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A scotch question or 2...

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A scotch question or 2...

Postby Urban_Monk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:35 am

So I'm new to scotch, having always chosen bourbon over it... Due to misconceptions I suppose. A few weeks ago I tried a friends Chivas Regal 18 yr and was quite surprised, as I had never tasted anything like it. I really didn't like it at first, but by the time I got to the end of the glass I was really enjoying it...
It was the smokey taste I was warming up to. As a pipe tobacco collector, this smokiness in the background tasted exactly like a particular type of pipe tobacco called Latakia. Very interesting.
So, I went right out the next day and picked up a bottle of the same CR 18. And I've also picked up a few other scotches as well... Just out of curiosity. The Macallan, Glenmorangie original, Johnny Walker black, Glenfiddich, and Smokey Joe.

Anyway, what I'm after is that same type of experience I get with CR 18 in a single malt. If that's possible... ( Or other blends I suppose ) Smooth and just the right amount of smokiness coming in at the end without being overly smokey. any suggestions ???

Secondly I was wondering, what exactly is causing that smokiness ? Is that just Islay malt for you, or peat... Or what ?

Thanks!
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Re: A scotch question or 2...

Postby Urban_Monk » Fri May 02, 2014 7:22 am

Well I picked up 3 new scotches today. Ardbeg 10, Bunnahabhain 12 and Highland Park 15.

These are all good, but I think the Highland Park 15 was amazingly good. Just what I was looking for. The smokiness stays fairly hidden until the end of the finish, at which time it comes on perfectly.
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Re: A scotch question or 2...

Postby Malteriet » Sat May 03, 2014 7:33 pm

The smoke or peatiness is a sought after underlying character in a number of blends, but it is much more obvious in most of the peaty malts of Islay (Ardbeg, Lagavulin etc). Bunnahabhain also has a little peatiness except for their Toiteach which is more peaty than usual. Highland Park is a nice choice if you dont't want it too peaty - they vary quite a bit in peatiness. Talisker will be another option somewhere between Highland Park and Ardbeg. If you like the smoke to be discreet, Springbank would be a rewarding choice. Dig into their history, and you'll be hooked :thumbsup:
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Re: A scotch question or 2...

Postby whiskgeek » Mon May 05, 2014 7:40 am

As part of getting the barley ready for fermentation, they heat it up in a kiln with fire below. In some places, they burn peat. Peat is decomposed vegetation that is found in wet swampy areas. It looks like mud in the ground, but they dig it up, dry it, and burn it. It imparts its medicinal flavor on the barley, which carries through the distillation process.
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