• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

EllenH

Favorite single malt

199 posts in this topic

It is. I'm a bit of a rebel that way, posting musings on blends and rye and bourbon and Irish and Australian whiskies in a single malt scotch thread.

And to be fair it only says "Favorite Single Malt". Doesn't mention Scotch or even "whisky", anywhere...

(OK, I know that was probably what was meant!)

But for a pleasant and generally easy to find whiskey I concur with Chris and find that the Bushmills 10yo Single Malt always hits the spot. Although I do also like a bit of the Black Bush now and again as well even it is a mere blended whiskey.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other recent whisk(e)y tastings that I remember

- Whistlepig rye. Amazing, amazing, amazing. That is all.

- Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack. Don't remember if I've had the standard Jack. Don't think so, I mean. Bought it because of a couple recipes--in PDT, maybe, or the Beta book--called for Tenn. whiskey. And I didn't have any. The whiskey both books recommend, George Dickel, is really hard to find here and very, very, very expensive in AUD terms. So fuck that, right? Anyway. Gent Jack is okay. I mean, there's nothing about it that compells me to buy the, er, more premium Jack, but there's also nothing about it that makes me want to off-load the bottle onto someone who'll enjoy it more.

- Dalwhinnie and Oban. Enjoyed the former a whole lot more than the latter. The Oban was nice enough, I mean, but I'm glad I only have a 200mL bottle, as I except a full 700mL would be lingering around for a good while. The Dalwhinnie, tho', I think it'd be a nice entry point to the scotch side of the whisk(e)y world. As in if a non-whisk(e)y or scotch drinker wanted a starting point, that'd be it, before a more standard Glenlivitfiddichetc.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And another

- Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Very good. I mean, I've liked all of the Wild Turkey products that I've tried (granted, I've only had the regular bourbon and rye whiskies--I haven't any of their special editions, the honey liqueur or their pre-mixed beverages), but still. Rare Breed is a full-flavoured bourbon, the kind that can take you to a dark place. The kind of bourbon you want when listening to Tom Waits, which I am. I mean, I've warmed to the milder, underdone Maker's Mark/Booker's kind of thing, but still, this. I guess it's maybe the bourbon version of Islay: it's for people who are already sold on that format of whiskey.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More (non-scotch) whiskies:

Woodford Reserve rye: good, probably on par with the entry level Saz, but I prefer their bourbon. Fairly sweet for a rye, I think.

Knob Creek single barrel: nice enough but ... I'm glad I tasted this buy the glass. I don't think I'd buy a bottle given it's hard to find and expensive here.

Pappy Van Winkle 15: amazing. The only * Van Winkle I'd had prior to this was the Old Van Winkle rye. The Pappy 15 was easily as good as the Old rye that I have. Tempted to acquire some, even tho' I think it's overpriced ($200AUD--which, sure, is a full $400 cheaper than the 23).

Bulleit rye: only newly avalible here. Sweet-ish and probably on par with Wild Turkey rye. Yet to land in bottleshops but I get the impression it's going to be priced at a similar level to WT and Jim. Which is nice, as they're the only two reasonably priced ryes you can get in Australia (if you can find them, you'll spend about $100 on the basic Ritt and Saz offerings).

Crown Royal: first Canadian I'd had aside from the entry-level Club. Not particularly nice. Not terrible ... but again, this is hard to find and expensive here (and it's the only Canadian I've seen for sale by the bottle here aside from Canadian Club) and I'm very glad I didn't give into temptation a while ago and purchase a bottle.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone tried the new Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year? I'm quite fond of the 12 and the 21...would appreciate any notes.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hudson Manhattan Rye. Seen the Hudson whiskey range here and there--by the glass, by the bottle occasionally--but never got around to trying any of them. It's expensive here. Really expensive. As in, what you'd pay for the ... what, 350mL bottles is what you'd pay for half a bottle of a really, really, really nice top shelf bourbon (or rye). By the glass it's on par with Thomas Handy, Pappy Van Winkle, George Stagg, et al. So. Yeah. That rye. It was ... man, I didn't really like it. It was harsh. I mean, yeah, it's ~45% APV, but I wouldn't say either Thomas Handy or Old Van Winkle Rye--both stronger than the Hudson--were that blunt on the palate. Not a winner.

