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***THE OFFICIAL OT WHISK(E)Y DRINKERS THREAD***

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 04:26
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Peddler's decanter...


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Thanks Scrummy.
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Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

Thanks Scrummy.

Welcome sir!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 06:04
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Nice decanter, Skip!

Now, your assignment for today is to post a photo. Give it a try; it’s not difficult.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 06:15
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:


As a registered "Defender of The Malt", I can say that it is excellent. 



Ok, I’ll bite. I’ve heard you mention this multiple times but don’t know what this means. Secret society? Do you pay dues? Is there a secret handshake? Have to pass a rigorous exam? How does one become registered? Are there good retirement benefits?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 17:49
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by urbaneruralite urbaneruralite wrote:

I'll take Woodford Reserve in an Old Fashioned 


I have some Woodford Reserve at home. I haven't tried it in an Old Fashioned, but so far drinking it neat and on the rocks, it just doesn't agree with my taste.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 19:05
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My favorite is some sort of whiskey, neat, chased by a strong copper/brown/double ale (Irish, Belgian style).
I have tasted enough ales and beers to know which ones  i like and which ones i don't, but i am learning about the whiskeys.
One thing is for sure: i don't like peaty  Scotch. I like some blended Scotch.
I absolutely loved Jefferson bourbon recently, as well as Woodford reserve double oaked.

Rifle dude, i believe i like a good bourbon more than scotch, but i would appreciate if you went over you list and made it again with a slight comment or grading in regard to the strength of  peaty flavor.  That wold save many novices a lot of grief and money.

Of course, being originally from Europe, i know a thing or two about our slibovitz, palinka, and the like.
I even have my own still and make a gallon or two of apple, pear, or peach palinka (84 proof, no additives, colors, flavors, or sugar added) sometimes. I can't find enough cheap plums anywhere, and failed to grow them myself (too many diseases and insects for the trees, plus common late frosts after they bloom). I did a batch of corn whiskey, too, but i did not like it. Even ordered a mulberry cask, to keep the good stuff and impart a nice mellow aged flavor and yellowish color.

I suppose that if i went into a bar that had all the drinks and i could order anything, it would be a
a) Calvados (French/Spanish apple schnaps) double shot and a mug of home made northern Spain apple cider
or b) a double shot of Hungarian quince palinka and a  mug of their coldest cheapest rough beer.
Both combinations remind me of friends and  dogs from times past, muddy boots, and roe and boar hunts.


Edited by anweis - January/30/2018 at 19:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 20:56
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:



Rifle dude, i believe i like a good bourbon more than scotch, but i would appreciate if you went over you list and made it again with a slight comment or grading in regard to the strength of  peaty flavor.  That wold save many novices a lot of grief and money.


Sure thing, buddy. The only Scotches I mentioned in my OP that have any peaty flavor present at all are, (ranked from least to most peat):

- Highland Park 18 - just a hint of peat
- Highland Park 12 
- Oban Distiller's Edition, Oban 14
- Springbank 15
- Highland Park Valkyrie
- Talisker 18
- Talisker 10
- Lagavulin 16 - pretty heavy peat
- Lagavulin 12 (forgot to list in my OP) - cask strength, and heavier peat than the 16

When it comes to the peated whiskies, as a general rule, longer barrel maturation tends to subdue the peaty/smoky flavor, so the older versions of any given peaty whisky are typically more mellow and have less phenolic, "medicinal" taste. 

If you don't like peated Scotch, you should avoid all of the ones made on the island of Islay except for most versions of Bunnahabhain, which is the only Islay distillery that offers unpeated single malts. The remaining Islay distilleries include Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Bowmore, Port Ellen, and Port Charlotte, all of which are heavily peated.

Elsewhere, Talisker, the only distillery on the island of Skye, is a little less peaty than the Islay whiskies, but still has pronounced peatiness.

Highland Park, made on Orkney Island north of the Scottish mainland, has a light peat flavor. The peat that is present is less pungent and more sweet than peated whiskies from other regions due to the fact the area where HP gets their peat on the island has a lack of woody plant matter and a high concentration of heather. If you want to ease into peatier whiskies to see if you might develop a taste for some peatiness, Highland Park's stuff is a good starting point. They have a little different flavor profile of other peated Scotches. Their stuff tends to be sweeter and have honeyed fruit notes to balance the smokiness.

The above isn't intended to be all-inclusive; there are many more examples of peated Scotches. All of the rest of the Scotches in my list in the OP have no detectable peat flavor. Actually the list of unpeated Scotches far outnumbers those that are peated.

