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Any One for a Scotch?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by French Cuff Consignment, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    Does someone know Oban?

    I drink Oban. It's one of the Six Classic Malts.
     
  2. aybojs

    aybojs Well-Known Member

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    I drink Oban. It's one of the Six Classic Malts.

    I'd be wary about putting a lot of stock into the classic malt distinction, since the six classic malts line was a promotional ploy by the large umbrella company that owns all the lines, Diageo (which also owns Johnnie Walker) to draw attention and hype up their distillery lines. I haven't really cared enough to do too much reading into the background and history of Scotch whisky producers, but what I have skimmed apparently suggests that marketing is the only real reason less critically admired brands like Glenkinchie and Cragganmore came to mainstream prominence. Plus you can tell that they fudged with the official regional distinctions (four exist) to accomodate the range of their holdings, e.g. adding two Highland malts and not selecting a Campbeltown malt. Also, the list came out in the late 1980's, so it's stretching it a little bit to call every malt an outright classic.

    That said, I don't have anything against buying scotch or any other fancy liquor owned by a large conglomerate, Diageo included (Talisker was the first intensely flavored single malt I've tried, and I also enjoyed my experiences with Oban and Lagavulin). I also don't consider myself enough of a scotch enthusiast to get too riled up about seeing any brands excluded or included undeservingly, but it did take a lot of thunder out of the "classic malt" distinction when I learned it was just a relatively recently created gimmick by a company trying to artificially generate snob appeal for its own products, especially seeing how a lot of scotch drinkers and liquor stores/distributors seem to put a lot of stock into the classification.
     
  3. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Well-Known Member

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    Okay, had a little shootout on Tuesday, since this thread was on my mind.
    Although an amateur when it comes to scotch, I was surprised at the stark difference between JW Red and Black. The Red tasted like petrol after the Black. Laphroig wasn't doing it for me, just too much peat.

    So, what would I look for if I wanted a single malt, but not so heavy on the raw peat notes?
     
  4. JBZ

    JBZ Well-Known Member

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    Okay, had a little shootout on Tuesday, since this thread was on my mind.
    Although an amateur when it comes to scotch, I was surprised at the stark difference between JW Red and Black. The Red tasted like petrol after the Black. Laphroig wasn't doing it for me, just too much peat.

    So, what would I look for if I wanted a single malt, but not so heavy on the raw peat notes?


    As I mentioned above, I'm a fan of the Glenmorangie 10 yr old. I find it to have a nice, full taste, but it's light on the peat. I've tried and tried to like the Islay scotches, but I've come to the realization that I just don't.
     
  5. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Caol Ila is it is too light in colour, so whenever I drink it I end up very, very drunk.
     
  6. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Well-Known Member

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    I'm no Scotch expert either but in my experience...

    Aberlour is quite nice neat or mixed (in my fav Rob Roy). It's my preference, generally speaking.
    I only use Laphroaig for mixing, I just don't care for it straight. Can someone explain the difference between these two for me?

    And I have a bottle of the Macallan 12 that I bought on a whim, having never tried it, and I quite like it.

    In a pinch I always like JW Red, but would be happy to try the others.


    bob
     
  7. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    Aberlour is quite nice neat or mixed (in my fav Rob Roy). It's my preference, generally speaking.
    I only use Laphroaig for mixing, I just don't care for it straight. Can someone explain the difference between these two for me?


    Aberlour is a Speyside malt, while Laphroaig is an Islay malt. (Speyside is a region of Scotland around the river Spey, while Islay is an island off the west coast of Scotland.) This means that the malted barley used to make Laphroaig will be much more heavily peated (ie, dried over peat fires) than the malted barley used to make Aberlour, which will, in turn, make Laphroaig much smokier than Aberlour. Laphoaig also has a salty, briny taste to it; whether that is due to aging the whisky near the sea or for some other reason, I can't say. Finally, Aberlour is a sherried malt, meaning that it spends at least part of its life aging in barrels formerly used to age sherry. This gives it a sweetness and a nuttiness that Laphroaig will lack.

