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Arneb
2005-Dec-01, 03:09 AM
Hi everyone,

expanding on a few remarks in this thread, (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=35329) I'd like to bring up the topic of Scotch. I try to resupply whenever I am inside a duty free shop. Not being a frequent flyer, that is a decidedly rare occasion for me.

For lack of knowledge I keep returning to some favourite brands

Glenmorangie
Glenlivet
Talisker
Laphroaig
Oban

in various stages of maturity, and in some variations (Portwood finish, cask strength, the works).

Outside Scotland, I like a Bushmill's. Further, I am not on principle against a sip of Glenfiddich. Simpler occasions will have to make do with Johnny Walker Red Label or a Famous Grouse.

So - who can educate me on the subject, who is outraged by this eclectic (i.e. terrble?) selection in my cabinet, who can reassure me, and who has the really, really hot tips for my next long-distance flight (always keeping in mind I am middle-income guy)?

Considering that this forum is frequented by more than a few minors, I'd like to add that this thread is about moderate, responsible drinking, by grownups, of small quantities of fine products made in an artisanal way. Responding posters please refrain from stories on "how I got oiled on xyz" or "where you can get the booze on the cheap" recommendations please.

Musashi
2005-Dec-01, 03:21 AM
I just started Scotch a few months back. So far I have only bought a bottle (or 3) of Glenlivet. I tried Glenmorangie in a bar and really liked it, so I am thinking that might be my next purchase, but I am also considering Laphroaig. I have heard really good things about Talisker too. If I had the cash, I'd probably get a bottle of each, but I can only afford one at a time for now. Any suggestions?

teri tait
2005-Dec-01, 03:27 AM
Only scotch I have experience with is the sticky kind called tape. Sounds like you know your spirits pretty well already!
;)

Wolverine
2005-Dec-01, 03:30 AM
My favorites:


Balvenie 12 (Doublewood)
Macallan 18
Glendronach
Dalwhinnie

Arneb
2005-Dec-01, 03:31 AM
My favorites:

Balvenie 12 (Doublewood)
Macallan 18
Glendronach
Dalwhinnie
I'll print that list for next time :razz:

Wolverine
2005-Dec-01, 03:32 AM
If it were in a mortal-human price range, I'd note that the finest I've ever had was Balvenie's 25. Tried some at a little scotch bar in Chicago and I've been hopelessly spoiled ever since.

Musashi
2005-Dec-01, 04:07 AM
I saw (on the internet) a bottle of, IIRC, Glenmorangie 40 year old for only something like $1200.

Close, it was Laphroaig (http://www.laphroaig.com/shop/show_item.asp?shop_category_id=1&shop_item_id=66&expanded=the_shop.whisky)and it was 1 714.8 U.S. dollars.

Remember, only 1 bottle per order. :)

Arneb
2005-Dec-01, 04:33 AM
I saw (on the internet) a bottle of, IIRC, Glenmorangie 40 year old for only something like $1200.

Close, it was Laphroaig (http://www.laphroaig.com/shop/show_item.asp?shop_category_id=1&shop_item_id=66&expanded=the_shop.whisky)and it was 1 714.8 U.S. dollars.

Remember, only 1 bottle per order. :)
Thank you, musashi, for the pain.... :mad: . We are talking middle income, man.
By the way, I (fwiw) can only reassure you in your plans to by a bottle of (ground level) Glenmorangie, Laphroag, Talisker (sadly, with or, not with and between them :o).

Lianachan
2005-Dec-01, 09:05 AM
So - who can educate me on the subject, who is outraged by this eclectic (i.e. terrble?) selection in my cabinet, who can reassure me, and who has the really, really hot tips for my next long-distance flight (always keeping in mind I am middle-income guy)?

That's not a bad selection at all. For a beginner.

:D

Being a vigorous Highlander, I've been passionate about whisky for half of my life (that's this half, of course). I can usually obtain (via my dad, a professional guitarist with a distillery manager friend) access to some rare varieties (a couple of weeks ago, for example, I was drinking a 1986 Highland Park that's never been available to buy), but there are some accessable and decently priced ones available too.

