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Question on slightly smoked Single Malts

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Question on slightly smoked Single Malts

Postby Jonwin » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:47 pm

Hi again,

about a month ago I ran into a boutique shop and bought a small portion of Bowmore 19 years old.

I liked it a lot since it had quite a smoky flavour to it yet it was not as smoky as Laphroaig or Ardbeg (which at times can smell like your house is burning up)

I was wondering which other Single Malts have the same balance as the 19 year old Bowmore regarding the smoky taste.

Thanks a lot :)
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Re: Question on slightly smoked Single Malts

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:52 pm

You might want to also try...

1. Caol Ila 12 Year Old: A tad more peat-laden than Bowmore, perhaps, yet the smokiness ends up being very well balanced with the oily fruitiness of the malt.

2. Benriach Arumaticus Fumosus 12 Year Old: A Highland malt, admittedly. But one incorporating peat-reeked malted barley, and subsequently finished in rum casks. Strikes a savvy compromise between drier smokiness and sweeter Tropical fruitiness.

There are many other options that may work for you, too. But truth be told, Bowmore possesses a quite unique flavour profile. So you may be well advised to further explore official distillery releases such as the cask strength 16-year olds (1989 ex-Bourbon cask, 1990 ex-Sherry cask, 1991 ex-Port cask and 1992 ex-Claret cask), not to mention some of the older releases.

Another possibility would be Talisker, which, though peat-reeked to a similar level as Bowmore, offers up many other tantalizing aromas and flavours (think oily, fruity and especially peppery).
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Re: Question on slightly smoked Single Malts

Postby Ganga » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:43 am

I agree with TDD on Bowmore; it's its own animal. For me, the smokiness is as intense as other distilleries but it is a different kind of smoke...more wood-like and less of a peat smoke. TDD offers up some good suggestions: explore Bowmore some more either through official release or independent bottlings or try some of the other peated whiskies that you have not tried. Talisker is a good suggestion, you might also try an Ardmore.
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Re: Question on slightly smoked Single Malts

Postby lockejn » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:43 am

Ditto on Bowmore being its own animal.

I find Highland Park to be pretty well balanced with the smoke, but it's got a bit less than most Bowmores.

Talisker is what I'd suggest, though. Ardmore/Teacher's is quite good, but different still in its own way.
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Interesting...

Postby Jonwin » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:03 pm

Thanks a Lot,

Interesting suggestions and very eloquently written :)
Do you like the ballence in the 16 year old lagavulin?
Which Talisker Would you recommend? the 10 year old?
And is the Benriach Arumaticus Fumosus 12 Year Old rare and hard to find?

By the way, have any of you tried the Jura 16 year Malt?
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Re: Interesting...

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:56 pm

Jonwin wrote:Do you like the ballence in the 16 year old Lagavulin?
Which Talisker Would you recommend? the 10 year old?
And is the Benriach Arumaticus Fumosus 12 Year Old rare and hard to find?
By the way, have any of you tried the Jura 16 year Malt?

I used to really enjoy the 16-year old standard issue Lagavulin. Not so much, alas, of late. Hard to pinpoint why, except perhaps to say that I find a 'thin' aspect at mid palate that could reflect distilling runs, cask selection or a combination of the two. It just doesn't have the depth, in my opinion, that it displayed years ago. These days, I far prefer the 12-year old cask strength releases (super clean and with a nice back-and-forth between sharp, dry smoke and sweetly fruity malt - ? pineapple sometimes) or, very occasionally, the Distillers Edition. But if the smokiness of Ardbeg and Laphroaig is a little too much for you, Lagavulin won't exactly represent a viable option anyway.

The 10-year old Talisker is a good place to start. If you have the cash and can find any, though, I'd strongly recommend trying the 18-year old. It's a smashingly complex, complete whisky that, while not being quite so forceful in character as the 10-year old, nonetheless offers up a fantastic spectrum of aromas and flavours. Top notch! The 25-year old brings many more oak and seaside flavours into the equation, and is a challenging go.

The Benriach shouldn't be hard to track down.

Funny... I was going to mention Isle of Jura Superstition as a possibility (I haven't tasted the 16-year old), given its moderate peating counterbalanced by malt sweetness. But I've always found the Superstition to be a little weird in that it can seem, at times, almost liqueur-like (think oranges). Therefore, I didn't mention it.
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