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When did you first..

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Postby MAMS » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:26 am

I was always a Whisky fan and had been through the usual Famous Grouse, Bells, Supermarket Brands and Chivas Regal when one Christmas a visit from a friend who had been at uni in Inverness ended with us having a fair crack at a bottle of Laphroaig 10yo and absolutely loving it.

I decided there and then to try more and have continually strived to find the "perfect" Whisky for me, I do prefer the Islay malts with Bunnahabhain 12yo being a good favourite.

Saying that though my new year bottle for the last 2 years (and for this coming year too) is the Chieftains bottling of Rosbank 10yo from 1991. I managed to get 3 bottles of this from the whisky seller in the Waverley Train Station in Edinburgh and it is just such a clean and refreshing whisky for new year.

Maybe i'm too excectic in tastes but I don't actually have a favourite Whisky although I generally go back to the same ones over and over again.
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Postby Frodo » Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:57 am

My first try at whisky tasting happened when I went to a whisky bar and randomly selected the 10 yr old Jura. I was imediatly intriged by a rush of flavours that was unlike anything that beer could provide. I then asked mom to pick up a bottle of aged tequila when she went to Mexico, and from then on, I REALLY became interested in the effect that the wood policy has on the spirit.
Now my favourites are still scotch and tequila, but I do appretiate the orangy-vanilla very forward flavors of bourbon, and the earthy-smoky flavours of good mescal. And no, quality mescal does not come with a worm in the bottle (larva actually) :roll: .
I wish I had more opportunity to try Irish whiskies, especially the ones from Cooley. I guess the only whisky style that I don't like (with a couple of exceptions) is Canadian whisky. Funny because that's where I live. :oops:

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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:57 pm

Recent posts in this thread miss the point of the original question.

It's not 'when did you first taste whisky?' but 'when did you first taste your favourite whisky?'

When did you first try a whisky and think 'That's the best whisky ever?'
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Postby Frodo » Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:47 am

Thanks for keeping (me/us) on topic Bruce. I tend to go on sometimes as a result of not having any friends who can relate to this passion :idea: . My apologies. {Respectful bow}

To answer your question then, I've liked a few whiskys, but the only one that truly made me sit up and say WOW - I've lost my breath - was a 9 yr old Ardbeg from the Provenance IB line. I've only tasted one other spirit that came close to this - the Minero brand Mezcal by Del Maguey. These two both have obvious charms that hit you over the head, but also have subtle complexities that reward repeated tastings. I do like Talisker at it's price point, but it still can't match the special tingle I get when I see a bottle of my favourite - Ardbeg :!: :!: .

Regards
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:49 pm

Frodo wrote:To answer your question then, I've liked a few whiskys, but the only one that truly made me sit up and say WOW - I've lost my breath - was a 9 yr old Ardbeg from the Provenance IB line. I've only tasted one other spirit that came close to this - the Minero brand Mezcal by Del Maguey. These two both have obvious charms that hit you over the head, but also have subtle complexities that reward repeated tastings. I do like Talisker at it's price point, but it still can't match the special tingle I get when I see a bottle of my favourite - Ardbeg :!: :!: .

Regards
Frodo


Suzywong, who posted near the start of the thread, works for Douglas Laing who are the makers of the Provenance range and the Old Malt Cask range as well.

Try perusing their website to see which Ardbegs they still have available. http://www.douglaslaing.com

I grabbed a cracking Glentauchers 12 yr from OMC (50% vol) at the recent Dufftown whisky festival as I thought it was the star of the tasting sessions I went to.
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Postby Frodo » Fri Oct 01, 2004 6:34 pm

Thanks Bruce. Unfortunatly, I'm limited by what I can buy from the LCBO (state run liquor store). At this point, they are selling the Manochmore (provenance line) which I'm thinking about (it is on sale), but I suspect the price has more to do with the scarcity of the malt.

