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Best Whisky Bars

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NEW vs OLD

Postby bartok » Wed Feb 27, 2002 6:42 pm

Hi everybody- In the quest for value in singlmalts I have found three in which I prefer the younger expressions. Laphroig10 over Laphroig15. The 15 was perfumey.Bruichladdich10 over Bruichladdich15. The 10 tasted cleaner and fresher . Highlandpark12 over Highlandpark18. This was a tie compared to the previous two but why not save the $25. only an opinion.

[This message has been edited by bartok (edited 03 March 2002).]

[This message has been edited by bartok (edited 03 March 2002).]
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Postby bartok » Sun Mar 03, 2002 8:27 am

one more- I find the Glenfarclas10 better than the Glenfarclas12.Which is some what suprising since its 40 proof. The only other 40 proof single malt I have tried{officially} was the Bowmore12.Which I found kind of harsh.The Bowmore15 was much more enjoyable.Has anyone any thoughts on the other Bowmores?Such as the 17 or the darkest?

[This message has been edited by bartok (edited 03 March 2002).]
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Postby Opi » Sun Mar 03, 2002 8:03 pm

The best way to compare as many Bowmore bottlings as possible for low cost is the Bowmore family drum (200ml each of Legend, 12yo, 15yo, 17yo and 21yo, all at 43%abv).
I came to the conclusion that the 17yo is much like the 12yo but more rounded up. The 21yo has a good hint of oak (not surprising at that age) but has been warmer in the finish. The Legend is a good start up and it´s pleasing to find a young but matured Islay. You can discover a maturing line from the starting point Legend up to the 21yo bottling. The Mariner (15yo) expression falls out of this row because the producer looked for a strong malt to stand against the other southern Islays, so they created the Mariner.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Mar 03, 2002 8:34 pm

A few more to add:

Bowmore Legend beats the 12 year old hands down.

Macallan 10 (and 12) is better than the 18yr old and the £100 release they have just made.

And Balvenie 10 is better than both 12 and 21 yr old bottlings. The 10 Yr old is like warm honey and the 12 yr old double wood is like adding make-up to a swan - totally pointless and counterproductive.
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Postby bartok » Mon Mar 04, 2002 4:58 am

greetings- thanks for the input. I am somewhat disappointed that the Bowmore15 falls outside the normal line since I liked the direction it was going. I saw two unopened bottles of Bowmore17 and Bowmore darkest at the bar up the street,so in order to promote singlemalts I might have to stage a small tasting. Which year was your Macallan18? Mine was an 82 and I thought it was about the same as my Macallan12. Certainly not worth the added cost even though I got a decent deal on mine. $73. Thanks for your thoughts on Balvenie. I enjoyed my 12 more than the 15 but since the 15 was a singlecask I didnt feel that I could compare them. I was going to buy the 12 again when I finished my current bottle but now I am going to buy the 10 and compare the two. thanks again.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Mar 04, 2002 8:05 pm

Macallan 18 was from 1983.

I had Bowmore 17 at the Dufftown whisky festival (where Fiona keeps it in stock at www.dufftown.co.uk) and it was excellent and beat the 12 year old hands down. I think the 12 year is sherried and tries to be all things to all men too much.

As for Balvenie, try and get the 3 miniatures gift pack which consists of 10, 12 and 15 year old. The 10 yr is available in most supermarkets for under £25 and that's the one I would make a bee-line for.

Glenturret, if you have the cash, takes of with age. 12 Yr is excellent, 15 is better 9apparently) and 18yr is nectar from the gods.

Norwegian connoisseur Per Lovlie assures me that Talisker is rotten at 8 and 12 yr old but brilliant at 10 (I agree with the 10 yr but have never had the 8 or 12)
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Postby bartok » Mon Mar 04, 2002 11:55 pm

sorry about the Talisker8, heard it was good and would still like to find one. On the subject of old bottlings, have you ever had any of the older bottlings of Balvenie?I recently found a 12 year old(called founders reserve)that predates the new line and I am curious what to expect. Thanks for the info on Glenturret.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Mar 06, 2002 12:07 am

I've only had the 10 Yr old Founder's reserve and the 12 Yr old doublewood. This is a bottling of Balvenie that i don't know of.

