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Novice Tastings

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Novice Tastings

Postby Wub » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:54 pm

I've only been drinking single malt whiskies for a about a month, but I thought I'd share my experiences so far. I'll go through the whiskies I've tried so far (don't worry: there aren't that many). Come to think of it, I'll have a dram of each as I get to them (It'll make the experience more enjoyable...for me).

As a newbie my tasting notes will be unsophisticated. My smoking addiction doesn't help (I plan to give up. Apart from the positive effect that will have on tasting, the money I save on smokes in a week will cover a decent scotch).

Glenfiddich 12. I bought this because I recognized the name. I can't say much about it because I only drank it for the effect after finishing off a bottle of wine. The best I can say is that I thought it was "smooth" i.e. it didn't seem to give me the "whisky shudder" that I remembered from earlier experiences with (cheap) whisky.

Glenfiddich 15 (miniatures). The first of these I had was also post wine. The second was after a dram or two of the Laphroaig 10 (below), and I thought it was appalling. I bought another today just to see if it was as bad as I thought. Now...Nose: not much of anything apart from ethanol and maybe a general "smell of whisky". Palate: a touch of honey and nothing else that I can actually name. Finish: seems very bitter, a bit unpleasant. Later: I'm getting a bit more from the nose now...pleasant and somehow familiar, but I can't identify it...dough? The last sip went down a bit better: finish didn't seem quite as bitter. Overall it doesn't seem as bad as it did the other night and I guess I could get to like it...but there are so many others to try.

Laphroaig 10. I bought this after starting to read Iain Banks' "Raw Spirit". A friend also suggested it after I mentioned I was going to start trying single malts. I didn't know if I was going to like it or not after reading some of the descriptions. I liked it the first time I tried it, on the second night I loved it. Nose: peat...band-aids! (I've heard that before but hadn't got it yet). Palate: salt, more than that of course but I can't identify any specifics. Finish: big, long, peat, salt...coffee? It's strange that a whisky that sounds so bizarre in some peoples tasting notes can taste so good.

Ardmore Traditional Cask. It was reasonably cheap and I was attracted by the marketing (peated, quarter cask, non-chill filtered). My first impression was that it was similar to the Laphroaig, but I think that might have just been inexperience. Nose: a little peat, some sweet notes. Palate: a bit non-descript, sweetness. Finish: reasonably big and peaty but that fades quickly, a bit too bitter. It's OK.

Aberlour10. Recognized the name. I bought this today and had a couple of drams before starting this post. My first impression was that it was a bit light. Nose: very light, walking past a pub, water. Palate: sweet and bitter. Finish: reasonably nice, quite big to start but it doesn't last very long. So, so.

I'm looking forward to trying some of the other Islays, and other expressions of Laphroaig, but I don't want to just stick to big peaty whiskies and I hope that I can find instances of other styles that I enjoy just (or almost) as much.

Mark
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby talisker10 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:57 pm

Welcome, Mark!

I am a relative newbie myself (a couple of years). Lahproaig 10 is one of my favorites. I would also look for a fruitiness (pears). If you add a bit of water it brings out the fruit. I agree about Aberlour 10...did not do much for me at all. Never had the 'fiddich 15, but the 12 is pleasant.

I am sure given my username you know I love Talisker 10. I would recommend you try:

1) Tailsker 10...initially sweet, then a bit smoky and peaty, then an explosion of pepper at the finish.
2) Laphroaig Quarter Cask..add a touch of water, you will find a big sweetness and fruit (bananas!) as well as the peat.
3) Highland Park 12..some honey, some fruit, a slightly smoky finish.
4) If you can find it..Balvenie Founder's Reserve 10yr.
5) Glenlivet 18 yr..the 12 is good, but the 18 is very good.
6) Dalmore 12 yr...think oranges and honey.
7) Old Pulteney 12..briny, salty, but very fresh.
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby borgom » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:43 am

Welcome Mark, nice to see another OZ and Laph lover on the forum!
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Minnesota Malt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:48 pm

Might be a stupid question, but do you guys call it Oz because Australia was once a place for all the English convicts? As in Oz the jail?

I have seen this mentioned several times before, just want to get the record straight from an Aussie.

:oops:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby lockejn » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:49 pm

I think if you say "Aussie" out loud with an Australian accent you might see (hear) the connection.
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby dramtastic » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:45 pm

Minnesota Malt wrote:Might be a stupid question, but do you guys call it Oz because Australia was once a place for all the English convicts? As in Oz the jail?

