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Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

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Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby LovePeat » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:02 pm

Many retailers are offering islay malts from unnamed distilleries, and we know that there are very few distilleries in Islay. Which begs the question why are those malts being offered for cut price? Bad malts?

Very few distilleries being operational on Islay really means that blended single malts or single malts 'will' originate from those 8 distilleries, and all those distilleries are known to produce high quality scotch and they don't sell cheap as unnamed malts.

So either unnamed malts are a bargain or a pure let down, but I've not tried any of them. Finlaggen, Askaig, etc....
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:43 pm

They are usually bargains
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby Wes B. » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:33 pm

When Islay distilleries distill whisky, they have to keep it in barrels for a number of years to produce a high quality spirit (usually 10 years at the minimum). Throughout the aging process, the distillers will occasionally taste the whisky in each of the barrels ensuring that they are aging properly. A distiller's overall goal is to produce a spirit that is consistent with what the distillery has been known for, but the aging process varies barrel by barrel. There are times when a few barrels don't age the way they should, and, instead of dumping the whisky down the drain, the distillery will sell it to independent bottling companies for next to nothing.

Every once in a while, I'll pick up an independent bottling of Islay simply because the cost per bottle is generally far cheaper and because it provides with the opportunity to experience something out of the ordinary. If you're interested in a particular bottling, I would suggest that you do some research before buying. There are some real diamonds in the rough, but there are also many that are lackluster and a waste of money.

I hope this answered your question.
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby Willie JJ » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:02 pm

Wes B. wrote:Throughout the aging process, the distillers will occasionally taste the whisky in each of the barrels ensuring that they are aging properly. A distiller's overall goal is to produce a spirit that is consistent with what the distillery has been known for, but the aging process varies barrel by barrel. There are times when a few barrels don't age the way they should, and, instead of dumping the whisky down the drain, the distillery will sell it to independent bottling companies for next to nothing.

I'm afraid this is just rubbish. There are many hundreds of thousands of maturing casks of Islay in Scotland. They do not check each cask regularly, it's just not feasible to try and keep track of them.
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby LovePeat » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:56 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
Wes B. wrote:Throughout the aging process, the distillers will occasionally taste the whisky in each of the barrels ensuring that they are aging properly. A distiller's overall goal is to produce a spirit that is consistent with what the distillery has been known for, but the aging process varies barrel by barrel. There are times when a few barrels don't age the way they should, and, instead of dumping the whisky down the drain, the distillery will sell it to independent bottling companies for next to nothing.

I'm afraid this is just rubbish. There are many hundreds of thousands of maturing casks of Islay in Scotland. They do not check each cask regularly, it's just not feasible to try and keep track of them.


How do distillers check whether their scotch is maturing accordingly to their guidelines? Many of us 'have' came across 'bad batches'.

Are bad batches more likely to occur with the likes of Glenfiddich and Glenlivet?
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby bredman » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:35 am

LovePeat wrote:
Are bad batches more likely to occur with the likes of Glenfiddich and Glenlivet?


Certainly not! Single malt whisky is very delicate as whiskies go, and they get most of the flavour from the cask. Occasionally a cask will be somewhat off or tainted, these casks will be vatted with other better casks and generally 'lost' in the vatting. What makes a whisky good or bad is more often than not - subjective. Perhaps a small rusty nail, or sulphur (from sterilised sherry casks), or a slightly rotten stave may effect the ageing whisky. Or maybe a non-compatible cask type (wine, sherry, or other).

Single malt is difficult to make and spirit occasionally leaves the stills in not the best shape, this is easily done, and it seems that some distilleries make a habit of it (but not Glenfiddich or Glenlivet).
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby bredman » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:40 am

Wes B. wrote: There are times when a few barrels don't age the way they should, and, instead of dumping the whisky down the drain, the distillery will sell it to independent bottling companies for next to nothing.


:o Not quite. Superfluous casks will be sold to blenders and brokers. Blenders will also acquire casks from distilling companies via long and short term supply contracts. This will be the most common source of casks for independent bottlers.

If they cost next to nothing i'd be buying whisky by the cask. :lol:
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Re: Islay malt from an unnamed distillery?

Postby Gogo73 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:24 pm

Have to agree with bredman, nobody sells their whiskey for nothing. The excess whiskey is sold to blenders and bottlers , for a lower price but in large quantities
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