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erickg13
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Location: The Middle of the Pacific Ocean.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:59 pm 
 

Wedge_Antilles wrote:
As a newbie to scotch, I decided to pick up a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Year. Not too bad and pretty smooth. I've never been a whiskey fan but am trying to broaden my taste in liquors.


If you end up enjoying that, I'd highly recommend the Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera. Very solid taste to it, and seems to be a hit amongst my friends who don't really drink whiskey.

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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:03 pm 
 

erickg13 wrote:
Wedge_Antilles wrote:
As a newbie to scotch, I decided to pick up a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Year. Not too bad and pretty smooth. I've never been a whiskey fan but am trying to broaden my taste in liquors.


If you end up enjoying that, I'd highly recommend the Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera. Very solid taste to it, and seems to be a hit amongst my friends who don't really drink whiskey.


The glenlivet 12 is another obvious suggestion, as is the glenlivet 15 french oak. Same fresh green fruit profile and available for reasonable prices. I'd also try the balvenie doublewood. Easy drinking, and a great balance between sherry and bourbon cask aging.

erickg13 wrote:
Wedge_Antilles wrote:
As a newbie to scotch, I decided to pick up a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Year. Not too bad and pretty smooth. I've never been a whiskey fan but am trying to broaden my taste in liquors.


Thiestru wrote:
I'll be glad when I start work and have some income so I can get another bottle of Laphraoig. That stuff is so delicious. For now, my limit for whisk(e)y is about $20 a bottle. I picked up some Jim Beam Black today since I heard it was good, and I'm pretty unversed in bourbon. I took a swig of it earlier... whew, this is going to take some getting used to. Not saying it's bad, but I'm definitely more of a scotch man, apparently. Has anyone else tried this whiskey? Thoughts?


With scotch your options are kinda limited at that price level, but Grant's is a pretty good blend. Bushmills is a decent irish option.

For boubon your options open up a bit. There's wild turkey 101, buffalo trace, elijah craig 12, and for just a tiny bit above $20 eagle rare, bulleit bourbon/rye 1792 ridgemont reserve and jefferson's bourbon.

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erickg13
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Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:46 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:15 am 
 

Evangelion2014 wrote:
erickg13 wrote:
If you end up enjoying that, I'd highly recommend the Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera. Very solid taste to it, and seems to be a hit amongst my friends who don't really drink whiskey.


The glenlivet 12 is another obvious suggestion, as is the glenlivet 15 french oak. Same fresh green fruit profile and available for reasonable prices. I'd also try the balvenie doublewood. Easy drinking, and a great balance between sherry and bourbon cask aging.


You hit the nail on the mother fucking head with the Balvenie Doublewood. I adore the 12 year, its fantastic and should not cost more than 60 dollars at any reasonable liquor store (my local one has them for 52). The 17 year Doublewood is a different animal all together, though. I think its great, but not the same value as the 12 year. I recommend one tablespoon of water and let the 12 year sit for about 10 minutes before consuming.

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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:50 am 
 

Yeah, I saw the 17 year on sale for like $129. I was like, hm, I'll save like 5 or 10 bucks but it's still out of my budget. Why would I bother when I got the glenlivet nadurra 16 on sale for $60 and am about to pick up laphroaig 18 for 69.99, and that's a year older for much less! It's one reason I love bourbon aging and islays in particular, they seem to edge out most sherried expressions in terms of value.

I tried the glenmorangie quinta ruban yesterday night. Awesome stuff, especially for the $57 I paid for it. Chocolate, cherry, tart berries, grapefruit, mint, heather honey and mint meld together without seeming cloying like I found macallan 12. Probably because it's mostly broubon aged but with 2 years finished in port.

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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:39 am 
 

Yeah, the best scotch I found that was actually worth its price was the Tallisker 10 at $67. The Ardbeg Uigeadail, despite all the praise I heard, didn't quite live up to its $78 tag.
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erickg13
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:52 pm 
 

Evangelion2014 wrote:
Yeah, I saw the 17 year on sale for like $129. I was like, hm, I'll save like 5 or 10 bucks but it's still out of my budget. Why would I bother when I got the glenlivet nadurra 16 on sale for $60 and am about to pick up laphroaig 18 for 69.99, and that's a year older for much less! It's one reason I love bourbon aging and islays in particular, they seem to edge out most sherried expressions in terms of value.

