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Ardbeg 10yo and Lagavulin 12 CS

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Ardbeg 10yo and Lagavulin 12 CS

Postby islayjunkie » Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:58 am

Arbeg 10yo and Lagavulin 12 CS taste similar. Has anyone else tried the 2 side by side? They're great together!

Lagavulin 12 CS 2002 special release has a much longer finish, oiler, saltier, a tad more liquorice and certainly more penetrating (due to cask strength) but lacks the complexity of Ardbeg... though not by much. Both appear equals in peat and smoke.

Ardbeg 10yo has more chocolate and tobacco. I gave up smoking (reluctantly) so I'm really drawn to Ardbeg 10yo on this note.

Ardgeg 10yo is a useful dram for preventing one from opening a last bottle of Lagavulin 12yo... I'm ordering more soon (Lagavulin)!

Note: Laphroaig has taken 3rd place.
Last edited by islayjunkie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 6:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:01 pm

Laga 12yo CS is my favorite from that distillery. I finished my 2002 1st release a good while ago but we have some more (2nd or 3rd release I'm not sure yet) coming in soon and I may well get a case!

I find it closer to Caol Ila than Ardbeg TEN but both are very good. I actually prefer the Laga 12yo CS to Ardbeg TEN but some older, higher ABV Ardbeg (especially the OMC 75' 25yo) I prefer over the Laga.

Harry
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Postby Eightball » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:57 pm

Lagavulin 16...sorry not 12 a little strong and peaty for me. A little to much of a peat monster. Ardbeg 10? Had some yesterday and it had the perfect balance of smoothness and peaty dryness. As for Lagavulin 16..sorry again...I don't find it dry at all.

In fact I have had the Lagavulin on more than one occasion after and during the time where it was hard to find...mostly in the Classic 6 mini packs. But when it came out on shelves I found it to be much less sweet on the palate as I remembered. Go figure

As far as a race between Ardbeg and Laga I'll pick Ardbeg 10 for an everyday whille I sip a Lagavulin once in a while.
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Postby islayjunkie » Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:12 pm

I'm burned out on Lagavulin 16. Still love it just tired of it. The 16yo is a bit to sweet and sherried I think... more than it was pre 2000.

Harry, what are your favorite Caol Ila?

Whiskies.com has the 12yo, 18yo and Caol Ila 1990 (Gordon & MacPhail). Which would be closest to an Lagavulin 12yo CS?
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Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:02 pm

I haven't had any of those Caol Ilas. The only current OB I've tried is the 15yo and it is pretty good. I'll be trying the OB CS next week and can let you know then how it compares since it will be the closest I've had to the 12yo CS Laga.

The Dun Bheagan 10yo UCF is quite good for a young one. For an older one the '84 18yo Signatory is quite good (the '89 12yo Sig is also good but not as nice as the 18yo). Both of those are 43% so they can't compare with the alcohol content of 12yo Laga CS but they have many similarities in their noses and are also nice and dry, no sweetness which like you turns me off a bit from the 16yo (and especially the DE).

Harry
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Oct 03, 2004 9:22 pm

For a very good Caol Ila try Duncan Taylor's 'Auld Reekie'.

It's got the crispest and punchiest taste of any Caol Ila I've had and is well priced at about £22.

It's reviewed in Issue 42 of Whisky Magazine.
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Postby islayjunkie » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:01 pm

The only Signatory Caol Ila I can find locally is a 1990. There's no date on the web site so I'm assuming it's a 12yo? The asking price is $55.99.

This is the local selection of Islays in the San Diego area:
http://www.bevmo.com/productlist.asp?ar ... ts&N=-5456

Any recommendations? I hate gambling on a bottle.
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Postby Admiral » Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:07 am

I can't speak for the Signatory Caol Ila, but I've tried two Gordon & Macphail Caol Ila's - a 1988 and (I think) a 1990 or 1991.

Both were sensational. I wouldn't really compare them with any Ardbegs or Lagavulins I've had - the only similarity was that they're all peaty and from Islay. But the flavour profiles were quite unique.

Have you tried the Lagavulin 25yo? I found this a bit disappointing. On its own merits, it was probably a pretty good whisky, but I probably hyped myself up into thinking it would be the best Islay malt ever. (25 years old and a massive price tag tend to have that effect on people!)

Cheers,
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Postby islayjunkie » Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:41 am

I've never had the Lagavulin 25yo. After checking the tasting notes of the Malt Maniacs and other reviews I stayed away from purchasing a bottle. It appears Lagavulin 23yo (Murray McDavid Mission) is a good buy but I've never seen it anywhere for purchase over the Internet.

