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Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

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Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Disclaimer » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:03 pm

I recently started to drink and immensely like Whisky, but I'm still a total noob...

I tried Balvenie DW, Glenfiddich 15 Sola Reserva and Cragganmore 12, all of which I loved. I also tried the Talisker 10, which unfortunately I found very difficult to drink. I see that there is some interesting complexity lurking behind all that smoke and peat, but so far I've been unable to appreciate that.

So, I think I'll stay away from the smoke/peat monsters for now. But I can't really decide what do buy next. Maybe one of those:

Highland Park 12 - but I read somewhere, that it is somewhat rubbery, medicinal. True? How dominant is that?

The Macallan 12 - or maybe the 10? Which Macallan is supposed to be the "Best" (in the < 100 USD range)?

What do you think about these? Any other tips?
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Whisky » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:25 pm

I'm not a fan of sherried whiskies, so I'm not overly keen on the standard Macallan, but I recently tried the 10 year old Fine Oak and was impressed. (And I've a bottle of the 15 year old beside me.) It's described as being a bit young and rough in the review on this site, however, I found it very palatable. (Boubony with an appley finish, is how I'd describe it.)
I'd say the HP is between the Glenmorangie and Talisker smoke-wise.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby kyorke1 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:33 pm

These were the whiskies I started out on, but soon moved onto Islay for peat and smoke. I would perhaps recommend Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan, Dalwhinnie and Aberlour.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby The Third Dram » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:42 pm

It sounds as though you're trying to work your way a little outside of the Speyside box while simultaneously avoiding the smoke alert of the heftier, more characterful Skye and Islay whiskies. With this in mind, I'd recommend you ease into some of the coastal or less forceful island whiskies, as these can provide a tasty bridge to further explorations. I also think you're on the right track when you mention Highland Park 12YO - it's a fine choice.

Some others...
Old Pulteney 12YO - a nice salty snap married to very clean malt
Clynelish 14YO - quite gentle salt and smoke with great complexity
Glen Garioch 15YO - a different, and demure, sort of central/eastern Highland smoke tossed atop grainy, honeycomb malt
Oban 14YO - decent, inoffensive mixture of Highland and island characteristics
Bruichladdich 10YO or 15YO - lovely, fruit-laden malt core with salt very much on the side
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Disclaimer » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:31 pm

The Third Dram wrote:It sounds as though you're trying to work your way a little outside of the Speyside box while simultaneously avoiding the smoke alert of the heftier, more characterful Skye and Islay whiskies.


Yes, that's what I'm trying indeed..

Thanks for all the answers! At the moment I think I might go with a Dalwhinnie as save bet and the Macallan and HP as "range extender". Maybe also the Bruichladdich, I just discovered that the shop I want to order from has a package with three small bottles, 10y, 15y and 17y. Might be perfect to try that out.

Any further tips welcome, when I order 5 bottles together, I save the postage.. :wink:
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby shulaw05 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:27 pm

go with TTD's recommendation and get the Old Pulteney 12 yr, you won't be disappointed. also, Dalmore 12 yr would be another good, inexpensive bottle to try. not smokey or peaty, lots of honey
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Megawatt » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:28 pm

Oban 14, Dalwhinnie 15, Glenmorangie 10, and Glenkinchie 10 are all great suggestions. Highland Park is good but you might still find it a bit challenging on account of the smokiness. I do find a slight rubbery taste in it sometimes but it doesn't turn me off of it.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby hoban59 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:02 am

You could go for some of the Glenmorangie wood finishes. The Quinta Ruban (Port Finish) and Nector d'or (Sauterne White wine finish). They are both excellent drams.
Another recommendation is Bunnahabhain. I find it to be a little less smokey than other Islay Malts.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:10 am

Disclaimer wrote:Maybe also the Bruichladdich, I just discovered that the shop I want to order from has a package with three small bottles, 10y, 15y and 17y. Might be perfect to try that out.

That's a fine 3-pack of 200ml bottles of Bruichladdich.
In fact, I've gone through a few of these myself. :wink:
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:30 pm

I would agree with your "next step" of Dalwhinnie, and with suggestions of HP 12 and Glenmorangie, especially the "Nectar D'Or." which is a bit of a step up in strength and intensity, but very sweet, vanilla with cinammon and woodspice, and a lovely "nose".

I think you ought to sample sherry matured whiskies. Macallan is my favourite. 10 or 12 should do it, though the more expensive 18 is terrific. Be aware that they now have a range called "Fine Oak" which are not exclusively sherry matuered, and though a fine drink, are not so distinctive. Macallan (original!) became one of the first whiskies I could have recognised "blind", along with Laphroaig!( which anyone could even if you hate it!)The sherry oak range is a darker colour...much redder than the FO, and it specifies on the label "Exclusively matured in selected sherry casks from Jerez."

I suggest trying it in a bar. A dram or two over a good book(or newspaper)or girlfriend, is a lot cheaper than a bottle!

