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The closest to Lagavulin 16?

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Related whiskies : Lagavulin 16 Years Old

The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:09 am

Hello, I'm relatively a whisky newbie, and have a question regarding Lagavulin 16, which I bought just recently...and absolutely hated. I know, I know, it's regarded as one of the best whiskies on Earth and even abstinents, like Johnny Depp, can't resist it, but I just don't like it. It leaves a taste in my mouth familiar to the one when you've visited a dentist.

So after this prologue, which may piss some Lagavulin and whisky fans in general, my question is: what are the other whiskies close to Lagavulin in their taste? I really wouldn't want to bump into something alike. What about Highland Park (12/18) -- I'm tempted to try it based on numerous good reviews -- is it close in any way to Lagavulin 16?

As far as I've tried my favourite is Glenlivet 12 (yeah, I know what you think -- it's a 'pussky,' a whisky for pussies, but nevertheless I just love that it's fruity, floral and not too hard. I certainly wouldn't mind trying something different, it's just that The Glen12 one is my favourite (for now.)) Plus, I like Black Johnny. I guess what I'm looking for is a whisky I could drink every day or so. Macallan, Glenmorangie, ...?

Any kind of advice is very much appreciated! Cheers.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:38 am

Well, they say of Lagavulin's neighbour, Laphroaig, "Love it or hate it!" It was the unusual character of Lagavulin which got me into whisky! Laphroaig is even more extreme in the "dentist/medicinal/TCP-ish" department!

So you're in the "hate it" category, for now at least!

Highland Park does have a hint of peat, but nowhere near as prominent a charactristic as Lagavulin.

You suggest Macallan. Great idea, that was my 2nd or third big love. But seek out the "exclusively finished in sherry casks" version, rather than the relatively nesw "Fine Oak" series. Being exclusively matured in sherry casks gives it a rich red colour(the FO is pale, both in appearance and flavour IMO!)but the sherry wood imparts a rich fruity flavour...perhaps with a tiny hint of peat on the finish, depending on the bottling. It would make a nice contrast to the Glenlivet 12. Also try Glenfiddich. The 15 "Solera Reserve" is highly thought of around here, and is very tasty...round and sweet, and enjoyed even by smokehead Islay-philes like me!

Glenmorangie is very good too. they have a range of finshes also, my favourite being the Nectar D'Or. Very sweet, with vanilla ,and "sweet wood " notes reminiscent of sandalwood, or cinammon. But don't pass up the standard 10. It is very drinkable, and quite complex. the more you drink, the more a whisky opens up(and the looser your toungue gets!)so give a whisky time...

I suggest you go trawling the bars near you, where you can pay for individual shots of whiskies you'd like to investigate. Go with a friend so that you can share your findings(they always taste better in company to me!)and you'll save money...
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:30 pm

You should try good quality Irish whiskey. Most Irish whiskey (though not all) does not have peat and Islay type flavors that are found in the likes of Lagavulin.

Try Bushmills Black Bush or Redbreast.

For scotch, Cragganmore, Glenlivet 18, Glenfiddich 15, and for blends, Johnnie Walker Black, Royal Salute
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:36 pm

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:
Try Bushmills Black Bush or Redbreast.

For scotch, Cragganmore, Glenlivet 18, Glenfiddich 15, and for blends, Johnnie Walker Black, Royal Salute



OK, so it's two votes for Glenfiddich 15 so far!

Blackbush is actually one of my favourites, too. Along the aforementioned JWBL.

Thank you very much!
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:45 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:
I suggest you go trawling the bars near you, where you can pay for individual shots of whiskies you'd like to investigate. Go with a friend so that you can share your findings(they always taste better in company to me!)and you'll save money...


I am truly grateful for your awesome guidance!

The little problem with the bar method is that I live in Vilnius, that's in Lithuania, and it's not a whisky country at all. I've only detected Bowmore (16/18 yo as far as I remember) as a 'more interesting' choice in the usual list of standard Irish and blended Scotch whiskies.

I usually buy liquor online; as supermarkets are trying to rip me off selling The Glenlivet 12 for 57 bucks.

