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

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RifleDude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 16:04
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!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2018 at 16:52
A “ wee dram “ as my friend Scrummy says!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 03:09
Aye, a wee dram is welcome on a cold night!
Was sure I had a point when I started this post...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 14:29
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
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 15:41
Very detailed notes.

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

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 16:26
Yeah, I do like Talisker 10 and 18 a little better than the Islay stuff...so far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2018 at 19:10
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! 😂👍🥃.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 03:35

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. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 04:00
Agree on the splash. Ideally water which isn't chlorinated and for personal preference 50/50 with your scotch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 05:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 06:21
I never put ice in Scotch. Not even the stainless steel cubes. I reserve ice for mixers, but never with Scotch. I do add a splash of water to a dram. It does help unlock flavors. For high ABV and cask strength Scotches, I add a bit larger splash, in stuff below 46% and in less assertive Scotches, just a few drops. Sometimes it does improve the nose and taste experience, sometimes not, but it never hurts.

As far as extra matured Scotch is concerned, 18 years is generally the cutoff point where I’m still willing to pay for it, with notable exceptions like Macallan 18, which has become too expensive in comparison to other quality 18s. I’m just not willing to spend upwards of $200 a bottle, no matter how good it is. The oldest age statement Scotch I did buy and still have some onhand is Old Pulteney 21. I think it’s fantastic whisky! It was at the upper limit, maybe even a bit beyond the upper limit of what I’m typically willing to spend, but I felt like splurging at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVT_Tactical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 09:25

Love asking this from others - for a newb.... I.e. someone who hardly drinks liquors or any type......

What would be a recommended whiskey/scotch/ sipping drink that would not be to harsh?  

We've debated this often amongst some of my poker buddies at games..... I normally offer up some apple pie moonshine as its very mild however it will slip up on you if you sip to fast, but want to know what you'd take to a gathering where a few folks want to try stuff but you don't' want to give them a bad experience.

Beer is normally not allowed during games.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike650 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 09:40
Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:



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.



+1 on the Macallan 18

Going to have to try the splash of water technique. Thunbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 09:55
Originally posted by Scrumbag Scrumbag wrote:

...and for personal preference 50/50 with your scotch.

Oh wow, that's a lot of water! I never add more than a few drops, maybe a half teaspoon at the most, especially if it's a light, delicate single malt. The most I'll ever add to a dram is around a teaspoon or so to really bold flavored Scotch like Aberlour A'bunadh cask strength. I don't want to dilute the flavors, just use enough water to open up the flavors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 10:01
Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

Love asking this from others - for a newb.... I.e. someone who hardly drinks liquors or any type......

What would be a recommended whiskey/scotch/ sipping drink that would not be to harsh?  


One very mild-mannered Scotch that I'd recommend as a good "intro" for people who have never tried Scotch before is Glenmorangie Original 10 year old. As a bonus, it's also very reasonably priced, yet is excellent for the price.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2018 at 10:48
Glenmorangie is a very good "introductory" Scotch.  Also, Glenrothes is surprisingly decent.  Another one that is not very common, but is, IMO, the best of the mild scotches is Cardhu.

Generally, for anyone who likes Speyside scotches, if you havn't tried Cardhu, you are missing out.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2018 at 04:43
Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

Love asking this from others - for a newb.... I.e. someone who hardly drinks liquors or any type......

What would be a recommended whiskey/scotch/ sipping drink that would not be to harsh?  

We've debated this often amongst some of my poker buddies at games..... I normally offer up some apple pie moonshine as its very mild however it will slip up on you if you sip to fast, but want to know what you'd take to a gathering where a few folks want to try stuff but you don't' want to give them a bad experience.

Beer is normally not allowed during games.

For a blended whisky, Famous Grouse is very, very hard to beat... especially at the price.

For a single malt Glenmorangie Lasanta... 12 year old aged in sherry casks.  It is the "newest" of the sherry cask aged Glenmorangie.  Is a bit higher alcohol content, but still VERY smooth and reasonably priced.  I still have some of the "old" stuff, but the Lasanta is excellent.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2018 at 11:47
Trying all these Scotches sounds like trying all the Bourbons; if you did it, there wouldn't be time to be sober, and you couldn't remember which one you liked best.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2018 at 12:05
I think Glenmorangie as a whole brand is usually a good choice for "introductory" single malts. I say usually, because they keep coming up with so many designer variations on the same basic signature style with fancy-sounding sub-names that it's hard to keep up with them all. Their signature style is a more mellow, approachable flavored single malt than most. I recommended their 10 year old Original version as an intro Scotch as much because it is inexpensive as its mellow, non-harsh flavor profile. That way, if one doesn't like it, they aren't out much money, and if they do like it, it's a good intro to Glenmo's more expensive offerings.

For clarification on Lasanta, it is only "finished" in sherry casks for the last 2 years of its maturation, not entirely matured in sherry casks. The first 10 years, it's aged in ex-bourbon casks, the same as all Glenmorangie whiskies. I agree it's excellent, and also agree that it would be a good choice for someone interested in trying a single malt for the first time. I think the same can be said for their other two 12-year old single malts, Nectar D'Or and Quinta Ruban. These 4 make up Glenmo's so-called "core" group of whiskies, which is to say the 4 most commonly found in stores, and the 4 that are at least somewhat inexpensive (by single malt Scotch standards, that is). Lasanta, Nectar, and Quinta all start out as their same 10-year old Original, that then are "finish" matured for an extra 2 more years in different types of casks. Lasanta is finished in ex-sherry casks, Nectar D'Or is finished in ex-Sauternes wine casks, and Quinta Ruban is finished in ex-port wine casks. All 3 are outstanding IMO, only different. Of those 3, I like Nectar D'Or the best personally, followed by Quinta Ruban and Lasanta.
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