I couldn't get along with Talisker at first. Tasted like petrol! Now it is one of my most regular drams!
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Lucas » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:55 pm

If you can get your hands on Benrinnes Flora and Fauna, you won't be dissappointed. The problem is you won't get it in very many places. Especially outside Scotland.

It packs much richer and bigger flavours than fiddich and Balvenie and is, perhaps, more challanging. Dried froui and a whiff of smoke is the name of the game there.

Good luck!
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Disclaimer » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:08 pm

Old Pulteney and Bunnahabhain might be more candidates for a glass than a bottle for me, due to the higher smokiness. They do sound nice though...

Only found the Benrinnes 15 and no luck with the Macallan original, Glen Garioch, Nectar D'Or or any of the Glenmorangie....

So I guess I will go forward with some of the more common stuff for now.

Thanks again!
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:30 am

Surpeised you can't find any original Macallan. used to be `all over the US!

Keep looking!

Re: Pulteney 12, i started with one tonight. A really sweet little dram, with a nice bracing edge to it.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby shulaw05 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:47 am

Reggaeblues wrote:Surpeised you can't find any original Macallan. used to be `all over the US!

Keep looking!

Re: Pulteney 12, i started with one tonight. A really sweet little dram, with a nice bracing edge to it.


seriously, you can't find macallan? pretty much every liquor store i've ever been to that had any sms had macallan. where do you live disclaimer?
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby hoban59 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:38 pm

Disclaimer wrote:Old Pulteney and Bunnahabhain might be more candidates for a glass than a bottle for me, due to the higher smokiness. They do sound nice though...

Only found the Benrinnes 15 and no luck with the Macallan original, Glen Garioch, Nectar D'Or or any of the Glenmorangie....

So I guess I will go forward with some of the more common stuff for now.

Thanks again!


If you can get the Benrinnes 15, definitely go for this. It is one of my favorite Whiskys. Sherried and a slight smoke. I am surprised its available abroad :D
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Disclaimer » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:13 pm

shulaw05 wrote:seriously, you can't find macallan? pretty much every liquor store i've ever been to that had any sms had macallan. where do you live disclaimer?


Switzerland. I used USD for comparison, because its value is better known internationally than that of the Swiss Franc and because for me it's easy to calculate (the exchange rate is roughly 1:1).

Anyway, the online shop a friend recommended really only has Macallan Fine Oak. But I looked a little further and found another with Macallan Sherry Cask. Now, is that the original series or is it something different again?

The Benrinnes is slightly on the expensive side (89 CHF/USD), but it sounds great. I'm surprised though that Whisky Magazine doesn't feature it. Is it that rare?
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby shulaw05 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:55 pm

they sherry oak range is macallan's 'original' bottling if you will, preceeded the fine oak range. there are several bottles in this range, off the top of my head there is a 10 yr, 10 yr cask strength, 12 yr, 18 yr and i'm sure others. as for taste, i'm not the person to ask, as i'm not a macallan fan at all. not that i don't like sherried scotches, just not macallan. i like the fine oak range better than the sherry oak, but that is still way down on my list. that being said, more people than not really enjoy macallan, and you should try it to form your own opinion.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:48 am

You can add the no-age-statement cask strength, 25 year old, 30 year old and a host of other 'specialty' editions to the list of Macallans aged exclusively in Sherry oak.

Another interesting aspect of the 'traditional' Macallan range of whiskies is the exclusive use of European oak Sherry casks for that range. In contrast, the Sherry casks adopted for Macallans in the Fine Oak range are often American oak ones that have previously held Jerez wine.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby borgom » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:52 pm

Disclaimer wrote:Old Pulteney and Bunnahabhain might be more candidates for a glass than a bottle for me, due to the higher smokiness. They do sound nice though...


These two really aren't particularly smokey, containig only faint hints. They are far less so than HP12 which is far less so than Tali10.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby scotchdrinker » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:43 am

I would definitely go with the Macallan 12yo "original" it is one of my daily staples. It has depth but isn't over bearing. You will enjoy it. And I have found it for $40usd Good luck on your adventure.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby pkt77242 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:50 am

Disclaimer wrote:I recently started to drink and immensely like Whisky, but I'm still a total noob...

I tried Balvenie DW, Glenfiddich 15 Sola Reserva and Cragganmore 12, all of which I loved. I also tried the Talisker 10, which unfortunately I found very difficult to drink. I see that there is some interesting complexity lurking behind all that smoke and peat, but so far I've been unable to appreciate that.

So, I think I'll stay away from the smoke/peat monsters for now. But I can't really decide what do buy next. Maybe one of those:

Highland Park 12 - but I read somewhere, that it is somewhat rubbery, medicinal. True? How dominant is that?

The Macallan 12 - or maybe the 10? Which Macallan is supposed to be the "Best" (in the < 100 USD range)?

What do you think about these? Any other tips?


