Thread: SCOTCH Whisky Discussion

  1. #901
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    Attachment 15001

    Picked these up on a Maine beer trip.
    I'm coming to your house for a beer. Do you serve those in pint mugs?
    Regards,

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  2. #902
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    We went to Maine Beer and Bissell Bros in Maine then stopped at a New Hampshire state liquor store on the way back.
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  4. #904
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    It's whisky season! For me at least. Picked up a Lagavulin 8 year forcthe first time. Man what a lovely bottle! Smooooth too for an eight year. Not as complex as the regular 16 but it has its own thing going and its like a toned-down Ardbeg 10 with less peat and different flavor profiles but honestly probably as good for me, which says a lot. I would probably buy again sometime. Happy autumn 🍂.

  5. #905
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I picked up a bottle of the Lagavulin 16 yr, which remains my favorite, and just out of curiosity, I also bought a bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label. Not having much experience with blended Scotches, but I expected this to be one of the good ones. Had a dram last night, and...meh. Nothing special. Might as well have bought a bottle of Jameson. It's not unenjoyable, but nothing about it is special.

    I'll stick with the single malt Islays.
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  6. #906
    The only Johnnie Walker I’ve had that was noteworthy is the blue. IMO it’s still a bit overpriced, but it’s good. But my go-to is either Macallan or Glenmorangie (I’m not big into the islays yet).
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  7. #907
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I picked up a bottle of the Lagavulin 16 yr, which remains my favorite, and just out of curiosity, I also bought a bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label. Not having much experience with blended Scotches, but I expected this to be one of the good ones. Had a dram last night, and...meh. Nothing special. Might as well have bought a bottle of Jameson. It's not unenjoyable, but nothing about it is special.

    I'll stick with the single malt Islays.
    I tried the Green Label once. Is that the one where they blend four single malts together? Not a bad idea, and probably beats the blends where they allow grain whisky as well as malt. But it's all a matter of personal taste. I didn't think the Green was bad, but at its price I could buy single malt Islays I would enjoy more. I used to keep some Black Label on hand, but since the price doubled, I'm pickier about which whiskies I'll spend my money on. Besides, no one drops by this out-of-the-way place for a dram, so I'll drink what pleases me most.

    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie
    It's whisky season! For me at least. Picked up a Lagavulin 8 year forcthe first time. Man what a lovely bottle! Smooooth too for an eight year. Not as complex as the regular 16 but it has its own thing going and its like a toned-down Ardbeg 10 with less peat and different flavor profiles but honestly probably as good for me, which says a lot. I would probably buy again sometime. Happy autumn 🍂.
    Thanks for the review. I knew Lagavulin made an 8 year old, but as yet I have never seen it in a store. Gonna have to use my wheels (it is what they are for) to check a larger liquor store one of these days, perhaps after the maskless mutants are gone. Love the 16 when I can afford it. Among the finest whiskies made, IMO.

    Happy Autumn!


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  8. #908
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    I tried the Green Label once. Is that the one where they blend four single malts together? Not a bad idea, and probably beats the blends where they allow grain whisky as well as malt. But it's all a matter of personal taste. I didn't think the Green was bad, but at its price I could buy single malt Islays I would enjoy more.
    I think the Green Label was re-introduced a few years back and it's not quite the same formula as it was then. I might be wrong and too lazy to look it up, but the previous iteration was 4 single malts, as you say. I believe the recent bottlings are still all single malts that are 15 years or older, but the formula/configuration has changed. That said, I know it contains at least Talisker, Linkwood, Caol Ila, and Cragganmore. But I believe it contains additional (Diageo owned) malts as well.
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  9. #909
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    The only Johnnie Walker I’ve had that was noteworthy is the blue. IMO it’s still a bit overpriced, but it’s good. But my go-to is either Macallan or Glenmorangie (I’m not big into the islays yet).
    I found Blue incredibly unremarkable personally. I don't say that to sound snobby or offensive, but Blue is essentially the Holy Grail of scotch whisky for people who know nothing about the subject, because that is how it's marketed.

    While not trying to go off on a tangent, the primary selling point for Blue besides its affordability, is that the whisky is comprised of 25 year old spirits. There is absolutely stunning whisky out there that has no age statement and is likely less than 10 years old. But many new and seasoned drinkers treat the age statement as the barometer of quality, which - in my opinion - is the most prevalent fallacy in the community. To put it succinctly, shit spirit in shit casks aged for 25 years is just aged shit.

