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Best Islay Distillery

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Which is the best Islay distillery?

Bowmore
4
5%
Caol Ila
5
6%
Laphroaig
18
22%
Bunnahabain
5
6%
Ardbeg
22
27%
Bruichladdich
8
10%
Port Ellen
3
4%
Lagavulin
18
22%
 
Total votes : 83

Postby cwtrotter » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:29 am

Although Laphroaig is my favorite malt, if I had to pick one distillery it would be Bruichladdich. They can give you the fruity flavor I find in the 15 yo, an occassional unique finish (such as the Rioja casks used for WMD II), or a nice dram loaded with peat (3D Moine Mhor). I've enjoyed them all.
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Re: Best Islay Distillery

Postby CelticHorns » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:45 pm

Oliver wrote:What is the Best Islay Distillery in terms of quality of product and prestige. In short what would be for you the best representative of Islay's style, quality and singularity?


There is no doubt in my mind; Bruichladdich is the best Islay distillery. Quality product made with equipement dating from 1881, authentic, non chill-filtered and no caramel. When you taste you fully understand the difference.

Prestige: With Mark Reynier and Jim McEwan how wrong can you go? The single malt world joining the wine world. Creativity is what drives the Bruichladdich team. And should I say that there doing pretty good so far. The Bruichladdich name will continue to gain prestige in the future in particular when they will launch their own distilled malt.

With the diversity of the Bruichladdich range, you can have someone who doesn't like islay/peaty style of whisky who will enjoy a Bruichladdich. You choose a different expression of Bruichladdich and you can satisfy another type of palate. Bruichladdich can offer something for everybody.

I would give a good mention to Laphroaig and Ardbeg who also make great quality single malt.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Personally I like'em all - no particular favourites - and they all offer their own take on what constitutes a great single malt.
Congratulations with your first post and welcome to the forum CelticHorns.
:)
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:48 pm

Yes, welcome to the forum, another Canadian!

I voted Laphroaig, after all is said and done I greatly enjoy the line up of their whiskies.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:49 pm

Lawrence wrote:Yes, welcome to the forum, another Canadian!


Shhh, he might be péquiste....

I feel less and less inclined to pick arbitrary favorites. Despite popular stereotypes, the distilleries of Islay are a diverse lot, and that is part of the joy of the place.

Bienvenue, CH. C'est bien de savoir qu'il y a de la vie entre Montréal et Québec! (I'm sure that's awful French, but hope you get the idea.)
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Postby Aidan » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:55 pm

Lawrence wrote:Yes, welcome to the forum, another Canadian!

I voted Laphroaig, after all is said and done I greatly enjoy the line up of their whiskies.


We now need more Mexicans to keep the balance.
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Postby kljostad » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:26 pm

This is a virtually impossible choice. I think that the Kidalton/Port Ellen distilleries represent what people think of when use the term Islay whiskies. The tough, peaty whiskies. Caol Ila fits the same category, but they are not as well known. Neither do they deliver the same consistent quality, in my opinion. Like most on this forum, I don’t think Bowmore deliver consistent enough quality either. I love their Mariner, 17 year old and several others, but then they have some that hugely disappoint.

I visited Bruichladdich a few weeks ago, and fell in love instantly. I have not yet tasted one of their whiskies that I did not like. And the variation! From the most elegant, to the most heavily peated. Some say that they have too many expressions, but as long as the prices are at the level they are now, I don’t think that is a problem. Quite the opposite. I also like that they are owned by local interests, and have a genuine concern for everything local. They are innovative, creative and extremely skilled. That is why they are my favorite distillery at the moment.

I am also eager to see the first whiskies from Kilchoman. I have tasted their miniature bottles, strait from the stills, and that suggests both peat and elegance. Only two years to the first release now!
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Postby CelticHorns » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:27 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
Lawrence wrote:Yes, welcome to the forum, another Canadian!


Shhh, he might be péquiste....

I feel less and less inclined to pick arbitrary favorites. Despite popular stereotypes, the distilleries of Islay are a diverse lot, and that is part of the joy of the place.

Bienvenue, CH. C'est bien de savoir qu'il y a de la vie entre Montréal et Québec! (I'm sure that's awful French, but hope you get the idea.)


Thanks everybody for the warm welcome. It's very nice. I appreciate.

To MrTattieHeid your french is really good and don't worry I am not
"un ostie de péquiste"!

I agree with Mr. Fjeld all the distilleries on Islay have something unique to offer. But, if I have to choose only one, it would be Bruichladdich.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:09 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
irishwhiskeychaser wrote:For me it's Laphroaig for consistency and the fact they do not have 20 million collectable bottlings to drive me mad.


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I cared to vote in polls like this, I'd be tempted to vote for Bruichladdich for inconsistency and the fact that they have 20 million bottlings to drive me mad!

(With all respect, iwc--don't mean to imply you are foolish, just that there is more than one way to look at things.)



Only noticed this now .... no disrepect taken Mr T-H

I would say simplicity is my view on distilleries...

I would not knock the likes of bruichladdich for all their bottlings but it just confuses the hell out of me most of the time. I don't have the time, money or opertunity to source half of these bottlings. Arran is another gone mad on their different bottlings. But you right there is always another side, as they say varitey is the spice of like. It's just I like a quite simple life with simple choices but unfortunately I've picked the wrong hobby for that :lol:
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OK - a little late to the party, but my vote goes to...

