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New to Islay's but not new to SMS

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

Which Islay should I choose first?

Ardbeg 10
3
10%
Bowmore 17
5
17%
Bowmore Darkest
0
No votes
Bruichladdich 10
0
No votes
Bruichladdich 15
3
10%
Caol Ila 12
8
28%
Caol Ila 18
1
3%
Lagavulin 16
3
10%
Talisker 10 (I know it's not an Islay)
1
3%
Talisker 18 (I know it's not an Islay)
5
17%
 
Total votes : 29

New to Islay's but not new to SMS

Postby heatmiser » Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:15 am

Background: I am just now moving into experiencing Islay whisky. I have tried island whiskeys from Scapa & Highland Park and like both of them very much. I tried Laphroaig 10 last week and it was a little over the top for me. With this in mind, which Islay would you recommend as I am not familiar with the profiles and don't want something quite as harsh and in your face like the Laphroiag I tasted
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Postby Jan » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:47 am

Hi Heatmiser - welcome here.

I voted Talisker 18, because it is fine dram, that I really think you will like.

But, as you notes yourself it is not exactly an islay.

If you want to experience the peaty whiskies, Lagavulin 16yo would be my suggestion - great whisky, that has started many on peaty drams.
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Postby peergynt323 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:20 am

Jan wrote:Hi Heatmiser - welcome here.

I voted Talisker 18, because it is fine dram, that I really think you will like.

But, as you notes yourself it is not exactly an islay.

If you want to experience the peaty whiskies, Lagavulin 16yo would be my suggestion - great whisky, that has started many on peaty drams.


ditto
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Postby TheLaddie » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:26 am

If you found the Laphroaig a bit too much on first taste :x (so did I, but I have grown to love it) then you are probably better avoiding the Ardbeg for now (even though it is my favourite of the less than 15 year old whiskies you list) as it is pretty full on too.

If you like peat already then the Talisker 18 is a stunning whisky though more expensive. Lagavulin 16 is more reasonably priced and, as Jan noted, is the dram that converted a number of the forum members (myself included) onto the peaty stuff.

If you don't want to go overtly peaty then the Bruichladdich 10/12 or Coal Ila 12 (many forum members have been disappointed by the 18 ) are a fine entry point.

Let us know how you get on, and welcome :)
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Postby les taylor » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:36 am

Its interesting that you have listed Bowmore 17. To my mind its a very well balanced whisky with a briny taste with a deliate peat and dark chocolate flavour. You would not go far wrong with this one.


:)
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Postby laphroaig10_65 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:06 pm

Laphroaig 10 yo was my first choice, but looking the eyes of my sceptic friends i vote Caol Ila 12 yo.
Bye
Luca
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Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:14 pm

Lagavulin I reckon over here!
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Postby Wave » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:52 pm

I voted for the Bruichladdich 15 since that was the 1st Islay I bought and tried some 20 odd years ago. 8)


Cheers!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:43 pm

I agree with Les. The Bowmore 17 gets my vote.
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Postby les taylor » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:48 pm

Thanks Crieftan.

:)
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:21 pm

Talisker 18 from me too.... A much more refine experience i.e. not as in your face as the 10yo.

The Lagavulin 16 eventhough a lovely smooth rounded dram may have a tad too much smoke for you.

Or you might even like to try Connemara... a good level of peat but smoother & slightly sweeter than the Islays .....

Technically it is from an Island off Scotland :lol:
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Postby TheLaddie » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:24 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Or you might even like to try Connemara... a good level of peat but smoother & slightly sweeter than the Islays .....

Technically it is from an Island off Scotland :lol:


I agree. I bought a bottle of the peated single malt for when a few mates came over for last St Patrick's day. It's a lovely dram. Hadn't thought to mention it... :oops:
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Postby DramMeister » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:46 pm

Buy a whole bottle of Cask Strength Laphroaig and drink nothing else till you've finished it. :twisted:
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Postby Mustardhead » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:59 pm

I'm in favour of the Lagavulin 16, it isn't as brutal as some people think, it may have clouds of smoke and dollops of iodine but it also has a sweetness and a smoothness which temper the underlying savagery. I think it has more Islay characteristics than anything on your list apart from the Caol Ila.
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Postby Mustardhead » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:00 pm

DramMeister wrote:Buy a whole bottle of Cask Strength Laphroaig and drink nothing else till you've finished it. :twisted:


Not a bad thought :)

What about on the second day?
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Postby Scotchio » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:05 pm

If you want Islay/peat but not too much peat you'd be wanting something mid peated so Bowmore or Caol Ila fit the bill. longrow 10 and Ardmore from the mainland are also worth considering as really lovely mid peated malts.
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Re: New to Islay's but not new to SMS

Postby duckmcf » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:09 pm

heatmiser wrote:Background: I am just now moving into experiencing Islay whisky. I have tried island whiskeys from Scapa & Highland Park and like both of them very much. I tried Laphroaig 10 last week and it was a little over the top for me. With this in mind, which Islay would you recommend as I am not familiar with the profiles and don't want something quite as harsh and in your face like the Laphroiag I tasted


If I were in your position (actually I was around 20 years ago) I find a good pub / whisky bar and with a few friends rattle through all of them in a night. OK, there might be a few unpleasant “consequences”, but by the end of the night you'll either know which bottle to open your Islay collection with or realise that Islays are not for you. Good luck...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:46 am

If Laphroaig is too in-your-face for you, then Ardbeg and Lagavulin likely will be, too. I think you can add Caol Ila to that list, although others here seem to differ. Talisker and Bowmore are a step down from that, but still peatier than Highland Park. At the other end of it, the Bruichladdichs mentioned aren't peated at all (or hardly), and are more similar to Scapa. Not really what people are thinking of when they say Islay (more the first three). These categorizations--Islay, and even more so, Island--are very loose and the character of different malts within those labels will vary quite a lot.
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Postby ScotchPalate » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:07 pm

Scotch, is in and of itself, an aquired taste....and a great taste once it is acquired. The Islay malts are an acquired taste among Scotch drinkers. My opinion would be to start w/ one of the Taliskers. I enjoy Laphraoig but I got the Talisker 18 first. It's great! It's a bit salty, bigger pepper and smokiness, some peaty sweetness and a DISTANT pinch of iodine. It is a great dram, that definately isn't as in your face as any of the Islays, but has a spicy, peaty kick.

I'd like to recommend that you try the Islays again after a while of tasting various Scotches.

Enjoy and have fun!

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Postby Mark » Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:27 am

I would recommend the Coal Ila 12 to anyone new to Islay whisky. It is definitely one of the lighter Islay malts, not too peaty with a smoky smoothness and nice long smoky finish. Like others have already mentioned elsewhere on this forum I was also disappointed with the Coal Ila 18. Bowmore 17 would also be a good choice.

Mark
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