someone, a bit disingenuously or not, says "Oh, it could be Lagavulin," and a rumor is born.
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Postby Mr Ellen » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:44 am

One of my absolute favourites is the Port Ellen Rare Malts 1978/2000, 60.5% but as this one is far too expensive to enjoy every day I would go for the Lagavulin DE. It has been my favourite since it came on the market back in '95 or so.
But I really must hail Ardbeg for being so reliable in their releases. I have never ever tasted a bad Ardbeg and they are not far behind the first place of my favourite Islay whiskies.

Cheers!
Anders
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Vintage Islay 5 yo

Postby Muskrat Portage » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:13 pm

Mr. T:

Sorry it's the 40%. If it was CS, I'd probably use it in my Toyota Echo. I have a confession to make, it was on the shelf and cheap so I recommended it to one of the fellows that was new to our Uaquebach Tasters' Association as something to bring. Fortunately he forgave me, then gave me the bottle for my collection to use as a bad example of a "too young whisky" for future tastings. It's pretty bad, I wonder if he really forgave me, or was trying to get even?

So I have now learned - never recommend anything unless you've sampled it first. Anyone wanna try this stuff?

M.P.
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Re: Vintage Islay 5 yo

Postby bjorn » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:14 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:Mr. T:
So I have now learned - never recommend anything unless you've sampled it first. Anyone wanna try this stuff?
M.P.


send it on over...oddly enough my local liquor store can't keep it in stock
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Re: Favorite Islay

Postby woodenboy » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:26 pm

Muskrat Portage wrote:As for favorite Islay I have to profess an affection towards Laphroaig when I'm in need of a warming dram. The quarter cask which I acquired :arrow: July 23/05 (so, yes you could get one in North America then (sort of, a chum brought it back from England where he was at a conference and donated it for the August tasting.) ) was surprisingly mature for such a young 5-6 year old. Almost comparable to it's bigger 10 yo brother, but not quite.

I also loved the Quarter Cask Laphroaig when I tried it at a tasting table in my local store, however, I'm pretty sure there wasn't an age statement anywhere on the bottle, so I'm curious to know where you got the 5-6 year old idea from?
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Postby Leonidych » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:35 am

Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, next Uigeadail
Lagavulin 16 But I feel it's getting worse recently
Laphroaig 10 CS, 9 Signatory unchilfiltered, 14 Murray & McDavid
Caol Ila 10 Hart Bros, 8 Chieftain's Medoc finish
Bruichladdich 20 Flirtation (2nd Ed), Links
Bunnahabhain 1980 Maison du Whisky
Port Ellen 1978 Rare Malts
Bowmore Mariner
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Favorite Islay (Laphroaig Quarter cask)

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:23 am

Woodenboy:

I found the 5-6 year comment in a website :Peatfreak here's the string: http://www.peatfreak.com/whisky-tasting ... =Search%21

Jeroen Kloppenburg in his tasting notes stated:"...Comments Considering this expression is only 5-6 years old, the higher wood/surface area of the smaller casks has done a wonderful thing...."

Now, all I've been able to find elsewhere is that this version was aged 10 years then a further two years in the quarter cask, and I only found this comment once. So unless it's been vatted with a younger 5-6 year old Laphroaig I wonder about it's age after all. As has been pointed out, there is no age statement on the bottle or packaging.

Any opinions out there in Mr. Picky land?

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My favorite - ARDBEG

Postby YK23 » Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:45 am

When it comes to the basic character, ARDBEG is my choise- peaty and smokey but not too much( less agessive then Lagavulin), some saltiness, not medicinal(like some of the Laphroaig expessions) just like i like my islay.
Other islays that i liked:
Caol Ila Cask Strength
Lagavulin 12 Year Old
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Bowmore Darkest
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Postby Scotchio » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:44 am

Cant see the quarter cask being 12 years old. If it was I think they would have stated it on the label. Either way it is a very good version and probably my favourite Islay at present.
The new Ardbeg 10 was a bit too toffeeish for me although that is getting better with time.
Lagavulin 16 is still a great whisky but more of an occasional thing for me.
Bunny is good after a long winter walk but my last bottle was a bit stale.
Laddie i like but its more like a coastal peatless speysider than an Islay. I have a bottle of the old 15 year old. I love its subtlety and finesse, others would see this as a lack of flavour probably.
Bowmore is well balanced ,I like the sherry element and the distinctive quality of its peat although having read some of the comments on here I wonder if it should be the love it hate it whisky instead of Laphroaig. Strange for something relatively inocuous.
Only tried one caol ila so far CC 1984, simplisticly smoky and perfumy with a long finish. It made me want water. Will try to find a better version next time.
Had some port ellen 1981 provenance, fantastic sherry and delicious although it does melt in the mouth a little too quickly.
So on current form I am voting Bowmore as its the bottle that empties most quickly.
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My Favorite Islay

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:29 pm

Greetings Scotchio:

One of my comments when talking about Laphroaig Quarter cask was as follows:
"Now, all I've been able to find elsewhere is that this version was aged 10 years then a further two years in the quarter cask, and I only found this comment once. So unless it's been vatted with a younger 5-6 year old Laphroaig I wonder about it's age after all"

An important part in my comments is the reference to vatting. I stand to be corrected, however, unless the bottle says "single cask" most single malts are a vatting of several barrels and the age statement refers to the youngest malt in the vatting. So if my information is correct, there may very well be 12 year old whisky in quarter cask, but there may also be 5-6 year old. This would lead to it being better from an advertising perspective to give no age statement and charge what the market will bear. I wonder if Laphroaig would care to shed light on this?