To digress slightly, get Ben Nevis blended instead of Ben Nevis 10 Yr old malt. The blend beats it hands down.
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Postby Xavier » Thu Mar 07, 2002 11:22 am

About Ben Nevis :

I agree that te Dew is an excellent blend and maybe better than the offical 10 YO bottling, but I haven't tasted this version yet.
However, I certainly recommend the recent 9 YO Signatory bottling, a beauty !

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Best Whisky Bars

Postby Scott in the City » Sat Mar 09, 2002 4:51 am

Hi all,

As a frequent traveller for business, it's always nice to wrap up an evening on the road with a nice dram in a nice location. The tough part is finding the right bar in a city where you may only frequent occasionally. So I thought it might be fun if folks would express their favorite whiskey bars, in their town of residence.

I'd like to suggest a set of criteria, or categories from which you can rate and comment on your favorite bar. So here goes...

Name
City
Criteria #1 Whiskey selection
Criteria #2 Ambiance
Criteria #3 Whiskey value (price)
Criteria #4 Crowd
Criteria #5 Additional amenneties, example - good food if it's a bar/restaurant

So for San Francisco, I would nomintae LuLu Restaurant, near Moscone Convention Center.

Criteria #1 Selection - Perhaps by pure quantity of different whiskeys, you could find another one in the city with more, but I think they have some interesting whiskeys...and they often change. Springbank, Highland Park, Royal Lochnager, Alberlour, are some of the ones that I see as changing, along with the usual standards, oban, Macallan, Lagavulin, etc.

Criteria #2 They have a nice bar area, its long with stools only, no stuffed charis, but the bar is open to the restaurant dining area, and its fun to people watch. Early evenings can get crowded, but if you are lucky enough to get a stool at the bar, you can order food there as well.

Criteria #3 Pretty fair prices, occasionally a few good values...of course, it all seems a little subjective especially when compared with wine where you can do the math 4 x glass per bottle, then compare with retail, and figure out markup. Not sure how many measured shots are in a bottle. Lulu's hand pours so tip well, get a good pour.

Criteria #4 Crowd there is fairly hip, although age range varies. Attracts a wide range of folks because the food is terrific (especially the roast chicken). Overall the food is mediterranean influenced. Great mussels, warm chocolate cake. Not someplace to show up in holey jeans and a tee-shrt, better to go with slacks, button down and leather jacket...you'll fit right in. If you are on business, sit at the bar, order food/drink their...talk to your neighbor, or talk to 'Dre, the bartender (a Lulu's fixture, and a great guy).

Criteria #5, I mentioned it before, but the food is terrific! I said it was medeterranean, but it not necessarily fallafels and stuff, more like oven roasted lamb, nice pizzas, fish dishes, sides of sautee'd spinach with garlic, and the roast chicken is my favorite! If they have asparagus, get it. They roast it, drizzle olive oil on it, then shave asiago cheese. The meals are served family style which is also fun....

So, how about some comments on other bars for whiskey? Anyone ever been to this whisky bar with a golf decor in NYC that is run by a Japanese gentleman...suppose to have an incredible selection...Please add your city and comments!
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Mar 11, 2002 7:20 pm

Another whisky that is better new than old is Talisman. I'm cheating a little here because Talisman is made by the same people who make Antiquary 12 yr old which I have no time for as a blend. The much cheaper Talisman gets my vote every time.

Also 10 yr old Laphroaig is better than the independently botlled 'Leapfrog' 12 Yr.

Superb at 11 yr old as opposed to unaged (8Yr I presume?) is Cameron Brig single grain whisky although it should be pointed out that the 11 yr old is cask strength at a whopping 64%. (Whatever the strength of the whisky, I always have whisky neat).

