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Great coastal Malts

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

which coastal malts do you prefer?

Springbank
3
11%
Glen Scotia
1
4%
Bruichladdich
4
15%
Bunnahabhain
1
4%
Oban
2
7%
Scapa
4
15%
Pulteney
3
11%
Clynelish
5
19%
Glenmorangie
4
15%
 
Total votes : 27

Great coastal Malts

Postby Scotchio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:09 am

I've tried to put together a list of malts that live by the sea and contain a whiff of sea air, touch of ozone etc which may not exist and could have nothing to do with location but probably does.....
my personal fave is Morangie 10 with Laddie a close 2nd although I have enjoyed the zingy Pulteney 12 and some briny vanilla GM Scapa's. The last Bunny I snared was a bit stale for a 12 yr old and I found Oban austere salty smoky and waxy although it sounds like it has now gone fruity.
Of particular interest to me would be comments on the 'other' coastal malts; Banff, Glenglassaugh, Inchgower, Balblair and Glen scotia which I will probably try next.
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Postby bamber » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:36 am

I'll second your support for Glenmorangie 10. My second spot would go to Clynelish 14yo - a forum favourite and a lovely whisky.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:44 am

What happened to Highland Park. Orkney islands are coastal enough don't you think :wink:

Christian
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:37 am

Mr Fjeld wrote:What happened to Highland Park. Orkney islands are coastal enough don't you think :wink:

Christian



HP is probably banned as it would probably win hands down :wink:
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Postby Scotchio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:11 pm

I didn't include HP sauce as it has a very different flavour profile to the ones I listed. It is medium peated richer and fuller than most of these, a real bugger to categorise. It is a great whisky but I'd guess most are pretty familiar with it so what would be the value of further eulogies. I tend to place it with the other notably peated malts that exist beyond the south shore of Islay although it could just as easily sit alongside classic highlanders.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:33 pm

Scotchio wrote:I didn't include HP sauce as it has a very different flavour profile to the ones I listed. It is medium peated richer and fuller than most of these, a real bugger to categorise. It is a great whisky but I'd guess most are pretty familiar with it so what would be the value of further eulogies. I tend to place it with the other notably peated malts that exist beyond the south shore of Islay although it could just as easily sit alongside classic highlanders.


I see your point Scotchio and I disagree as I find the 18yo very similar to the Scapa 14 but with an added (very) mellow smoke character. I know it's in a different price bracket and the age is perhaps also too far apart from the Scapa 14 - besides, I'm only nitpicking :wink:
I think I've given up most categories anyway as there are too many anomalies in the whisky world - maybe it's easier to just abolish the geographical demarcation lines altogether - even coastal and non-coastal, and choose to use a smoke/non-smoke (or peat or non-peat) classification instead?

Christian
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Postby Scotchio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:05 pm

Hello Christian,
Your comments on Scapa and HP are interesting. The new Scapa 14 appears to be somewhat different to the older GM bottlings I have tried, less briny more honey and fruit which i guess would nudge it in the direction of HP. My current HP is an old bottling of the 18 and I was surprised by how peaty it was, I never really found the peat in Scapa to be anything more than a whisper.
As for your comments on categorizing the point you make is exemplified by HP but I still find fuzzy regional distinctions useful as I like to keep a range of styles and rotate bottlings from distilleries within categories. There are some overlaps and you do have to lose the assumption that location can dictate style but it works pretty well for me.
regards
Steve
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:21 pm

Hi Steve!
Your arguing makes sense and I must hasten to say that I too occasionally make use of the available categorisations. It's just that I feel a little confused about the "whisky borderline cases" . And I guess there are more coastal whiskies tasting coastal than what is the case for the non-coastal whiskies.
And maybe I'm wrong in assuming that peat is a deciding feature of "coastalness" .
Most people would probably disagree with me anyway :lol:

Nice poll anyway!