    And while it's true you pretty much cannot find 25 year old whisky at a price point lower than Blue, there is one in Glenfarclas 25 worth buying, which has a (somewhat) Macallan 12 like profile, with much more care put into the outcome.
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  10. #910
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    It's whisky season! For me at least. Picked up a Lagavulin 8 year forcthe first time. Man what a lovely bottle! Smooooth too for an eight year. Not as complex as the regular 16 but it has its own thing going and its like a toned-down Ardbeg 10 with less peat and different flavor profiles but honestly probably as good for me, which says a lot. I would probably buy again sometime. Happy autumn ��.
    The 8 is quite good and with tariffs/supply still affecting pricing, much more affordable than the 16 in many markets. There is an impudence compared to the 16 that is quite clear, but you get a certain degree of that Lag campfire rich smoke taste, mixed with a bit of what might fall in the Ardbeg 10 camp, as you suggested.

    I think it was discussed earlier in the thread, but the Ardbeg 5 year "Wee Beastie" is also worth a look if you haven't had it yet.
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  11. #911
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I think the Green Label was re-introduced a few years back and it's not quite the same formula as it was then. I might be wrong and too lazy to look it up, but the previous iteration was 4 single malts, as you say. I believe the recent bottlings are still all single malts that are 15 years or older, but the formula/configuration has changed. That said, I know it contains at least Talisker, Linkwood, Caol Ila, and Cragganmore. But I believe it contains additional (Diageo owned) malts as well.
    I believe the Green label is an assembly of 6 single Malts (which wouldn't make it a "blended scotch", but a "pure malt" (if memories are correct), three from the western isles, which makes it quite smoky-peaty. I once "tasted" it in sampling at my local spirit dealer and remember being already miffed by putting my nose over it. Can't remember whether I actually downed the mini-dram served.
    Don't remember tasting the Gold, and not pushing for it either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I found Blue incredibly unremarkable personally. I don't say that to sound snobby or offensive, but Blue is essentially the Holy Grail of scotch whisky for people who know nothing about the subject, because that is how it's marketed.

    While not trying to go off on a tangent, the primary selling point for Blue besides its affordability, is that the whisky is comprised of 25 year old spirits. There is absolutely stunning whisky out there that has no age statement and is likely less than 10 years old. But many new and seasoned drinkers treat the age statement as the barometer of quality, which - in my opinion - is the most prevalent fallacy in the community. To put it succinctly, shit spirit in shit casks aged for 25 years is just aged shit.
    Yeah, ttally unconvinced by the Blue as well. And it sounds like a waste of good casks that could be better put to use in a more sensible manner.

    Apparently there is another "expression" (not sure this word applies to JW liquors) called Legendary 8 (roughly 350$/bottle) which a buddy of mine said (sorry, no time to translate) :
    Le legendary 8 c'est encore autre chose que le blue ou les autres et plus proches des 300€ la bouteille. C'est un mélange de 4 whiskys de distilleries fermées depuis des années (Brora, Cambus, Carsebridge et Port Dundas) dont ils ont acheté des barriques restantes et de 4 encore ouvertes: Blair Athol, Oban, Teaninich et Lagavulin. Elles ont toutes plus de 200 ans. Aucune des 8 n'est dans le green par exemple
    He said we'll get together soon enough to taste it, but I'll being the rest of my Ab'Dunnah to ante-up.
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  12. #912
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I found Blue incredibly unremarkable personally. I don't say that to sound snobby or offensive, but Blue is essentially the Holy Grail of scotch whisky for people who know nothing about the subject, because that is how it's marketed.

    While not trying to go off on a tangent, the primary selling point for Blue besides its affordability, is that the whisky is comprised of 25 year old spirits. There is absolutely stunning whisky out there that has no age statement and is likely less than 10 years old. But many new and seasoned drinkers treat the age statement as the barometer of quality, which - in my opinion - is the most prevalent fallacy in the community. To put it succinctly, shit spirit in shit casks aged for 25 years is just aged shit.

