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Peaty blended Islay whisky

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Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby sleepypeople » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:13 pm

So I've been hammering the single malts recently and it's been getting a bit, uh, expensive and indulgent, so I'm going to pull back for a while and stick to cheaper blended whiskies.

Bought some Black Bottle tonight because I've heard rave reviews. It was much sweeter and gentler than I expected, whereas I was hoping for more peatiness. Maybe, in time, it'll grow on me. I dunno. Considering Islay Mist for when the BB's finished. What do you all think? Any suggestions for any other good, cheap, peaty blended whiskies would be most welcome.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Caledonia » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:53 pm

Have you ever considered things like Big Smoke , Big Smoke 60, Smoke head?

Relatively cheap islay malts bottled by independant bottlers - Big Smoke usually under £20. Can be found in RMW for sure others probably...
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Leorin » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:42 am

Unfortunately there are no cheap blends that are as big and bold as the south coast Islay malts.
I think Caledonias sugestion is very good. Look out for young cask strenght Islay malts. There are a couple of good ones that don't have the distilleries name on it. I can advise the Cadenhead's Classic Islay vatted malt with 50%, that you can get for 26 pounds in their Covent Garden shop.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Caledonia » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:30 am

Try walking into a reatiler with your question as well, a good specialist should have answers...
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Ardbeg311 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:29 am

Instead of going to cheaper blends what about undisclosed Islay malts such as The Ileach or Finlaggan? Both good Islay's without going over the budget.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Caledonia » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:02 pm

Ardbeg311 wrote:Instead of going to cheaper blends what about undisclosed Islay malts such as The Ileach or Finlaggan? Both good Islay's without going over the budget.


thats another one of the ones i was meaning...ileach is great stuff...not as in your face as big smoke tho or the signatory 5yo islay's
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby The Third Dram » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:49 pm

sleepypeople wrote:Considering Islay Mist...

I just bought some of the 17YO Islay Mist. Not inexpensive by any means, yet very good value for the money and VERY tasty. Another alternative in roughly the same price range would be Compass Box The Peat Monster, a pure malt with a decidedly peaty component to its flavour profile.

Worst comes to worst, pick up a less expensive blend of your own liking as well as one or two 50ml miniatures of one or two of your favourite Islay single malts, and blend them all together!
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby rshd301 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:21 pm

What about Cooley's Inishowen? This is a lovely lightly peated blend from Cooley's distillery. It includes the beautiful Connemara which provides the peat content. I recently bought a bottle for a very reasonable £14. I will definately buy again for a regular drink keeping the malts for special occasions.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby jmrl » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:59 pm

We did an anonymous/cheap alternative Islay malt tasting. The Peat Monster came out well, Waitrose does it at £21 on special from time to time. There will be more tastings of this nature coming up including peaty blends. I'll broadcast the details soon.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Gov » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:43 am

I enjoy Islay Mist NAS very much. I consider it to taste like a light version of Laphroaig 10.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Doug1937 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:34 am

Personally I'm amazed at how good the Islay Mist 8 year truly is. I've tried a number of blends in my search for a scotch that isn't harsh on my pocketbook, and many of them are truly awful. It's hard to believe I once said I never met a scotch I didn't like. Sigh. But the Islay Mist...well, it's about 50% the cost of a Laphroaig 10 year, and the taste is roughly 80% as good, so IMO it's a bargain. I don't usually keep any unopened bottles (hey, I've no willpower) but I just might start to stock up on this blend. I just wish the 17 year was available in the USA...
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Gov » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:51 pm

Islay Mist always gets overlooked in favor of Black Bottle. I like Black Bottle as well, but Islay Mist is a bit better. I have to say, I think Islay Mist is the most medicinal blended scotch I have had yet!
I too wish the 17 year was available in the US :headbang:
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:58 pm

They are getting a wee bit harder to find, but the supermarket Islay malts were great value. Typically £15 for a decent bottle of malt. Pretty recession busting I think.

The trouble with any blend is that it contains a majority of grain whisky which is unpeated and will dilute the bite of the peated malt.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Doug1937 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:03 pm

Willie JJ wrote:The trouble with any blend is that it contains a majority of grain whisky which is unpeated and will dilute the bite of the peated malt.


This is generally true, but I think the Islay Mist is a bit of an exception. IMO it's nearly as peaty as the Laphroig 10, and almost as tasty. And since it's about 1/2 the price, it's quite a bargain.