Again, thanks for the help. I'll try to inspect your suggestions 8)
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby johan brugge » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:01 pm

First of all I don't think that the Glenlivet is a whisky for pussies. I even don't believe such a whisky exists. Everybody's taste and preferences are different. But let's stick to the subject. I suggest you try a Highland Park (12yo or 18yo, doesn't really matter). Like mentioned above there is a hint of peat but they are sweeter and not as bold as the Lagavulin. Also, if you should learn to like the peat (but not the medicinal flavours) you can also try a Bruichladdich or a Longrow, which is quiet complex on the palate.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby MoreDalmore » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:39 pm

The Bowmore 18 I had was great but for you it will also have too much peat. But there is a sweetness to it too which I found very enjoyable indeed 8)

But then again I also like Lagavulin 16.

Apart from what's already mentioned I would recommend to try :

Dalmore 12 or 15; Glengoyne, Balvenie 12 Double Wood ( very distinct honey taste whic h I liked a lot ! ), Aberlour 16 Double Maturered.

There are many whiskies to like for everyone :D so enjoy your tastings!!
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:25 pm

MoreDalmore wrote:The Bowmore 18 I had was great but for you it will also have too much peat. But there is a sweetness to it too which I found very enjoyable indeed 8)


I tried Bowmore Surf and didn't dislike it. It tasted really straightforward, dry and woody (the best I can come up with; anyway, I don't remember of it much.)

I will certainly have your candidates in mind. Thanks!
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Drammed » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:38 pm

What did you find you liked in the Laga 16 and what did you hate? This will help determine the direction to go. If you liked the peat, but not the sweet, then try Ardbeg 10. If you did not like the peat, but still want to try some smoke then try a Talisker 10. If you did not like smoke at all and like the Glenlivit 12 then you MUST have the Nadurra!

Cheers
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Ganga » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Let me make some suggestions by categories.

Sherry:
Macallan 12, 18, 10 cask strength, NAS cask strength
Aberlour a'bunadh
Glenfarclas 15, 17, 21, 25, 105 proof

Lighter sherry influence:
Balvenie 12 Double Wood
Dalmore 12

Smoke (but not really iodine):
Highland Park 12, 18
Talisker 10, 18, Distiller's Edition
Springbank 10, 10 100 proof

If you are willing to take a chance on some Islays, you could try Bunnahabhain 12 or 18 or Bruichladdich unpeated. Beware with Bruichladdich as many of them are finished in various wine casks. If you don't like the wine....
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:01 pm

Drammed wrote:What did you find you liked in the Laga 16 and what did you hate? This will help determine the direction to go. If you liked the peat, but not the sweet, then try Ardbeg 10. If you did not like the peat, but still want to try some smoke then try a Talisker 10. If you did not like smoke at all and like the Glenlivit 12 then you MUST have the Nadurra!

Cheers


I think I'm OK with the smoke. I didn't like the medicinal finish, the wet floor rag aroma, the taste of cedar nuts in a bandage and the way it attacks my mouth. I get the feeling as if someone had spiked my drink with a piece of chalk. I think that what really puts me off is its smell and the very first moment after a sip sinks. That's really not my cup of tea, although I'm extremely alcohol tolerant.

Coming from a really agricultural country I kind of have very poor idea of what the peat really smells like.

Thanks! I have so much to investigate now.

The help is really appreciated and overwhelming in a good way... if not confusing :roll:
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby dramtastic » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:20 pm

My 2 cents

Cragganmore 12
Dalwhinnie 15
Balvenie Doublewood
Scapa 14
Aberlour 10
Glenmorangie The Original 10
Old Pulteney 12
Hazelburn 8/12
Macallan Fine Oak 12
Yamazaki 12


Some smoke but not medicinal

Johnnie Walker Green
HP 12
Talisker 10

If you want to be a bit more adventurous with the smoke try Longrow CV if you can find this at a bar.