Cheers
Christian
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Postby Scotchio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:40 pm

You're not wrong in assuming a coastal style can involve peat. Hp, talisker, Brora and the Islays all possess coastal saltiness along with their peatiness and for many that is what they regard as 'the' coastal style. I tend to define these as medium or heavily peated whiskies and treat them separately,that's just my way of looking at it. I was trying to restrict the poll to the lighter less peated coastal style
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Re: Great coastal Malts

Postby Mr Ellen » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:45 pm

Scotchio wrote:Of particular interest to me would be comments on the 'other' coastal malts; Banff, Glenglassaugh, Inchgower, Balblair and Glen scotia which I will probably try next.


I have tried a Banff Connoisseurs Choice from the 70's range (can't remember the specific year) which was a big disapointment. It was very feinty, slightly phenolic with a sweet, syrupy finish...not my taste at all.
As for Balblair, they have lot's of great bottlings. I have the 10 year old and the Balblair Elements.
The "Elements" has a soft, salty nose and a fruity taste with hints of vanilla and oak. The finish is sweet and dry.
I find the 10 year old to be nuttier and more spicy on the nose. This whisky is full of flavours with honey, chocolate and a sting of salt on the palate. The finish is like candied apples with honey. If find it to be very price-worthy.
I think Royal Mile Whiskies recently had a bottling of the Glenglassaugh which is supposed to be fantastic - haven't tried it though.
Glen Scotia is another wonderful and complex whisky. The 14 year old is fresh and salty on the nose, malty with touches of salt and cocoa on the palate and has a very long and warming finish.
Can't comment on Inchgower. I have a bottle from the Flora & Fauna range (14y.) which is yet to be opened. I'll let you know in due time.

Cheers
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:12 pm

For what it's worth, Highland Park is up on the hill overlooking Kirkwall, well away from the water...but I suppose the air is salty everywhere in Orkney.

HP and Scapa strike me as being as different as night and day. I've never had the Scapa 12 (or at least, don't recall it), but the 14 is very light and fruity.
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Postby Scotchio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:17 pm

Thanks Anders,
I keep walking past bargain priced Balblairs at the local supermarket. I really ought to take a dip. Glen scotia is also very tempting, I think Lawrence was singing it's praises recently. The best malt in Campbeltown?
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Postby The Dazzler » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:43 pm

The latest Bunnahabhain 12yo have been a lot more coastal in style, I always found it to be a bit sweeter on the nose a bit jammy. I think it has improved recently and become the perfect coastal malt. Bruichladdich 10yo would be hard to beat for coastal features throughout its range, except the 15yo which I find a bit sweeter with a slightly more sherried masking.

Slainte!
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:54 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:HP and Scapa strike me as being as different as night and day. I've never had the Scapa 12 (or at least, don't recall it), but the 14 is very light and fruity.

Two people can obviously notice very different tastes......
I certainly think they are very similar but Scapa 14 lacks the smoke you find in Highland Park 18. I havent' tasted the 12 of any of them and I would guess that explains the "night and day" difference?
Compare the HP 18 and the Scapa 14 after eachother and you'll see what I mean.

Christian
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Postby Scotchio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:13 pm

Don't forget to tell them about the honey Chrissie. The girl in my local shop refers to Scapa 14 as Pooh Bear's favourite whisky. That wasn't much of a feature of the GM Scapa bottlings but is very much part of the HP style. Certainly the older bottlings of HP and Scapa are poles apart. It would be interesting to know if others find the new bottles similar.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:23 pm

Sorry, Christian, I don't see it at all! I don't get any brine in Scapa, either, but apparently a lot of people do. Or honey, either. Just fruit salad. Unfortunately, my bottle's done, and I don't think I'll get another, so I can't check it out. Just one of those things, I guess.
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Postby Mr Ellen » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:05 pm

Mr Fjeld wrote:
MrTattieHeid wrote:HP and Scapa strike me as being as different as night and day. I've never had the Scapa 12 (or at least, don't recall it), but the 14 is very light and fruity.

Two people can obviously notice very different tastes......
I certainly think they are very similar but Scapa 14 lacks the smoke you find in Highland Park 18. I havent' tasted the 12 of any of them and I would guess that explains the "night and day" difference?
Compare the HP 18 and the Scapa 14 after eachother and you'll see what I mean.