I tried the glenmorangie quinta ruban yesterday night. Awesome stuff, especially for the $57 I paid for it. Chocolate, cherry, tart berries, grapefruit, mint, heather honey and mint meld together without seeming cloying like I found macallan 12. Probably because it's mostly broubon aged but with 2 years finished in port.


The 17 goes for 119 or 124 here. I received it as a gift because a coworker knew of my affinity for the Doublewood 12 year. I'm probably going to pick up another whisky tonight to add to my collection. I was pretty happy with the Speyburn 10 at first, but it hasn't held up quite as well as I wanted.

I recently had the Talisker Storm and that was quite good. A bit of spice to accent the peat and smoke.

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erickg13
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:53 pm 
 

Picked up the Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year old and I will be tasting it tonight along with a Gurkha Ghost Cigar. I'll post the results tomorrow.

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TripeOverload
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:20 pm 
 

The Balvenie 12y is the golden standard for single malts, I say. Very solid overall, okay price, and less demanding to the taste buds than the notorious peaty malts (which are true masterpieces nonetheless)...
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erickg13
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:16 pm 
 

So the Caribbean Cask taste like a high quality bourbon mixed with a heavily spiced dark rum. It was the first time in a while that I found myself drunk off whisky in a while, its just so easy to drink. I would highly recommend adding a teaspoon of water to help open it up and it really adds a bit of flavour you don't find when you drink it neat.

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erickg13
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:07 am 
 

I don't know if this has been posted already, and it seems that it may have been neglected the past year or 2 but I found this very interesting: http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/map/Scotland/

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:22 pm 
 

Image

Pay no attention to the overstated wank-job label geared for Tarantino fanboys. This whiskey is subtle, approachable, relaxed, and very tasty. It has none of the arrogant bravado nor DOMINATION OF BALLS(MOKE) the label implies. It's made of three fractions of malted barley smoked with different fuels, not 3 times as smokey. It's comfortably under the smoke level of Balcones Brimstone, for instance, but comfortably above a Japanese smoked malt. Basically the branding is irrelevant to the contents of that bottle you see there. I don't see how a be-sunglassed swagger plays any role at all in this experience. It's not a whisky that will get you cool points. It's just .. a good drink. Calm yourself.

After a salad and a glass of chardonnay (because I'm a pretentious quim) I ordered this “Sweet Mash bill paired with cherry wood, peat and beech wood smoked barley. Reminiscent of a moderate Islay Scotch Whiskey.” So said the menu. And it had won awards a couple years ago. I watched an MMA fighter get repeatedly kneed in the face while I waited.

It smells great, and I see what they mean, but as far as the Islay reminiscence there is a distinct lack of two main themes: the fire and the sea. It's pretty clear that this stuff has never seen the sea. It doesn’t seem like Corsair is trying to replicate the Islay palate so much as take inspiration from it, apparently learning the most from the balancing. It has a distinctly Kentucky flavor profile with impressively subtle smoke behaviors. This will probably go over just fine with anyone who isn’t a defensive Islay purist. To be fair, it doesn’t really raise the beard muscles for me, either. However, I wasn’t in the mood to feel my hair follicles. I wanted something delicious and mellow. This was better than expected. And I hadn't seen that stupid label. 


It would be an excellent starting place for people who say they aren’t into peat. It's smokey, but obviously not wholly peat. It would also be good for committed bourbon drinkers who want a change but don’t want to travel too far out of their comfort zone (again because the peat understatedly melds with the woods). I had a pour of Four Roses afterward to compare the fire factor. If Four Roses is in the citrusy, warm spectrum, this is over in the fruitier, cooler regions. The spice has mellowed away and the satisfying portion that's left doesn’t steal flavor from the stable malt. Corsair has significantly less fire than most to begin with, but that was a refreshing change – a smooth, and satisfying palate grounding the light and smokey warmth.

