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Characteristic Malts

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Characteristic Malts

Postby sku » Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:50 pm

I have a friend who is just getting into malts, having really only ever had basic blends (JW Black, Dewar's, etc.) with the occasional Glenfiddich. He asked for a list of malts that characterize the various flavors he's heard described: smoky/peaty, malty, sherry, fruity, spicy.

Smoky/peaty is easy, I'll recommend Laphroaig or Ardbeg.

For sherry, I thought I would recommend Aberlour or maybe Macallan, but I'm open to suggestions.

What would you recommend for a basic malt (I'm trying to keep things affordable, no Broras please) that characterizes each of the other flavors (malt, furity, spicy).

Thanks.
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Re: Characteristic Malts

Postby Drrich1965 » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:06 pm

Smoky/peaty: Add to your list Caol Ila for a nice peppery, olivy peat. Of course, Laphroaig as well.

For sherry. I also like my Signatory 10yo Edradour. The malt shines throug the sherry well.

What would you recommend for a basic malt. For a nice simple maltyness, Glen Goyne is good, Glen Moray is nice. For something that is finished, but shows off malty character, try the Ben Nevis 6yo from MMD. My current fav, for under $40s.

For some nice cheap all arounders, try Dalmore 12, not talked about much here but very nice for around $20, sweet and a bit smoky (just a bit), or Highland Park 12, sherry, heathery, a touch peaty.
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Postby hpulley » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:36 pm

Glenmorangie and Clynelish are probably good characteristic highlanders in my mind. Rosebank and Bladnoch are good lowlanders. In speyside there are so many but I've rarely had a bad Mortlach.

Harry
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Postby Scotchio » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:20 pm

hpulley wrote:Glenmorangie and Clynelish are probably good characteristic highlanders in my mind. Rosebank and Bladnoch are good lowlanders. In speyside there are so many but I've rarely had a bad Mortlach.

Harry


GM Mortlach 15 is a bad Mortlach. This reminds me of the alternative classic malts thread of a while back. I nominate;
Lowland FF Bladnoch 10
Speyside Deerstalker Braeval 10/ Aberlour 10
Island Talisker 10 although there is no such thing as an island style
Islay Ardbeg 10 or Laphroaig QC
Coastal / highland Glenmorangie 10 or Clynelish 14
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Postby Admiral » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:06 pm

This reminds me of the alternative classic malts thread of a while back.


Actually, as I was reading down the replies, I was going to suggest that your colleague simply explore The Classic Malts, i.e.

Glenkinchie
Cragganmore
Dalwhinnie
Talisker
Lagavulin
Oban

The merits of the Classic Malt range have been discussed and debated many times, but there's no denying that each one does give you a bit of an insight into the style of the region represents.

Cheers,
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Postby sku » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:18 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I like the classic malts, but I'm actually trying to get away from regions and more toward flavor profiles. That is, to say something is malty or fruity is to say it tastes like ____ malt. Maybe I'll use the JMR series, which is branded by flavor, although I wasn't that impressed with the one I tried (The smoky, peaty one).
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Postby Admiral » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:28 pm

If you want something fruity, you must try An Cnoc 12yo. It just screams "tropical fruit" at me.

Cheers,
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Postby hpulley » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:47 pm

How could I have forgotten Aberlour though I mostly mean the A'bunadhs which are heavily sherried so would be covered by your Macallan most likely.

Glenrothes is another nice spicey malt for sure.

Harry
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Postby Wave » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:03 am

Others to try as well are the newly added Classic Malts

Highland
Clynelish
Glen Ord
Royal Lochnagar

Speyside
Cardhu
Glen Elgin
Knockando

Islay
Caol Ila


Cheers!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:53 am

I find it interesting that you ask a specific question, and everyone answers a question you didn't ask. How ingrained is the idea of regional profiles, that everyone keeps falling back on that even when the questioner asks about flavor profiles and says specifically that he's not interested in regional categorization? I think you've all been brainwashed! Next thing you'll all be saying is that terroir is an important aspect of whisky's flavor....
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Postby shoganai » Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:18 am

I'm going to kind of ignore the initial question too and give my own version of the answer.

Why not start him off on something easy like Glenlivet 12. It's a high quality whisky that most people can truly enjoy without "knowing all about scotch" or whatever. Then have him try something equally non-offensive like Balvenie 12 and see if he can detect the differences and ask him to compare the two. Then start to branch out into the other regions.

I guess it depends on the person but that's pretty much how I fell in love with whisky.
Last edited by shoganai on Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Characteristic Malts

Postby peergynt323 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:09 am

sku wrote:I have a friend who is just getting into malts, having really only ever had basic blends (JW Black, Dewar's, etc.) with the occasional Glenfiddich. He asked for a list of malts that characterize the various flavors he's heard described: smoky/peaty, malty, sherry, fruity, spicy.

Smoky/peaty is easy, I'll recommend Laphroaig or Ardbeg.


...or Lagavulin, which most new people like a lot more. I would recommend Lagavulin.

sku wrote:For sherry, I thought I would recommend Aberlour or maybe Macallan, but I'm open to suggestions.


Aberlour A'bunadh.

sku wrote:What would you recommend for a basic malt (I'm trying to keep things affordable, no Broras please) that characterizes each of the other flavors (malt, fruity, spicy).

Thanks.


Malty: I have to go with Glenlivet 18yo or Glenlivet Nadurra. Those are the most commonly available.

Fruity: Clynelish is quite fruity with a good whiff of sea air. Most speysiders have some kind of fruit as well.

Spicy: Definitely Talisker 10yo (an older version if you can find it). Peppery. Highland Park 18yo has those nice woodsy spices. It really depends on what you're looking for. Glenrothes 1987 and 1991 are quite spicy as well.
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Postby Scotchio » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:43 am

MrTattieHeid wrote: terroir is an important aspect of whisky's flavor....


Never thought I'd see such an admission from you Tattie :wink: Disregarding geography and sticking with flavours;
Malty Cardhu 12
Fruity CC Lochside 91
Loch Fyne Whiskies and Michael Jackson's companion give a nice overview of the flavour profile of each distillery, either would be a good place to look.
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Postby Ann-Helen » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:51 pm

I would go for Glen Ord 12 yo, Old pultney 12 yo and lets see hmm maybe
Glenmorangie 10 yo and the Abelour a`bunadh .
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Re: Characteristic Malts

Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:24 pm

sku wrote:I have a friend who is just getting into malts, having really only ever had basic blends (JW Black, Dewar's, etc.) with the occasional Glenfiddich. He asked for a list of malts that characterize the various flavors he's heard described: smoky/peaty, malty, sherry, fruity, spicy.

Smoky/peaty is easy, I'll recommend Laphroaig or Ardbeg.

For sherry, I thought I would recommend Aberlour or maybe Macallan, but I'm open to suggestions.

What would you recommend for a basic malt (I'm trying to keep things affordable, no Broras please) that characterizes each of the other flavors (malt, furity, spicy).

Thanks.


One whisky that is a walking description of wood notes is Glenmorangie 10, it's very spicy and with some time spent simply nosing the spicy notes will be revealed. I think it's quite an under rated or ignored whisky, IMHO In a similar theme of flavours I find the Auchentoshan 10 to be very similar, another under rated malt with a great flavour profile with woody/spicy notes.
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