Single Malt Scotch

Discussion in 'Other Beverages' started by WunderLlama, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. joaopmgoncalves

    joaopmgoncalves Poo-Bah (1,502) Dec 17, 2012 Portugal
    Society

    Currently I have a Lagavulin 16 and a Talisker 10 with me. Prior to that had a Bowmore 12. Every once in a while we get a few interesting bottles in my office to open for someone's birthday. We've had a couple good things like Lagavulin 10, Laphroaig 10 & Quarter Cask, Hibiki 12 and Hakushu 12, Årdbeg 10 and Nikka (From The Barrel) just to name a few.
     
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  2. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (3,204) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society

    First mention of the right answer...Aberlour A'bunadh. The only single malt I've bought more than two bottles of...and I've bought six.
     
  3. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (969) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    A few weeks back bought a Glenrothes sherry cask. Really enjoyed it. Great price point too.
     
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  4. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (969) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Yes indeed. Have maybe a 1/4 of the bottle left. Great stuff. Nice spice and a hint of smoke on the finish.
     
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  5. BeanBump

    BeanBump Devotee (411) Dec 14, 2016 California

    If it comes from Islay, it goes in my belly. I also enjoy Aberlour. That is all.
     
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  6. BeanBump

    BeanBump Devotee (411) Dec 14, 2016 California

    Fun story. The wife and I made our second visit to Islay last month and I was bound and determined to figure out who makes Finlaggan. For those who don't know, Finlaggan is an Islay single malt that sells at Trader Joe's and a few other grocers but its shrouded in mystery because there is no Finlaggan Distillery, it's made by one of the 8 (now 9) distilleries on Islay....but nobody will say which one.

    The theory is that it's made by either Lagavulin, Laphroaig or Caol Ila. On the plane ride over from Glasgow, we happened to sit next to a very friendly sales rep for Laphroaig and I asked. She smirked but wouldnt give it up. All she would admit was "That's one of Islay's best kept secrets." Of course, this caused me to be suspicious and believe Laphroaig was the origin.

    I held onto my belief until two days later when we paid a visit to Caol Ila in Port Askaig. Caol Ila is arguably the least known distillery on the island. The biggest reason why they fly under the radar is that they sell 85% (according to the distillery) of their whisky to other brands for blending; they are one of the top whisky providers for Johnnie Walker. This was the last of the 8 distilleries we visited and I had popped the question at every other distillery and was met with convincing shrugs and head scratching. At Caol Ila, though, I was less convinced. The girl working the tasting area was super friendly and chatty...then I popped the question. She looked as though she'd seen a ghost. She went speechless for a couple seconds then was finally able to eek out a
    "Nooooooobody knows who makes that," in the sort of tone you'd use to convey Santa's realness to a kid. Caol Ila had now become my #1 suspect.

    Later that same night, after a few drams with our hotel bartender, he revealed that he also worked part time at Caol Ila. We got to chatting and he revealed that 86% of Caol Ila whisky goes to other brands and he stood by that figure. This 1% difference from what the folks at the distillery had told us earlier in the day peeked my interest. Sure, they could've been simply rounding down but given the odd reaction to my inquisition, it is now my belief that Finlaggan is made by Caol Ila.

    btw, Finlaggan is the cheapest single malt on the market and it isnt half bad.
     
  7. not2quick

    not2quick Disciple (386) Dec 1, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Glenlivet french oak reserve and Oban 14 are my favorites
     
  8. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,808) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The only bottle I currently have is Macallan Triple Cask 15. But it’s low so I’ll be restocking soon.

    This single malt is basically the Bourbon County Midnight Orange of Scotch. Lots of chocolate, orange, candied orange peel soaked in Bourbon, Grand Marnier. It had been a while since I bought anything other than an Islay and this did not disappoint.



     
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  9. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,808) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    As is Ardbeg 10.
     
  10. lucius10

    lucius10 Disciple (358) Aug 1, 2017 California

    [​IMG]


    Balvenie Caribbean Cask Single Malt Scotch Whiskey! Try it and thank me later...
     
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  11. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,783) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Society Trader

    The A'bunadah is incredible. I've only had a dram of it, but I'll be buying a bottle soon.

    If you're looking for sherry cask-only whiskys with no peat, try Glenfarclas. Everything I've had from them has been good, including the 10, 12, 25 and 105 cask strength. The cheapest, the 10-year-old, is no slouch and shouldn't set you back too much in the wallet (I can get a fifth from $44-52 in my area).

