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Is there a whisky that is not sweet?

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Is there a whisky that is not sweet?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:54 pm

Of all the whiskies I've tasted, the common denominator in each is that they have a sweetness about them. Now malt is a sweet thing - maltose - but has anyone come across a whisky that is, well........ not sour as such (ledaig sherry finish excepted - from here on in known as LSF on advice from my lawyers) but not sweet?
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:12 pm

Glenmorangie Burgundy Wood finish!

The taste of dodgy wine spiked with cheap vinegar and as appetising as used mouthwash.

Definitely not sweet at all. 8)
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Postby Matt2 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:32 am

My Bunnahabain 18 is very, very, very dry with very little sweetness. But this doesn't seem to match any tasting notes I've read for it :?
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Postby kljostad » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:37 am

From my tasting notes, I have found the following to be a bit dry:
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask
- Macallan 12 years old Fine Oak
- Macallan 18 years old Fine Oak
- Caol Ila 12 years old.
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Postby Leither » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:10 am

kljostad wrote:From my tasting notes, I have found the following to be a bit dry: - Laphroaig Quarter Cask


Just shows how personal taste is - I find LQC one of the sweetest, if not THE sweetest, malts (and bl00dy lovely too!).

The way I often describe both the sweetness in malts and a dram in general is to coin Billy Connolly's phrase of a 'wee nippy sweetie', in that I find more of unique sweet taste experience as the alcohol provides what I would describe as an intense and burning sweetness. Indeed when I inform my 'trouble and strife' that I'm having a dram and offer her a drink (thankfully she's not into whisky!) I more often than not say that 'I'm having a wee nippy, sweetie'.

Anyway, I have a very 'sweet tooth' and as such seem to prefer malts which offer a more intense sweetness profile but one I don't seem to favour is Talisker 10, I find it very dry and peppery - hence it is one of the most popular malts of which I've never owned a bottle. I tried the 18 for the first time at the weekend and wow this one is remarkably different, just so much better and to me sweeter.

Good question though Crieftan and one I'm sure which will provoke much debate.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:41 pm

I concur Lap QC is sweet to me also. A malt can be dry and also sweet Laga 16 is another example of this.
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Postby kljostad » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:05 pm

Leither wrote:
kljostad wrote:From my tasting notes, I have found the following to be a bit dry: - Laphroaig Quarter Cask


Just shows how personal taste is - I find LQC one of the sweetest, if not THE sweetest, malts (and bl00dy lovely too!).

The way I often describe both the sweetness in malts and a dram in general is to coin Billy Connolly's phrase of a 'wee nippy sweetie', in that I find more of unique sweet taste experience as the alcohol provides what I would describe as an intense and burning sweetness. Indeed when I inform my 'trouble and strife' that I'm having a dram and offer her a drink (thankfully she's not into whisky!) I more often than not say that 'I'm having a wee nippy, sweetie'.

Anyway, I have a very 'sweet tooth' and as such seem to prefer malts which offer a more intense sweetness profile but one I don't seem to favour is Talisker 10, I find it very dry and peppery - hence it is one of the most popular malts of which I've never owned a bottle. I tried the 18 for the first time at the weekend and wow this one is remarkably different, just so much better and to me sweeter.

Good question though Crieftan and one I'm sure which will provoke much debate.


I have to try it again to see. It might be sweet as well, but the aftertaste is definetly dry.

:)
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Postby Thomas H. » Sun May 13, 2007 9:21 pm

When you think about, the two most commenly used types of casks are bourbon and sherry. With a few exceptions, you could say all whisky is matured in either, sometimes both. Since bourboncasks will give of sweet wood and vanille, and sherry casks will give off the sweetnes of sherry, you could say almost all whiskies have a sweetness in them.
However, the level of how much flavour the cask will give to the spirit all depends on the cask itself. Then there are all the other flavours a cask can give to the spirit. All this plays a role in determening the flavour of the malt.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue May 15, 2007 12:22 am

I have a 9yo Arran single cask (bourbon) which is intensely tannic and appears as "drying" in the mouth - just as a highly tannic wine would.
Mabye a single cask is the easiest way to find a "dry" whisky as all other single malts are blended to be balanced - except for the Ledaig Sherry Finish which is made to be particularly nasty to Crieftan :)
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Postby Admiral » Tue May 15, 2007 4:08 am

I would have thought the opposite of sweet is "bitter", and so I interpret the question as, "Are there any bitter whiskies out there?"

To which the answer is: YES !!

I've had some bitter Bladnochs; a bitter Scapa; a very bitter Springbank (IB) and so on.

In each case, I'm sure it was case of poor wood, rather than inherently bitter spirit.

Cheers,
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Postby peergynt323 » Tue May 15, 2007 5:36 am

Some are certainly sweeter than others and all seem sweet in different ways, but I haven't found one as dry as a top California Cabernet or perfectly dry Riesling. I've found whiskies with bitterness, but like IPAs the bitterness is accompanied by sweetness.

Much more emjoyable in beer btw.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 15, 2007 2:56 pm

Yes, bitterness is used in beer to complement sweetness, so in that sense is the opposite; but lack of sweetness is dryness, at the opposite end of the sweetness scale. It's easy to allow the substance of an issue to be confused by semantics or the limitations of language, which points up the importance of being careful to say exactly what you mean.

I'm still waiting to hear what "neutral" means.
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Postby parvus » Fri May 18, 2007 2:47 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:I'm still waiting to hear what "neutral" means.


I can't tell if you're being facetious or not - Surely its not a stretch to think that he means 'of a particular character that isn't at the far ends of the whisky spectrum' - If someone asked me for a neutral malt, I wouldn't reach for my bottles of Ardbeg and Laphroaig, just as I wouldn't reach for something that is heavily sherried.

neu·tral /ˈnutrəl, ˈnyu-/ Pronunciation [noo-truhl, nyoo-]
of no particular kind, characteristics, etc

Perhaps the use of the word could be confusing given the definition, but come on mr. picky, you don't want to end up becoming mr. obstinate, do you?
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Postby Frodo » Fri May 18, 2007 3:18 am

...
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Postby Frodo » Fri May 18, 2007 3:20 am

parvus wrote:neu·tral /ˈnutrəl, ˈnyu-/ Pronunciation [noo-truhl, nyoo-]
of no particular kind, characteristics, etc


When I think of neutral, I think Auchantoshan 10yr OB.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri May 18, 2007 7:44 am

Facetious? Me? (Did you know that "facetious" has all five vowels in order?)

Actually, I'm quite serious. We all have some idea of what "neutral" means, but I think it's entirely impossible to answer the question without knowing what the questioner means. (For anyone who's completely confused, this was on another thread entirely.) To me, neutral means bland and tasteless. I doubt that's what he really had in mind. But I don't know what he has in mind, because I don't know what his experience is--I don't know what his "whisky spectrum" is. The post gave little clue. It's presumptuous to assume he meant what you would mean. That doesn't stop people from answering, of course. In fact, half the answers given around here seem to be for entirely different questions, anyway.

What's more, I think there isn't any point at all in answering a question when the questioner disappears entirely after asking it, not responding to requests for clarification. If he won't even engage in his own thread, why should I?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri May 18, 2007 7:48 am

Frodo wrote:...


Actually, that's a pretty good definition right there.
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Postby Aidan » Fri May 18, 2007 7:52 am

I think the Bushmills Duty Free Carribean Rum cask is particularly dry. Unusual, since it was finished in a rum cask. I didn't much like it, but I've a sweet tooth.

I've had other dry whiskies too, but just can't remember which ones. Maybe the Balblair 29 yr old from the Creative Whisky Company.
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