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best inexpensive blends

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best inexpensive blends

Postby Chris » Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:05 pm

Hi everyone. I'm looking for some experienced insights into the less expensive blends. I am relatively new in the Scotch domain and don't have the cash flow for the expensive malts-although I've tried quite a few. I like the blends with an Islay slant to them. I really enjoy Johnnie Walker Red and to a lesser extent The Famous Grouse.
What are the experts thoughts? Is one of these better than the other? Am I missing some other good ones?
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Postby Admiral » Thu Jan 30, 2003 3:32 am

I don't know if it's available or sold under the same name in other countries, but here in Australia, a very popular and inexpensive blend is "White Heather".

It usually has a price tag slightly higher than, say, Johnny Walker Red, and I find it a very smooth and mellow blend. Some might suggest that it doesn't have many obvious, standout characteristics, (e.g. smoke, peat, etc) but then isn't that what blends are for?
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Postby Ize » Thu Jan 30, 2003 12:19 pm

Gordon Graham's Black Bottle 10yo.

Kippis,
Ize

P.S. I won't start commenting on Red Label or Famous Grouse ... are they mentioned as a flamebait? Image
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Postby Chris » Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:50 pm

White Heather is not available in Canada. Flamebait? Not sure what you mean. I've heard of Black Bottle and it sounds like one I would definately enjoy, but unfortunatly it is also not available in Cda. I find that the JW Red has a nice peat/smoke flavor that is lacking in most blends. The Grouse is a little smoother, but is a bit sweet and lacks the punch of the Red. Any thoughts?
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Postby Gate » Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:23 pm

I second Black Bottle - the regular (which is definitely cheap) as well as the 10 year old. If that's not available in Canada, maybe Islay Mist, or Macleod's Isle of Skye blend might be, and they're also pretty good in the peaty line. If you're OK with a lighter whisky, the Bailie Nicol Jarvie is brilliant value, and far better than JW Red (OK) or Grouse (better). JW Black is wonderful, but I suppose you couldn't call it cheap. Bell's is a lot better than it was, but I have bad memories that still put me off....
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Postby St.Peat » Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:23 pm

Chris, others --

I believe it is the JW Black which offers the Islay influence most. Others I rotate into my cabinet (always 1 blended, but no blend at the moment) are Teachers Highland Cream (not a liqueur, despinte the word 'cream'), Famous Grouse (no bait here), Chivas Royal Salute 21yo minis I find for less than $10 (a rare find,but has happened).

Cheers -- St.Peat
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Postby Gate » Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:26 pm

I just saw Torodd's entry on White Horse in a different thread, and you could do worse if you like blends on the peaty side (or at least, White Horse was nice and peaty the last time I drank it, longer ago than I care to remember).
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:58 pm

Black Bottle is superb.

Whyte and Mackay is very nice, light sweet and moreish.

Claymore is very good for those who like sweet whisky.

Lang's supreme for those who like creamy and fruity whisky.

Stewart's cream of the barley is a whisky which lives up to it's name.

Isle of Skye 8yr old is excellent.

If you can find it, Dew of Ben Nevis is one of the best blends you will ever taste and is much better than the Ben Nevis malt in my view.
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Postby r0b » Fri Jan 31, 2003 6:20 am

You may want to try Long John. It's quite smoky and one of my faves as is Black Bottle & JW.

The Talisman is not smoky, but well balanced and very cheap.
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Postby soledoc » Sun Feb 23, 2003 10:37 pm

Here is my take on blended scotch whisky, which I drink more often than single malts. I always have 4 or 5 blends in my bar at all time. Here they are in order of my taste:
1. JW Black
2. Famous Grouse
3. Ballantines
4. JW Red
5. Clan Macgregor

Here's that same list in order of price in Indiana for a 1.75 L bottle.
1. Clan Macgregor $15
2. Ballantines $27
3. JW Red $33
4. Famous Grouse $35
5. JW Black $57

So, the one that's in my decanter, ie. what I drink the most for a reasonable price is Clan Macgregor followed closely by Famous Grouse. Both widely available in my area.
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Postby The Fachan » Tue Feb 25, 2003 2:03 am