I like the two suggestions that you made. HP 12 has lots of honey, some heather and a touch of smoke. The Macallan 12 is a great sherried dram.

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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Disclaimer » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:43 pm

Macallan over here is more like 70 USD. Not really cheap, but in line with other drams, so I guess that's ok. Looked a little bit around and by now I found most of the suggested available somewhere at least. So it seems I have lots of choice and quite a bit of tasting before me! 8)
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby smsmmns » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:45 pm

You started in the right place; Dufftown distilleries (where Balvenie and Glenfiddich are located) are among the most enjoyed in the world.

In my experience dispensing prescriptions I would advise Old Pulteney 12yo as a surefire hit with "noobs"
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby RogerB » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:32 pm

A few other's I'd recommend are the Balvenie 15 and 17, the Glinlivet Nadurra and 18, the Glenmorangie Lasanta/Quinta Ruban, Aberlour 16.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:18 am

Try Johnnie Walker Green, to my mind, its like Glenfiddich 12yo on steroids, in a good way. Cragganmore and Talisker are key ingredients in this blend of single malts. It is a honeyed dram with smoke and peat but little sherry.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Whisky » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:37 pm

I'd second the Bunnahabhain recommendations. It's unarguably bland, but in a nice way.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Ganga » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:37 am

If Glenfarclas is available in your area you might consider any of a variety of these. Generally speaking they run less than the Macallan. I prefer the 17 but the 12 is good too.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby lincoln imp » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:07 pm

Going back to the original question i think the 10 year Macallan is a good choice and imho is underrated by many pundits. The 12 ia a little more rounded.
Glenmorangie 10 or Balblair 16 might be worth a try.
For under $100 i would try the HP 18 or Glenlivet 18.
For the money have you considered Springbank batch no1 which is about £40 in this country.
For something a little different try oban 14 OB. Its a nice coastal whisky.
It sounds like you have a similar palate to mine. Perservere with the other whiskies as you will find some you like. I did not like Talisker 10 originally but i do now.
please try the Talisker 18 which is much smoother and costs roughly £45-£48. I believe that will be more to your liking and i heartily recommend it.
LI :thumbsup:
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:08 pm

lincoln imp wrote:Please try the Talisker 18 which is much smoother and costs roughly £45-£48. I believe that will be more to your liking and i heartily recommend it.

I concur 100%... An incredibly tasty, complex and well balanced whisky.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby dramtastic » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:31 am

Glenlivet Nadurra
Balblair 97

Because they remind me of Balvenie are fantastic drams IMO.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Disclaimer » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:30 pm

So many choices, I guess I don't drink enough to catch up :wink:

So far I have tried Benrinnes, Macallan Fine Wood 12, Dalwhinnie and HP12.

Benrinnes I liked a lot, sweet, hint of smoke, rich taste. Unfortunately at 90 USD it's a bit too expensive for a "everyday dram".

I sampled the Macallan Fine Wood (much easier to get over here) immediately after the last glass of Benrinnes and was very disappointed. There was some artificial flavor in it, can't put my hands on it precisely, but it was very off-putting. Trying again another day, that strange flavor was gone, the Macallan actually quite fine, but not really up to the Benrinnes.

Dalwhinnie, sweet, smooth, goes great with chocolate cake. :D

HP 12 I liked the best. At first there was too much smoke, but I got used to it very fast.

I still have quite a list to try out, but given that I now seem up to the smokiness of the HP12, is there any good dram between the HP and the Talisker in terms of smokiness that I should sample?
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby The Third Dram » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:43 pm

Disclaimer wrote:...is there any good dram between the HP and the Talisker in terms of smokiness that I should sample?

You might want to give Bowmore 12YO a go or, if you don't mind a greater Sherry derived impact, the 15YO Darkest.

Caol Ila 12YO or 18YO could perhaps fit in there as well, provided you enjoy more marine oriented flavours. The Caol Ila Distillers Edition is an interesting pour too, with the Moscatel cask influence helping to both sweeten and soften the intrinsic characteristics of the malt.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby borgom » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:13 pm

Personally I've found Bowmore and Caol Ila more smokey than Talisker. A suggestion for a go between is a little difficult as HP and Talisker are the two "in between" whiskies that are a step below the typical peaty islay whiskies. If you're really worried about the Tali 10 you could try Talisker 18 or 175th Anniversary as they are more balanced and a little less maratime than the 10yo.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby Hereward » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:46 pm

My suggestion is the Aberlour 18, which I find so much better than Macallans of a similar price that it's almost embarrassing.
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Re: Like Balvenie, Glenfiddich where do I go from here?

Postby AZmalt » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:37 am

I'm surprised that nobody has suggested The Glenrothes. A few expressions from this distillery are widely available, and likely to be within an acceptable flavour profile for someone who enjoys The Balvenie and Glenfiddich.

http://www.theglenrothes.com/

Did I mention that the bottle is rather attractive as well?

Slainte!
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