Enjoy the ride
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:17 am

You appear to dislike peaty scotch. Well, try a bourbon (not scotch). No peaty flavors there. Try Jim Beam Black. Great price, widely available, smooth, interesting though not complex in flavor. Its a recent discovery of mine. Certainly if you are a fan of Black Bush, Jim Beam Black would work well for you.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:13 am

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:You appear to dislike peaty scotch. Well, try a bourbon (not scotch). No peaty flavors there. Try Jim Beam Black. Great price, widely available, smooth, interesting though not complex in flavor. Its a recent discovery of mine. Certainly if you are a fan of Black Bush, Jim Beam Black would work well for you.


Awesome blog there, Jason!

As for bourbon, I'm not against it, it's just that being an advertising guy - one of that category of people you so much like to ridicule, I'm in the fetish mood for scotch at the moment. Even though, generally, I like wine and Irish whiskey a whole lot more. It may sound like an oversimplified nonsense, but Bourbon tastes like a cross between scotch and Irish whiskey to me. Which is, I guess, good.

I'm starting to gravitate towards Macallan, Cragganmore and HP12 based on the tasting reviews. But I may change my mind at the end of the day :D
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby 37degrees » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:20 am

Buy miniatures online!
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby johan brugge » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:38 am

37degrees wrote:Buy miniatures online!

Excellent idea. There are quiet a few online shops that have samples for sale. It saves you from buying the wrong bottle.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:08 pm

37degrees wrote:Buy miniatures online!


Brilliant! Where where where?
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby ClubSmed » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:14 pm

AudriusVilnius wrote:
37degrees wrote:Buy miniatures online!


Brilliant! Where where where?


I have not tried them myself but a few people I know have been talking about http://www.whiskysamples.eu
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby The Third Dram » Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:49 am

AudriusVilnius wrote:I think I'm OK with the smoke. I didn't like the medicinal finish, the wet floor rag aroma, the taste of cedar nuts in a bandage and the way it attacks my mouth. I get the feeling as if someone had spiked my drink with a piece of chalk. I think that what really puts me off is its smell and the very first moment after a sip sinks. That's really not my cup of tea, although I'm extremely alcohol tolerant.

You think you like the peat, but not those Islay 'hospital' characteristics?

I'm actually quite surprised that no one has tugged you in the direction of Highland traditionally peated whiskies. So here are some suggestions along this line of reasoning...

Benriach 10YO Curiositas
Benriach 12YO Arumaticus Fumosus
Glen Garioch 15YO or 21YO

And going either the whisky bar or miniature bottle routes makes a lot of sense!
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby pkt77242 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:08 am

I second TTD idea of Benriach 10 curiositas. Farmyardy peat. I like Nick's suggestion of Brora as well though it is much more expensive.

Peated Bunnahabhain are very ashy and have almost none of that medicinal taste.

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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby jhershauer » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:11 am

ClubSmed wrote:
AudriusVilnius wrote:
37degrees wrote:Buy miniatures online!


Brilliant! Where where where?


I have not tried them myself but a few people I know have been talking about http://www.whiskysamples.eu


I've purchased from whiskysamples.eu several times, most recently I got a set containing 7 of the new Diageo 2009 special releases. They're very trustworthy and package the samples well.

Whiskysamples is great for rare/hard-to-find samples, but they're only 30ml samples. Before ordering from there, I would first browse the miniature and 20ml bottle selections at Loch Fyne Whiskies and The Whisky Exchange.

Jeff
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby The Third Dram » Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:55 am

Collector57 wrote:Brora??

Yummers! :thumbsup:

Goodness knows Nick, if issues of availability and financial considerations didn't enter into the picture, I'd likely be trying to accumulate a cupboard-full of this one.

That said, Clynelish can come close if it's handled and bottled as it should be (as in some of the Rare Malts Selection issues).
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:08 am

So much whisky, so little kidney.

Actually, I found justminiatures.co.uk to have the widest range of selection.

Loch Fyne Whiskies is great as well, except for some reason they don't list to Lithuania as a country they'd like to ship to.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby johan brugge » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:17 am

You can also try http://www.whiskyhuis.be I know he has a whole range of samples for sale and he ships to Lithuania.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:52 am

Many thanks to all good people and great drinkers who responded to solve my tasting puzzle.

This morning I've ordered 11 whisky miniatures based on your recommendations and looking forward to share my impressions!

Cheers! :thumbsup:
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Reggaeblues » Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:07 pm

[quote="AudriusVilnius"]So much whisky, so little kidney.

