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new bottle of lagavulin

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new bottle of lagavulin

Postby justin » Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:42 pm

after reading so many good things about this whisky, i decided to buy a bottle today. i'm still somewhat new to the single malt game and this will be my first "peaty" excursion. i enjoy the macallan and blavenie doublewood and am very curious what i will think about this latest purchase. (i've also read on here about its supposed decline, but i've never had it before, so i'm not concerned with that.)

i think i'm going to break it open tonite. i'll let ya know what i think.

justin
Last edited by justin on Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby justin » Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:12 am

well. . .. not sure what to say. i didn't know what to expect. i knew it would be different, but wasn't sure how different.

it was different all right. i've never tasted anything like it. as of now, i'll go ahead and say i'd rather have something else, but i'm going to keep going back to it and see if it grows on me.

am i crazy?
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Postby Admiral » Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:11 am

Justin,

Lagavulin was actually the first single malt I ever tasted, and it's still one of my absolute favourites.

Yes, it is smoky and peaty, but it offers a richness, spiciness and sweetness that is definitely unique and very different to the other Islay peat monsters.

I have no doubt that with a bit of time and attention, you will come to enjoy your bottle!

Cheers,
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Postby Matt2 » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:44 am

Keep at it Justin, is this the first smokey/peaty one you have tried. The more you go back to it the more it will develop, you will start to get used to the flavours and enjoy it more.

If not send it to me and I will finish it for you :lol:
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Postby hpulley » Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:35 pm

When I was first introduced to scotch tasting by a monthly group that met at a local pub, I always dreaded 'malt number 5' which was always a strong peaty one, from Islay of course. At first they were just too strong for me but once I got into scotch they became my favorites (with Ardbeg and Lagavulin as top notch) so don't use it as disinfectant just yet! Try it again in a few weeks and see if you enjoy it more.

Harry
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Postby justin » Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:09 pm

well, i've had several more tastings of the lagavulin and it is growing on me. there's something about it that is unlike anything i've ever tasted before. i'm assuming that is the peat. and there is a sweetness in the finish that i really like.

are the ardbegs and lopraighs (sp?) similar to the lagavulin? also been considering picking up a bottle of oban. is it another good choice?

thanks!
justin
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:52 pm

Ardbeg is extremely peaty and is very smoky albeit with a surprisingly light body.

Laphroaig has the same level of peat as Lagavulin and it's most obvious characteristic is phenol. It is also exceptionally smooth at 10 years old.

Both of these are very love-it-or-hate-it.

Oban is excellent, in my view. It has a combination of medium smoke and a fair amount of fruit. It is more rounded than the big boys from Islay and is medium bodied.
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Postby guitarman » Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:30 pm

Hi Justin,

I still clearly remember the first time I tasted a peaty whisky, an Ardbeg 17. I think i must have had about the same reaction to as you had to the Lagavulin, so I steered clear of these for some time.

Until...

Until I went to a masterclass with Jim Murray, where we had a few peaty whiskies (Ardmore, Ardbeg 10,...) and: yes, they definitely grew on me. I immediately bought a bottle of the Ardbeg 10, and I like it more and more every time I taste it.

So, don't give up yet; these peated whiskies are something you have to learn to like :wink:

Steven
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Postby Admiral » Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:56 am

It's a very fun exercise to compare the three Kildalton distilleries, i.e. Lagavulin, Ardbeg, & Laphroiag.

Now that you've become accustomed to Lagavulin, you'll find the other two similarly peaty, but with surprisingly different flavour profiles.

Ardbeg has a very dry smokiness, combined with a delicious chocolately maltiness. This is due to the vanilla contributed by the ex-bourbon casks they use.

Laphroiag, on the other hand, is deliciously oily and leafy. Much more vegetal and "green"!

Enjoy the fun of exploration!

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Aidan » Sat Aug 07, 2004 1:34 am

I love Laphroig and Lagavulin, but I know lots of people who have tried it lots of times and still hate it. It's not as if you are being educated by it - it's a drink with strong flavours.

Nothing goes with a pint of Guinness like lagavulin, though.
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Postby justin » Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:55 pm

update. . . .

i've had a taste of the lagavulin about every night now and i have to say, it's awesome stuff. it's the first whisky that i have had no trouble drinking without any water added. i do believe it has become my favorite so far. funny how that happens.

i also purchased a bottle of highland park 12 today. just had a small tasting and will have more tonite. it is also excellent without any water. it is a nice mix of sweet and some of the smoke/peat. i think this one will also make its way towards the top of list. . . even if my list is somewhat short (so far).

i am really enjoying this adventure into single malts. . . . just not sure if my pocketbook is enjoying it as much as i am :shock:

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Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:45 am

Talisker is not so much drunk as conquered, in my view.