It’s an American smoked malt, sure as hell, so there are obvious deviations from the Islay style, but unless you’ve got a North Atlantic island fetish going on, it’s quite good. Sweet, smoky, and smooth. Since it's single barrel, it probably can't remain entirely consistent. That said, if the variations remain small, any of the features standing out more than another won't hurt the bottle, and might be a reason all its own to periodically return to it. I'll definitely be ordering this again.

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executioner01
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:03 pm 
 

The Balvenie Single Cask has always been my favorite.

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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:39 am 
 

Alright so three reviews coming up.

First, jefferson's small batch bourbon (whatever the hell small batch means for boubon, but hey it was on sale for $23, I'm not complaining). A lighter bourbon that I can imagine appealing to a lot of people who drink say, makers mark. Starts with caramel and dark sugar, moves into a light woodiness (very light, like think thin tropical wood) and spearmint flavor, then moves straight into a medium intensity vanilla finish. Definitely not going to blow anyone away, but at 83 proof it still manages to have a solid medium body and I can imagine it being used well in cocktails.

Next up is Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Tastes of seaweed, heavy pepper, and of course lots of peat, but balanced by a surprising juicy fruit gum flavor. I have yet to try mixing it with water, since at 57%+ it seems a little thin to me.

Finally we have Laphroaig 18. Fantastic stuff. With the overt smoke toned down a bit, there is a big hit of salty brine first off, and some tamed iodine that follows. This is balanced by some light oranges and a surprisingly rich chocolate flavor with overtones of vanilla that likes to fight with some sweat peat smoke in the finish. Considering I only paid $75 with tax on the stuff for 18 years, I'm very happy I took the plunge with this one.

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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:38 am 
 

Evangelion2014 wrote:
Finally we have Laphroaig 18. Fantastic stuff. With the overt smoke toned down a bit, there is a big hit of salty brine first off, and some tamed iodine that follows. This is balanced by some light oranges and a surprisingly rich chocolate flavor with overtones of vanilla that likes to fight with some sweat peat smoke in the finish. Considering I only paid $75 with tax on the stuff for 18 years, I'm very happy I took the plunge with this one.


I'd love to try that but never wanted to pay the $100 price tag around here...Ardbeg Uigeadail was the most expensive scotch I've tried at $78, and while good it still wasn't quite worth the cost.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:06 pm 
 

Last week I attended a big scotch tasting that lined up nine whiskies from the Burn-Stewart group. Some I'd tried before, others not. For a completely free event it was pretty generous, and the room was pretty raucous by the time the tasting was through. Definitely went home a wee bit toasted that night! Here was the lineup, in order (I'll keep these brief as I don't want to spend all morning typing this):

- Deanston Virgin Oak -

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This was a revisitation for me, as it was one of the first whiskies I ever bought and hadn't tried it in a couple years or so. As such it held up quite well! It actually fit nicely into that "summer scotch" profile I've been musing on recently, really fresh, lively, bright, with zesty sweetness and oak, without feeling particularly "young". At a price point of $30 or even below (!), I'd have to say this was one of the standouts of the night, just for sheer value alone. Will probably be picking up a bottle of this again this summer. A fantastic whisky at that price range. Would highly recommend it to those who are looking for either an intro scotch or simply a lighter dram without any undertones of sherry, peat, etc.

- Deanston 12 -

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Switching immediately from the Virgin Oak to this 12-year-old, I immediately got strong milk chocolate aromas on the nose. On the palate and finish were notes of orange, spice, and oak, but none of the cocoa the nose seemed to promise. Oddly the nose seemed to lose its chocolatey character once I'd sipped once or twice. Based on the disparity between nose and palate, I'd have to gauge this one as one of the least favorable of the night, but I'd like to revisit it sometime in the future.

- Bunnahabhain 12 -

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This was one of the offerings I was most excited to try, Bunnahabhain being one of the few Islay distilleries I hadn't tried thus far. Unfortunately this didn't wow me, but I'd have to say it's a very solid dram. It's also a bit on the summery side, fresh and woody, with little to no smoke happening. Elegant, smooth stuff, obviously quite well made, but not exactly anything exciting happening in its overall makeup. Didn't leave much of an impression beyond just being tasty.

