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Favorite single malt


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#1 EllenH

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:13 PM

I am about one half-step up from a novice in terms of single malt expertise. My cabinet currently contains Highland Park and Macallan Cask Strength. Any suggestions on what to add to this, perhaps for an evening of tasting with friends? A nice variety in flavors would be fun. Anybody ever done a scotch tasting? Would you have food with that? (cheese or something)

Cheers :raz:
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#2 Gary Tanigawa

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:25 PM

Those are two good ones to start with, HP is my personal favorite. Try Laphraoig, people seem to either love it or hate it because of its medicinal quality.

Smoked salmon would be good to serve. :smile:

#3 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:28 PM

Husband is a fan of scotch so we have Lagavulin, Oban, Glenlivet, and Glenmorangie 18 on hand most of the time.
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#4 Dryden

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:51 PM

Can't ever go wrong with Mac, or Lagavulin for that matter (although it is a bit peaty for some). How do you like your single malts? Peatier or lighter? More alcoholic or less?

Springbank 25 is another beauty to give a try.
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#5 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:56 PM

Scotch ratings by the Plowed Society I found this most interesting and wanted to share it ...
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#6 richl2214

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 05:29 PM

My favorite of all times is The Macallan 18yr Gran Reserva
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#7 Marlene

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 05:58 PM

We have too many scotches to list. (hubby adores scotch), but for a novice, Strathisla is a lovely scotch to start with.
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#8 JAZ

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:56 PM

You might want to try for a geographical spread, in which case you could add Auchentoshan (a lowland), Springbank (from Campletown), and Bowmore or Laphroaig 15 year old.

As for food, I'd suggest smoked salmon, as mentioned above. In fact, any lightly smoked food is a good match (stay away from anything too spicy, though). Mushrooms can be a good match. And you absolutely can't beat caramel and Scotch.

#9 bloviatrix

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 09:31 PM

I'm another fan of Glenmorangie 18. I've also had a number of Mackillop's scotches which I've always enjoyed.

I find that matjes herring is a great accompaniment when doing a tasting.
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#10 Jason Perlow

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 09:37 PM

I'm not a huge Single Malt Scotch drinker but I keep The Balvenie Single Barrel 15 onhand.

The Plowed Society only gave it a 84. Fucking Philistine pig ignorant assholes.
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#11 EllenH

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 04:49 AM

Thanks everybody! That PLOWED society thing is fun, but I noticed that another one I like (Lagavulin) got called "chloraseptic". Yikes. Philistines indeed.

For me & hubby, the peatier the better! Only one exception so far -- we sampled Talisker at a restaurant in Edinburgh & were warned by the waitress that it would put hair on our chests.....that one was a VERY SLOW sipping scotch :blink:
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#12 Adam Balic

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 05:01 AM

Ardbeg, 1977, but mostly the 10 year old.

But, the most interesting thing is tasting variety and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has had some interesting 30+ malts, that have been good. Often the older malts don't taste so great though.

#13 Gary Tanigawa

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 05:02 AM

Dalwhinnie is a good one for peat (if my memory serves) and is usually easy to find. In contrast Lagavulin was difficult to obtain for awhile and its price has increased.

Speaking of aging in used port and sherry casks, I also like Balvenie Double Wood.

#14 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 05:37 AM

The Plowed Society elaborates even further ! :laugh:
Their disclaimer is over ten years old! :shock:

These ratings in no way reflect the opinions of the entire PLOWED Society at this time...just a few drunken amateurs in about 1993 or so....it's funny to look at these ratings because we feel that many newbies to this sport would  probably record similar impressions

Cheer up, Jason! The Philistines aren't quite what they initially appeared ... :rolleyes:
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#15 Dryden

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:30 AM

Ellen-

If you like 'em peaty, try most any Islay - Lag, Ardberg, Bowmore, Laphroaig.

They should all do good by you.
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#16 GoodEater

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:56 AM

You may want to add a Talisker Single Malt 10 Year- From the Isle of Skye. This one has a very distinct smokey flavor that you will either love or hate. Either way I'm certain that you'll find someone who will drink it if you don't like it. It's not too hard to give away scotch!
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#17 bushey

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:05 AM

I'm not a scotch lover, but my husband's favorite is Glenmorangie sherry-wood casked (or something along those lines).

Speaking of smoked salmon, there's a bagel place in Towson, MD that has an amazing selection of smoked salmon, including one smoked in (with?) single malt scotch. It's really delicious.

#18 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:12 AM

It's hard to pick favorites, but if I had to, I'd say Laphroaig among the Islays, and Oban among the Highlands.

Cheers,

Squeat

#19 BlackHive

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:13 AM

Right now, I have Macallan 12yr, Balvenie 12yr Doublewood and Lagavulin on hand.

There's still something special about the Balvenie Doublewood. It's just... what's the word I'm looking for here... "luxurious"? The Macallan 12yr is aged 100% in sherry casks and The Balvenie Doublewood is only finished in sherry casks but the Balvenie offering seems more complex and refined somehow. That isn't to say the Macallan is less than impressive! One thing I highly enjoy about the Macallan 12yr is that it seems to have a more "woody" taste to it.

Then there's Lagavulin. I can't say whether Balvenie Doublewood or Lagavulin is my favorite since they're incredibly different.. but Lagavulin puts up a great fight. A small sip of it is like a train pushing down your throat. It's huge and powerful.. smoky and salty. It's soothing, warming and rejuvinating. The finish lasts for miles and seems to hang around for hours. I admit I did not like it the first time I tasted it but liked it the second time and loved it by the third.