The bottling was from Cadenhead's in the Canongate section of the royal mile.
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Postby Chris Brousseau » Tue Mar 12, 2002 8:26 pm

One of many of my favorites in Scotland is the Craigellachie Hotel in the heart of speyside.The quaich Bar is an excellent drinking spot.

Criteria #1 Whiskey selection - over 300 whiskies, with some very old (expensive) selections.
Criteria #2 Ambiance - none better, within spitting distance of the spey.
Criteria #3 Whiskey value (price) -everything from very reasonable to the 1951 Balevnie and 100 GPB per shot. Lots of range. Each bottle has the price on it so there are not surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.
Criteria #4 Crowd - other whisky lovers
Criteria #5 Additional amenneties, example - good food if it's a bar/restaurant - great restaurant in the hotel and within a short drive of about a dozen distilleries.

Anybody else have any comments?
Chris
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Mar 13, 2002 12:18 am

For those who visit Edradour distillery, I find that 'House of Lords' 12 yr is nice but not as smooth as the 'Deluxe' which I assume is 8 yr old.

However, 'Clan Campbell' is excellent at 12 yr old and comparable withJohnnie Walker Black Label and superior to Antiquary and Chivas Regal which are all the same age. Clan Campbell standard unaged is rotten and tastes like creosote. Definitely worth the extra time and money for this one.
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Postby Steve » Wed Mar 13, 2002 8:29 pm

If anyone can recommend a bar in central London I'd be glad to hear from them.....
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Postby bartok » Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:21 am

thanks Bruce- I usually bring a bottle of Johnny Black to my family functions and was always curious about Chivas.I guess I'll keep bringing the Johnny Walker.
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Postby JVP » Sun Mar 17, 2002 7:24 pm

Anyone looking for a spot in central London look no further than BOISDALE. Situated near Victoria this Scottish restaurant has not one but two whiskey bars (a main bar and a back bar). The malt selection is very good with mid-range prices.

I would also recommend the food! Apart from the traditional haggis, tatties and neaps they do the best smoked salmon around (smoked with Lagavulin 16 y.o.) and a mean steak and chips with bernaise sauce.

For a good night out or a quick dram after work I highly recommend it!

Regards.........JVP
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Mar 17, 2002 8:00 pm

Chivas Regal 12 Yr old is disappointing.

For a deluxe, you can do far worse than Glenmorangie's 'Baillie Nicol Jarvie' Whisky which is a minimum of 6 years old.

BTW when did I mention Chivas Regal?
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Postby bartok » Wed Mar 20, 2002 1:44 am

hi Bruce- In regards to the Chivas,you stated that Clan Campbell was comparable to JohnnyBlack and was superior to Chivas.So I figured that JWB was also superior to Chivas. CC=JWB,CC>CR. what about the chivas18?
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:37 pm

My mistake.

I've never had Chivas 18 yr old.
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Postby MrAndySais » Thu Mar 21, 2002 10:20 pm

Hi fellow Whisky lovers,

I got two more Bowmores to add to my collection today (Claret and 21) and I must say that I was very disappointed. Claret has a bitter taste and is just inferior to Dusk and Legend. The 21-y.o. was very smooth, but I wouldn´t have known it for a Bowmore If there weren´t a label on the bottle. The smoke and peat was very faint.
I prefer the younger versions and Surf, which tastes more salty.

Greetings,
Andy
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Postby jonno » Sun Mar 24, 2002 10:44 am

Hello Everyone

I feel I must chip in with a few comments.
Bowmore 15 : One of the best, most balanced whiskies available, IMHO. Bowmore 21 yo Ok but try Glen Garioch 21yo as well.
Balvenie : nicer than Glenfiddich (same recipe) but the 17yo Islay Cask Finish what a waste of time.
Has anyone tried Glenmorangie Malaga Wood finish. What did they do with it? Take it on holiday with them??

Cheers!
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Postby MrAndySais » Sun Mar 24, 2002 11:14 pm

I have Glenmorangie 15y.o., Sherry wood, Port wood, cask strength and Madeira Wood which I like best of what I know from Glenmorangie.

Cheers,
Andy
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