- Bunnahabhain 18 -

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Now this was a significant step up from the 12. One can see the clear relationship with the 12, with a very similar nose and a familiarity in the palate, but the extended aging and sherry wood really deepen the experience and enrich it with a wider variety of notes. An autumnal feeling to this whisky. It's pretty full-bodied and strikes an incredibly solid balance between the malt, wood, and sherry, fusing them all into an elegant whole, where none are predominant but all are twinkling through clearly. An extremely well done sherry expression. Still, it's not the sort of thing that blows your socks off, more just quietly sophisticated and understatedly delicious. Certainly one of the stronger whiskies of the tasting, but at ~$100 it would probably never be a purchase.

- Bunnahabhain 25 -

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Amazing that this was included in a free tasting, as it retails in excess of $300. In any case, put it in the glass, dammit. Obviously this was delicious, though again nothing exactly mindblowing, following the subtle sophistication of the 18 and just deepening the experience a degree further. Dried fruit and nuts on the nose, salt and toffee on the palate, buttery and surprisingly mellow. Great stuff for sure, but I'd have to say the only other whisky over twenty years of age I've sampled (the Old Pulteney 21, which can be had for around $125, incidentally) completely overmastered this in essentially every department. It's simply not amazing enough to justify its price tag. I could see there being plenty of 15-21 year sherried whiskies out there that would deliver more flavor at a far lower price point.

- Bunnahabhain Toiteach -

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Eureka! This was my favorite Bunnahabhain offering of the event. It's one of the distillery's only peat-heavy expressions, and it's very good, supposedly fashioned to recreate the style of Bunnahabhain before they stopped peating their whisky back in the 1960s or so. So in a sense this is a more "traditional" expression of Bunnahabhain, much closer to the mainline Islay style, smoky and briny. Made by blending an older Bunnhabhain of around 17 years with much younger, peated whisky also produced at the distillery. It's very, very light in color, somewhat oystery, with a nose to match, with notes of shellfish and sweet seaside alongside a pretty powerful hit of peat smoke. The woman next to me suggested mezcal similarities on the nose, and I'd have to agree with that. Smoky but bright, sweet. On the palate the smoke started strong and then faded gradually during the finish, quickly trailing away in intensity to allow room for the sweet and dry flavors. That interesting fade-off really did the trick, it's as though the smoke dies away somewhat just as you're expecting a wave of it to peak, keeping the peat from being overbearing and creating a more complex, orchestrated experience. The smoke does linger after the finish, though. Overall I'd have to say this is a very strong Islay, using the more understated nature of Bunnahabhain's style to the best effect possible in restraining the smoke and melding it into a more balanced zone. A little steep at $80, but not out of the realm of possibility if you're looking for a new and/or slightly different Islay experience. I don't believe this one is very easy to find, though.

Note: Toiteach is pronounced roughly like "Toshah".

- Tobermory 10 -

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This was the second revisitation of mine at this tasting, and I'm very glad to have been reacquainted with the Tobermory 10! It's just a damn solid whisky. Nothing risky or flamboyant, simply lively with a variety of subtle flavors and aromas combining in one delightful whole. It's a fairly buttery, smooth whisky, with a pretty full body and a perfect balance of malty/fruity/sugary sweetnesses with gingery grass swirling within them. Nothing incredibly notable on the finish, but it's the sort of whisky that seems like it could open up really deliciously given some air, once the youthful spice has calmed a slight bit. Will be purchasing this this season - at $48 it's a damn good value, and it's another that fits that sweet/grassy profile I've been wanting for the warmer months.

- Tobermory 15 -

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I was excited to try this one, as well, as I'd heard really good things about it. At $100+ it's not exactly within reach, but I do have to say it's an extremely tasty whisky. It takes the delightful base of the 10 year and mellows it slightly with extra age and sherry influence, producing a smoother, nuttier scotch that yet retains a drying edge despite all its dessert-like qualities. One of my only tasting notes that I wrote down for this was "fucking good," and that pretty much sums it up. Absolutely delicious, and definitely one of the strongest drams of the evening, one you can really sink into. Would make a great Xmas present...