The Whisky Exchange had some Ardbeg 29yo Douglas Laing bottlings for around £80 which I understand to be some of the best expressions of Ardbeg. I was just about to purchase 2 bottles... they're gone now :(

Note: I edited my review of Lagavulin 12CS. Lagavulin 12CS is not dryer then Ardbeg 10yo... it's a bit sweeter by a hair. Still my favorite! Lagavulin 12CS has some traces of Laphroaig sweetness and character.

It's a shame Laphroaig has no trace of Lagavulin aside from peat. I'm tempted to mix all three (Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig) for personal consumption ;)
Last edited by islayjunkie on Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby islayjunkie » Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:54 am

I just bought and tried the Signatory Caol Ila at $55.99USD. Its a 13yo 1990 bottling from The Un-Chillfiltered Collection.

First impression was... just another Islay. It's definitely caught between the tug of war I'm experiencing with Laga 12yo CS and Ardbeg 10yo. I love both of these single malts equally in different ways.

Nothing really excited me about the Caol Ila outside of peat and salt. No complex coffee, tobacco or chocolate notes like an Ardbeg or the smoky, oily, liquorice, dry oak finish of Lag 12yo CS. Ardbeg has spoiled me for life.

After a second tasting I thought Laphroaig Light! Like Laphroaig its a sweet Islay but cleaner and gentler on the pallet with a bit of oak. Less bitter on the finish when compared to Laphroaig 10 cask strength. The finish was nice... starts sweet then ends long and salty... like Laga 12yo CS.

This Un-Chillfiltered Caol Ila is a nice dram but not worth more than a bottle of Ardbeg 10yo Un-Chillfiltered which can be had for $42.99USD.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:22 am

Is the Signatory Caol Ila cask strength? At least that would account for the higher price tag?

Bear in mind also that (until very recently) Caol Ila was a reasonably inconspicuous malt. Apart from the Flora & Fauna bottling, it was a hard malt to come by.

The recently-released 12yo and 18yo versions have now changed that, but I daresay that - owing to the scarcity of bottlings -Signatory felt they could charge a bit more and get away with it.

Cheers,
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Postby islayjunkie » Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:37 am

No, the Signatory Caol Ila is not cask strength, just unchillfiltered at 46% alc/vol. I would love to sample a cask strength Caol Ila however! :D
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Postby Tom » Wed Nov 10, 2004 5:00 pm

You really should try the OB CS Caol Ila, in my opinion its not only the best caol ila by far, but also the best islay on cask strength. it used to be Laphroaig CS but it has changed lately. as for the rest, the 12 and 18 OB are very very weak for islayfans i think. while i tried alot of independents of Caol ila, most are very good, so far always better then the 12 & 18, specially if u can find it: Chieftains Choice Caol ila Medoc finish. There's a stunner, and on Cask strength. as for comparisies, hmm, hard one; i think it goes closest to Ardbeg Uigadaele, but not as overwhelming, more peat & balance.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Nov 10, 2004 5:14 pm

I recently had a close tasting of Laga 12 2003 (3rd release) and Ardbeg TEN (and 17yo) and I find them very different actually. Both are really good but the are obviously Ardie and Laga, now confusing the two.

Caol Ila CS unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the LCBO's shelves (and the database so if anyone knows of the physical location of a bottle, let me know). An Quaich has some, however, so I'll be tasting it soon anyhow and I'll let you know what I think (and whether or not I order a bottle) at that time.

Harry
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Caol Ila CS

Postby WestVanDave » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:45 am

Harry - FWIW - I saw some Caol Ila Cask Strength at the Yonge and Eglinton store (Toronto) a few weeks ago - and foolishly left it behind (had my quota full of the Lag CS and a Caol Ila 18 ).

It could have been snapped up (as has all of the Lag 12) - but worth a phone call as I wouldn't rely on the LCBO website being accurate on stock.

TORONTO-CENTRAL 2300 YONGE STREET
YONGE & EGLINTON (YONGE EGLINTON CTR) (416) 487-4858

Cheers, Dave.
Last edited by WestVanDave on Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hpulley » Thu Nov 11, 2004 1:29 pm

The LCBO's website has lost all record of there ever being Laga 12 CS or Caol Ila 12, 18 or CS! I still hope to track one down but if not, An Quaich has some on reserve.

Thanks for the tip,
Harry
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