Recommendations are difficult to make, because it really depends on the tastes of the one being recommended to. From your list there, it seems like you don't have a particular taste for any kind of malt? You've a good balance of the strongly peaty, and the warmly firey.

You could try upgrading your Glenmorangie to one that has been aged in either port, sherry or madeira casks - the latter is my pick of that lot. Glenmorangie also have quite a selection of ages available, and their 18 yr old is very good.

Your Laphroaig could be upgraded to the quarter cask variety, which is absolutely sublime. I consider "entry level" Laphraoig to be Lagavulin for beginners, and I recommend you pick up a bottle of that. For a less intense peaty flavour, with a bit more fire, you could try Bruichladdich. It comes from the same island as Laphraoig and Lagavulin (Islay) and it's also my own personal choice of the "entry level" whiskies.

Other whiskies you'll see commonly available that are worth picking up are Dalmore (the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold came from that distillery, but their basic bottle is very good), Highland Park from the Orkney Isles and Edradour, which has a distinct hint of brandy about it.

That'll do for now, but I could talk about whisky all day (I often do).

captain swoop
2005-Dec-01, 09:39 AM
I like Glenmorangie Port and Isle of Jura. Bowmore is OK as well.

enginelessjohn
2005-Dec-01, 12:24 PM
As someone else partial to a wee dram, I currently have a bottle of Balvenie 10 year old on the go (not right now, its 11am and I'm at work, but at home :) ). I got a bottle of the 21 year old Portwood from by in-laws last christmas, and while it's not cheap, it is wonderful.

My own preference is for the Speysides over Islays, as I'm not a huge fan of the peatiness. If I'm out I've been known to have a Laphroaig as a digestif but the one bottle I bought lasted over a year. That said I do rather like Talisker which is slightly peaty and from Skye

Another thorny subject is how you drink it. My preference is for neat, no ice, no water, sipped very slowly. I've never enjoyed diluting it in any way (is there a homeopathy joke in there?)

http://www.scotchwhisky.net has lots of good information.

Cheers
John

Argos
2005-Dec-01, 12:58 PM
J. Walker red and Famous Grouse are perfect to me. In fact, Red Label is my favorite scotch. It doesnīt take much to satisfy me in this field.

Lianachan
2005-Dec-01, 01:09 PM
It doesnīt take much to satisfy me in this field.

Errr...yes, so I see!

It's all highly subjective anyway.

captain swoop
2005-Dec-01, 01:11 PM
Some malts benefit from a touch of water, it helps to release the flavour, or so I am told by the landlord of the 'Tap' who has 3 shelves of the stuff behind the bar.

Heid the Ba'
2005-Dec-01, 01:16 PM
Islay malts and Talisker. I enjoy them but I'm not an expert or regular drinker. I always add a small amount of water.

Lianachan
2005-Dec-01, 01:21 PM
Rough rule of thumb - the higher the alcohol content, the bigger the dolop of water. "Bigger" being a relative term, because only a small amount is ever used. It does indeed help to release flavours.

But it's completely up to the individual. I know people who glare menacingly at anybody who allows water to touch a good malt, but all of the real experts I know say it's completely up to the drinker. I would recommend it, personally, for most malts.

Argos
2005-Dec-01, 01:22 PM
...and I like to take mine in the Brazilian way: On the rocks. Cheers!

(*) I know itīs a profanity, but hey, hey!

farmerjumperdon
2005-Dec-01, 02:20 PM
Not an expert here at all; but I do enjoy an occasional sip. My favorite of the "moderately" priced varieties (on the shelf in your average person's liquor store, but not the cheapest) is Cardu.