Thanks
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Postby islayjunkie » Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:17 pm

My first experience with single malt was back in 1994 in Florida when I purchased the 6 single malt Scotch whisky miniatures collection. My first dram was Dalwhinnie 15yo at which point I decided I definitley did not like scotch whisky at all.

Once I tried the Lagavulin 16yo and Talisker 10yo I hurried out and bought a bottle of both. From then on I was drinking a bottle of Lagavulin once per week for the following 6 months with an ocassional bottle of Talisker (still my second favorite).

When I relocated to restricted states (Virginia and North Carolina) I found the prices at the ABC stores so inflated that I stopped drinking scotch and hard liquor. In 2004 when I moved to California I decided to purchase a bottle of Lagavulin 16yo at a reasonable price of $54.99 for kicks. Big mistake! Now I'm stocking an Islay collection :D
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sat Oct 02, 2004 1:43 am

Frodo wrote:Thanks Bruce. Unfortunatly, I'm limited by what I can buy from the LCBO (state run liquor store). At this point, they are selling the Manochmore (provenance line) which I'm thinking about (it is on sale), but I suspect the price has more to do with the scarcity of the malt.

Thanks
Frodo


I've never found Mannochmore to be a great malt but then I never found Glentauchers to be a great malt before last week so it could be worth investigating.

How old is the version available to you?

Can you shed any light on the matter, Suzywong?

If you have any tasting notes to add then I'm sure Frodo would appreciate them.
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Postby Frodo » Sat Oct 02, 2004 8:17 am

I think it was a 10 or 12 yr old.

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Postby bond » Mon Oct 04, 2004 6:09 am

Isn't "favourite malt" dynamic??

Till three months ago, my favourite malt was Lagavulin 16 YO. Then Ardbeg happened...

Am sure several others have had similar experiences?? Or am I the only promiscuous soul around?
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Postby islayjunkie » Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:37 pm

bond wrote:Till three months ago, my favourite malt was Lagavulin 16 YO. Then Ardbeg happened...

Am sure several others have had similar experiences?? Or am I the only promiscuous soul around?


You're not alone. The only thing I like better than Ardbeg 10yo is Lagavulin 12CS for the moment. I drink the 2 together to cut my cost on the Lagavulin 12CS.

In a couple months I will begin collecting higher end Ardbegs over the Internet. Ardbeg appears to be the best investment on both nose and pallet. 1974-75 I've read are the best years. I'd love to get my hands on a bottle of 1974 PROVENANCE... however I could never bring myself to drink it at £280 :D

Has anyone here tried the following? I would love to know which are best price point wise for taste. I don't wish to spend more than £83 on something I will drink. This is my future shopping list.


Ardbeg - Uigeadail £29.78 Traditional Strength 54.2% 70cl
Ardbeg 1998 - Very Young £23.82 6yo 58.3% 70cl
Ardbeg 1994 £21.27 Connoisseurs Choice Bottled 2004 10 Years Old 40% 70cl
Ardbeg 1993 £21.27 Connoisseurs Choice - Bottled 2003 10 Years Old 40% 70cl
Ardbeg 1990 £29.79 9yo "Provenance" / Bot Summer 2000 43% 70cl
Ardbeg 1991 £29.79 9yo 46% 70cl
Ardbeg 1990 £29.79 9yo "Provenance" Series Bottled Summer 2000 43% 70cl
Ardbeg 1993 £33.62 Douglas Laing - Bottled September 2003 10 Years Old 50% 70cl
Ardbeg 1993 £34.03 Douglas Laing - Bottled January 2004 10 Years
Ardbeg 1974 £83.40 29yo Bottled 2003 43% 70cl
Ardbeg 1975 £84.26 28yo Bottled 2003 43% 70cl
Ardbeg 1975 £84.26 Connoisseurs Choice - Bottled 2003 28 Years Old 43% 70cl
Ardbeg 1973 £102.13 30yo Bottled 2003 40% 70cl
Ardbeg 1975 £106.38 27yo Bottled October 2002 50% 70c
Ardbeg 1975 £106.38 27yo Bottled October 2002 k 50% 70cl
Ardbeg 1974 £126.81 26yo Silver Seal Range 46% 70cl
Ardbeg 1974 £126.81 28yo Bottled Feb 2003 50% 70cl
Ardbeg 1974 £126.81 22yo White Label 40% 70cl
Ardbeg 1974 £280.85 23yo PROVENANCE 55.6% 70cl
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:15 pm

I've tasted Ardbeg Uigeadail and it's excellent.