Since you already have a Macallan scotch, I wouldn't suggest the Macallan 12yr or Balvenie since you have your sherry-casked scotch. I WOULD highly suggest trying an Islay malt like Lagavulin, though. Once you grow a taste for it, it's unbeatable. It'll give you a nice change of pace from the lighter Highland Park (but everything seems lighter compared to drinks like Lagavulin and Laphroaig).

#20 PoorLawyer

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:21 AM

I'm not a scotch lover, but my husband's favorite is Glenmorangie sherry-wood casked (or something along those lines).

Speaking of smoked salmon, there's a bagel place in Towson, MD that has an amazing selection of smoked salmon, including one smoked in (with?) single malt scotch. It's really delicious.

When I am not drinking Macallan I agree with the Glenmorangie Sherry cask vote

#21 winemike

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:40 AM

Lagavulin 12 years. Nothing to add.
Springbank 1967 / 32 years from Signatory Vintage maybe ? ...
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#22 fyfas

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:04 PM

Scotch, like many other things is a matter of taste. If you are serious about single malts join the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America (www.smwsa.com). For a tasting try malts from four different regions of Scotland and of varying ages. Crackers and a mild cheese go well and don't interfere with the tasting. My favorites come from Islay with the exception of Laphroig which I think tastes like Iodine. Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Lagavulin are each different and very good.
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#23 NulloModo

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:11 PM

Scotch is not my drink of choice, but I do care for it from time to time.

I have a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year old that I have been enjoying a glass of here and there over the past year and a half, I have to say that I find it enjoyable when I get that rare scotch craving.
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#24 bbqer

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:18 PM

Some excellent single malts mentioned here. Does anyone know -- ballpark -- how many single malts are available for sale here in the U.S.?

I haven't tasted many but of the ones I've had, Macallan 12 year old was like ambrosia to my unsophisticated palate. I have an affordable Aberlour in my liquor cabinet now, along with some JW Black (a blended Scotch, of course).

Does anyone like theirs the way I sometimes do -- after a fine dinner, in a cognac snifter?
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#25 mrbigjas

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:27 PM

I have a bottle of Ledaig in my cabinet that I rather like. Unfortunately the bottle was bought for me over there by family, and in PA the only way you can get it is to buy the 20-year for $61... by the case.

#26 bloviatrix

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:46 PM

Some excellent single malts mentioned here. Does anyone know -- ballpark -- how many single malts are available for sale here in the U.S.?

I think it all depends on where you live. This is the list from my favorite place to buy scotch (NYC). They have literally hundreds to choose from.
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#27 fyfas

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 03:45 PM

As far as the number of single malts available in the US, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society lists 121 distilleries, 25 pf which are closed, mothballed or dismantled. Of the 121, 3 are Japanese, 2 are Irish. Given that each distilery may use different casks and ages casks differently, there is no doubt that there could be hundreds of different bottlings. And, because a distellery is closed does't mean there is no supply of their product. independent bottlers, like Cadenhead, own casks which they bottle for sale. In addition, closed distilleries may contain large amounts of whisky as was the case with Ardbeg when purchased by another active distillery or company. Don't forget that the decline in the dollar against the pound sterling affects scotch prices.
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#28 primowino

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 07:49 AM

I am about one half-step up from a novice in terms of single malt expertise. My cabinet currently contains Highland Park and Macallan Cask Strength. Any suggestions on what to add to this, perhaps for an evening of tasting with friends? A nice variety in flavors would be fun. Anybody ever done a scotch tasting? Would you have food with that? (cheese or something)

Cheers :raz:

I haven't read the whole thread,so someone may have said this. If you are going to have a tasting, you need to think about the order in which you drink the whiskies, a bit like drinking white wines, then red, then dessert in a wine tasting. Most importantly if you are trying Islay malts drink these last because you won't pick up the nuances of other whiskies after a couple of those.

Scotch single malts tend to be grouped into different areas (Islay, Highland, Lowland, Speyside etc) and you should probably try to find examples of each that are supposedly characteristic.

If you want me to throw one name in the bag as my favourite I would say The Balvenie 12 Year Old "Doublewood" (they also make a 10 and a 15 year old). It is a classic speyside. If you can't get that the standard Macallan rahter than your cask strength would be a good choice.

#29 bobmac

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:13 AM

I don't understand rating scotches, even though Michael Jackson does it. I happen to love Laphroaig while some people hate it.
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#30 winemike

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 08:41 AM

It is difficult to get an idea of ALL that Scotland has to offer on the whisky front.
There's that commercial series "Classic Malts" which is composed of Lagavulin (Islay), Cragganmore (Speyside), Dalwhinnie (Highlands), Glenkinchie (Lowlands), Oban (Highlands) Talisker (Skye).
They're all ok, my favourites being Talisker, Lagavulin and Cargganmore.
Now, you should also go for Campbeltown with a Springbank (great !) and Glen Scotia.
The Orkney Island's Highland Parks must not be missed either...
The Balvenie seems to be a favourite of some contributors here, I must say their 10 and 12 years
version are not my favourite, their 21 years Portwood neither .. 15y and 25y single barrels are above
the rest (not just in alcohol :raz: ... IMHO

Also, Signatory Vintage has delivered some very nice versions of some classics, always worth
looking at what they have to offer.

Whisky is also a very "moody" affair. Sometimes I like an Oban, sometimes I go for Lagavulin 12 years .. probably at the opposite of the peatiness scale ...

Slange !
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