    [​IMG]
    I recently had a shootout with all my Glenfarclases, and the 10 held up amazingly well FWIW.
    [​IMG]
    I've not had any GlenDronach yet, but its reputation is sterling (and everything from GlenDronach is on my list to buy).
     
  12. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,816) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    Balvenie does it up lots of different ways, they make great whiskies.

    Another mainland whiskey that flies under the radar is Dalwhinnie 15, a terrific whiskey that doesn’t empty your wallet for the extra few years in the barrel. Pure silk and honey
     
  13. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (807) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    Springbank 10 is my go to
     
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  14. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    If you enjoy Oban, I highly suggest trying Clynelish. Similar but different. Not as briny ad Oban, or green apple Jolly Rancher, but has a wonderful waxy nuttiness. Try Bowmore if you're into Talisker. The 12 is good (a bit thin) but the 15 and 18 are really approachable peaty drams. Dalwhinnie 15 is all the beauty of Oban without the ocean air note, and some more nutty notes. For sherried drams, Glendronach 12 and Glenfarclas 15 are impossible to beat for the price. Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is an amazing, rich, sweet, NCF 46% port-finished highland with a whisper of dry smoke. Ardbeg is a big leap if Talisker is your peat baseline. Bunnahabhain 12 is extremely unique - an Islay, with virtually zero smoke, and some nice sherry nuance, and some interesting mineral "flinty" notes. Highland Park is a "love it or hate it" dram. Auchentoshen Three Wood is worth trying, for deeper, darker, woodier/pipe tobacco notes. I'm sure between this comment, and any others that precede/follow, you'll settle on a good bottle. I work with whiskey, and am more-than-happy to,answer any questions you may have. There's a,wonderful wide world of whisky waiting to be discovered. Sláinte!
     
    #54 SierraNevallagash, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  15. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    [​IMG]
    A few of my current faves.

    Edit: @thesherrybomber is definitely responsible for me purchasing one of those bottles.
     
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  16. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (262) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    What took you so long!
     
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  17. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Savant (969) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I've had a few different bottles of The Glenrothes. Actually just 2. One was a 12yr (I think) that me and my brother split. The other was a Sherry cask.
    Both very good to my liking.
    Now my question is has any one tried their Bourbon Cask?

    I believe its a 12yr and heard a few good reviews about it. Even one of the onwers of a local store said it was good and he doesnt even like anything bourbon.
    With it being reasonably priced It will be the next bottle I purchase.
     
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  18. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (325) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    *Shhhhhhh*
     
    #58 oldbean, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  19. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (325) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Another really good under the radar single malt. The thing that's fun about it is that despite the lack of peat smoke, it's still has that sort of bold unrefined character that Isley whiskies are known for. It's close to 47% and unfiltered, leaving it as one of the most distinctly oily/greasy single malts I've had, and it's got some maritime notes to it as well. It's a big unrefined whisky with a lot rich complexity to it, but with a much more approachable flavor profile than your typical Isley.
     
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  20. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (807) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    Haha - one of the closest distilleries to where I grew up. We used to go on vacation to Campbeltown quite a lot and this was one of my mum’s faves. Definitely a relatively under-the-radar option in terms of stuff that makes its way stateside
     
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  21. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,336) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I'm surprised there isn't anything on the label or bottle identifying where it's distilled. If only for tax reasons alone, I would expect there to be something on the bottle indicating where it was made.
     
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  22. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,336) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Bruichladdich's Octomore for me please.

    Love my single malt to be on the smoky/peaty side (the Port Charlotte is too much of a good thing in my book), and the Octomore hits all the right notes for me.
     
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  23. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,445) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Society

    Edradour 10 Year is one of my staples. They use to be the smallest distillery in Scotland, I think they still claim to be but have heard Strathearn Distillery has taken that "title". I have never seen Strathearn, but a look at their website shows they make gins, rums, etc. Maybe Edradour is referring to single malt distilleries. Anyway, I think everything they make is good and usually well priced (unless you go for their ultra high end stuff). The 10 year specifically drinks like it has been aged a lot longer. I can do the peaty stuff already mentioned as well, but I have to be in a certain mood, ha.
     
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  24. BeanBump

    BeanBump Devotee (411) Dec 14, 2016 California

    You would think, right?
     