Christian


I can't see how there could be a "night and day" difference.
I find that HP and Scapa are very similar in style. The only small difference might be a slightly peatier touch in HP that is not so easy to define in Scapa. But I can surely find honey, salt and hints of cocoa in both these Orkney malts and I am not sure that I would stand tall in a blind test. :roll:

Comparing Scapa with HP18 is easier as the HP18 is much more complex and more spicy than Scapa. In my opinion HP18 has more flavours, including nuts, cinnamon and some citrus which are not so evident in Scapa. I also find HP to be hotter on the finish.

Regarding Scapa 12 and 14 they are very similar in style. Both are excellent drams and both have their shares of honey and heather. In my opinion I find the 12y to be just a little more complex and not quite as fruity as the new 14 year old. Both are excellent value for money!

But I guess this is the beauty of whiskytasting. That we all find different flavours and aromas from the very same bottling. :wink:

Cheers
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Which Coastal Malt do you prefer

Postby Danny » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:14 am

Well, I went to my tasting notes and of the ones I have notes on I have the Oban 14 and Scapa 14 both at 85. Bruichladdich 15 and Balbalir 16 at 84. Of course this is subjective and my ratings will be totally different than other peoples.

Common to the Oban, Scapa and Balblair from my notes are toffee/butterscotch, honey and stewed fruits. I have the Balblair and the Scapa with more spice than the Oban and more maritime essence in the Oban.

Bruichladdich- fruit, spice, vanilla, oak and a bit of metallic aftertaste.

I really need to get back to the Glenmorangie and make some notes.

I would take any as an offering.[/img]
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Postby parvus » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:16 am

I'm glad someone else found that metallic note in the Bruichladdich 15. It's sort of coppery, rasberry/metal yes?

I found it in the Bowmore 15, I wonder what it is, prolonged contact with the lyne arm or condensers or some such?
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Great Coastal Malts

Postby Danny » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:57 am

Not sure what it is, it's not offensive, just kind of lingers at the back of the throat.

Reminds one of getting a hint of foil or copper taste.
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Postby Scotchio » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:55 am

Michael Jackson has written about an iron like flavour common to Bowmore and Laddie which he put down to the ancient rock from which the water supply of both distilleries comes.
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:15 am

My vote went to Scapa, but my first choice would be Caol Ila, can't get much more coastal than that!

Cheers

Paul
Last edited by Paul A Jellis on Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby parvus » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:11 am

Scotchio wrote:Michael Jackson has written about an iron like flavour common to Bowmore and Laddie which he put down to the ancient rock from which the water supply of both distilleries comes.


Interesting. Thanks for that.
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Re: Great coastal Malts

Postby Frodo » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:50 pm

I'm really curious that Springbank hasn't recieved more interest in this poll, as it has a great reputation. The older ones have blown me away, the younger ones have been rather ordinary IMHO. Still, other rave about this malt, so I'm still suprised!

Scotchio wrote:...Of particular interest to me would be comments on the 'other' coastal malts; Banff, Glenglassaugh, Inchgower, Balblair and Glen scotia which I will probably try next.


As to comments on these malts, I've tried the 16yr Balblair and a limited release of their 24yr, as well as a 10yr Glen Scotia (Signatory). The 16yr Balblair seemed like a more lively version of Balvenie - not as honeyed. The 24yr old was great - loads of vanilla, don't remember too much more about it other than I really liked it and was thinking about getting a bottle at $145 cdn.

The Glen Scotia I remember being very briny. Very much seasidy without the smokiness or peatiness often associated with coastal malts.
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Postby Scotchio » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:46 pm

I'm really curious that Springbank hasn't recieved more interest in this poll, as it has a great reputation. The older ones have blown me away, the younger ones have been rather ordinary IMHO. Still, other rave about this malt, so I'm still suprised!

So said Frodo,I really need to work out how to do those quotes!