I have seen this mentioned several times before, just want to get the record straight from an Aussie.

:oops:



Because we pronounce Aussie, Ozzie . Oz being a colloquial abbreviation for Australia or Oztralia, home of the Ozzie.
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:52 pm

Gidday Wub, how ya goin'?

sounds to me like yer in this for the duration!

I'd say yer tasting notes were perfect for a newbie! Congratulations! Keep this up and whisky will burn a hole in yer pockets before you can say "g'day" 3.000 times!

Many of us got scuppered by the "love it or hate it" in-yer-face medicinal sea spray of a Laphroiag, or its neighbours(everybody has 'em , even Kylie bless her! Met her once. Knee high to a grasshopper but much prettier) ...Ardbeg and Lagavulin. If yer fancy Laphroaig, you have to try these! trust me!

some bastards can't stand all that peaty, smokey, raw shit, but I say they're just cissies and pooftahs! But for the likes o' you and I, hearty alpha male types, the Lappie's uncompromising nature is what alerts us to the world of whisky! Other non-Islay malts(prounounced "I-La" if you're a pom. "Izzly" if yer a native of Oz) are subtler and take time to get to know. I think it's fairly typical that yer love of a whisky grows as yer toungue gets accustomed!
a bit like a sheila - you sorta know from the first kiss. Bit like you and that Laphroaig.By the way, I like a bit o' "ruff" meself! :shock:

I wouldn't mind betting you a kangaroo's fart that the next time you try the Solera 15 'fiddich, it'll taste grouse mate!(Not "Famous Grouse" !! Thats'a famous whisky blend which most of us malt snobs turn their bloody noses up at. We hate to admit we sorta like it from time to time, especially over ice on a hot day, when maybe yer senses are too fried to try anything too subtle, like a single malt! But shhhh! I didn't say that, OK?)

You described perfectly what still happens to me after 10 years of whisky mayhem. I always get more on the 2nd dram! And even more on the 3rd!

..."Rat-arsed" that is!

give it time...tiny sips, and best when you've eaten , and can relax. I once took 21 minutes just sniffin' this ripper of a 21 year old Lagavulin! But then I like sniffin' 21 year olds, bein' the dirty old dog that I am...

So welcome! There's no turning back now mate! You're hooked, I can tell.

But what the heck do I know? I'm just a pommie know -it-all bastard!

Enjoy the ride! :iwbrnt:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:41 pm

Wub, you mentioned tasting Glenfiddich 12 after having polished off a bottle of wine. I think the wine would have altered your palate a great deal such that the Glenfiddich and other scotches might taste different than they would in the absence of the wine. Accordingly, if I were you I would not rely on your first impressions, but rather revisit those whiskies and try them without wine beforehand. You will probably be surprised by the difference! Cheers! I know its tough work but I believe you are up to the challenge! :thumbsup:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Wub » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:54 pm

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:Accordingly, if I were you I would not rely on your first impressions, but rather revisit those whiskies and try them without wine beforehand.


I'm already discovering that whiskies can smell/taste different of different nights. I've had a couple of drams of the Aberlour tonight and I'm finding it quite nice: no stale beer or vomit on the nose that I got the other night.

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:I know its tough work but I believe you are up to the challenge!


It's OK: I'm a workaholic.

Reggaeblues wrote:Keep this up and whisky will burn a hole in yer pockets before you can say "g'day" 3.000 times!


Crikey, at the rate I say "g'day" I shouldn't have any money problems.

Actually...I bought another bottle today so I think that'll have to be it for a week or two. Unless I win the lottery.

The Highland park 12 (which I just sampled) didn't initially knock my socks off, but by the end of the dram I was appreciating it more. On the second dram...Nose: nice, vanilla. Palate: warm creamy soda? Finish: mild peat, bitter coffee aftertaste on soft palate (which I've noticed with a few whiskies, and I really like; it's stronger with the Laphroaig). OK. I like this one after all.

My Laphroaig 10 is getting rather low. I thought I'd replace it with something from another distillery: Ardbeg 10, Talisker 10 or Lagavulin 16 (a bit more expensive, but I'm looking foward to trying it).

Oh yes, I like hard work.

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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Reggaeblues » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:02 pm

Yep, Wub = you're definitely a grafter! Say, you're really getting the idea of this whisky lark!!