It was missing the incredibly smoky nose that hits you like Lennox Lewis but the taste made up for it. Very peppery and thick and chewy with a fair element of seaweed (no, I don't eat seaweed :? ). Very complex and I'm sure a bottle would reveal even more flavours.

Well worth the £35. 8)
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:21 pm

I've tried quite a few on your list , i do have a sort of tasting list on my site (http://www.spiritofislay.net, click on "My ardbeg bottlings"on the bottom menu) , i havn't got around to writing some as i've been too busy enjoying them !!! :D
The Sad thing is your going to have to spend more than £83 for anything over the O.B. 17yo (how about £280 for the 1972 single cask O.B. from Oddbins ? :( )

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Postby Admiral » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:35 am

I agree wholeheartedly with Bruce's description of the Uigeadail. I finally (after 9 months of waiting) received my bottle last week and cracked it open. I scribbled down a few notes initially, but I think I'll delete them and replace them with Bruce's. Considering the relatively low price tag, I reckon it's sensational.

The 1993 Connoisseurs Choice is also a beauty, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. Although, it IS different to the OB 10yo, so don't make an unfair comparison when/if you try it.

The other Ardbeg at the "fancy" end of the scale is the Lord of the Isles. This is simply superb, and well worth obtaining if you're able to.

Cheers,
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Postby islayjunkie » Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:25 am

BruceCrichton wrote:Very peppery and thick and chewy with a fair element of seaweed (no, I don't eat seaweed :? ). Very complex and I'm sure a bottle would reveal even more flavours.


You've sold me! I've eaten plenty of dried seaweed (love it)... it started with sushi and ended with me eating dried sushi seaweed. I lived on the ocean as a child (on a 32 foot sail boat) and love anything that reminds me of the sea... even raw fish :D
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Postby bamber » Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:24 am

Have a look for the 1977 didtillery bottling. You should be able to get a bottle for < £70 and it is apparently excellent - I'm opening mine this New Year :)

I always have the Uigeadail and Very Young on hand, (as well as the 10YO). I think they are both sensational - I have a feeling you will love both of them. The only Ardbeg I felt a bit let down by was the 17YO distillery bottling. I found it a bit thin, I'm afraid.

Bond: I would I also have to agree, Ardbeg (and Buffalo Trace) are without question my favourite distilleries. Pure powerful overstrength whisky, that takes no prisoners yet is full of complexity.
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Postby lucabeer » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:43 pm

Mmmmm... if you didn't enjoy the 17yo OB, I guess the 1977 will disappoint you a bit too. I am drinking my second bottle now, and it is much more delicate than the Ten and the Uigeadail. Mind you, it's not bad and it's very complex (lack of chillfiltering also helps), but it's a lemony, gentle dram without a huge peat impact.

Imho, the Uigeadail is unbeatable for price/quality ratio.

And the 6yo Very Young is excellent, too!
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Postby bamber » Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:33 pm

:( - hope you're wrong !
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:27 pm

Has anyone here tried the following? I would love to know which are best price point wise for taste. I don't wish to spend more than £83 on something I will drink. This is my future shopping list.


Good luck with your collection of Ardbegs. The problem is of course since Ardbeg is a fairly popular whisky and production has been limited for some years (excluding the last six or so), prices are as a rule high.

