Scotch thread



Drumguy

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I think the AH Hirsch was pretty fantastic. My last bottle of original Hirsch 16 year was pretty great and sad all at once. It was going for $5k on the secondary a few years ago, but I buy to drink not sell and I had that bottle since 1999 or 2000 and I knew when I finished it I’d never have it again and it was damn good.
I have to admit I only had one shot of the Hirsch and not being a big bourbon drinker it was probably wasted on me! He still has another one in its humidor case (unopened!) - he's a drinker not a seller either though.
 

junglehusky

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I was once in line at Costco and overheard the conversation between the guy at the register and an alcoholic-looking patrician couple out of central casting (think George Costanza's fiancé Susan's parents). The husband was asking how the new, value-priced Kirkland blended Scotch offering was, and the guy at the counter gave it props for what it was. Like he was delivering a nugget of wisdom, the older guy confidently proclaimed, "After the first sip, it doesn't much matter what you're drinking." Not that I'd expect it, but he got no pushback. He departed with a half dozen 1.75l bottles of the house brand. And probably has never invaded the principle either.
I used to buy Scotch a few times a year, but lately I've developed a taste for the post-dinner wee nip. (Not "wee" in the ironic sense like it would be for your patrician couple, just saying.) So I've been buying more often and felt the need to find more affordable options. The Trader Joe's near me on the MA North Shore is the rare one that sells beer, wine and liquor. I've been taking advantage of the ~$20 price point for their branded Scotch blends and single malts. The TJ Islay Storm is nowhere near as tasty as Talisker Storm, one of my favorites, but for 20 bucks it hurts the wallet a lot less.
 

8893

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If you can find it, try Ledaig 10. That’s my choice of affordable peated Scotch. I like Longrow Reds best, but it’s more pricey.
I had the Ledaig 10 in the other hand based on your recommendation and was deciding between the two (they didn't have Caol Ila 12) and had to ask for a price check in the Ardbeg 10 because it was unmarked. It was the same price as the Ledaig ($55) so I asked the guy about them, and that's when he sang Ardbeg's praises as his favorite distillery. I'll try the Ledaig next time.
The Ledaig is a bit more funky, peat is more earthy less ashy. Tobermory (which makes Ledaig) has a distinctive funky aspect to it. The peat covers it up to some extent, but it still comes through. People either love it or they don't. Regular Tobermory is more polarizing. I really want the 18 year Sherry barrel Ledaig, but it's a bit pricey.
@HuskyHawk , I picked up the Ledaig last weekend and had a couple pours. I like it but prefer the Ardbeg and Lagavulin so far. It was at the end of a long night of eating and drinking though, so I will try it again under better conditions.

The guy at the store was very knowledgeable and was also high on Bruichladdich, especially their "Wee Laddie Gift Pack," which gives you three different offerings and looks like a nice value as well. I may give that one a try next. He said the Caol Ila has been sold out everywhere for months; apparently it is in high demand now. He also explained that the reason Lagavulin has become more expensive of late is because the Chinese are apparently buying tons of it. He said that China is a huge market right now for high end wine and booze, and that they are buying entire future vintages of some wines (wonder if the new wine tariffs will affect that).

Anyway, any of you Scotch people have any thoughts on Bruichladdich?
 

HuskyHawk

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@HuskyHawk , I picked up the Ledaig last weekend and had a couple pours. I like it but prefer the Ardbeg and Lagavulin so far. It was at the end of a long night of eating and drinking though, so I will try it again under better conditions.

The guy at the store was very knowledgeable and was also high on Bruichladdich, especially their "Wee Laddie Gift Pack," which gives you three different offerings and looks like a nice value as well. I may give that one a try next. He said the Caol Ila has been sold out everywhere for months; apparently it is in high demand now. He also explained that the reason Lagavulin has become more expensive of late is because the Chinese are apparently buying tons of it. He said that China is a huge market right now for high end wine and booze, and that they are buying entire future vintages of some wines (wonder if the new wine tariffs will affect that).

Anyway, any of you Scotch people have any thoughts on Bruichladdich?
I'd skip the gift pack. It isn't bad, but is just ok. The Classic Laddie kinda sucks. It replaced the old Laddie 10 and is unpeated. Port Charlotte is peated, and is decent, but not my favorite. The Islay Barley is also unpeated, and is a bit more interesting than the Classic Laddie. So if you want, peat, 2/3 of them are unpeated despite being from Islay.
  • Have you had much Laphroaig yet? It's too medicinal for me, but fans of it are big fans. The 10 is cheap and the Quarter Cask is a nice step up for $5 more.
  • On the Ardbeg side, a lot of people like the new An Oa release, which isn't much more than the 10. I thought it was ok, but didn't love it.
  • Caol Ila is on shelves everywhere in Boston, as is Lagavulin. They are both expensive for what you get though. Asians are buying more, but they also market the hell out of it. Loads of advertising. Typical Diageo brand.
  • Here's a possibility if you want to be adventurous, get some Peated Amrut. Indian whisky. The best of it is great and is very expensive, but even the based peated version is quite nice.
  • Consider independent bottlings from Signatory or Gordon & Macphail (or others). Can be great bang for the buck, but risk of a meh bottle is higher.
Longrow Red is my thing. Just picked up a bottle of the 11 year Fresh Port, which is long sold out in most places.
 