Jim Beam Devil's Cut. Don't recall having a Jim Beam whiskey before. Well. That's incorrect. I've had Booker's and a few other bourbons released under other names, but I'd never had Jim Beam Jim Beam. Stuff that's sold openly as Jim Beam whiskey. Not out of snobbishness or anything, but I'd never got around to it. Woodford Reserve was, I think, the first bourbon I ever had and after that I just sampled things or blindly bought things I heard about on eGullet. But the other night a friend brought over some Devil's Cut and ... you know what? For a cheap whiskey it's nice enough. Or, rather, the opening is nice. Sweet in that pleasant bourbon sweetness kind of way. The finish is a bit rough around the edges, but yeah, I could drink this. And I will, as I was left with a half-full bottle.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oban single malt.

Woodford reserve for routine bourbon and the estimable Pappy VanWinkle for whenever I deserve it.

Jim Beam isn't bad stuff, better I think than Old Granddad and Wild Turkey, but a couple notches below Woodford.

Some of the fancier artisan bourbons lose that bourbon taste and are a little scotch-y to my tongue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Airline bourbon is a variable situation. Usair only has Jack Daniels which isn't even a bourbon. Good only to clean the tray table. Otherwise a fine airline.

Delta has Woodford, which is the sole redeeming factor for the whole hopeless company IMO.

United and American have Jim Beam Black...adequate, just like the carriers.


Edited by gfweb (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, Devil's Cut is made by a unique (to my knowledge) process of extracting the spirit and flavors that have soaked into recently-emptied barrels using water and steam. I haven't had it, but I would expect a corresponding unique flavor profile.

I couldn't readily find a age statement for the Hudson Manhattan Rye, but my recollection was that their Hudson line is pretty young, which my explain the harshness.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, Devil's Cut is made by a unique (to my knowledge) process of extracting the spirit and flavors that have soaked into recently-emptied barrels using water and steam. I haven't had it, but I would expect a corresponding unique flavor profile.

I couldn't readily find a age statement for the Hudson Manhattan Rye, but my recollection was that their Hudson line is pretty young, which my explain the harshness.

So it's kind of like the bourbon equivalent of Newfoundland 'swish' to get the last of the rum out of the barrel?

... and Chris, a little rough around the edges can be a virtue.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... and Chris, a little rough around the edges can be a virtue.

Indeed it can. And I'd say in this case it was. I enjoyed it. A nice contrast to how ... refined something like Woodford is. 'Tis interesting as I was reminded of something ralfy said about scotch, about how sometimes a particular bottle isn't very nice as they've bottled even the dregs from the cask or some such. When I saw Devil's Cut being marketed I couldn't shake that video from my memory. Altho' I guess maybe they've refined it a bit before bottling it.

Some of the fancier artisan bourbons lose that bourbon taste and are a little scotch-y to my tongue.

Have started to notice that. I think it's only a few, tho'. It's not a quality I find endearing.

I couldn't readily find a age statement for the Hudson Manhattan Rye, but my recollection was that their Hudson line is pretty young, which my explain the harshness.

They are. They're charging a lot for young whiskey. As in it's roughly ~$80/350 mL. And for that I could buy a full-sized bottle of basically any kind of bourbon or rye that's not in the super premium category (i.e. the afore-mentioned Stagg/Van Winkle/Handy) category. Granted, most Australian stills do exactly the same thing. Most Australian whiskey is very young and very expensive, altho' there are some nice examples.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elijah Craig. Just their default bottling. Not the small batch single barrel fancy option. A nice bourbon. An interesting bourbon. When I heard it was a sweet bourbon I imagined that it'd be a whole lot like, say, Woodford Reserve, but it's a bit more complex than WR.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elmer T Lee single barrel. Wow. I mean. Wow. Just took a sip and at first it was like, well, yeah, that's nice but then it lingered. There's a complex sweetness that just sits there, takes its time with your palate, doesn't hit you with the oak--which is there, no doubt--right away the way, say, Templeton does. A nice blind buy.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overeem Sherry Cask from the Old Hobart 'Still. A little harsh--still young, I guess--but overall one of the best Australian whiskies I've had. Seems to be shooting more for the Speyside kind of thing than the Islay. I know that those guys doing the rye spirit are obviously aiming that way, but it'd be nice if Australian whiskey either did its own thing (hi, Smith's Angaston, it'd be nice if you did another release) or maybe, if it has to poach ideas, borrowed from Kentucky and not just Islay.