Another example of this are the Glenmorangie finishes which are aged in American oak and then stored a further period in a Madiera "drum", Sherry "Butts", Burgundy "Barriques" or Port "pipes". (all still untasted and sealed) The numbers for this, I believe from my research are 10 in american oak and two in finishing drums, butts etc, and again no age statement on my bottles.

In any case I am delighted as well with the Laphroaig Quarter cask and feel privileged to have acquired one for my personal collection and like you Scotchio it is one of my favorites too!

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Postby woodenboy » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:05 pm

Mine too. To be honest, the age is not as relevant to me as the fact that it's a damn fine whisky :D
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Postby Mr Ellen » Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:11 am

Regarding the age of Laphroaig Q.C. this is what was written in the ad's as Laphroaig Quarter Cask was introduced:

"We decided to re-create some of these Quarter Casks and the flavours they produce. To do so we carefully selected some Laphroaigs from our existing ex-bourbon barrels, at a range of ages and then transferred the spirit into the Quarter Casks".

"Since a range of ages are used to create Laphroaig Quarter Cask, it has no age statement (under Scotch Whisky rules all the whisky has to contain spirit of the same age or older to quote an age statement)".

I think this will make clear that the whisky is not 5-6 years old but a mix (vatting) of different ages of which only the workers at Laphroaig could tell.

Cheers...

Anders
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Postby misa » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:11 am

Igotta say that the big L (Lagavulin) has always been close to my heart, ever since I met the woman of my life: being biased. Who gives a s..t.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:46 am

Rat, Mr Ellen, I have posited before that distillers are loathe, for marketing reasons, to give age statements below ten. The statement from Laphroaig is a tiny bit disingenuous--"Since a range of ages are used to create Laphroaig Quarter Cask, it has no age statement"--it would be more honest to say "Since a range of ages including very young whiskies are used to create Laphroaig Quarter Cask, it has no age statement." That said, woodenboy is quite right--good whisky is good whisky. I wasn't as impressed with this as most folks here seem to be, but I've had only two drams in pubs. The stuff is available here now, so I'm pretty sure I'll give it a fair shot soon.

As for the 'Morangie finishes, I suspect (just guessing) that, while the bulk of the product is indeed 10-12 years old, leaving off an age statement allows them to mix in some younger stuff when it suits them.
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Postby Scotchio » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:54 am

It does seem likely to contain a fair amount of young stuff but this should be counteracted by the increased oak influence over a short period in a small barrel. It also has the advantage that in reducing age the signature phenols that distinguish Laphroaig are kept intact. I love the stuff not only does it have the unique Laphroaig peat in abundance but also a lovely rich maltiness which reminds me of some of the malty lowland whiskies in its softness. For me this makes it different to and better balanced than other Laphroaigs I have had. I havent tried the recent cask strength version but this is far better than the last cask one I had a few years ago which was rich but lacking the assertive peat I want from Laphroaig.
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Postby cowboyweaver » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:19 am

For the money, here in the US you cant beat Ardbeg 10 for very good and Laphroaig 15 for great. Lagavulin 16 and many others are to steep. Jameson's Redbreast 12 is a great deal for Irish in the class with the above scotches.
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Postby Simplicio » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:06 pm

Laphroaig CS is without too much doubt my favourite. I think it might be because of the absence of sweetness in it, compared to the other Islays - well, the ones I've tried.

Ardbeg 10 is a magnificent whisky, but I'm put off somehow by the lemon-drop sweetness of it. And there seems to be something flat about the Lagavulin 16 at times. Is it the chill-filtering? I'm not sure.
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Postby cowboyweaver » Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:23 am

Ardbeg 10 is sooooo good! Dont be put off by the lack of bourbon or sherry flavoring, its is TRUE island scotch. Where the ocean meets the fields! OUTSTANDINGLY WILD! Not wooded to death and flavored by other worlds, ARDBEG 10 should be a National Treasure!
I love the lemon and delicate flavors with the boldness, kinda like a kinky innocent blonde. OOH LA LA!
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Postby Caledonians » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:02 pm

pavv wrote:(I wish i could have a 17y or a '77 but those are hard to find and even harder to afford)


You have found them both pavv, enjoy! :wink:
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