I need to try the Black Bottle someday...
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Doug1937 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:57 am

I surprised myself today by finding not only the Islay Mist 12, but also the Islay Mist 17 in the same store, Pearsons, in Atlanta GA, here in the USA. The 12 was about $60 and the 17 was close to $80. A far cry from the 08's $18. For $60 I'd be inclined to buy a nice single malt instead of the Mist. Shame.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Doug1937 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:58 am

I also found the Black Bottle at Pearsons for about $36...is that a good price?
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Drammed » Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:10 pm

Black Grouse tastes like Talisker 10 to me. I know Tali is not an Islay but it is a peaty whisky. Black Grouse is a blend and fairly inexpensive.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby johan brugge » Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:23 pm

I had the Black Bottle 10yo a few times and I think it's OK ... for a blend. Nothing compared to the single malts but it gives a good impression of what the Islay single malts are about. Never had an Islay mist though. Maybe I should try it some time.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:15 am

Drammed wrote:Black Grouse tastes like Talisker 10 to me. I know Tali is not an Islay but it is a peaty whisky. Black Grouse is a blend and fairly inexpensive.


I agree. Good value for money.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:29 pm

Just a little note , Islay Mist isn't an Islay Blend , yes it contains Laphroaig but also Highland and Speyside (incl Glenlivet) Malts and Grains.
Black Bottle Contains 7 of the Islay Distilleries (presumably not Kilchoman-yet- and Port Ellen ) and Grains .
It's a shame BB10 was discontinued (they couldn't guarantee 10yo from all the distillery apparently) as it was far superior to the ordinary BB , i've heard whispers that there might possibly be a Deluxe BB in the not too distant future .
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby johan brugge » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:53 am

I didn't know that the BB10 was discontinued. You can still buy it in the shops here.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Whisky1978 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:57 pm

If you're looking for cheap whisky you could try

Finlaggan - Old Reserve (approx 25 euro) (unspecified malt, probably Lagavulin)
Bowmore Legend (approx 25 euro)
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:45 pm

Just posted on the "Preffered Black" thread:

* Reply with quote
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Post Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:41 pm

Wave wrote:When I want peat I want the real McCoy, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig or Port Ellen. A blend just won't do. As a blend JW Black is just fine with me.

After being suckered into going to the "Famous Grouse Experience" (easily the worst tour in Scotland) last year you couldn't pay me enough to try any Grouse again.


Resident Whisky Snob! :lol:
Cheers!



I quite understand! But in these times of belt tightening and shrinking pockets, we can't always crack open the Oogie or the 23YO Bowmore...so methinks it time, again, to plug a "rawther nice drink," i.e. a dram of Black Bottle into which has been poured a capful, a generous splash, of any south Islay malt.

Really good it is. The BB acts as a kind of neutral base that's sort of naturally integrates the flavour of these malts. I've successfully done this with Ardie 10, all Laphroaig OBs, Lag 16. even a few drops of a very aromatic 23YO Bowmore...

...and that, besides Bo Marley, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder, is probably my preferred 'Black'!
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby MoreDalmore » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:29 pm

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:
Drammed wrote:Black Grouse tastes like Talisker 10 to me. I know Tali is not an Islay but it is a peaty whisky. Black Grouse is a blend and fairly inexpensive.


I agree. Good value for money.


I also just bought a bottle of this because this time I didn't want to spend to much money and I was wondering if I could identify the Islay malts used.

Of course I couldn't ( could be because I only had Ardbeg, Bowmore and Lagavulin from Islay ) but I do like it so far.

It reminds me the most of Bowmore as far as taste and peat level is concerned. I searched the internet quickly but couldn't find which Islay malts are used. Does anyone know?
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:03 pm

MoreDalmore wrote:I searched the internet quickly but couldn't find which Islay malts are used. Does anyone know?

Not absolutely sure... But given that The Edrington Group / Highland Distillers (producers of Grouse) once owned Bunnahabhain, wouldn't it make sense that the parent company still holds stocks of maturing whiskies from that Islay distillery, and that it would use some of those stocks in Black Grouse? This is not to say, though, that malts from other Islay locations might not also be purchased and used as well.
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Re: Peaty blended Islay whisky

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:54 pm

You could always buy one of the above recomended and even if it is not a peaty as you'd like it you could extend the peaty-ness by adding some young Ardbeg of Laphroaig. I do this with non peaty whiskies when I feel a change and expermenting ... you'd be surprised at how little you need to add.
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