Altho', yeah, price is a real issue with our whiskey. The 'reem is nice $125 for the standard bottling of the sherry cask (about $40 more for the cask strength version). And it's nice, sure, as I said, but again, it's young whiskey and I could buy a couple of nice bottles--say, a Talisker and a Woodford Reserve--for that money. Easy. And, I get supply vs demand. I get the small market size. All of that. But ... I mean, $300 for a bottle of Sullivan's Cove? I've tried the overpriced mini. Just ... no.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone tried the new Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year? I'm quite fond of the 12 and the 21...would appreciate any notes.

Answered my own question...to the unfortunate tune of $120. This is a hella-rich, sweetish dram. I'm sure that it'll suit some particular mood, but I still think this'll be on the shelf for a long time.


Edited by KD1191 (log)
1 person likes this

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night a fellow eGulleteer, myself and our respective plus ones hit Whisky and Alement. I know of a couple of overseas-based eGulleteers that would so dearly love this place. Things tasted:

  • Van Winkle 17. A lovely bourbon. Very big on oak. Sweet. Yet ... I don't know ... I liked it but I wouldn't run out and track down a bottle of it like I did when I tasted their rye whiskey. I just couldn't see a massive step up in quality from some of the more readily available bourbons I enjoy.
  • Scotch Malt Whisky Society 'Cowboy's Delight'. I was told this was a 15 year old malt from the Springbank still. I nosed a number of other 15-ish year old Springbank drams and none of them came close to this beast. This sexy, sexy beast. The tasting notes mentioned pork crackling and leather (hence the 'cowboy's delight', I guess). We found it to be very savory. Enoki mushrooms moreso than pork. As it opened up it became a fair whack sweeter. An amazing whisky. Almost worth the $240 for the bottle and $200 price tag for joining the society ...
  • Yoichi 15. I've loved this whisky on previous visits but, really, anything that's a nod to the lighter Speysides isn't going to stand up to a lovely cask strength craft whisky. It felt flat and lifeless on the nose. It opened up eventually and was, yeah, nice enough but it lacked any sort of complexity in comparison. On future visits once I turned to the 'scotch malt whisky society exclusives' page I'd stay there.
1 person likes this

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night a fellow eGulleteer, myself and our respective plus ones hit Whisky and Alement. I know of a couple of overseas-based eGulleteers that would so dearly love this place. Things tasted:

  • Van Winkle 17. A lovely bourbon. Very big on oak. Sweet. Yet ... I don't know ... I liked it but I wouldn't run out and track down a bottle of it like I did when I tasted their rye whiskey. I just couldn't see a massive step up in quality from some of the more readily available bourbons I enjoy.

17? Not sure what that is unless it is an Australian special! Pappy comes in 15 and 20yo "flavors" here.

But I agree the rye is worth looking for. Although it is worth noting that it is slowly being blended with Buffalo trace rye as they transition from the vatted whiskey to an all BT rye over the next few years. Sadly the original rye can't last for ever! The last of the all original rye bottles was probably 3-4 years ago. That said it is still pretty good which suggests the BT rye could be pretty decent in its own right.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it was billed as some sort of Van Winkle Special Reserve Bullshit Edition. I don't know. It's not like that end of the bourbon market is terribly popular here. Most bottleshops won't stock anything more premium than Booker's and the other small batch Beam offerings.

Anyway.

I'm revisiting an Aussie one: the pinot cask-finished Hellyer's Road. I know that at some point a certain eGulleteer may have stumbled across a box of HR whiskies in the mail. These accidents can happen. This person may be interested to know that in place of the very youthful whisky he received, the modern day Hellyer's is aged for ten years. I'm tempted to pick up a bottle of the ten year old peated HR and the re-released Smith's Angaston to see how they compare.

The pinot finish HR is funny. Nose and palate were initially closed up. I added a couple drops of water. There's this ... I don't know ... I don't get this with, say, some of the other wine finished whiskies I've had (Nectar d'Or, say) but with this there's this real yeasty note. I reckon if you licked the inside of a wine barrel that hadn't seem a huge amount of service yet you'd get this flavour. Musty. Bready. A bit of floral funk. Less like pinot noir as I might serve it to you in the glass and more like pinot that's been skuling around half-dried up in the bottom of some poorly cleaned glassware that's occasionally used to dissolve instant yeast. So. The pinot character is there. Buried. This is an easier drinking whisky than I remember, despite the funk and must.

