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Chris Hennes

Scotch Whisky: The Topic

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I have had two of Glenrothes whiskies...

i am farily sure the first was the "Select Reserve" and I happened to enjoy it, esp the value it was at its price point.

Most recently I am finishing a bottle i bought myself for my 30th Birthday.."1987" it says on the bottle, and would have to say it is in the top two for favorite whisky I've tried this year, and falls somewhere in the top ten of whiskies I have tried over the last 15 years or so...

sadly i have only one wee dram remaining...

for $25 I would certainly invest in a bottle...worth a go...

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Spent a bit of time at the liquor store (Town Wine & Spirits in East Providence for locals) and had the good fortune to taste two very good, and very different, single malts. The Laphroaig 18 was a real shock to someone used to its younger sibling: smooth and creamy, but still in the same smoky family. Loved it. A very different bottle, the Balvenie Madeira cask strength, was soft, fruity, creamy, a great balance of scotch and madeira elements. I almost grabbed it instead of the Macallan cask strength I went to get. Maybe next time.

What other scotches have people been grabbing this holiday season? I really wanted to swim around in the Taliskers....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I just picked up a bottle of the Yamazaki 12 (not strictly a Scotch of course, but that's the flavor profile...): it's fascinating stuff. Very rich, with a complex flavor sequence as you first taste it. I'm looking forward to trying the 18 next, I think. I'm a big fan of the Laphroaig 12, so it sounds like I should play around with the 18 as well. Then there's that bottle of Macallan 25 just sitting there biding its time...


Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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I bought a bottle of Clynelish 14 year old. I think I'll open it tomorrow evening and offer a bit to Santa if he has a little time to spare.

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Spent a bit of time at the liquor store (Town Wine & Spirits in East Providence for locals) and had the good fortune to taste two very good, and very different, single malts. The Laphroaig 18 was a real shock to someone used to its younger sibling: smooth and creamy, but still in the same smoky family. Loved it. A very different bottle, the Balvenie Madeira cask strength, was soft, fruity, creamy, a great balance of scotch and madeira elements. I almost grabbed it instead of the Macallan cask strength I went to get. Maybe next time.

What other scotches have people been grabbing this holiday season? I really wanted to swim around in the Taliskers....

It was Chivas Royal Salute & Ardbeg Supernova for me this season. These two couldn't be more dichotomous if they tried: the former, aged & blended for maximum suaveness, the latter carrying no age statement but packing 58.9% abv & 100+ ppm of peat.

I also picked up some Black Grouse to have around as a standard pour -- anyone had this stuff? I know its sibling is popular around here, but had never heard of this version. The label claims that it's a smokier, peatier Grouse, which at $30/1.75L was enough for me.

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I also picked up some Black Grouse to have around as a standard pour -- anyone had this stuff? I know its sibling is popular around here, but had never heard of this version. The label claims that it's a smokier, peatier Grouse, which at $30/1.75L was enough for me.

Never heard of it but that sounds awesome, I'll have to keep an eye out.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I've always been disappointed in this malt, though I recognise that places me squarely in the minority. I guess when I go Islay, I want something big, deep, rumbling, and expansively challenging, whereas I always find Lagavulin's offering exceedingly refined and eminently drinkable. Sure it's smoke & it's peat, but it almost plays like a Speyside on the palate.

I've discovered that this is a big problem with people when it comes to whisky in that they try and pigeon hole an expected flavour profile into a specific region.

It's true that every region generally has a stamp of a particular profile but it's wrong to look at a sole region for that profile as you will find gems in other regions that give you exactly what you're looking for.

For example, there's some fantastic smoked/peated malts from the Highlands that are definitely worth checking out, and even in Speyside something like the BenRiach Curiositas will give you what you're looking for without being an Islay malt...


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Spent a bit of time at the liquor store (Town Wine & Spirits in East Providence for locals) and had the good fortune to taste two very good, and very different, single malts. The Laphroaig 18 was a real shock to someone used to its younger sibling: smooth and creamy, but still in the same smoky family. Loved it. A very different bottle, the Balvenie Madeira cask strength, was soft, fruity, creamy, a great balance of scotch and madeira elements. I almost grabbed it instead of the Macallan cask strength I went to get. Maybe next time.

All great choices there Chris...

What other scotches have people been grabbing this holiday season?

Couple of new additions over the last few weeks include Glengoyne 12yo Cask Strength, Royal Lochnagar 12yo (to replace my last bottle) and Glen Garioch Founder's Reserve. All highly recommended. :laugh:

The readily available whisky in Scotland more than makes up for the crap weather...


Evo-lution - Consultancy, Training and Events

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters - Bitters

The Jerry Thomas Project - Tipplings and musings

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I've always been disappointed in this malt, though I recognise that places me squarely in the minority. I guess when I go Islay, I want something big, deep, rumbling, and expansively challenging, whereas I always find Lagavulin's offering exceedingly refined and eminently drinkable. Sure it's smoke & it's peat, but it almost plays like a Speyside on the palate.

I've discovered that this is a big problem with people when it comes to whisky in that they try and pigeon hole an expected flavour profile into a specific region.

It's true that every region generally has a stamp of a particular profile but it's wrong to look at a sole region for that profile as you will find gems in other regions that give you exactly what you're looking for.

For example, there's some fantastic smoked/peated malts from the Highlands that are definitely worth checking out, and even in Speyside something like the BenRiach Curiositas will give you what you're looking for without being an Islay malt...

I suppose the solution, then, is to reach for the Lagavulin when I'm feeling something more Northern or Western Highlands, rather than Islay. Incidentally, I looked long & hard at the Ardmore Traditional Cask this weekend, before deciding against adding another mid-ranger to the cabinet.