  25. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    Couldn't have said it any better. Such a fun malt. @thesherrybomber convinced me to try that one. It took a few drams to warm up to it, but it has grown on me a lot. I rarely pour it, which is a sign that I really enjoy a bottle. It has the maritime influence of an Islay, but it's not overly "briny". It has some very complex earthy, almost "stony" notes from its little bit of peat, but without any smoke or medicinal notes. The sherry influence adds a whole other layer of depth, and man, "oily" is the word. I love a bit of cling in my whisky, and that is probably the thickest, oilest whisky on my shelf (maybe just under Elijah Craig 12yr Barrel Proof Batch C9). A damn good scotch. 46%+, non chill filtered, no added colour, decent age, under $60. That's how you do a single malt.
     
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  26. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    I only just discovered this thread! I've been away from BA for a while, due to personal struggles. As soon as I saw this in the list of threads, I thought, "Ahh! I know who I'll find in there!". Props on suggesting Clynelish. I only had it once, but I really enjoyed it, and likened it to Oban 14. I wish i coukd find a bar that I could get a pour at. I remember it having this distinct waxy nutty thing.

    Oh, that reminds me. I believe I owe you a dram of a particular barrel proof bourbon. Look for me in your inbox this evening (this time, the delay in responding is entirely my own fault)

    Cheers!
     
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  27. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,783) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Society Trader

    Thanks for the good info!

    Is Oban the briniest whisky you've run across? I love Talisker 10 for its sea character, and Old Pulteney 12 has a little of it, but I'm interested in finding more briny whiskys. I'm not looking for peat as much as brine/seawater/seaweed or another maritime notes.
     
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  28. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (262) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    I've probably spent more time on this page than any other flavor...

    https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/d/743/maritime-and-smoky
     
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  29. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    HELL NO. When I first tried Oban, well before any Islay or Island malt, I thought it was a bit briny. But after you've had a few Islay drams, Oban is pure candy (with some really nice oakiness, green apple sweetness, and a whisper of dry smoke). It's a great dram, but if youve had Talisker, or even Old Pulteney, you won't find Oban to be particularly briny. I suggest Bowmore 12 or Bunnahabhain 12 as subtle ones, with the former being smokier. If you're strictly after that briny, ocean air, maritime flavour, then Springbank is a killer option, and Bruichladdich Classic Laddie has some of those seaside notes and earth and brine, but no smoke. and is ENTIRELY unpeated (hard to believe).

    But if it's the brine, and the seaweed, and the salty ocean mist, and the brisk Scottish coastline that you want, Ledaig 10, Springbank, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain Ceobanach are the ones to look for. Unfortunately (for you), most of those briny whiskies are gonna be peaty. Arbeg is a good briny peaty malt that (to me) has zero smoke. Lagavulin 16 is referred to as the "kelp" malt, for its strong briny, seaweed, maritime, even "fishy" flavours, but you're gonna find some smoke in there too. Laphroaig is all iodine and a hint of ashtray. Talisker is a great start. I highly suggest watching and reading some reviews, or possibly getting some small sample pours at bars with a good selection, but I think that list I provided holds exactly what you're after. Best of luck! Feel free to message me with any questions.
     
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  30. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    While you're wasting away hopeless hours scrolling and drooling over The Whisky Exchange pages, feel free to buy me a bottle of that Caol Ila 25. Thanks. Payment will be provided via overly-detailed mouthwatering tasting notes that you can enjoy vicariously through me.
     
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  31. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (262) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    Lol! Is that even sold in the US?
     
  32. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Disciple (374) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Trader

    Doubt it. They keep all the good stuff in Scotland. Oh, and in airports. 'Cause if you're gonna get drunk on a plane, you best do it in style.
     
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  33. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (262) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    I'm subscribed to a channel on Youtube that reviews almost nothing but 20, 30, and 40 year old single malts. I think he orders them online? The only downside is having to wait several months between reviews sometimes :stuck_out_tongue:
     
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  34. TheInsomniac

    TheInsomniac Aspirant (267) Jan 11, 2015 New Mexico
    Society

    I think variety is the spice of life, and this board is already filled with every one of the most peaty whiskies out there. This is like drinking nothing but overhopped IPAs. I do enjoy Talisker and Oban. Laphroaig I'll have if you offer me one, but I'd never pay for it, and the type of people who drink it are far too often the type of people who think that whiskey should never have water added to it, which basically betrays an ignorance of the entire history of spirits, not to mention the chemistry of whiskey-tasting, but I digress...