My sentiments entirely!

Yes, please let us know how you get on.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby 37degrees » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:39 pm

Great. I was thinking of the ones at The Whisky Exchange, but luckily enough there are more options.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby ajk » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:35 pm

Well, I guess i'm one of the people you intended to P__s off.
I place Laga 16 in a class of its own and not dare compare it to any other. What I don't understand is if you hate it, why on earth are you looking for something that tastes like it?

Try buttermilk.

Chief
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby johan brugge » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:52 pm

AudriusVilnius wrote:I just don't like it. It leaves a taste in my mouth familiar to the one when you've visited a dentist..

I really wouldn't want to bump into something alike.

Hey Chief, read the post thoroughly before you suggest buttermilk.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:01 pm

ajk wrote:Well, I guess i'm one of the people you intended to P__s off.
I place Laga 16 in a class of its own and not dare compare it to any other. What I don't understand is if you hate it, why on earth are you looking for something that tastes like it?

Try buttermilk.

Chief


With respect, Chief, I too love Lagavulin, but I don't know why you imagine that our friend "intended" to piss you off. I never felt that.

And if you had read his initial post carefully you would have understood that he "...wouldn't want to bump into something alike(to Lagavulin)" hence his request for some educational advice, which hopefully he has got. Mine, and a couple of other people's suggestion was Glenfiddich Solera - a lovely stop on my travels away from South Islay(to which I inevitably return!)

Being pissed off is a choice! :evil: or :D
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:02 am

ajk wrote:Well, I guess i'm one of the people you intended to P__s off.
I place Laga 16 in a class of its own and not dare compare it to any other. What I don't understand is if you hate it, why on earth are you looking for something that tastes like it?

Try buttermilk.

Chief


Come to Vilnius and I will gladly offer you my half-full bottle of Laga16. I didn't say it was shite, I just don't like the flavours. One man's rubbish is another man's gold. And I don't want to gamble my money on not-gold. Hence, the quest(ion). Even if it stands in a class of its own, it's more likely to resemble the fellow whiskies of Islay than, say, Speyside. That's what I've learned in theory and am looking forward to learn for real by tasting some miniatures.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby steveblack » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:42 pm

I don't have the exposure of others here, but I am taking the liberty of asking if Laphroaig Quarter Cask would fit the bill as it would stand closer to Laga 16 (not had it myself, but from what I read about it), but at the same time different & enjoyable?

HP 12, Glenfiddich 15, JW Green, Glenmorangie 10 are quite enjoyable whiskies (among those I have tried) and I consider them better than 'livet 12.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:32 pm

Another factor to keep in mind is that the intense smokiness of peat-reeked single malts generally lessens with extended wood maturation. That is to say that a 25 or 30-year old Islay will often have a less intense peatiness than a much younger version of the same malt. So perhaps it would be worthwhile for you to search out older bottlings where the wood influence has had a chance to 'calm' the peat somewhat.
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby Drammed » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:12 pm

AudriusVilnius wrote:Many thanks to all good people and great drinkers who responded to solve my tasting puzzle.

This morning I've ordered 11 whisky miniatures based on your recommendations and looking forward to share my impressions!

Cheers! :thumbsup:


What did you order?
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Re: The closest to Lagavulin 16?

Postby AudriusVilnius » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:17 am

Oh, lots of whiskies the names of which I'm not able to pronounce even being sober.

I decided to pass on The Third Dram's advocated peaties for now (sorry! I'll have those in mind on my second miniature round), so here's the full list:

1 x Talisker 10 / £2.99
1 x Glengoyne 10 / £3.99
1 x Dalwhinnie 15 /£2.99
1 x Aberlour 10 / £2.99
1 x Glenmorangie 10 /£3.48
1 x Macallan Sherry Finish 10 /£3.48
1 x Macallan 10 year old Fine Oak / £3.29
1 x Balvenie Double Wood 12 / £3.99
1 x Cragganmore 12 / £3.99
1 x Glenfiddich 15 / £3.49
1 x Suntory Yamazaki 12 / £4.99

Damn. They've ran out of Highland Park!
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