    If you like Aberlour, it is not surprising that you also like Macallan 12 since Macallan is the king of the sherried malts (although the new Macallan Fine Oak bottlings are not sherried).
     
  8. RJman

    RJman Well-Known Member

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    Is anyone a fan of the Baillie Nicol Jarvie?
     
  9. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Well-Known Member

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    Aberlour is a Speyside malt, while Laphroaig is an Islay malt...

    If you like Aberlour, it is not surprising that you also like Macallan 12...



    Oh excellent information, thanks JCusey. Now I know a bit more. Cool.

    I had a Macallan on the rocks last night--wonderful stuff. Especially after they f-ed up my Rob Roy that I originally ordered (and nearly killed my wife by saying the desert didn't have nuts in it, which it clearly did).


    bob
     
  10. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    I'd be wary about putting a lot of stock into the classic malt distinction, since the six classic malts line was a promotional ploy by the large umbrella company that owns all the lines, Diageo (which also owns Johnnie Walker) to draw attention and hype up their distillery lines.

    True, but they're all excellent single malts. Life is too short to limit oneself to a narrow range of designations and is probably to short to acquire a true appreciation of the amazing variety of single malts available.

    I just got a bottle of the Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year and this is now the whisky that occupies my flask. It is oaky and complex with a very long, spicy finish. I like it better than Macallan and Glenmorangie Sherrywood Finish.

    Anyone who finds Laphroaig too smoky and briny should try Bunnahabhain for a very mellow, drinkable yet distinctive Islay.
     
  11. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    Are people still favoring Compass Box stuff?
     
  12. JBZ

    JBZ Well-Known Member

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    If anyone's interested, I've found the below website to be a helpful resource with regard to Scotch. It contains a pretty good discussion of the various "Scotch regions", as well as a list of the more popular scotches which come out of each region.

    http://www.scotchwhisky.com/
     
  13. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    Are people still favoring Compass Box stuff?

    The varieties that I have tried (Asyla and Eleuthera) have been very enjoyable.
     
  14. sygyzy

    sygyzy Well-Known Member

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    I think "Hakushu" is an 18 year single malt sold only in Japan. In the U.S. both the 12 and 18 (the only ones available here) are labeled "Yamazaki." I'm not sure if the 18 sold in the U.S. is identical to the "Hakushu" sold in Japan.

    DEFINITELY try the Hibiki. 21 and 30 (!) year old versions are available as well. Maybe someday...

    Re: trip to Tokyo, I'd settle for a layover at any Japanese airport with a decent duty-free shop. [​IMG] Probably not in my immediate future, alas.


    I'm a little confused. Can someone confirm what the best choices to get from Japan are, if you had the opportunity to go there? I don't want to waste a favor from a friend asking her to pick up something I can easily purchase in the States.

    So is it the Hakushu and (or?) the Hibiki? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    The Hakushu is a single malt, while Hibiki is blended. Both are excellent.
     
  16. edmorel

    edmorel Well-Known Member

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    Just got a Springbank 10 year old as a gift, never had it before but it is supposed to be real good. Was also gifted a bottle of Pyrat rum, the good, old one and I have to tell you, that thing will make you forget about scotch real fast [​IMG]
     
  17. sygyzy

    sygyzy Well-Known Member

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    The Hakushu is a single malt, while Hibiki is blended. Both are excellent.

    Is the Hakushu (Japan only, right?) better than the Yamazaki (that can be purchased domestically)?
     
  18. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    Is the Hakushu (Japan only, right?) better than the Yamazaki (that can be purchased domestically)?

    For my tastes, that's a toss-up. I would get what you can't get at home. If that means the Hakushu, you won't be disappointed.
     
  19. sygyzy

    sygyzy Well-Known Member

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    For my tastes, that's a toss-up. I would get what you can't get at home. If that means the Hakushu, you won't be disappointed.

    Do you know what vintages are available in the Hakushu?
     
  20. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    Do you know what vintages are available in the Hakushu?

    I've only seen one. It's a 12 year old, I think.

    I know a liquor shop where I could go for a taste-test, but it will be a while before I can get there. What does your timeline look like?
     

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