Edit: left out a couple of the Islay distilleries



Edited by RifleDude - January/30/2018 at 21:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/30/2018 at 21:09
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Thanks!!! That helps a lot. Will make and save your list and suggestions for my next visit to our only decent store and will see what they have. Will take it easy and will see what we learn.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 06:17
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

Thanks!!! That helps a lot. Will make and save your list and suggestions for my next visit to our only decent store and will see what they have. Will take it easy and will see what we learn.

Anweis,

Generally the least peaty whisky is type is Speyside so good brands to start with (in my view) are Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenmorganie

A 1/2 pint as an accompaniment is very nice. A good session bitter for choice.

Scrummy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 07:15
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:


As a registered "Defender of The Malt", I can say that it is excellent. 



Ok, I’ll bite. I’ve heard you mention this multiple times but don’t know what this means. Secret society? Do you pay dues? Is there a secret handshake? Have to pass a rigorous exam? How does one become registered? Are there good retirement benefits?

1) not secret, I became a member in the 80's.  Received a "formal invitation" from a member I met in London

2) did when it was active, but once a member always a Defender of the Malt... by charter

3) NO, merely a dedication to preservation of enjoyment and preservation of the "aqua vitae"... bourbons were considered "crass" and it is only in very recent times that I have given bourbons any consideration

4) Actually, it was expected that one would gain knowledge of and pass on the knowledge of whisky, try to expand the "circle".  When I traveled overseas more, met others who were "Defenders", shared time, a dram or two, and often a good cigar...  was introduced to some very fine whiskies and learned finer points of appreciation through association

5) Sadly, the organization no longer exists, the spirit will always exist

6) Only those benefits that one brings to oneself

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 10:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 10:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 13:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 13:23
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" Gimme a Highland Park 18!   Pronto! Grrrrrr!!!! " 








Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 16:04
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Just picked up a bottle each of Laphroaig Quarter Cask and Ardbeg Uigeadail. Never tried whiskies from either distillery before. I'm going all-in on the peat monster experience tonight!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 16:52
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A “ wee dram “ as my friend Scrummy says!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 03:09
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Aye, a wee dram is welcome on a cold night!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 14:29
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Just picked up a bottle each of Laphroaig Quarter Cask and Ardbeg Uigeadail. Never tried whiskies from either distillery before. I'm going all-in on the peat monster experience tonight!

Ok, as follow-up to this, I had a couple "wee drams" of each last night.

HOLY SMOKE SHOW, BATMAN!

Both of these malts are anything BUT delicate and timid! If one is new to single malt Scotch, I think it's a pretty safe bet these are probably not the first whiskies you'd want to try as your introduction. They're about as gentle as a freight train! The same can probably be said for most, if not all Islay region malts, though.

That being said, I LOVED both of them! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them, in fact. My relationship with peated Scotch has been a very gradual development.

Until fairly recently in my Scotch adventure, the peat flavor and I just didn't get along, so I can understand why many people avoid and/or outright hate the heavily peated Scotches. It seems to be a polarizing flavor -- you either love it or hate it. My first introduction to peated Scotch was Lagavulin 12 5-6 years ago. I didn't pour it down the drain; I ended up drinking the whole bottle, but I didn't care for it too much, and until just a few months ago never bought another bottle after that first one. This is why until this week, I avoided trying brands like Ardbeg and Laphroaig. They had a reputation for being even more peaty and assertive than Lagavulin, so if Lagavulin and I didn't get along, why would I spend money for the other peat monster Islay malts?

Then, about 2 years ago, I began trying lightly peated malts like Oban, Springbank, and Highland Park and found I liked them. A lot. They had some other sweet, spicy, and citrusy notes to balance the bitterness of the peat. I still avoided Lagavulin for awhile, but given all the praise the Islay malts received, I figured I must be missing something and decided to give them another try now that I'd learned to appreciate a greater range of flavor profiles in Scotches from all regions besides Islay. Famous author Robert Louis Stevenson once famously declared Talisker "the king of all drinks," so I thought there must be some magic there I'm missing out on. So, I took the plunge into a bit more peat and tried Talisker 10. I confess, I still didn't care for the peat too much, but I was finally able to discern a bit more complexity of flavors behind the peat. The bottle of Talisker lingered untouched in the back of my liquor cabinet for awhile as many other single malts came and went. Then one day not too long ago, after I'd come to love the aforementioned lightly peated malts, I made a return trip to Talisker. Holy crap, this stuff was GREAT all of a sudden! It was the same bottle I'd once thought was "meh," so what had changed? Suddenly, I was tasting and appreciating notes of honey, smoked cherry, almonds, cream, oak, and chili spices in the background. Where did that come from all of a sudden? This experience caused me to buy another bottle of Talisker 10, and eventually Talisker 18. 

