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Tough Choice

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Please help me choose

Bowmore 17 @ 43%abv for $90
6
18%
Balvenie 15 Single Cask @ 47.8%abv for $90
7
21%
Caol Ila CS @ 55%abv for $105
10
29%
Lagavulin 12 @ 57.8 %abv for $120
11
32%
 
Total votes : 34

Tough Choice

Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:07 am

I have reached a milestone in business this past week and i'm going to commemorate the occation with a bottle of fine whiskey, that will appeal to my taste-buds. I know it's sounds like a lame gaff :) ,as it is only the half the intended goal, yet well short by 3 months of the target date and with a lot of hard work behind me, a much deserved treat. :wink:
With my whisky piggy-bank near full a may be scooping up the 2nd place choice as well.
Bowmore 17 @ 43%abv for $90
Balvenie 15 Single Cask @ 47.8%abv for $90
Caol Ila CS @ 55%abv for $105
Lagavulin 12 @ 57.8 %abv for $120
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:18 am

I have a soft spot in my head, uh, heart for Balvenie 15, so there's my vote. I think that if you told me I could only drink one expression for the rest of my life, that would be it. And it would be okay if it was all from the same barrel (as long as I didn't run out).
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Postby Badmonkey » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:44 am

My vote went to the Caol Ila CS because I'm a sucker for cask strength whiskies and I love oiliness of Caol Ila. Balvenie 15 would be new territory to me.
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Postby bamber » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:22 am

If you've not had the Lag 12yo you must try it LP. I've got a feeling you will love it.
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Postby GreyArea » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:38 am

I've voted for the Caol Ila CS. It's a lovely, lovely drop.

Jim
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Postby Nock » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:50 am

Well, I have to vote for the Lagavulin (it would be my top choice by a long shot). But the truth is I don't know your taste Lord_Pfaffin, and $120 is a bit higher then the other three. However, if it really is a "milestone" then I say nothing can compare with this Lagavulin.

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Postby Frodo » Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:03 pm

Of the ones above, I'd go for the Bowmore. However, being aware of your appretiation of Caol Ila, I'd recommend the Signatory bottling on sale at $80 (down from 90) at the Bayview Village store. I think it's a 11 or 13yr old if its what I think it is.

The Laga IMO is overpriced given that the 16yr old is C$95. Laga DE at C$104 would be my second recommendation. I know you'd like the CI CS in the same way you'd like Dun Bheagan Islay 8yr old. Its just thst the IB's tend to be better that the OBs from what I've tried.

The Balvenie is a different animal from those listed above. Not sure it'll appeal to you (lack of peat).
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Postby hpulley » Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:42 pm

The 12yo Lagavulin was $75 last year which was a great deal. $121 seems like too much this year but it is good stuff, as is the Caol Ila CS NAS.

Harry
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:50 pm

I think you'd probably enjoy any one of the four, but my choice would be the Balvenie...

Mark
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:19 pm

In as much as i could find, in the way of ratings, was that the Balvenie, Bowmore and Caol Ila score in the 82 to 86 area, while the Laga, 90.Both the Balvenie and Laga i have yet to taste, and the other two i get goose bumps just thinking about.
I had rescently enjoyed a taste of Balblair 18yo as well as a Blair Athol, both lovely and unpeated drams which i am told are not quite as nice as the Balvenie 15, along with cudos that Mr. TH raises and a score of 86, i decided it was about time that i considered buying a bottle. It was Mr, TH's ravings that prompted me to try Ardbeg 10 and that's now one of my faves,and so the Balvenie 15 has been at the top of my "to-try" list, especially after sampling Balvenie 21yo Portwood and being just awestruck by it.
Frodo, i have eyeballed that Signatory C.I. and i believe that i turned my nose up at it, as it was watered-down to 40%, and i just hate it when they ruin good whisky like that!!! :evil:
Harry, Are you sure thats was the exact same bottling of the Laga 12 that was offered at $75 ?
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:59 pm

Frodo wrote:The Laga IMO is overpriced given that the 16yr old is C$95. Laga DE at C$104 would be my second recommendation. I know you'd like the CI CS in the same way you'd like Dun Bheagan Islay 8yr old. Its just thst the IB's tend to be better that the OBs from what I've tried.