Chris,

I know its a big brand in the US but I would suggest Dewars 12yo. I was surprised as I can't get it in the UK
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Postby Tigger » Mon Mar 31, 2003 5:21 pm

Anyone tried Te Bheag???? An outstanding dram - don't know if it's UK-only, but definately worth the money ! (£15.99) One to try.
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Postby hpulley » Mon Mar 31, 2003 5:50 pm

Yes, there is Te Bheag in Canada. Specifically, Vintages in Ontario currently carries the unchillfiltered version. I tried it long ago (not sure if it was chillfiltered or not) and if you like island whisky then it is a good blend, made on the Isle of Skye I believe (where Talisker is made, a good bit of Talisker in Te Bheag I bet). It is fairly inexpensive here, $34.90 CND, but not really cheap as blends go (still cheaper than singles except for Sheep Dip). You find it in the Vintages corner, not the usual place for scotch.

Have you tried Islay Hallmark? It is made by Morrison Bowmore so it likely contains a fair amount of Bowmore. I think it contains mostly (even entirely?) islay whiskies. It is cheaper than Te Bheag but more than JW red.

Harry
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Apr 02, 2003 8:16 pm

Islay Hallmark!

How could I forget. It tastes strongly of Bowmore and is a fine dram which is worth comparing with a glass of Islay Mist (which relies on Laphroaig)

Both these whiskies taste, in my view, like young malts and I reckon that only a real expert could differentiate between these drams and actual single malts.

Te Bheag is also a fine dram but even better is Macnamara by the same company (Praba Na Linne) which is very chewy and rich with salty notes and a "smacky" finish.
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Postby robcat2002 » Sun Apr 06, 2003 2:57 am

I don't believe Teacher's Highland Cream has yet been mentioned. So far this is my favorite blend. I like The Famous Grouse quite a lot too. William Grant's seems to be well-favored and I'll be trying that one next, and perhaps Claymore as well.

-Rob
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Postby robcat2002 » Sun Apr 06, 2003 11:17 pm

Oops, Teacher's was noted in a previous post. Apologies!

-Rob
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Postby Rudy » Sun Apr 13, 2003 3:28 pm

I was lately on a (blend and malt) nosing & tasing which included this years winner Highland Park 18y.
But what struck me most that evening was the impressive Black Bottle!!
Very, very more-ish! Go for that one!

The same goes for Campbeltown Loch 25y as well, but I don't know weather that will fit your definition of inexpensive.

Rudy.
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Postby Peatfreak » Thu May 08, 2003 1:09 am

Have to agree very much with Te Bheagh - cambeltown loch is also a stunner but at £25 for me comes under more expensie so there for Te Bheag wins fir me.

Willie
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun May 11, 2003 6:39 pm

£25 in the case of Campbeltown loch isn't expensive given that it is 25 yr old
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Sun May 11, 2003 7:05 pm

Which Te B, filtered or unfiltered?
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon May 12, 2003 6:00 pm

The Unchilfiltered Te B is the best
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Tue May 13, 2003 6:17 pm

Thought it would be the unfiltered, will get a bottle at the weekend
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu May 15, 2003 4:57 pm

Thought I'd through this in.

If anyone is away on the Whisky trail thenstop in at Glenfarclas and get many bottles of Glen Dowan which is one the best blends you'll ever taste for about £12. It's export only except for the distillery.
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Postby Nic Rhodes » Fri May 16, 2003 9:54 pm

Right got the Te Bheag Unchill now

I am a malt guy through and through but this stuff is really rather excellent, best blend I have had. The balance is right

ther ones I have liked and I am fussy inc

Islay Mist
Black bottle
Finnlaggens

Top thums up from me on this, bargain at £15
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun May 18, 2003 6:52 pm

Just had the Glen Dowan.

It's alright but it wasn't as good as I remember it with an especially spirity nose. However, it did improve as you went down the glass and it is very moreish if you are in the right mood.

If you can get your hands on the Islay Mist, you are doing well as it is an excellent blend and one that I reckon only an expert could tell that he wasn't drinking a young Laphroaig.
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