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I suppose the solution, then, is to reach for the Lagavulin when I'm feeling something more Northern or Western Highlands, rather than Islay.

I see where you're going with that but I still think it's looking to a specific region for a particular flavour profile. Glengoyne, for example, is a West Highland malt that has no peat flavour at all and is in a completely different ball-park to the likes of Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin...

I can recommend Lagavulin 'Margaritas' with the 16yo, Grand Marnier, Apricot Brandy and fresh lime juice if you are looking for an excuse to sip some Lagavulin! :wink:


Evo-lution - Consultancy, Training and Events

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters - Bitters

The Jerry Thomas Project - Tipplings and musings

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Here's one that surprised me: Isle of Jura Superstition. Very drinkable, and by that I don't mean bland or light in any way, I mean delicious. It's full of flavor and you just want to keep drinking it!

Got to talking with Denis Joyal at Joyal's in West Warwick, and he recommended the Superstition. I can see why: it's a blast of caramel, smoke, peat, and who knows what. Just terrific.


Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I love Jura superstition one of my favorite winter time tipples, the Jura single malt is good too but superstition really delivers the smokiness I tend to enjoy from a whiskey, although Talisker also hits the spot. I was really shocked when I first tried laphroaig I was expecting the peaty flavours described on the bottle but instead ended up with the medicinal qualities of TCP, I wasn't a fan but having bought the bottle I persevered and have actually acquired the taste for it - though I still prefer the Jura's. I wasn't that keen on ardbeg, but perhaps that also needs more drinking. Glenmorangie is fine but very light in comparison - not what I'm looking for in a sipper.

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It's interesting that you mentioned medicinal. It is a bit earlier than TCP though. In the Scotch Malt Whisky Society tastings if a malt is peaty, it tastes of iodine. As a result, one of the descriptors used for the flavour is "hospital bandages." Any really peaty whisky is going to have this in addition to the smokiness. Personally, I love the taste but perhaps it is acquired.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Thanks nick, though I do find it amusing that the tasting note mentions hospital bandages - describes it perfectly but just doesn't sound all that appetising. So I guess I love the smokey flavours, and am now developing a love for peaty ones!

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In the Scotch Malt Whisky Society tastings if a malt is peaty, it tastes of iodine. As a result, one of the descriptors used for the flavour is "hospital bandages." Any really peaty whisky is going to have this in addition to the smokiness.

Not necessarily, as many malts are heavily peated without being iodiney. It is said that the iodine aspect is characteristic of the seaside and island malts (especially the Islays) where the maturation houses are battered by the seaweed-laden sprays from the sea.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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Iodine binds in peat with exposure. As such it is likely that the source for the iodine is the ocean, as you say, but via the peat. Otherwise one could suggest that the Bruichladdich Islay whiskies that are less peatier but exposed to the oceanic environment during finishing would have a medicinal quality. They don't.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Iodine binds in peat with exposure. As such it is likely that the source for the iodine is the ocean, as you say, but via the peat. Otherwise one could suggest that the Bruichladdich Islay whiskies that are less peatier but exposed to the oceanic environment during finishing would have a medicinal quality. They don't.

Good point, but then "peaty" doesn't necessarily indicate "medicinal." So, just as some seaside/island malts, such as Bruichladdich, are not medicinal, not all peaty malts will be medicinal either, if no source for the iodine is present.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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Speaking of which, anyone a fan of the Bruichladdich Yellow Submarine? I grabbed a bottle the other day intrigued by it, and I'm not sure what to make of it. I think it lacks the sort of salty, peaty qualities I associate with Islay malts, but even for Bruichladdich it's quite tame, with a lot of melon and cream. I'm enjoying it, I have to say, but it's a bit of a mystery to me. Somewhat like the yellow submarine for which it's named...?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've always been a big fan of Laphroaig, and when I saw this Laphroaig Quarter Cask, I grabbed a bottle. It's more potent (96 proof) and a bit younger into the smaller barrels; you can read more about it here.

I love it: more oak and a bigger "angel's share" seems to translate into a fuller, more oily mouthfeel, and it seems to have more complex flavors than the usual Laphroaig 10. Just the right thing to nurse during tonight's Top Chef finale.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I've always been a big fan of Laphroaig, and when I saw this Laphroaig Quarter Cask, I grabbed a bottle. It's more potent (96 proof) and a bit younger into the smaller barrels; you can read more about it here.

I love it: more oak and a bigger "angel's share" seems to translate into a fuller, more oily mouthfeel, and it seems to have more complex flavors than the usual Laphroaig 10. Just the right thing to nurse during tonight's Top Chef finale.

I guess you could say it's fuller but I found the QC not to my liking at all; the woodiness is to me over the top and suppresses the intensity that I seek in Laphroaig. To each his own of course.

Favorite Scotch I've tasted this year is the Abelour a'bunadh (potentially horribly misspelled). Leathery, minerally, smoky, pow pow pow wow.


Andy Arrington

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Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Favorite Scotch I've tasted this year is the Abelour a'bunadh (potentially horribly misspelled). Leathery, minerally, smoky, pow pow pow wow.

+1. I picked up a bottle of this the other day, as part of the LCBO's current push on whisky, and it is just as amazing as I remember it being. I'm looking forward to having this bottle around for the next little while.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Be aware that a'bunadh does vary quite a bit from batch to batch. Of the 5 or so batches I've tasted, 1 was amazing, 1 was great, 2 were really good, and 1 was meh.

That said, I'd buy another bottle once I finish my current one.

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