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Uncommon whiskies - hidden gems

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Uncommon whiskies - hidden gems

Postby Caledonians » Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:22 am

If somebody asks for advice you always see the same whiskies coming by. Whiskies like Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Talisker, Highland Park and so on.

My question is what are the hidden gems from distilleries that aren't that common to come by? And i don't only mean the closed or mothballed distilleries but particularly the still working ones. I'm looking forward to your suggestions!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:37 am

I remember the days when not many had heard of Glenrothes and that was a real hidden gem.
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Postby Frodo » Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:48 am

Macallan!!! :P
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Postby Di Blasi » Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:52 am

I've finished two bottles of Bladnoch, both have been very nice! These seem to be gems, affordable, and spoken about on occasion, but truly rewarding when discovered. Give it a try if you find it.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:27 am

The latest bottlings from Benriach will come as a surprise to most.

The Chivas bottling was flat and non-descript but the two I've had - the Curiositas and the Authenticus - were brilliant.

Tomintoul, at 10 and 27 years old, deserves to be better known as does the Old Ballantruan from the same distillery.
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Re: Uncommon whiskies - hidden gems

Postby WHISKYNOSE » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:58 pm

Caledonians wrote:If somebody asks for advice you always see the same whiskies coming by. Whiskies like Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Talisker, Highland Park and so on.

My question is what are the hidden gems from distilleries that aren't that common to come by? And i don't only mean the closed or mothballed distilleries but particularly the still working ones. I'm looking forward to your suggestions!


If you, for instance, like an Islay then a Finlaggan is a GEM.
It's a pure (vatted) malt (to me that is) and really reflects the Isle of Islay.
If you in to malts only the next isn't worthwhile.
One of my GEM's is an blended scotch named Isle of Skye, for a blended it's absolutely supreme :D
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:16 pm

Here's a few from me:
* Mortlach 16yo F&F - smashing sherried whisky
* Dailuaine 16yo F&F - a distillery 'hidden' by the river Spey
* Blair Athol 12yo F&F - smashing highland sherried whisky
* Longmorn 15yo - often called 'the hidden pearl of Speyside'
* Bladnoch - The best, still producing, Lowlander
* Glengoyne - The pure taste of malt
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:21 pm

I suspect the quality of bottlings can vary for some of the lesser known distilleries, making it hard to offer sure fire tips. It is also arguable as to what is a lesser known distillery and what is a better known distillery.

Nevertheless, I have had more than one good bottling from: Ardmore, Ben Nevis, Braes of Glenlivet, Glencraig, Glenlochy, Glenugie, Ledaig, North Port, Teaninich and Tullibardine. I have had single good bottles from Glenglassaugh, Pittyvaich and Tamnavulin (only ever tried one bottling of these distilleries).

The distilleries I have not listed are because I have never tried them; have had at least one dull/bad bottling from them; or don't think they are lesser known. Or perhaps I just don't remember much about them.
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Postby kallaskander » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:28 am

Hi there,

Linkwood especially when sherry casks are involved is a secret Speyside star. Then there is Millburn, Royal Brackla, Glen Ord which finds a wider recognition with Diageo at the moment and an old Imperial can be superb. Here an example which unfortunately is only sold to club members of the Circle. Sorry for that.

Imperial 1981/2004 (64.6%, Scotch Single Malt Circle, cask #1218, 303 bottles)
A high strength Imperial by Bill and Maggie Miller. Colour: deep amber. Nose: quite explosive thanks to the high ABV but not much more so than the Whisky Galore, quite unexpectedly. The sherry is very present right from the start, with quite some rubber, toasted bread, crystallized oranges and marmalade. Very rich and aromatic but you have to take care not to dip your nose too deep into your glass at such strength, it would burn your nostrils. Develops on flowery notes, probably from the wine (peonies) as well as blackcurrant leaves, praline crème and cappuccino. A nice toffee as well, plus a few spicy notes (mulled wine)… Let’s try it with a little water now… It gets more complex indeed, with both something forest (fern, moss) and something meaty/saucy (soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, wine sauce, game)… An excellent sherried whisky, gaining great balance at roughly 45%. Mouth (neat): quite spectacular but note overpowering, curiously. Starts on orange juice and young white Port, quite some pepper again, spices… Right, it gets really too strong now. Water needed! Yes, it’s much easier to drink now, creamy and rounded, with lots of apricot pie, nougat, praline, strong honey (chestnut). A very, very good surprise with quite some personality, even if there’s a little rubber subsisting. The finish is long, quite ‘invading’, with always these rubbery notes, oak, lactones and just good ‘sherry’… In a nutshell: a pretty excellent, muscular Imperial! 90 points (it would have gained one or two more points with a little less rubber – and thanks, Konstantin).

from http://www.whiskyfun.com/archivemay06-1.html#120506

Greetings
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Postby Choochoo » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:04 pm

I agree with Mortlach, as mentioned above. It is a less common Speysider that often has a very nice and somewhat unique sherry character. Another hidden gem are Lowlanders in general. This region is often overlooked in favor of the others, but there are many fine Bladnoch’s, Auchentoshan’s, Rosebanks’s, and others out there that are very worth searching out.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:54 pm

Linkwood is excellent and independent bottlings are usually worth checking out, as well as the official 12 year old version.
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Postby Jan » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:17 pm

Hmm...

Ardmore. I have only tasted the '90 Cask strenght from G&M, but that was one magnificient whisky. I'm amazed this peat-loving forum has not discovered this distillery to a higher extent than is the case.

Ledaig. This whisky get's a bad rep around here, but there are some very good 70ties bottlings out there... (I have a young Blackadder bottle in the cupboard - must get around to opening it and see what this whisky is like in a younger guise...)

Caol Ila. Yes I know, this is not an overlooked whisky / hidden gem as such, but this must be a runner up as the most indie bottled whisky ever, yet it is very rarely recommended here.

Cheers
Jan
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:23 pm

Bruichladdich 10yo is in my opinion a hidden gem. An under-comunicated whisky that offers a lot of subtle qualities with a lovely scent of over-ripe pears both in the nose and in the mouth. Salivating!

Christian
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Postby kallaskander » Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:12 am

Hi there,

hello Jan I agree that Caol Ila´s qualities and esteem are overshadowed by the South Coast distilleries Ardbeg Laphroaig Lagavulin and Port Ellen. They know how to handle peat at Caol Ila and the Caol Ila OB CS 55% abv is a very good malt even if it does not give an age statement. I think it is better than the 18 year old OB.

Greetings
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Postby The Dazzler » Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:54 am

A few repeats from me:

Benriach
Ardmore
Longmorn
Mortlach
Benromach
Glencadam

And from closed distilleries there has been excellent

Caperdonich
Glenglassaugh
St Magdalene

Slainte
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Postby Scotty Mc » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:10 pm

I have to agree on the Tomintoul's and the Blair Athol!!

I love both of these whiskies, although BA is my choice as it was the first whisky I ever tried.

I found the Aberlour 10yo to be a bit of dark horse
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