- Ledaig 10 -

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I bought a bottle of this last autumn, so I already knew it was damn good, but it was nice revisiting it. If you're into peated whisky, I'd say this is a must-try, as this is one of the most memorable I've tried. It doesn't try to beat the Islays at their own game, instead going for a more eclectic palate that brings together rubber, fruit, smoke, salt, and savory notes into one vivid, oily concoction. Wonderfully aromatic but not incredibly smoke-fueled, the smoke is just one element in the whole. At $48 it's also one of the cheapest peated whiskies you'll find in the quality tier. From the same distillery as Tobermory, and a great choice for autumn/winter drinking.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:35 pm 
 

Tried the Stronachie 12 last night, which was one I'd been curious about for a while. Glad I decided to sample it before investing in a bottle, as it wasn't particularly stellar. The notes on Master of Malt sum it up pretty nicely, so I'll just paste that in here...

Nose: Heather honey, malt. Grassy, fruity and dry with hints of almond.
Palate: Creamy and spicy with notes of malt, a touch of smoke, more almond, then toffee and fruit.
Finish: Medium with nutty notes.

It's not the dullest whisky in the world, actually managing to do the drier/grassier thing pretty nicely, only it's a little thin-bodied, a bit watery... I can imagine this would be pretty intense in flavor at cask strength, but at the level it's at it comes off as pretty tame. Still more interesting than some, in any case. I dunno, it was fine but something felt missing, like a salty or savory note that would've deepened or fortified the palate more.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:07 pm 
 

That was a truly massive download of awesomeage. I want a free tasting, dagnahobbit!

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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 10:12 am 
 

Anyone have any experience with the Bowmore 12 and/or 15? I'd like to try a new Islay but I haven't heard much discussion around these two.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 7:58 pm 
 

The Bowmore 12 is the only one I've tried. It's solid stuff, strong but smooth peat influence, with a more mellow smokiness, layers of rich sweetness with a kind of mollusc-y briny savory layer to it. I'd say it's pretty good but probably a try-before-you-buy. I'd give it another try myself. I've read the Bowmore Tempest is awesome, but it's not easy to find, and pricey at that.

If you can afford/find it, I'd definitely give a higher recommendation to the Bunnahabhain Toiteach as a lesser-known but excellent Islay. And if you'd like a new peaty/smoky scotch experience but you don't mind it not being an Islay, I'd also strongly recommend both the Ledaig 10 and the Longrow Peated.

You're familiar with Talisker and Lagavulin, right?
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AlienZombie
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:04 am
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 11:04 pm 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Anyone have any experience with the Bowmore 12 and/or 15? I'd like to try a new Islay but I haven't heard much discussion around these two.

I've had both. While there is a peat smoke presence in Bowmores, it's more subdued than most of the other Islays. The 15 in particular is more "refined". I personally prefer to be slapped in the face with smoke :P So if you want a bit smokier, go with the 12; if you want something "smoother" go for the 15. That being said, Bowmore Legend is a nice budget single malt.
Generally speaking, the offerings from Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg are generally my go-to's.

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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:29 am 
 

So two reviews at opposite ends of the quality spectrum. One is old crow. Yeah, the $9 bourbon that hangs out in the bottom shelves of liqour stores. It's actually not bad, very similar to beam, which is rumored to have a similar mashbill. Instead of clean vanilla and semi sweet oak and rye, you get a sugar covered popcorn with a subdued rye and sweet oak taste. Not bad if you're really low on cash, just be careful not to drink to much of it as the college kids at work say the hangover is brutal.

On the other hand, glenfiddich 18, which was $10 off, making a total price of around $90 with tax. Opens up with strong dark nuts, hints of cocoa, baked apple and spices, a mild pear hint, blue and raspberries from the sherry aging, and then a rounded strong nut flavor for the finish and a very mild tang of smoke. Lingers very long. Definitely good stuff, glad I tried it though I prefer my 18 year old laphroaig for only $75, and with my tax return i'll get highland park 18 for $140. If anyone has a decently complex smoky (but not smoke bomby) malt for that age/price I'd like to know.