I'd say any of the 3 you mentioned to replace the Lap would work for you.

The Ardbeg is closest I'd say...a slightly higher alcohol content, and a wee bit more, um, delicate and complex - you'll love it!

Lagavulin is a bit more regal, and sweeter...somehwere in between the Lap and your new HP, which you'll find will get sweeter as the bottle empties!

The Lag has a character all its own. I reckon you'll love it.

Talisker too.
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby dramtastic » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:46 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:Gidday Wub, how ya goin'?

sounds to me like yer in this for the duration!

I'd say yer tasting notes were perfect for a newbie! Congratulations! Keep this up and whisky will burn a hole in yer pockets before you can say "g'day" 3.000 times!

Many of us got scuppered by the "love it or hate it" in-yer-face medicinal sea spray of a Laphroiag, or its neighbours(everybody has 'em , even Kylie bless her! Met her once. Knee high to a grasshopper but much prettier) ...Ardbeg and Lagavulin. If yer fancy Laphroaig, you have to try these! trust me!

some bastards can't stand all that peaty, smokey, raw shit, but I say they're just cissies and pooftahs! But for the likes o' you and I, hearty alpha male types, the Lappie's uncompromising nature is what alerts us to the world of whisky! Other non-Islay malts(prounounced "I-La" if you're a pom. "Izzly" if yer a native of Oz) are subtler and take time to get to know. I think it's fairly typical that yer love of a whisky grows as yer toungue gets accustomed!
a bit like a sheila - you sorta know from the first kiss. Bit like you and that Laphroaig.By the way, I like a bit o' "ruff" meself! :shock:

I wouldn't mind betting you a kangaroo's fart that the next time you try the Solera 15 'fiddich, it'll taste grouse mate!(Not "Famous Grouse" !! Thats'a famous whisky blend which most of us malt snobs turn their bloody noses up at. We hate to admit we sorta like it from time to time, especially over ice on a hot day, when maybe yer senses are too fried to try anything too subtle, like a single malt! But shhhh! I didn't say that, OK?)

You described perfectly what still happens to me after 10 years of whisky mayhem. I always get more on the 2nd dram! And even more on the 3rd!

..."Rat-arsed" that is!

give it time...tiny sips, and best when you've eaten , and can relax. I once took 21 minutes just sniffin' this ripper of a 21 year old Lagavulin! But then I like sniffin' 21 year olds, bein' the dirty old dog that I am...

So welcome! There's no turning back now mate! You're hooked, I can tell.

But what the heck do I know? I'm just a pommie know -it-all bastard!

Enjoy the ride! :iwbrnt:




Ouch culture cringe!! If I ever hear an Aussie actually speak that way that is not in some dusty old Aussie movie from the 50's, Crocodile Dundee, or that unfortunate effort Australia from Baz Lurhman, I'll don the camo gear, strap on the shooters and go all disgruntled ex postal worker on their arse!! :D
Unfortunately the local marketing gurus keep on insisting we export that sort of image to rest the world, so, where the bloody hell are ya!! :lol:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby borgom » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:38 am

Reggaeblues, you're a friggen' disgrace mate! :D
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Reggaeblues » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:40 am

Forgive me old chep! sometimes one's colonial roots get the better of one and one drifts orf into some unseemly stereotype of some fellay who wrestles crocodilia and shites "have a go at that!" every five seconds.

I'm afraid the thought that you cheps dine there at the bottom of our world ectually drink fine scotch was a bit of a shock to the old system!
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Liechtenstein » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:18 am

borgom wrote:Reggaeblues, you're a friggen' disgrace mate! :D


Reggaeblues's got abso-bloody-lutely a few 'roos loose in the paddock upstairs!

:wink:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:56 am

More than a few mate! :insane:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby borgom » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:14 pm

:lol:
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Re: Novice Tastings

Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:11 am

To all me mates down under (or, "to all my antipodean associates")

i would like to express my delight at the success of your fellow countryman Mark Webber in today's Grand Prix. He thoroughly deserves it after 130 races, flying upside down at Le Mans, breaking his leg cycling last year, and for never giving up, especially after that drive - through penalty.

A true sportsman and a driver of great skill, aggression, and persistence.

I celebrated with an Aberlour abunadh Batch 15. Not the greatest batch, but still a damn fine dram for a damn fine victory. :iwbrnt:
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