Grey
2005-Dec-01, 02:39 PM
I'll second the vote on the Macallan 18; I've had the pleasure of tasting their 25 year once, and it was quite impressive. I'll also recommend Lagavulin as a fine choice. I'll also highly recommend, as an entertaining way to spend an evening with like minded friends, purchasing several bottles from distinct regions or with particular characteristics for "Scotch Tasting Night". It's remarkable what you can learn about the differences when you have the opportunity to taste them side by side. For a more subtle comparison, several friends and I did this with with a few choices from the same distillery, with the only significant difference being that one bottle had been aged in unused oak casks, one had been aged in sherry casks, and one had been aged in port casks, so we could compare the effect the barrel itself had on the final flavor. Ah, those were the days. :)

captain swoop
2005-Dec-01, 04:35 PM
As I have no doubt mentioned in other threads. My 'Local' the Tap & Spile in Guisborough has a large selection of Malts. On the nights when Don locks the front door and the regulars stay into the early hours I switch over to the malts and have 'Tasting Night' Problem is I can't remember the results the next morning.

sts60
2005-Dec-01, 06:18 PM
I've never enjoyed diluting it in any way (is there a homeopathy joke in there?)

It's a good idea not to put too much water in. The more you put in, the stronger it gets (provided you shake it properly). If you poured your glass of Scotch into a swimming pool and stirred it, one sip and you'd be hammered!

tlbs101
2005-Dec-01, 07:23 PM
I am not a scotch drinker -- my tastes are in fine wines [and cheap ones, too :) ], however, a former supervisor and mentor 'swore' by Laphroiag. He would go FAR out of his way to find it at some liquor store in the US.

It is now available in Albuquerque at one liquor store, so I bought him a bottle as a gift several years ago. Maybe it's time to renew the gift...

Wolverine
2005-Dec-01, 10:07 PM
I'll second the vote on the Macallan 18; I've had the pleasure of tasting their 25 year once, and it was quite impressive.

Oh, drool. I can imagine.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-01, 11:13 PM
Your Laphroaig could be upgraded to the quarter cask variety, which is absolutely sublime. I consider "entry level" Laphraoig to be Lagavulin for beginners, and I recommend you pick up a bottle of that. For a less intense peaty flavour, with a bit more fire, you could try Bruichladdich. It comes from the same island as Laphraoig and Lagavulin (Islay) and it's also my own personal choice of the "entry level" whiskies.

That'll do for now, but I could talk about whisky all day (I often do).

Where were you when I was picking up quarters on the street for my next bottle of Laphroaig? (many many years ago, and of no use to me now, sadly)

Lianachan
2005-Dec-02, 01:15 AM
Where were you when I was picking up quarters on the street for my next bottle of Laphroaig? (many many years ago, and of no use to me now, sadly)

I was probably doing something astonishingly similar to that.

:)

Arneb
2005-Dec-02, 04:37 PM
Llianachan, putting your Highland pride aside for a moment, have you ever had Blend or Lowland or Irish whisky that passed your muster?

Lianachan
2005-Dec-02, 05:09 PM
Llianachan, putting your Highland pride aside for a moment, have you ever had Blend or Lowland or Irish whisky that passed your muster?

Blends - some of the higher end Johnny Walkers are very good, Swing and Superior spring to mind. I had a few bottles from a case of a limited edition Jonny Walker that was supposed to go to Iraq just before Gulf War I - it was excellent, but I have no idea what it exactly was as the labels were all in Iraqi. Another that I remember being very good was a bottle of 25 year old Whyte & MacKay, much to my surprise.

Lowland malts - none that I can recall off the top of my head that are noteable.

Irish - not tried many, but am fond of Jamesons. I like the vaguely nutty flavour.

Of course, that's not whisky. That's whiskey.

:D

Edited afterthought - My noted prefence for Highland and Island malts is nothing to do with pride, by the way, it's exclusively to do with taste. I vastly prefer them, and would do so even if I was (heaven forfend) English!

captain swoop
2005-Dec-02, 05:20 PM
Bushmills 'Black Bush' Malt is lovely!

That's an Irish one.

Lianachan
2005-Dec-02, 05:57 PM
Bushmills 'Black Bush' Malt is lovely!

That's an Irish one.

Can't say I've ever tried it, but it certainly does enjoy a good reputation. As I said earlier "Irish - I've not tried many".

Arneb
2005-Dec-02, 07:12 PM
My noted prefence for Highland and Island malts is nothing to do with pride, by the way, it's exclusively to do with taste. I vastly prefer them, and would do so even if I was (heaven forfend) English!

Well, it doesn't hurt to make worst-case scenarios from time to time ;).