For next purchases, a single malt peated irish whiskey (has the smoke level of a campelltown) called connemara peated, a blend of 4 year, 8 year and 6 year whiskies. It has good reviews, but we'll see if it's young age is mellow enough for a $40 whiskey. The other is bookers, after a rave review from the thread. That and it's $5 of, and the connemara is like $5 off too.

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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:50 pm 
 

Evangelion2014 wrote:
I prefer my 18 year old laphroaig for only $75


Where the hell are you getting it that cheap? Everywhere I've seen it around me (Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois) has it for $100.
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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 3:38 pm 
 

I've just recently turned 21 and trying to stock up a decent liquor cabinet for the holidays.. Can anyone recommend some decent brands to get me started? Extra bonus if it can be found in stores in the US and isn't too horribly expensive, maybe $75 max, I'm not a huge connoisseur yet, just need some suggestions to get started especially since scotch is like the only liquor I haven't tried yet
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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:12 am 
 

OneSizeFitzpatrick wrote:
I've just recently turned 21 and trying to stock up a decent liquor cabinet for the holidays.. Can anyone recommend some decent brands to get me started? Extra bonus if it can be found in stores in the US and isn't too horribly expensive, maybe $75 max, I'm not a huge connoisseur yet, just need some suggestions to get started especially since scotch is like the only liquor I haven't tried yet


If you're not adverse to bourbon, lots of fantastic bargains can be found there. Jeffersons is one with a very mild oakiness, sweet corn start and an excellent vanilla finish. It can be found for around $25. For the same price, eagle rare 10 year old bourbon has a very dark oaky/choclate nuttiness, moderate rye and rich cake like vanilla flavors. The fact that it's a 10 year old bourbon for like $28 is just criminal.

For irish, you can pick up redbreast 12 for around $60, a chewy, puckeringly toasty sweet and rich whiskey with the tiniest hints of tart sherry that pretty much eliminate the burn found at the end of the sip. Bushmills black bush is another, with 12 years of sherry aging for around $35.

For scotch, if you're looking for something super smoky, laphroaig 10 sits around $45-50, and for a tiny bit more you can get laphroaig quarter cask which has a rich vanilla taste that fights with the traditional peat, not as complex as say the 18 year, but a way to get a good ammount of wood flavor without spending a fortune. There's also glenfiddich 15 and glenmorangie quinta ruban for around $55, both have a heavy wine influence, but glenfiddich is lighter and sweeter with raisins and honey, where glenmorangie is port finished with deep chocolate berry and mint notes. Balvenie doublewood is another favorite, since you get 6 years of sherry and bourbon aging each for around $50.

With rye you might want to try bulliet, a 95% rye mash bill whiskey for around $25.

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:03 pm 
 

For other good initiatory scotches I'd recommend several that I started with: Deanston Virgin Oak, anCnoc 12, and Caol Ila 12. The first two are extremely well-priced ($30/$40) and delicious light whiskies, zesty and grassy and overall wonderful introductions to the malt, while the Caol Ila 12 (~$65) is not only a fantastic whisky but a very pleasing initiation to the smoky Islays. Another very solid contender would be the Ardmore Traditional Cask (~$50) - robust, full-bodied Highlander with a deeper, darker sweet/oaky palate and an undercurrent of peat.
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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:50 pm 
 

Bourbon is probably my favorite of liquors at the moment, Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve are some damn fine beverages. Jefferson's sounds like a winner in my book, I just hope the liquor mega-store nearby has some of those brands... never can tell in pissy old downstate Illinois. I'm terrible with Gaelic words (that is like old Gaelic, right?) gonna just look for Irish sounding stuff my Czech/Serb ass can't pronounce hah
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:53 pm 
 

How does Caol Ila compare to the old "standard" Islays? (Laphroiag, Ardbeg, etc.)
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:14 pm 
 