    So I'll throw out the whiskey that is at the opposite extreme from all these hop/peat-head recommendations: Dalwhinnie. They use no peat, so you actually get to see the flavor of a single-malt without that added step. They are also very limited in what they produce, with their base-level offering being a 15-year, the only distillery to do so. The complexity of flavor and nuance in Dalwhinnie is simply amazing. Chocolate, fig, a smoothless redolent of a fine fruit liqueur. I'm simply amazed at what they are able to turn water with a little bit of grain into.
     
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  35. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (807) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    As a Scot - if you’re going to school everyone (and genuinely I do agree with the sentiment - although it’s unsurprising on a message board where double ipas, BA stouts etc are the be all and end all) - then “whisky”
     
  36. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,336) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader


    I'm a big believer in letting people drink what they want. Personally, I prefer more smoky, peaty scotches, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a fine dram of Glenfarclas, the Macallan or even Dalwhinnie (which I agree, is a very well made single malt).

    That being said, I'm a bit puzzled by this comment:

    "and the type of people who drink it are far too often the type of people who think that whiskey should never have water added to it, which basically betrays an ignorance of the entire history of spirits, not to mention the chemistry of whiskey-tasting"

    This has not been my experience. In fact, when my wife and I toured the Islay distilleries, all of them provided water on the side as a matter of course (and the tour guides strongly suggested that you add a few drops to the dram, as the water tends to open up the aromatics, and really doesn't dilute the flavor of the whisky). At Laphroaig, they really try to drive the point home at the guided tasting they provide. Guests are invited to sample the various whiskies with and without water, so that everyone can appreciate what a little water can do to enhance the experience. Also, while it's been a while since I last purchased a bottle of Laphroiag, my recollection is that the bottle always came with a small attached pamphlet. As I recall, the pamphlet listed various different whiskies made by Laphroaig, but also included a brief discussion of the benefits to be derived by adding a few drops of water to a dram.

    Two scotch focused restaurants I visit from time to time (the Albion River Inn and Highland Stillhouse) provide water on the side as a matter of course when you order a dram of single malt (The Albion Inn provides an eyedropper in the beaker of water they provide, which I personally think is a great idea). No one is forced to add water to their dram, but if you ask for a recommendation, they always recommend that you add a few drops of water.

    Perhaps you just need to associate with a different group of whisky imbibing friends. :sunglasses:
     
  37. TheInsomniac

    TheInsomniac Aspirant (267) Jan 11, 2015 New Mexico
    Society

    Yes, I know. And in Canada. But in America it's all just whiskey. I'm as likely to remember to drop that 'e' as a Brit is to spell color without the 'u.'
    Yes, that's exactly my point. What Americans assume about spirits is generally that you're supposed to "drink them like a man," and then they proceed to dump some cheap swill down their throat from a shot glass to quickly get past the taste. I'm arguing that this has never been the proper way to drink whiskey. Or really most spirits. But it seems to be the way most of my friends take their liquor.

    Speaking of which...
    That can probably be said about most of my friends, not just the whiskey-shooters.
     
  38. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (807) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    Nah I disagree.

    I use colour all the time because I’m British (although it’s a losing battle with auto correct).

    But I type “whisky” when I’m talking about a whisky from Scotland, and “whiskey” if I’m talking about bourbon from the US. It’s more about where the product comes from not where I do.
     
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  39. TheInsomniac

    TheInsomniac Aspirant (267) Jan 11, 2015 New Mexico
    Society

    Not for me. If I'm talking about that great steak I ate in Paris, I'm not going to brag about the quality of their boeuf. Not unless I want to get an annoyed look from my girlfriend.
     
  40. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (807) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    Yeah I'd agree with her, since a commonly used French word for steak is...... steak.

    But in terms of beef vs boeuf then yeah I'm with you - it's slightly obnoxious. But a) can she hear the difference between whisky and whiskey? And b) more importantly, whisky vs whiskey actually denotes a difference in what you're about to drink. In the same way (going back to your French steak example) that it's not uncommon for a restaurant in the US to list cote de boeuf on their menu.

    I just would have thought that someone coming in guns blazing, ranting about some phantom BAs who don't understand the value that a little water can add, would have been militant on all fronts...
     
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