Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel
That's strange indeed, even my local Walmart has MAC 10 and 12 at the ready. You can still get the full range at both TotalWine stores here central FL. Local shops carry the usual suspects MAC 10, 12, 15, and usually a bottle or two of 18 still as well.
The only NOS MAC i have seen is that Rare Cask bottling, which I refuse to believe is better than a similarly priced bottle of MAC 18. The only MAC I truly miss is the cask strength NOS version, but A'bunadh will do in a pinch for me. What other NOS MAC's have you seen out there, any CS versions?
Well look, I'll go double check on this then but I could have sworn they were fully moving into NAS style and the aged stock was running out. I haven't seen any aged versions around here or any duty free I've been to (3-5 of them in the past year around the world) so it was my understanding the supply was going very fast and all the years were being replaced by that color scheme version (amber, green, red etc). I don't know if those stores have backstock or it's still coming but I haven't seen aged Mac in quite a while. I did read an article oh probably 6 months ago about it and Mac said that they were in favor of it (eh who knows) becuase everyone gets so wrapped up in the exact year/age of a scotch when really it's only an indicator and there's stuff that's junk at 25-30 years and it's novelty and then things like QC that are only actually about 6-7 years and in the end as long as it's a good product and you trust the brand and blender, then who cares what exact number of 'years' it aged for. It's like picking a suit based on a brand name and chest size, really doesn't tell you anything you actually need to know about how it'll fit you. I only have a Mac 12 myself, would like to add the 18 and was bummed I missed out on that CS version a couple of years 'back.
Originally Posted by mafoofan
Laphroaig is my favorite. Always have 18 stocked. Wanted to try 25 cask strength as well.
Talisker, Ardbeg and Laguvilin don't do much for me.
Balvenie 21 I also normally keep around. It is Port wood aged.
Highland Park I need to try.
Not familiar with Springbank. Will need to try.
Macallan 18 is readily available everywhere. I did read recently that many of the distilleries, including Macallan, are being forced toward NAS. Aged supply is thinning.
Ah, I didn't realize you had actually tried all of these already. Figured you were just doing a big blind buy of the best known Scotches and picking fairly high age versions because why not. OK so if you've tried Talisker, Ardbeg and Laguvulin and don't really like them, then I'd say at least for now don't force it. You seem to know your own taste quite well. And a debatable point here but I'd say that if you don't like the standard expressions of those then for now don't bother trying their various editions either becuase at their core they're still more or less the house style just with a minor tweak. OK so if you know and love Laphroaig, then the 18 is a solid pick and if you're going through Duty Free, check out the P/X version which if you like a bit of sherry addition, and given that you have A'bunadh I'd assume you do, because that might be an interesting winner for you.
Highland Park - so keep in mind that it's sort of like the Jonny Walker of better level Scotch, meaning you might find the 12 or 18 actually a little underwhelming, but I think the point with these is that they're just good solid easy to drink Scotches that have a bit of everything going on and are nicely balanced and consistent. I've heard really mixed reviews about all of their many many 'special' versions, so IMO I'd say stick with the standard expressions for now. The HP's are great to give a guest who isn't really into scotch or doesn't want anything that'll bowl them over. 12 is a great cheap drinker and the 18 is a very nicely balanced classy glass IMO.
Springbank is definitely worth a try.... now if you liked Laphroaig but didn't like Ardbeg, Talisker, or Lagavulin, then I'm still not exactly sure what you'll make of it, but it is different enough from all of those others that one of them is definitely worth a shot. Perhaps a dram at a local bar is a good way to get a sense before buying a bottle. I think I have the 12 for now but have heard great things about the 15 and 18 as well.
Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel
This is my understand of the whole scotch industry in general. Demand is exceeding supply by a lot, not good for an industry that requires 12-25 years to produce it's best products. The NAS strategy is a bandaid IMO, and i'm fearful for the future of quality scotch availability.
I hope that this sort of artisanal #menswear revival thing will pass over withing the next few years... the tight suits, the flashy shoes, the weird facial hair, and the cocktail mania etc and they'll move on to something else and leave all the good stuff to those who've been into it long before it was mainstream cool. And hopefully there'll still be some Pappy and single malts left for those of us that remain. #getoffmylawn