Caol Ila (at least the 12, that being the only expression of theirs I've tried) is quite a bit smoother than Ardbeg or Laphroaig. The latter two can be pretty aggressive and tend to have a kind of sharp edge to their palate, that sort of briny, spicy smoke, whereas Caol Ila layers its peat smoke in a much simpler and gentler fashion, blending it really thoroughly with the rest of the palate layers so that it sort of swirls around the edges more than jumping straight to the fore. It's actually a lot like a calmer, smoother version of the Laphroaig 10, if that makes it easy to grasp. I much prefer it to the Laphroaig 10; the too-strident, chemical/mineral aspect of the peat in that whisky strikes me as really imbalanced and kind of turns me off. Caol Ila isn't as complex as some other Islays but it's incredibly well balanced and just a damn satisfying dram. Powerfully flavorful stuff, but it doesn't try to clobber you with smoke-for-the-sake-of smoke. It's got a really beautiful restraint to it, giving just enough and withholding just enough. I know Grave_Wyrm just recently finished a bottle of it, so he might have some fresher impressions to offer.

I'd really really like to try the cask strength or some of the other Caol Ila expressions.
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Lord_X
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 4:44 am 
 

I have a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 sitting in my cabinet waiting for my birthday to come.

I'm quite excited.

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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 10:57 pm 
 

anyone have any experience ordering stuff off the internet? thinking about getting some stuff off this site called the liquor mart which has a pretty impressive selection (they have this czech liqeur called Becherovka I've been dying to try). Local stores have zero scotch brands aside from the occasional Johnny Walker as far as I've found.
Also, anyone ever tried Glenfiddich or Grand MacNish? Proof 66 gives both exceptionally high ratings, MacNish is like dirt cheap too, found a bottle for like $12.
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I also echo the obsession with Tribulation's Children of the Night. It's like you're biting into a Nepolean pastry. Addictive and unbelievably delicious. And no, I'm not fat.

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:18 am 
 

- Rowan's Creek -

Image

Just found a bottle of this last weekend for $35 so I snapped it up. It's been at the top of my to-try list for bourbon recently, so it was an easy buy. Hard to make a determination on it thus far as it's bottled at a fairly high strength (50.5%) and will take a little time to open up due to that, but so far I quite like it. It obviously intense due to the proof, but behind that it's got a lovely, powerfully woody/incense-y nose with notes of peach, banana, and vanilla, and a rich palate with more of that cedar-y wood and a buttery, dense finish. Not a terrible amount of rye happening here, it's all more on the oaky/sweet side, but also not too far into the land of brown sugar/maple as you get with something like Eagle Rare. Will see how it evolves but so far it's very tasty, and definitely an excellent value. Good good!
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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:54 pm 
 

Not sure if this belongs here or not.. Anyone here an absinthe connoisseur? I've started looking into alotta different brands and whatnot, apparently there's a growing amount of Czech absinth(e)s that people either really like or don't consider to be absinth(e) at all, I guess it's from the lack of anise used in the distilling method. Absinthe is one of the few beverages I've yet to taste, and I'm probably gonna have to buy a bottle pretty soon, any suggestions that aren't too through-the-roof as far as price goes (nothing higher than $100) would be greatly appreciated.
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LuciferionGalaxy wrote:
I also echo the obsession with Tribulation's Children of the Night. It's like you're biting into a Nepolean pastry. Addictive and unbelievably delicious. And no, I'm not fat.

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Goatfangs
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:18 pm 
 

I actually have a considerable (or rather I have three bottles) absinthe collection, though it is all "new-school" absinthe produced in France, Switzerland and Philadelphia.

It's not the lack of anise but rather the lack of Grand Wormwood that has people questioning what makes a "true Absinthe". It's been a while since I've had it. I think my favorite is Lucid. Kübler isn't too bad either. The third one was Vieux Carré, which wasn't as good as Lucid.

What I want to try is Bohemian / Czech style Absinth, which apparently is free of anise and fennel, but contains lots of wormwood.

It's been a while though, since I have had any absinthe. Maybe four or five years even. The preparation is a bit involved and I don't think I have any sugar cubes. I was pretty good at mixing it with water, attaining just the right strength where it had a kick but not too dilute. I also used a standard brandy snifter because it's closed top made me less likely to spill it and I'm a messy person.

Oh yeah, it has to have been a while. I just went and looked at my bottle of Lucid, sitting on the top of the cabinet. It's a black bottle but the base of the neck is gray - from dust.