* A very good purchase is the Very Young (the first batch is already starting to run out, but a second one is on it's way).
* The Uigeadail is a good, but atypical, Ardbeg - the sherrycasks dampen the spirit and gives it a new dimension that doesn't score with some peatfreaks.
* I try, as a rule, to stay clear of Gordon & MacPhail (Connoisseurs Choice) bottlings of peaty whiskies. They tend to store their whiskies at the warehouse in Elgin, something that lessens the taste, IMHO. The only really good CC-Ardbeg I've had is the '74 - but it struggled to be worth the price (£100)
* I would very much like to get hold of some of the Provenance-bottlings. Ardbeg, and other peaty whiskies for that, tend to be very drinkable at young ages (if you like the no-nonsens 'smoke gets in your palate'-flavours that is).
* As a rule the Old Malt Cask-bottlings are a safe bet. IMHO Ardbegs tend to be better if you get them at strengths above 40% (the peat seems to need the extra alcohol to give it balance).
* The Ardbeg Lord of the Isles is also a great dram (25yo), and still somewhat available for around £100 - but when it's gone, it's not coming back in a hurry...

As others have pointed out the older the Ardbeg gets, the less peat and power you will get, but it gain in complexity and depth. I've had the 1975, 77 and 78 vintage bottlings - all cracking drams - but for that heavy peat you need to drink it at a young age.

For the older whisky I belive Port Ellen is a better alternative for a more peaty dram.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:16 pm

SpiritofShetland wrote:
For the older whisky I belive Port Ellen is a better alternative for a more peaty dram.


SoS is spot on. I was given a taste of Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing) Port Ellen from 1981. I didn't take any notes but if you can afford it and can get it then do so as it was fantastic.

The Tomintoul Whisky Castle will definitely have it. I know because that's where I tasted it.

For another peaty dram, also try OMC's Brora 1982 if you can get it. It was still available from Royal Mile Whiskies the last time I looked.
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Postby Ash » Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:12 pm

BruceCrichton wrote:I've tasted Ardbeg Uigeadail and it's excellent.

It was missing the incredibly smoky nose that hits you like Lennox Lewis but the taste made up for it. Very peppery and thick and chewy with a fair element of seaweed (no, I don't eat seaweed :? ). Very complex and I'm sure a bottle would reveal even more flavours.

Well worth the £35. 8)


Even better at the £25 each I paid for the two bottles I have. :twisted:
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Postby islayjunkie » Wed Oct 06, 2004 7:02 am

SpiritofShetland wrote:Good luck with your collection of Ardbegs. The problem is of course since Ardbeg is a fairly popular whisky and production has been limited for some years (excluding the last six or so), prices are as a rule high.


Thanks much for the tips. That helps me eliminate a few on the list. I've found prices on the Internet that are quite competitive like Ardbeg 25yo - Lord of the Isles £84.26.

Even with shipping many Ardbegs are cheaper then buying directly from Ardeg.com or oddbins.com... I'd rather not say where I'm finding these sites for fear that supplies may diminish even quicker ;)
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:55 pm

Ash wrote:
BruceCrichton wrote:I've tasted Ardbeg Uigeadail and it's excellent.

<Snip>
Well worth the £35. 8)


Even better at the £25 each I paid for the two bottles I have. :twisted:


Where did you get the bottles?

Did it have anything to do with a 1960's RAF bomber? I'm sure you know which one.
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Postby Ash » Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:42 pm

BruceCrichton wrote:
Ash wrote:
BruceCrichton wrote:I've tasted Ardbeg Uigeadail and it's excellent.

<Snip>
Well worth the £35. 8)


Even better at the £25 each I paid for the two bottles I have. :twisted:


Where did you get the bottles?

Did it have anything to do with a 1960's RAF bomber? I'm sure you know which one.


Now Bruce, you know I can't reveal all of my sources, else there'd be less for me. I already told you where to get Ardbeg 10 for £20. You didn't acknowledge my post, so I assume you have managed to get to Stirling for some by now.
But no, I've never seen it in the bomber.
Somewhere else. :twisted:
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