I know that you are right, but here's where and why i switched to some more subjective reasoning: Been there and done that also, as far as it goes with the Laga 16 and DE and i do luv 'em, but at 43% abv they are little pussies and with Lagas', i like the bad boys, younger smokier and with a little edge (must be the sherry), even though they score higher. Just can't resist smoked eel and coal-tar nose and smoke belch finish :wink:

Jim Murray (nine&three quarters) Lagavulin 16
Nose
Massive peat. Ultra-intense iodine carries a shade more spice than of old. The fruity-sherry notes are clean, vanilla is much deeper. Beautifully layered.
Palate
Peat so thick you could stand a spoon in it. Chewy iodine bolstered by sherry and big oak.
Finish
A little spice lightens the grip of the peat and vanilla. Dries off with malt, dried dates... and iodine.
Comment
A true classic in every sense that offers breathtaking depth.

Dave Broom (nine) Lagavullin 12yo
Nose
Pungent, complex. Smoked eel, coal tar, apple-wood, smoked cheese, bitumen. Frisky.
Palate
Intensely peaty. Rounded with big kick: marine character, fragrant smoke, touch of black pepper, but balanced by sufficient sweetness.
Finish
Smoke belch.
Comment
Excellent. Lagavulin isn't as peaty as it used to be? Pull the other one.
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:11 pm

If you want a smack in the face with a wet kipper go for the Lagavulin, if you want something a little more subtle have the Caol Ila.

The other two I would leave on the shelf.

Cheers

Paul
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Postby Frodo » Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:43 am

Sorry Lord P:

The Signatory CI I got mixed up with a Rosebank Signatory. It's the Rosebank not the CI on sale. Sorry :(

With some further thought, I think perhaps with your taste, the CI CS is more beligerent and therefore more to your liking.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:16 am

Lord_Pfaffin wrote:...along with cudos that Mr. TH raises and a score of 86, i decided it was about time that i considered buying a bottle. It was Mr, TH's ravings that prompted me to try Ardbeg 10 and that's now one of my faves,and so the Balvenie 15 has been at the top of my "to-try" list...


Yikes! With great power...comes great responsibility.

Well, anyway, I know I'll be no worse than one for two.

My only quibble is that the Balvenie 15 seems a bit overpriced--I get it here for US$55, so it seems to me that it ought not be more than about Can$70 or so. But Harry's right, the hike on the second issue of Lag 12 is utterly unconscionable. If we try to figure out why everything costs what it does in every different place, we will surely go mad.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:56 am

Bowmore 17 - For my money, it's the most balanced of the choices available.
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:43 am

"Over priced!", you say.
I say, "Yeah, O'Canada; The land of the over-priced! We are used to paying through the nose, when we don't beat ourselves up with paying our own heavy taxes other countries beat us up on trade, like softwood lumber, beef and energy. Oh yes, then there's the side show of bush-league politics that supports, gay marriage, legalized marijuana and futher referendums on wheather or not the country should remain whole."
There's alot more, i could wear my keyboard out, i'm sure.
So this is where i whip-out my glass and poor myself a good sized dram and chill. 8)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:10 am

I'm not a big fan of island malts, but I find the Bowmore 17yo (and older) has(have) enough competing complexity that I find the peatiness just one of many issues. I like it.
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Postby WestVanDave » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:31 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:
My only quibble is that the Balvenie 15 seems a bit overpriced--I get it here for US$55, so it seems to me that it ought not be more than about Can$70 or so. But Harry's right, the hike on the second issue of Lag 12 is utterly unconscionable. If we try to figure out why everything costs what it does in every different place, we will surely go mad.


That's half the fun - and what I attribute half of my madness to... given that I mule stuff from Alberta to BC on a regular basis in search of sanity... and have witnessed price variances of greater than 50% between the two neighbouring provinces...

The Balvenie 15 can be had there for less than $65 Cdn. (at times) - making it a great value. We can't get it in BC.

The Laga 12 CS never seemed to make it into Alberta and surprised us in BC when it was here at the barg-oon price of $75... I know it hurts to pay $121 for it in Ontario once you are aware of that...

If you are celebrating a milestone and you really want to reward yourself (ain't that what money's for) then reward yourself and your provincial government at the same time - pat yourself on the back for being a patriot - and enjoy every last drop of this great dram... My vote goes to the Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength.

FWIW: Jim Murray rated the 57.8% version at 93 points!!!

Congratulations & Cheers, Dave.
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Postby bamber » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:29 am

I'm going to chime in again and say that the only one of those I felt a tiny bit dissapointed by was the Caol Ila CS. It just never called out to me from the cupboard like those other bad boys.
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Postby PeatPirate » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:24 am

Hi all,


FWIW: Jim Murray rated the 57.8% version at 93 points!!!


