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Newbie here, looking for recommendations

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Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:09 am

hello all -

i'm a longtime whisky dilettante - but i've recently been getting into it for real.

so far, my favorite - by a long way - is lagavulin 16 yo, with the 10 yo laphroaig coming in a close second.

though very different, i quite like the dalwhinnie 15 yo as well.

i have a bottle of ardbeg uigeadail as well, but i find it quite... harsh. i realize it's cask strength. perhaps i need to add water to dilute it. (i prefer my whisky neat).

i also have a bottle of balvenie 12 yo, which is nice, but nothing like the two islay malts i first mentioned.

so, my question is, what others should i try that will give me that lovely oily, slightly sweet smoothness that lagavulin and laphroaig give me? i quite like the peaty smokiness of the two, but i'm willing to branch out beyond islay.

thanks for any advice (and apologies for using any incorrect terms; as i said, i'm new to this)
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:55 am

btw, i'm sure my "likes" are all obvious and facile and probably mark me as a total n00b, so be kind...
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:15 am

bscepter wrote:...what others should i try that will give me that lovely oily, slightly sweet smoothness that lagavulin and laphroaig give me? i quite like the peaty smokiness of the two, but i'm willing to branch out beyond islay.

Caol Ila would seem to be the obvious pick as your next choice... Definitely has that oily textural quality (not to mention flavour overtones of olive oil in many of its expressions). The 12-year old is widely available and slips down a treat, while the cask strength version is an absolute gem!

Isle of Jura Prophecy might also work for you... Loads of fruit-laden sweetness with a lovely peat-infused component.

In terms of "oily sweet smoothness", you may want to check out some of the Auchentoshan releases - especially the 21-year old.
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby ipso » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:48 am

- Port Charlotte 10yo
- Bruichladdich “Rocks”
- Tobermory 15
- Bunnahabain 18
- Glenmorangie “Quinta Ruban”
- Macallan 12 or 18 (Olorosso sherry)

I can’t get my head around the other Islay’s: Bowmore, Caol Ila & Kilchoman, although I’ve only tried their standard expressions. And I’m with you on Ardbeg; I’ve tried every expression they’ve had over the last several years hoping beyond hope to diversify my Lagavulin/Laphroaig crack habit, but to no avail. The Port Charlotte 10yo is unbelievable though. It podiums, and is currently the sexiest wife in the harem. Its nose character ..is like Megan Fox’s looks – you just can’t stop … sniffing. (Wait, that didn’t work. The box is beautiful … I mean - wait…)

If you’re in North America you may want to try some local McCarthy's (The Oregon single malt with imported UK peated malt. He said – like so many of us – that he imprinted on Lagavulin and wanted to make “that”. He definitely did not do that, but it can grow on you in good ways, with a unique youthful clarity and voice.)

(Disclaimer: All of the above says more about my neophyte status than anything remotely true about scotch. Happy hunting!)
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby Malteriet » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:37 am

I wasn´t impressed by Bruichladdich Rocks, but it might work for others. Caol Ila i definitely a good pick, and I would also draw your attention towards Talisker that also does a nice, peaty peppery dram. The 10 year old is nice, but the 57 degrees north is my favorite (also cask strength so perhaps you´ll need to water it down). Their distillers edition with partly sherry casks is not quite my cup of tea, but I´ve recommended it to others who didn´t like it too peaty, and they´ve loved it. The Ardbegs can be a big mouthfull to a newbie, but I´m very fond of their Corrywreckan (also CS). The Blasda from Ardbeg is an attempt to make an unpeated Ardbeg - it could be used to detect the masked flavours in Ardbeg and may work for you.

If you´re into just a little peat, but like the fruit and malt notes, Ardmore (east highland) or Longrow (Campbeltown) might be something. Oban, Scapa and Old Pulteney all have a salty sea spray taste to them, that might be appealing. Just keep on tasting - there is a lot of nice stuff out there :thumbsup:
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:57 pm

Thanks for the recommendations! I live in Omaha, home of the Dundee Dell, which is reputed to have the best whisky collection in North America. I think I'll head there this weekend and try a few mentioned here!
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby Leorin » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:10 pm

I would recommend. Lagavulin DE & Laphroaig 10 Cask Strenght
That gives you the opportunity, to compare them with the expressions you already have.
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:30 pm

one other newbie question: i first assumed that the lagavulin was smoother because it was older (and therefore more expensive), but i find that the laphroaig is almost equally, though not quite, as smooth, and it's only 10 years old.

i have yet to try an 18 year old or more. i'm almost afraid to, as i don't need to be spending even more money on this stuff! :headbang:
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bredman » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:50 am

In the direction of peat you must try Caol Ila as already mentioned. Lots of good independent CI too, so shop around.

Also try some Longrow, the 14yo perhaps.
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:59 am

Just picked up a bottle of Caol Ila. I'll crack it tonight and report back.
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:04 am

trying the caol ila for the first time.

first thoughts: wonderful nose. definite islay smells. peat and smoke mixed with citrus. very familiar. much lighter color than lagavulin or laphroaig. almost straw colored. love the taste, though. i think i may have found my third favorite whisky.

i almost picked up a laphroaig quarter cask, but went for this at the last moment (i already have the 10 yo on-hand), and i'm glad i did.

thanks again for the advice!
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby Ganga » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:48 am

We'll still be here the next time you need more suggestions. :thumbsup:
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:43 pm

bredman wrote:Lots of good independent CI too, so shop around.


what do you mean by "independent caol ila?"
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby Ganga » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:21 pm

bscepter wrote:
bredman wrote:Lots of good independent CI too, so shop around.


what do you mean by "independent caol ila?"

Independent bottlers such as Signatory, Douglas Laing/Old Malt Cask, etc. While the product was produced at the Caol Ila distillery, they were bottled by another company.
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:29 pm

Ganga wrote:
bscepter wrote:
bredman wrote:Lots of good independent CI too, so shop around.


what do you mean by "independent caol ila?"

Independent bottlers such as Signatory, Douglas Laing/Old Malt Cask, etc. While the product was produced at the Caol Ila distillery, they were bottled by another company.


interesting. but why would a distillery let another company bottle its whisky?
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bredman » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:24 pm

bscepter wrote:
interesting. but why would a distillery let another company bottle its whisky?


Distilleries sell to blenders and brokers, as well as to the public with their own bottlings. Often long term supply contracts are involved, but also short term cash flow or offloading excess stocks are the reasons. Some distilleries resist and block the use of their distillery name on the label, Glenfarclas and Talisker spring to mind. Independents do reach new markets and generate interest though.

We refer to OB - official bottling, and IB - independent bottling. There are many geeks, myself included, that prefer the risks and rewards of purchasing independent bottles, which tend to be mostly single cask/cask strength etc. - they are often much better than OBs, and occasionally not.


An example of an independent caol Ila.

http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-15859.aspx
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:06 pm

bredman wrote:We refer to OB - official bottling, and IB - independent bottling. There are many geeks, myself included, that prefer the risks and rewards of purchasing independent bottles, which tend to be mostly single cask/cask strength etc. - they are often much better than OBs, and occasionally not.


An example of an independent caol Ila.

http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-15859.aspx


thanks for the info! fascinating!

btw, i tried the ardbeg uigeadail last night again, this time with about a tablespoon of water (in a glencairn glass), and it was really excellent.
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Re: Newbie here, looking for recommendations

Postby bscepter » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:55 am

legatobd wrote:We'll still be here the next time you need more suggestions.



cheers to that!
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