Sorry Jim - unless you want to jump on a plane and come over!
Thanks everyone for getting back to me with suggestions about the order. The evening went smoothly - I was even asked if I did this for a living
. The order I settled on was Auchantoshan Three Wood/ Bruichladdich 15/ Mannochmore 12 (Provenance)/ Springbank 10/ Macallan 12/ Ardbeg 10.
The people who went to the tasting are friends of friends, each of whom would take home a bottle after the tasting. Thus it was important to have most bottles at comparable prices (C$75-80). The Bruichladdich 15 was a 200ml bottle because I felt was important to try to show people that all Islays are not peat bonfires, and the price of this one was shared by all.
The responces were not what I expected from a group that had tried some singles before ('fiddich, Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, etc.). The Ardbeg elicited the most responces including a lot of negative, and a lot of "couldn't make up my mind". I felt safe getting this one, as one of the group professed his love when he once tried Lagavulin 16. As I thought, he took this one.
Of the rest, the most popular were the Bruichladdich 15 and the Springbank 10. Everyone liked these, and reacted as if they had just been shown a revelation! The Mannochmore was a Provenance bottling (at 46%, NCF) and I decided to risk placing it third after the Bruichladdich. (everyone said they could pick up the taste of this one fine). The Mannochmore was well liked as well, just not quite as much as the 'laddie and the Springbank. The Auchantoshan was accepted as a nice dram, but not something to get overly excited about. The Mac was considered a curiosity, some loving it, some not.
An interesting excersize for me, as the Springbank and Bruichladdich would be my least enjoyable, and the Mannochmore and Auchantoshan I would place after the Ardbeg in terms of my personal enjoyment.
Somethings for me to mull over, those that were well recieved...
Thanks again all! A great success!