Postby Knolly » Thu May 31, 2007 8:33 am

Laphroaig!

Two months ago it would have been Ardbeg without a question, but I was surprisingly underwhelmed with the beastie...

Plus the real truth is that I love all three of the big Islays, so since Laphroaig was lacking votes compared to Ardbeg and Lagavulin, I had to bump them up!

Anyway, each of the big three plus Bruichladdich has a special place in my heart (i have yet to have PE):

Lagavulin 16 was simply the first whisky that i bought that REALLY made me understand how good "GOOD" whisky can be. Now, I own the 16, a few 12CSs and the PX and they are all amazing!

Ardbeg: well, it is Ardbeg and generally amazing. Oogie is absolutely great. Ten fits almost every occasion perfectly. Provenance is simply the best whisky that I have ever had the fortune of trying. However, the 17 - while very very good - didn't completely blow me away, and the Beastie was frankly a bit of a disappointment.

Laphroaig: the 10 year is really good, but typically I'll take the Laga 16 or the Ardbeg Ten over Laph 10 most times. However, the 15 is simply the best Islay value bar none - at $55-60 / bottle, it is simply mind blowing good. Same with the QC (which i prefer more than the CS). And the 30 is something special: perhaps a bit muted compared to other Laphroaigs, but considering it's heritage, the smoothness is simply amazing.

Now I have to throw Bruichladdich in there too. While the 10 yr is strictly OK in my books (and not worth the money), the 15 is quite yummie. Also, the 14 yr links edition that i have (Turnberry) is quite tasty as well though it's not the best whisky ever, but it certainly is very easy to drink (and drink it I have!). Moine Mhor: ok - this gets the distinction of being the first whisky that I've bought a case of (followed by the Laph QC and 15). Why the Moine Mhor? I don't know, but something about it is absolutely fantastic. It is just peat plain and simple. Never have I gone through a bottle of whisky so fast. So, Bruichladdich - inconsistent perhaps, but when they're on, they are ON!

Cheers!
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Postby Aidan » Thu May 31, 2007 8:51 am

If there was proportional representation, Bowmore would do well, I'd say.
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Postby bamber » Thu May 31, 2007 8:53 am

Ardbeg closely followed by Lagavulin, then probably Bruichladdich, though not their peated offerings.

I've only had a handful of Lagavulin expressions - a couple versions of the DE and the 12yo and everyone's favourite pub dram - Lagavulin 16yo. If there was more available it would be my favourite, maybe, probably.
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Postby Reggaeblues » Thu May 31, 2007 9:23 am

Tuff one. they all have merit, and something distinctive.

There's something rather regal about Lagavulin. For many of us it was "the one" that openend our eyes, imaginations and tastebuds to the world of whisky...and the 16YO stands proudly as its "expression" , no messing! Great looking bottle, great whisky...if a bit tamer than it once was(or is it just our tatebuds becoming acclimatised?)those in the know will seek out the DE, rather more expensive, and a 12 from specialist outlets...but to the world at large, the 16 IS Lagavulin.

Ardbeg, Bowmore, and Brookladdie on the other hand, have a plethora of everchanging official bottlings...and Laphroaig to a lesser extent, and fair play to them. Most are very good; some question Ardbeg's marketing strategies(Richard of LFW's "Very silly/Still silly" comes to mind!)...and a part of me would love to say "Bowmore" and "Bruichladdich" for this very reason...their sense of enterprise, but neither IMO are what I would classify as the archetype of Islay malts.

For my money,( literally!) Ardbeg has it because of its 10 YO. Available, inexpensive( for much of the year), and as someone said, a "malt for every occasion."
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Postby Ganga » Thu May 31, 2007 10:45 pm

Bowmore was my first experience with Islay whisky. Had a sample collection of the 12, 17, 21 and Legend. In quick succession following this, I had the Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 10, PE Cadenhead, Bunnahabhain 12, Ardbeg Signatory 23 and 30.

Favorites from each to date:

Bowmore, DT/Peerless 35
Lagavulin, MMM 23
Port Ellen, OMC 24
Bunnabhain, OB 18
Ardbeg, Signatory 23 (Provenance is waiting in the wings :lol: )
Caol Ila, OB 25
Laphroaig, OB QC
Buichladdich, Adelphi 27 (Legacy V is on deck :P )

I've had my share of Islay's that I didn't care for...ranging down into the wretched level. Bowmore 17 just doesn't get it done for me. I've had it several times over a period of about 8 years. Not happening. A couple of Caol Ila indies were almost down to the level of Loch Dhun't. G&M Ardbeg 9 makes you wonder.
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Re: Best Islay Distillery

Postby Dangerous_Dave » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:04 pm

It's a bit of a loaded question as it makes you think of the most "archetypal Islay" (ie peated/Kildalton) whisky whereas the island has excellent whiskies of many different varieties. There is also a lot of variety in quality between expressions from the same distillery.

In terms of the core expressions, I am extremely fond of Laphroaig and Bunnahabhain but to compare them is like comparing apples and oranges. In terms of business savvy and customer service, the guys at Bruichldadich are streets ahead of the others IMHO.
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