And he rated the teachers highland cream 95 points!! :wink:

Grtz. PP
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm

Teachers is/was a very good whisky indeed. It has scored less well in the new Whisky Bible. JM also gave Bowmore 17 very good marks - 93 if I recall correctly. I haven't tried the other whiskies in this tough choice, but I doubt that any of them would have the complexity or depth of flavour of the Bowmore - but at the same time, I guess they would not have quite such a challenging flavour either. Bowmore really does seem to be love it or loathe it.
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Postby hpulley » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:40 pm

bamber wrote:I'm going to chime in again and say that the only one of those I felt a tiny bit dissapointed by was the Caol Ila CS. It just never called out to me from the cupboard like those other bad boys.


You're right, Caol Ila CS is not a bad boy. I was also a bit surprised by that. I'm always expecting Caol Ila to be powerful but it rarely is. It seems that the south shore islays are more the powerful type, though lately I'm enjoying the mellower Ardbegs.

Harry
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Postby bamber » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:36 pm

I really enjoyed some Serendipity, this weekend. A very mellow 'well made' Ardbeg / Vatted malt.
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:40 pm

On a final note i would like to thank all those who voted, and, yes i did buy the Laga 12 CS. It is really quite wonderfull, yet i'm not convinced that it's that much better than the C.I. CS. Don't get me wrong, i do feel that i would spend the extra $15 to get the Laga over the C.I. again, but my next purchase would likely be the C.I. anyhow. :wink:
I went to the LCBO to procure my second choice and the C.I. was NA as was the Bowmore 17, however there was lots of the Balvenie 15 SC so i carted one home and WOW (honey i love you), i'm so glad that i did. Quite a nice simple, but totally impressive malt, i was blown away by. Islays have owned my palate of late, but the Balvenie definately turned my head around.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:39 am

Always good to have a contrast. There is no shadow without light.
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:16 pm

Oh, brother...he spends a weekend within 10 miles of an Ivy League school and comes back to the forum with "there is no shadow without light"!

Obviously, someone spent way too much time inhaling exhaust fumes from the Zamboni... ;)

Kids play well this weekend, T?

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:55 pm

:lol:

I may have been within ten miles of Princeton, but I might as well have been on Neptune! No offense, Mark, but great swaths of New Jersey are not pretty. Route 1 in Lawrenceville is a prime example.

The kids went 1-2 and spent the weekend acting juvenile, even by hockey-player standards. (I'll extend that implied indictment to 15-year-old North American male jocks in general, in the interest of not particularly offending our Canuckistani friends.)

Sorry I missed you! But without absence, there can be no meeting. 8)
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:03 pm

Yes, I know Route 1's ugly...but there are uglier parts...

Gee, you expected maturity and good behavior from teenage boys on a road trip? Should have brought my daughters up there to whip the guys into shape... ;)

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Postby patrick dicaprio » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:09 am

honestly they are all good; i would go for the one that is hardest to find. As far as preferences go though, for me I would go for the Caol Ila.

Pat
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:58 am

patrick dicaprio wrote:honestly they are all good; i would go for the one that is hardest to find. As far as preferences go though, for me I would go for the Caol Ila.

Pat


Pat, after sampling all four over the period of the last 10 days or so, i think the C.I. CS is just ever so slightly the best of the lot.
What's your current favourite whisky?
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Postby patrick dicaprio » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:44 pm

Lord_Pfaffin wrote:
patrick dicaprio wrote:honestly they are all good; i would go for the one that is hardest to find. As far as preferences go though, for me I would go for the Caol Ila.

Pat


Pat, after sampling all four over the period of the last 10 days or so, i think the C.I. CS is just ever so slightly the best of the lot.
What's your current favourite whisky?


Lagavulin 16 is still atop my list on my tastingnotes. But Woodford Reserve (bourbon--egads!!), Glenlivet 18, Uigeadail and a few others arent far behind.

Pat
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Postby barrelproof » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:32 pm

What a concidence. All of this bottles I have in my glass cupboard. My favourite is the caol ila cask strength with 60.1%. A stunner :D But I like them all. You can't make a bad mistake.
I think the caol ila has more peat flavour as the lagavulin.
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:56 am

barrelproof wrote:What a concidence. All of this bottles I have in my glass cupboard. My favourite is the caol ila cask strength with 60.1%. A stunner :D But I like them all. You can't make a bad mistake.
I think the caol ila has more peat flavour as the lagavulin.


Welcome aboard Barrelproof!
The Laga's flavor is somewhat close to that of the Ardbeg 10, well intergrated smoke and sherry aside, of course, and since those influences are subtle ones, ergo; i find the Caol Ila CS more unique. It is this uniqueness and the $19 less expense might be enough to influence my purchase next time around.
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