toca wrote:But I really enjoyed the finish on the Balvenie. It just stayed with me much longer than the Macallan. Again, both are good but I must say the Balvenie is very good.
It's a beautiful malt, to be sure.
There have already been many excellent suggestions made on this thread. However, I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned a Lowland whisky. This is perhaps not surprising, as the Lowlanders (as a lot) do
tend to be overlooked. And this is a crying shame!
Personally, I feel that no whisky selection is quite complete without a representative bottle from south of the Highland Line. My recommendations? In rough order of preference...
Rosebank: Yes, it is becoming harder and harder to find, not to mention more and more expensive. At its best, though, a veritable explosion of aroma and flavour with great complexity. Quite unlike anything else around.
Bladnoch: I've just tasted the 'Spirit of the Lowlands' 17-year old bottling of this one (55%ABV) and am 'hooked'. Sticky sweet citrus with a lovely counterbalancing dryness born of herbs, grass and oak. Almost liqueur-like, yet unmistakably Scotch.
Auchentoshan: The 10-year old offers a syrupy sweetness similar to that of the Bladnoch, and lots of pure malt intensity to boot. Fairly reliable. I haven't as yet tried the newer 12-year old. The 21-year old possesses a deeper tonality, with greater impact from the oak and furniture polish nuances creeping into the picture.
Glenkinchie: Not my favourite Lowland malt by a long shot. Nevertheless, the Distillers Edition does display a decent degree of complexity and good balance between malt sweetness and a dryness on the finish.
Back to the Highlands for a brief moment... Don't overlook Glen Garioch from the eastern portion of the region. The younger bottlings can have a rather delicate smokiness to them that won't threaten your taste buds at all. The 15-year old ups the ante somewhat, but is quite a unique pour, what with its combination of mild to medium peat and earthy-vegetal characteristics.
Springbank? Yes! Especially as you've so enjoyed that 15-year old Bruichladdich.
Happy explorations, toca!