    And while it's true you pretty much cannot find 25 year old whisky at a price point lower than Blue, there is one in Glenfarclas 25 worth buying, which has a (somewhat) Macallan 12 like profile, with much more care put into the outcome.
    I'm drinking the Glenfarclas 25 at this very moment, Sean - & I'm here to confirm everything you say in your post :-)

    I also want to agree with what you say about the blends - however good your malts are, once you blend them, you "muddy" the taste(s). In fact, this can be exactly what the blender wants - it can make a drink that's "easier" on the palate. But, a good malt, for me, is always distinguished by the way in which the distinct flavours, as it were, separate out on the palate after you've swallowed. By contrast, the flavours in the blend merge; & sometimes that leaves an overall flavour that's very "palatable", but it never has that clarity of flavour(s) which, for me, is the grail of malt drinking.

  13. #913
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    But, a good malt, for me, is always distinguished by the way in which the distinct flavours, as it were, separate out on the palate after you've swallowed.
    Hear! Hear!
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  14. #914
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I found Blue incredibly unremarkable personally. I don't say that to sound snobby or offensive, but Blue is essentially the Holy Grail of scotch whisky for people who know nothing about the subject, because that is how it's marketed.
    Well, it has been several years since I've had Blue, but I remember liking it (plus, it was someone else's bottle so it didn't cost me anything ). I'd never buy it myself. I'd rather spend the money on a Glenfiddich 18 or some other single malt with more character.

    I agree with you about Blue being treated like the Holy Grail of scotch for people who know nothing about it. And you're right about the fallacy of "age equals quality". It seems to be prevalent.
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  15. #915
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Yeah, ttally unconvinced by the Blue as well. And it sounds like a waste of good casks that could be better put to use in a more sensible manner.

    Apparently there is another "expression" (not sure this word applies to JW liquors) called Legendary 8 (roughly 350$/bottle) which a buddy of mine said
    That is an eclectic mix of distilleries!

    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    I'm drinking the Glenfarclas 25 at this very moment, Sean - & I'm here to confirm everything you say in your post :-)

    I also want to agree with what you say about the blends - however good your malts are, once you blend them, you "muddy" the taste(s). In fact, this can be exactly what the blender wants - it can make a drink that's "easier" on the palate. But, a good malt, for me, is always distinguished by the way in which the distinct flavours, as it were, separate out on the palate after you've swallowed. By contrast, the flavours in the blend merge; & sometimes that leaves an overall flavour that's very "palatable", but it never has that clarity of flavour(s) which, for me, is the grail of malt drinking.
    I think you described it well, that you "muddy" the taste.

    I think it's also worth noting, in the case of JW, you know they are using a bunch of malts from distilleries such as Caol Ila, but other than using the distillate you have no idea the quality of the casks that are being used to age it.

    When you consider a 15 year old Caol Ila bottle would run at least $100 USD, and a 15 year old Talisker would run at a similar price point, it's difficult to believe they are dumping that high quality spirit into something they are selling for $50-$60 USD. Based on that, I'm imagining it's made from well worn and tired casks and/or product that otherwise did not pass muster.
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  16. #916
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Well, it has been several years since I've had Blue, but I remember liking it (plus, it was someone else's bottle so it didn't cost me anything ).
    That's the best way to drink it.

    I agree with you about Blue being treated like the Holy Grail of scotch for people who know nothing about it. And you're right about the fallacy of "age equals quality". It seems to be prevalent.
    I'm the furthest thing from a snob in the spirits space, but the same "love of exploring" and collecting that got me knee deep into music, did the same for spirits. Single Malt Scotch is my favorite of all spirits. For me it's like "jazz", where it's difficult to find a bad jazz record.
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  17. #917
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FWIW, some other random Sunday morning thoughts in a few bullets...

    - Generally speaking in my experience, the sweet spot for Scotch are products that cost between $50-100 USD. Below are mostly entry level and more homogenized for the avg. consumer. Much above $100, you're having a hard time justifying price vs. the quality.

    - Age is a factor, not a determinant. Putting aside the quality of the barley batch and the procedure used to distill it, the quality of the casks, where they are stored to age, the number of times the cask was used, how many casks comprise the batch, and the filtering/dilution process all are extremely important factors. The reputation of the distillery can go a long way in trusting a product's quality.

    - Age tends to be less important in peated whiskies. As age can tame the spirit, it can also tame the peated flavor experience. Kilchoman, Ardbeg, Kilkerran, and Laphroaig (to name a few) have put out amazing products that are aged 10 years or less. And while Lagavulin 16 is benchmark product, the annual release of the 12 year expression tends to be more highly lauded.