Once it is vanquished, you notice that it has a sweet finish, something that seems ludicrous the first time you have it.
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Postby bamber » Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:52 am

justin wrote:update. . . .
(snip)
i also purchased a bottle of highland park 12 today. just had a small tasting and will have more tonite. it is also excellent without any water. it is a nice mix of sweet and some of the smoke/peat. i think this one will also make its way towards the top of list. . . even if my list is somewhat short (so far).
(snip)
justin


Aaah I remember my first bottle of HP 12YO. I'd passed over it for about a year after starting really enjoying scotch as I felt it a bit common (available in every supermarket and off licence in the UK).

Never drunk so much of a new whisky (to me) in one go. I remember thinking at the time it was like a heathery more subtle Talisker.

Unbelievably the 18YO is even better and was my favourite whisky for a long time.

BTW - if you have not tried Talisker. Stop what you are doing. Get in the car and find some. You * NEED * this whisky.
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Postby bond » Tue Aug 10, 2004 1:04 pm

Coming back to Lagavulin, I recently picked up the Double Distillers edition but found it nowhere close to the normal 16YO.

The 16YO is far more complex yet subtle. The finish has that "bear hug of peat" minus the powerful traces of iodine that one might associate with say, Laphroaig.

Is there much to distinguish between these powerful Islay beasts on the nose?
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Postby bamber » Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:33 pm

IMHO Laphroaig is more about different levels of peat combined, with sweetness. Lagavulin 16YO tastes sherried and more complex.

Lagavulin 16YO is the definitive Islay malt for me, followed by Ardbeg 10YO and Laphroaig 10YO cask strength. The older and more 'fiddled with' expressions have generally been not as good and not worth the money. If I want subtle I'll go Speyside.

Biggest let downs: Laphroiag 15YO. Ardbeg 17YO.

Lagavulin 16YO is an endangered species in my house. Laphroaig though enjoyed can expect a longer life.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:16 pm

HP 18 yr old is the first whisky to give me the feeling that I've had the best whisky ever.

The whole attraction of Islay big boys is that they are monsters. The Laphroaig 10 yr old has this taste which I don't think Lagavulin does. This is probably because the only Lagavulin I have had is 16 yr old and that probably has a reasonable amount of sherry to round it off.

Ardbeg and Laphroaig at 10 are bourbon casked which gives them more punch. Talisker, I have been told, does not age well. It is smoky rather than peaty and, judging by the colour, probably has a fair amount of sherry.

The last 'monster' I can think of is Longrow. I had a Cadenheads cask strength (56%) 9 yr old. A couple of drops of water really opens up the taste and it does have a fair punch.

Springbank, from the same distillery, is very robust though it's appeal is different to that of the monsters I've mentioned.
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Postby bamber » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:10 am

BruceCrichton wrote:HP 18 yr old is the first whisky to give me the feeling that I've had the best whisky ever.
(snip)
.


Poured myself one last night and bored my girlfriend silly about it. I love JM's description of the nose: " An empty honey jar that once held peaty embers ..."

Fantastic.

Whilst I agree that Talisker 10YO is not as peaty as Laphroaig 10YO and Ardbeg 10YO, I still feel its a must for anyone who likes Islay whisky. My mum, who does not normally like whisky (i.e cheap blends) said it looked like and tasted like sunshine.

I really know what she means, its late May, your on a Scottish coastline having just enjoyed some seafood for lunch, Triple Talisker in hand, sea spray and salt air filling your lungs. Sun just catching that wonderful liquid in your hand ...

Don't sip it - drink it.

For a lot of people I know Talisker 10YO is their favourite pour.
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Postby r0b » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:06 pm

justin wrote: i've never tasted anything like it. as of now, i'll go ahead and say i'd rather have something else,


LOL! That is not an uncommon reaction to a heft Islay whisky. Keep trying and you'll discover the layers. ;)
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:16 pm

r0b wrote:
justin wrote: i've never tasted anything like it. as of now, i'll go ahead and say i'd rather have something else,


LOL! That is not an uncommon reaction to a heft Islay whisky. Keep trying and you'll discover the layers. ;)


On the other hand, if you don't then that leaves all the more for me! 8)
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Postby justin » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:38 pm

i've already finished that bottle and added a bottle of ardbeg ten and laphroaig 10 to my collection. i think it's safe to say that the islays are at the top of my list :D
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