On the whisky side of things, I don't know if I posted about this (I might have) but I did get a bottle of Amrut Fusion Indian Single Malt Whisky. It's called Fusion because it combines two different barleys - one from India and one that is peat smoked from Scotland. Though the smokiness was quite a pleasant surprise. It's a solid whisky from an unexpected part of the world. Sometimes I'll go without a drink for months on end, so often my bottles sit still. I remember watching a video from Ralfy (the guy that does the whisky review series) about opened bottles oxidizing, and for a while after seeing that video I started drinking up all the nearly empty bottles of whisky. But now I'm not so sure if oxidation really affects whisky that much. A bottle of Laphroaig 10 year, my standard fare when it comes to Scotch, has been sitting in my room for over a year and I took a glass from it the other day and it tasted fantastic. Precisely what Laphroaig should taste like. I didn't detect any of the vinegary notes Ralfy had mentioned.

Does anyone have thoughts on this? Maybe I drink my whiskies too slow. I have a tendency to want to save bottles and not drink from them, I hate the thought of finishing a whisky bottle but I should get used to it and just get another one unless it is a rare one. The two bottles I'll keep for sure is my first Oban 14 year and my first Laphroaig. But some bottles I have had since 2008 - like my Laphroaig 18 year which is a quarter full now.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:32 pm 
 

Dammit, keep the green stuff out of the whisky thread. ;)

Goatfangs, I've put a fair bit of attention toward the idea of oxidation. I would say it is definitely a real thing. I've found it most noticeable with Islays, which (in my experience at least) seem to lose some intensity from their smokiness after taking on air for a substantial amount of time. It could be tied in with alcohol evaporation as well. For example, the bottle of Laphroaig 10 that I bought had an almost unbearable mineral bite to it when I first opened it and the whisky tasted very imbalanced. By contrast, the last few glasses I poured from that bottle (after having it open for about...six months?) tasted smoother than any that came before. I've also noticed flavor evolutions in less peaty scotches with months of air, though they're harder to describe. It's sort of a mellowing that happens (again, simultaneous with alcohol evaporation). People with far more years of experience with whisky than I also attest to this, saying that certain bottles they didn't care for upon opening eventually became delicious, taking on completely altered flavor profiles after a couple years on the shelf.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:30 pm 
 

I would be willing to bet that evaporation plays a bigger role in the changing profile of an opened whisky than oxidation does. Especially an Islay whisky; I'm about 90% sure the peat-smoking process slows the rate of oxidation quite a bit.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:41 pm 
 

With colder weather looming (except in godless areas of the globe, namely Australia), scotch season is once again upon us! So gladdening it is. Currently enjoying a glass from my dwindling bottle of Tobermory 10. I must say this is quite good stuff. It's softened pretty nicely over the months, but still retains a nice peppery bite. God, but the Hakushu 12 I've had open for almost a year now is just so delicious. Probably my current favorite light whisky.

Anything on anyone's to-buy list for this autumn/winter? I can't believe I completely forgot about the Benromach 10, but I think I might have to pick up a new bottle to celebrate the turning of the leaves...
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:52 pm 
 

Been a bit too broke to buy much scotch of late, but I'm hoping to remedy that this winter. In fact, I've seen enough people - well, you and Frog, mostly - mention the Hakushu 12 that I figure I'll put it next on my list.

Also looking to get another bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail. A bit pricey, but I loved the blend of Islay smokiness with chocolate/cranberry sweetness and tartness.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:09 am 
 

Gnu, if you're on a budget, try and get ahold of either the Deanston Virgin Oak or the anCnoc 12. Both very tasty whiskies at very reasonable prices ($30 and $40, respectively). The anCnoc 12, at that surprising price point, is one of my current favorite Speysides and probably my top all-around, go-to, all-weather, man-for-all-seasons, knee-jerk, first-response scotch.
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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:12 am 
 

anCnoc 12 was one of the first Fishman rec's I picked up. It's delicious and awesome and can be enjoyed in all manners. Highly, highly seconded.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:13 am 
 

*high (webbed) four*
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