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What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

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What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby manelrebelloa » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:23 pm

I'm new to this forum and i am far from being a conaiseur.

I have started enjoying whisky some years back, but was introduced to Islay whisky quite recently with Laphroaig 10 yo. I simply LOVE it :angel: . So far, the best scotch I had the pleasure "to meet". But at first I got confused thinking that peat and smoke were the same thing.

After being adequately educated I understood that both were different although existing side by side. I like peat, and now I can distinguish it a bit better from all the flavors and smoke (I know that the smoke is part of peat as well, since it comes from burnt peat)
But what I really like is THE SMOKE itself.. the fresh smoke, the bonfire smoke.. the smoke that comes from peat but as some kind of bonfire of branches, pine cones to it(that smell of a fireplace in winter, which paradoxaly to fresh.. is not that fresh eheh).. and with that, just a tiny bit of sweetness and creamy flavor (but small)

Don't get me wrong.. i'm not looking for a only-smoke without peat. I just wanna know, since I don't have much money to be trying all whiskys at all times.. What would be the best Islay for me? which one has the most smoke in taste and nose, that is not overwhelmed by the peat (although the peat can still be strong, since I like it as well) and with a creamyness, and sweetness to it?

Am I right in the spot with a Laphroaig 10 or quarter cask? or are this taste more close to a lagavulin, ardbeg, caol ila (or even talisker which is outside Islay)?

Sorry for the long post and for a possible bad english, since I am Portuguese.
Cheers to all
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby manelrebelloa » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:59 am

anyone?
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby BirdArvid » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:29 pm

Laphroaig isn't wrong by any means, but the Ardbeg 10 would, IMHO, be perfect! Light-bodied, with a discernible sweetness and beautiful bonfire smoke! I run these two next to one another at the moment, and love them both. Laphroaig has a tarrier, "rooter" earthier peat than Ardbeg, which to my taste, is more obviously smoke-driven. Both are glorious! Also, I haver heard that many fans of Islay whiskys prefer the younger expressions, because the smoke is more obvious, less integrated.
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby BirdArvid » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:34 pm

Oh, and I have a great whisky at hand now to discern the difference between smoke and peat; the Laddie Ten. It's unpeated, and not smoky, but since the peat is in everything on Islay, the peat is very clearly present, and adds a beautiful depth to this expression.
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby manelrebelloa » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:00 am

Thank you very much for the input! it's good to know! i'm going somewhere with that in mind!!! if anyone has something to say, welcome as well!!!!!
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:55 pm

manelrebelloa wrote:...the smoke that comes from peat but as some kind of bonfire of branches, pine cones to it...

If you're seeking that peculiarly 'piney' note in the smokiness, you may wish to try (admittedly not an Islay) Longrow CV or, perhaps, the new Ledaig 10 Year Old.
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby Ganga » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:41 pm

Some other thoughts for your consideration...maybe not right away but in the future.

Ardmore Traditional will have a lighter smokiness without the iodine/sea influence of Islay.

Benriach Curiositas is a heavily peated non-Islay.

Highland Park 12 offers up a little different interpretation of smoke. It's whispy smoke mixed with heather honey notes.

Talisker 10 is light on the smoke and heavy on spices.
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Re: What Islay to choose (peat vs smoke)

Postby manelrebelloa » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:14 am

Thanks a lot everybody!
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