    - Amrut, an Indian single malt whisky distillery, makes some absolutely amazing whisky, most of which is aged under 5 years. Because of India's geographical location, the spirit matures faster. I recently purchased their cask strength peated and it's crazy good, maybe the "cleanest" feeling (sorta like peated mouthwash lol) I have had.

    - Seek out whisky that states "non-chill filtered", is at least 43% ABV, and (if your preference) states natural coloring. If nothing else, it indicates the product is marketed to Scotch nerds, not the general public. Chill filtration removes haze/cloudiness when you put ice in, which apparently turns off consumers. Artificial coloring gives whisky that very specific amber color people are familiar with. And 40% ABV is the old basic standard that most common spirits are bottled. Non-chill filtered helps preserve some of the flavor: https://www.whiskyadvocate.com/chill...ed-whisky-101/

    - No ice.
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  18. #918
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post

    When you consider a 15 year old Caol Ila bottle would run at least $100 USD, and a 15 year old Talisker would run at a similar price point, it's difficult to believe they are dumping that high quality spirit into something they are selling for $50-$60 USD. Based on that, I'm imagining it's made from well worn and tired casks and/or product that otherwise did not pass muster.
    I partially agree with this. And, of course, there's no telling the quantities of the various "ingredients". But, somewhat against this - Linkwood (in my estimation, the finest Speyside of all, especially when it's 15 year old - & even more when it's 25 year old) is *really* hard to come by. That's in part because it's now distilled almost entirely for use in parent company Diageo's Johnnie Walker blends, or, even worse, White Horse Diageo simply don't market it as a single malt - so it can now only be found in (pricey) independent bottlings. I genuinely can't figure this out. It's like pouring all Glenfarclas malts into Bells bottles...

  19. #919
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    ...
    - No ice.


    Preach it!
    Regards,

    Duncan

  20. #920
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post


    Preach it!
    Truth. Essentially, everything else is fine tuning.

  21. #921
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    The 8 is quite good and with tariffs/supply still affecting pricing, much more affordable than the 16 in many markets. There is an impudence compared to the 16 that is quite clear, but you get a certain degree of that Lag campfire rich smoke taste, mixed with a bit of what might fall in the Ardbeg 10 camp, as you suggested.

    I think it was discussed earlier in the thread, but the Ardbeg 5 year "Wee Beastie" is also worth a look if you haven't had it yet.
    I bought it on a whim and was just a wee bit worried it would be harsh or just not aged enough. The first dram poured put that concern to rest.

    Thx. I will look for the Ardbeg 5...never met an Ardbeg I didn't love. Yet.

  22. #922
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    Anyone else catch the great story on The Whisky Exchange on the CBS morning show Saturday?? It was excellent.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/video/inside...-in-the-world/

  23. #923
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    When you consider a 15 year old Caol Ila bottle would run at least $100 USD, and a 15 year old Talisker would run at a similar price point, it's difficult to believe they are dumping that high quality spirit into something they are selling for $50-$60 USD. Based on that, I'm imagining it's made from well worn and tired casks and/or product that otherwise did not pass muster.
    Remarkably, they often are. Even the most famous single malts are used primarily for blending and only a small proportion is kept and bottled as a single malt, attracting a higher price tag largely due to scarcity. Malts that get sold for blending but which then go unused are often bottled in the secondary market as single malts under the blender's own label as they are legally obliged not to disclose the distillery. This is why you can often get bargains from the blender's own single malt collection brands as they'll simply be single malts from famous distilleries at much cheaper prices. They're often referred to 'mystery malts' as their provenance is unknown. As an example, Shieldaig found in Total Wine is a brand used by Ian MacLeod Distillers to resell malts that were originally intended for blending.

  24. #924
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Just picked up a Macallan Double Cask Gold. Never had it, never heard of it, going in blind. She gets cracked later tonight. About $75 including tax.

  25. #925
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Just picked up a Macallan Double Cask Gold. Never had it, never heard of it, going in blind. She gets cracked later tonight. About $75 including tax.
    Wow! Never heard of that one either. Please let us know your thoughts. Macallan is one of my favorite distillers for scotch whisky.
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