By the way, I didn't want to give the impression that your opinions on malts were any less trustworthy because you are a self-described "vigorous highlander" - I just wanted to make sure you didn't exclude whiskeys, blends or Lowland malts on principle. You know, there are these people who wouldn't even consider a Californian/Italian/Chilean/Australian Cabernet simply because they are not Bordeaux.

By the way again, is there anyone here who has enjoyed good Bourbon whiskey? I haven't, ever - The ones I have sampled (admittedly just the Jim Beam/Jack Daniels/Southern Comfort/ lot) were sticky and syrupy, plump and annoyingly sweet. I generally drink scotch without ice because I think the cooling diminishes the taste. I always drink these bourbons on the rocks - for precisely the same reason. :whistle:

Lianachan
2005-Dec-02, 07:18 PM
By the way, I didn't want to give the impression that your opinions on malts were any less trustworthy because you are a self-described "vigorous highlander" - I just wanted to make sure you didn't exclude whiskeys, blends or Lowland malts on principle.I understood that, fear not. I only remember whiskies if I find them, well, memorable I guess. Some for good reasons (like those I mentioned earlier) and some for other reasons (like a whiskey from Thailand a friend gave me a taste of).


By the way again, is there anyone here who has enjoyed good Bourbon whiskey? I haven't, ever - The ones I have sampled (admittedly just the Jim Beam/Jack Daniels/Southern Comfort/ lot) were sticky and syrupy, plump and annoyingly sweet. I generally drink scotch without ice because I think the cooling diminishes the taste. I always drink these bourbons on the rocks - for precisely the same reason. :whistle:
As it happens, a colleague and I were discussing this very topic today. I can't stand any that I've tasted, although my experience of them seems to closely match yours, but this other guy claims to have found some excellent ones. I can't remember any of the names he told me, though.

Arneb
2005-Dec-02, 10:16 PM
I can't remember any of the names he told me, though.

You gotta ask him! I'll visit the States in January/Febraury, and information on good Bourbon could be live-saving ;).

Also, I remember that I got reprimanded by a fellow poster (I don't know on which thread), when I boasted about how all American beer was tasteless, industrial dishwater, and they schould compare it to our Franconian artisanal stuff etc. - he told me there was an entire new industry of excellent micro-breweries springing up. So let's see what they got....:razz:

captain swoop
2005-Dec-05, 10:13 AM
Strangely the best 'American' beer I have had is brewed by the 'Freedom Brewing Company' They are in Londosns Covent Garden. They do a beer based on a pre 'Prohibition' recipe. Its malt and dark, like a good 'Yorkshire' bitter.

Philip A
2005-Dec-05, 10:55 AM
Bushmills 'Black Bush' Malt is lovely!

That's an Irish one.

Sorry guys, Black Bush is blended. The Green is the malt.

I prefer whiskey for drinking when out, but for sitting down with friends I do like Scotch. As Irish is triple distilled it is generally smoother than Scotch (generally double distilled), but has less flavours. Islay malts are my current favoured, although my tastes seem to be cyclical.

As I mentioned on the 'Name Your Poison Thread' I REALLY recommend Old Comber Whiskey. Exceptionally rare nowadays, and horribly expensive, but I would stand it against any drink on the planet!

Lianachan
2005-Dec-05, 12:21 PM
You gotta ask him! I'll visit the States in January/Febraury, and information on good Bourbon could be live-saving ;).

I asked him.

He said.



My favourite at the moment is called Bookers, made by Jim Beam's grandson or something like that. Not sure that you can get it over here mind you. My mate took it back from Florida for me.

The other one that has become readily available over here now is Bulleit, which is far superior to Jack Daniel's.

The other Jack Daniel's variants I have can be quite harsh, although the Master one carries it off better.

I don't think that you would like Blanton's (I don't think you can get that over here either mind you). In fact I don't think you'd like any of them.

Hope any of that helps - I've not tried any of them.

Wolverine
2005-Dec-08, 08:46 AM
I'll visit the States in January/Febraury, and information on good Bourbon could be live-saving ;).

Two words: Woodford Reserve (http://www.woodfordreserve.com/). It's simply outstanding.