With my newfound appreciation for the peaty/smoky stuff, I thought maybe I should give Lagavulin one more chance and picked up a bottle of 16. Just as I suspected might happen, it now seemed much more complex and interesting than I'd remembered the 12 being. I not only liked it, I actually liked it really well! This lead to me taking a chance and going full tilt peat monster with the purchase of these two Islay malts this week.

It finally dawned on me what's going on here with my about-face on peat. With pretty much all other elements in the flavor profiles of whiskies, I can relate the notes back to familiar tastes in other foods and drinks. Not so with peat. When I first heard the "peaty" description in tasting notes, I had no idea what that meant. So, when I had that first taste of Lagavulin, the peat was such an unusual flavor that was unlike anything else I'd ever tasted, it was all I could taste. I was left with the impression that the peat overpowered everything else, rendering the whisky too one-dimensional. I didn't find it revolting; it's just that it was such an unfamiliar taste and it was so "front and center," I couldn't taste anything else initially, as my mind was centered on trying to decipher the peat. If I hadn't tried some other whiskies having less prominent peat so that I could discern other flavors complementing the bitter peat smoke, I may have never returned to the Islay malts again. I'm glad I gave it another chance.

Back to the two whiskies at hand...
Both have a very similar nose. Big smoke! I've decided heavy peat kinda reminds me of a combination of struck matches, imitation bacon bits, and the musty smell of a horse...in a good way, impossible as that may seem! I can discern some sweetness in the background, with maybe a little citrus.

The Ardbeg was first.
Taste-wise, the peaty smoke was immediate, but on the front of the tongue was an initial molasses or syrup-like sweetness. Maybe a slight barbecue flavor in there. On the back and sides of my tongue, I started getting notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, a bit of praline/pecan pie, cherries, and charred smoked meat.

It finished with sherry, some caramel cream, white pepper, and more peaty smoke. 

Fantastic!

Next, the Laphroaig...
Like the Ardbeg, it starts out with powerful smoke, but with a more immediate sweetness on the front of the tongue that reminded me of vanilla ice cream. This transformed into a white chocolate-like taste with oak and malt.

The finish was more nutmeg, chili pepper, and of course, more smoke.

I thought it was excellent too!

Both would go very well with smoked red meat, I think. Both would be excellent on a cold day in front of a warm fire.

It was close, but I think maybe I like the Ardbeg Uigeadail ever so slightly better. It was close enough that this is subject to change with repeated tastings.

I can't say I'd want to drink these often. I don't think I'd enjoy every dram of single malt I drink to blitzkrieg my mouth like these. It might render my taste buds jaded to more subtle whiskies. Variety is the spice of life. Nevertheless, these Islay malts will now have a permanent place in my single malt rotation.

I updated my OP and added them to my ranking.



Edited by RifleDude - February/01/2018 at 14:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 15:41
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Very detailed notes.

Talisker is still my favorite overall. I like both 10 and 18, but you should really try the 25.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 16:26
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Yeah, I do like Talisker 10 and 18 a little better than the Islay stuff...so far.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 16:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 19:10
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Talisker if I’m having a “ wee dram “.

Jameson cuz of my heritage but I’m thinkin´ there may be a “ Red Breast “ on the horizon! 😂👍🥃.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 03:35
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One of my very favorite "peaty" tastings was Macallan Rare Cask Black...one of the most amazing I have ever tasted.  I also keep a bottle of Macallan 21 and Macallan 18 for a completely different taste.  Some of the surprises I've found are Johnny Walker Blue and Johnny Walker Green.  The Blue is a little bit expensive in my book, but one of the SMOOTHEST and most flavorful scotches I've ever tasted.  I recently ran across a bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label aged in rye casks (said it was a limited edition)... I shared it with my crew out here.  It hit my "top 10 list".  Glenmorangie 18 is probably my favorite of all, but the Macallan 18 gives it a hard run. 

Let me recommend to you... when tasting a fine whisky, NEVER put ice in it.  It you want it chilled, refrigerate the bottle in a wine refrigerator.  Pour your whisky in a clean dry glass and add just a SPLASH of water (which will open up the flavors).  Then enjoy.  As ice melts, it dilutes the whisky and you lose the intricate, some almost hidden, flavors.  You will never get the full "taste" with ice. I have tried the stainless steel cubes a couple of times... jury is still out.  Probably won't use them with some of the better whiskies. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 04:00
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Agree on the splash. Ideally water which isn't chlorinated and for personal preference 50/50 with your scotch.
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