Springbank/ Cadenhead baffle me... their older bottles are supposedly the stuff of legend but stock shortages killed the 21 yet they produce a 21 yr old 60% malt blend which presumably has a fair bit of springbank in it and sells for just £25.
The younger bottles seem overpriced yet suddenly the overpriced longrow 10 gets upped to cask strength with no price increase but from what I've read is more springbanklike than longrow.
They have some seriously curious barrel experiments Tokay etc
They produce a very pricey ltd Hazelburn 8 then flog a cask strength version via Cadenhead for £40

Crazily i have yet to sample any of their stuff. I've been sitting on an old 21yr old but keep putting off opening as it's value increases and the younger bottlings get such a mixed press that i haven't been tempted yet.
Does the 21yr old blend bare any resemblence to the older springbanks?
Are there any good bang for buck Springbanks?
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Postby Jan » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:21 pm

Scotchio wrote:So said Frodo,I really need to work out how to do those quotes! - - -
Are there any good bang for buck Springbanks?


You just click the "Quote" in the upper right corner of the post you want to quote - then delete the text you don't want included in your quote.

As for bang for your buck springbanks... Yes there certainly is - to bad they are around £200 and upwards. :? But seriously, old (30+) Springbanks are usually magnificient, at least the few I have tasted have been.

Personally, I'm rather fond of the 15yo, but it's not a superclass malt imho, just a rather good one...

Cheers
Jan
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Postby Scotchio » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:29 pm

Behold, a quotemaster. Will try it next time.
thanks Jan
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Postby Frodo » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:54 pm

Jan wrote:As for bang for your buck springbanks... Yes there certainly is - to bad they are around £200 and upwards. :? But seriously, old (30+) Springbanks are usually magnificient, at least the few I have tasted have been.

Cheers
Jan


I agree 100% with this. Only tried 1 at 35 or 36yrs old. Sublime, and worth the $400 price tag. Don't have the $$ though.
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Another way to post quotes

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:23 pm

You can also highlight the specific segment you want and copy it into a post reply, highlighting it again and hitting the "Quote" button. It doesn't show who the quote is from 'though, but saves all the deleting. In this example it was Jan quoting Scotchio:
Scotchio wrote:
So said Frodo,I really need to work out how to do those quotes! - - -
Are there any good bang for buck Springbanks?

Musky P
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Postby Admiral » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:13 pm

I recently sat down for a vertical tasting. The menu was as follows:

Springbank 10yo
Springbank 10yo 100 proof
Springbank 15yo
Springbank Millenium Edition 25yo
Springbank Frank Hardy Edition 25yo
Springbank Millenium Edition 30yo
Springbank Millenium Edition 35yo
Springbank Millenium Edition 40yo
Springbank Millenium Edition 45yo
Springbank Millenium Edition 50yo

The only disappointing Millenium Edition was the 50yo. All the others were superb, but it has to be said, they were all reasonably to heavily sherried. The sherry tended to mask the coastal elements of the Springbank.

Cheers,
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Postby toshie » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:15 am

You just click the "Quote" in the upper right corner of the post you want to quote - then delete the text you don't want included in your quote.

Jings! It works :roll: Well, nearly. How do you get it in the white panel?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:59 pm

Don't delete the bracketed "quote" and "/quote".
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Postby toshie » Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:17 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Don't delete the bracketed "quote" and "/quote".


Wot? Like this :shock: Doncha just love it when the technology works?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:00 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Sorry, Christian, I don't see it at all! I don't get any brine in Scapa, either, but apparently a lot of people do. Or honey, either. Just fruit salad. Unfortunately, my bottle's done, and I don't think I'll get another, so I can't check it out. Just one of those things, I guess.


I have to agree with the lack of brine but I do get a load of honey - not just any honey either - heather honey. Rich and distinctive.

I like your description of fruit salad but for different reasons than I think you do. There is a chewy sweet in the UK called "fruit salad" supposedly raspberry and pineapple in flavour[ :? ] It has a ...ahem.......unique flavour but surprisingly OK. A pub in Dumfries went into flavouring its own vodka and dissolved a variety of sweets in the spirit including "cola cubes" and "fruit salad" - they were, in the words of the Chinese curse, interesting!

Anyway, back to the fruit salad. The estery note (peardrops?) reminds me of "fruit salad" chews and I get this from Scapa 14.

Phew. Glad that's over :roll:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:05 pm

I opened a bottle of HP 12 last night, and, although my palate is not itself lately, I must say that I do understand the similarity with Scapa now, I think. It's been a long time since I had the 12.
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