EDIT

I was trying to pick what this reminded me of. In Zimbabwe there's this home brewed wonder. It's billed as a kind of beer but what it's really like is someone dissolving instant yeast in water and adding a little vodka to the mix and serving it in clay.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)
1 person likes this

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm revisiting an Aussie one: the pinot cask-finished Hellyer's Road. I know that at some point a certain eGulleteer may have stumbled across a box of HR whiskies in the mail. These accidents can happen. This person may be interested to know that in place of the very youthful whisky he received, the modern day Hellyer's is aged for ten years. I'm tempted to pick up a bottle of the ten year old peated HR and the re-released Smith's Angaston to see how they compare.

The pinot finish HR is funny. Nose and palate were initially closed up. I added a couple drops of water. There's this ... I don't know ... I don't get this with, say, some of the other wine finished whiskies I've had (Nectar d'Or, say) but with this there's this real yeasty note. I reckon if you licked the inside of a wine barrel that hadn't seem a huge amount of service yet you'd get this flavour. Musty. Bready. A bit of floral funk. Less like pinot noir as I might serve it to you in the glass and more like pinot that's been skuling around half-dried up in the bottom of some poorly cleaned glassware that's occasionally used to dissolve instant yeast. So. The pinot character is there. Buried. This is an easier drinking whisky than I remember, despite the funk and must.

EDIT

I was trying to pick what this reminded me of. In Zimbabwe there's this home brewed wonder. It's billed as a kind of beer but what it's really like is someone dissolving instant yeast in water and adding a little vodka to the mix and serving it in clay.

Hmm. I suspect a certain eGulleteer wouldn't mind another happy accident arriving in the mail!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoughts on two new additions to the collection:

  • Smith's Angaston 12: an Australian single malt whisky. Not the amazing surprise that the 8 year old variant was but still good. It's lost a bit of the warmth and now has this brandyish, oakish thing going on. I like it for the same reason I liked the younger model: it's not trying to be scotch, especially Islay scotch, or bourbon or anything else. It's Australian whisky. Accessible. A nice sipper. Suitable for summer.
  • Bruichladdich The Laddie 10: holy shit amazing whisky. Picked it up based on vague recommendations and someone's recent post in the bottle shop thread. A winner.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for mentioning a couple of whiskeys that I'll probably never find, and if I do, will never be able to afford. I sincerely respect the opinions, and the recommendations too, but still hate you, just because you were able to taste them, and I couldn't.

That is all...LOL


I'm a lifelong professional chef. If that doesn't explain some of my mental and emotional quirks, maybe you should see a doctor, and have some of yours examined...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for mentioning a couple of whiskeys that I'll probably never find, and if I do, will never be able to afford. I sincerely respect the opinions, and the recommendations too, but still hate you, just because you were able to taste them, and I couldn't.

That is all...LOL

Affordable quality malts, all very easy to find:

Highland Park 12

Old Pulteney 12

Caol Ila 12

Glenmorangie 10

slightly more expensive but still quite reasonable and easy to find:

Talisker 10

Laphroaig 10

Bruichladdich 10 if you can find it (discontinued but still should be on shelves)

If someone said I could only have 2 bottles and each had to be under $45, I'd definitely spring for Caol Ila and HP twelves.


Edited by Hassouni (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be visiting a fav restaurant soon that has a fairly decent single malt selection.

they offer 2 (1 oz) single malt tastings for 20$ from the list here. note the link is to a pdf file.

http://charcoalgroup.ca/userContent/documents/CS%20Dessert%20Oct%2013.pdf

the only restriction is that that the macallan 18 is not included in this offer.

so my question is which two would you choose ?

based either on not having tried before and or a favourite selection.

I am leaning towards the Auchentoshan Triple Wood, and the Springbank ‘18 for this visit.


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on your taste and mood; from that list I would probably also taste the Springbank 18, which I've never had, and perhaps something big and smokey like the Talisker or one of the Islays.

I like the Three Wood, and I would try it if I hadn't had a hugely sherried Scotch before, but from that list the Double Wood is probably a safer but similar choice.

1 person likes this

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you new to scotch?

I'd be leaning the other way and recommending the very drinkable Dalwhinnie for one of them. For the other I'd go for something more interesting. I'm inclined to go with Lagavulin over Talisker. Or treat yourself to 2 * tastings and hit:

Dalwhinnie

Lagavulin

Auchentoshan 3 or Oban

Springbank

That'll cover a nice spectrum of drams. As much as Oban and Dalwhinnie are from the same region I think they're quite different.

If you've hit just enough whisky to know you really like peat then there's always a combo like this:

Laphroaig (at the end: hit this one last)

Lagavulin

Talisker

Springbank (probably my starting point)


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.