8893

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I'd skip the gift pack. It isn't bad, but is just ok. The Classic Laddie kinda sucks. It replaced the old Laddie 10 and is unpeated. Port Charlotte is peated, and is decent, but not my favorite. The Islay Barley is also unpeated, and is a bit more interesting than the Classic Laddie. So if you want, peat, 2/3 of them are unpeated despite being from Islay.
  • Have you had much Laphroaig yet? It's too medicinal for me, but fans of it are big fans. The 10 is cheap and the Quarter Cask is a nice step up for $5 more.
  • On the Ardbeg side, a lot of people like the new An Oa release, which isn't much more than the 10. I thought it was ok, but didn't love it.
  • Caol Ila is on shelves everywhere in Boston, as is Lagavulin. They are both expensive for what you get though. Asians are buying more, but they also market the hell out of it. Loads of advertising. Typical Diageo brand.
  • Here's a possibility if you want to be adventurous, get some Peated Amrut. Indian whisky. The best of it is great and is very expensive, but even the based peated version is quite nice.
  • Consider independent bottlings from Signatory or Gordon & Macphail (or others). Can be great bang for the buck, but risk of a meh bottle is higher.
Longrow Red is my thing. Just picked up a bottle of the 11 year Fresh Port, which is long sold out in most places.
Thanks. I'll hold off on the Bruichladdich then. The guy was also high on Laphroaig. I had a good deal of Laphroaig 10 when I was first getting into single malts and I also found it too medicinal, which is how I ended up with Lagavulin as my favorite among all the ones I had explored back then. He also mentioned the An Oa and a couple others from Ardbeg, which I may consider next time considering how much I like the Ardbeg 10. The Caol Ila was around $65 there iirc, which didn't seem too expensive as among its competition, so I am curious to try it when I can find it in stock. They and everyone else have plenty of Lagavulin 16 but it's $80+ now everywhere I see it. I bought my last bottle of Lagavulin for $65 around six months ago, so I don't know what the hell happened in the meantime. Interesting notes on the Indian whiskies. I will stick with the Scotch for now but will keep an eye out for those to try.
 

HuskyHawk

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Thanks. I'll hold off on the Bruichladdich then. The guy was also high on Laphroaig. I had a good deal of Laphroaig 10 when I was first getting into single malts and I also found it too medicinal, which is how I ended up with Lagavulin as my favorite among all the ones I had explored back then. He also mentioned the An Oa and a couple others from Ardbeg, which I may consider next time considering how much I like the Ardbeg 10. The Caol Ila was around $65 there iirc, which didn't seem too expensive as among its competition, so I am curious to try it when I can find it in stock. They and everyone else have plenty of Lagavulin 16 but it's $80+ now everywhere I see it. I bought my last bottle of Lagavulin for $65 around six months ago, so I don't know what the hell happened in the meantime. Interesting notes on the Indian whiskies. I will stick with the Scotch for now but will keep an eye out for those to try.
Yeah, Lagavulin is high. The 16 years are part of it, but it's also the Ron Swanson effect. Like "The Macallan" for Speysides, it has fanboys who help drive up the price, and tons of advertising. I think the Caol Ila 12 has a similar profile to Lagavulin 16, with a bit more punch. $65 is about normal. Just high for a 12 year. Hopefully you will like the Ledaig more with time. It sometimes needs air.

Have you tried Springbank 10?
 

8893

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Yeah, Lagavulin is high. The 16 years are part of it, but it's also the Ron Swanson effect. Like "The Macallan" for Speysides, it has fanboys who help drive up the price, and tons of advertising. I think the Caol Ila 12 has a similar profile to Lagavulin 16, with a bit more punch. $65 is about normal. Just high for a 12 year. Hopefully you will like the Ledaig more with time. It sometimes needs air.

Have you tried Springbank 10?
I don't know Springbank 10.

I don't dislike the Ledaig; I just thought it was a little less interesting (less intense maybe?) than the Ardbeg or Lagavulin on first impression. Again, it was hardly a controlled experiment, so I look forward to enjoying the rest of the bottle and seeing if that impression holds.
 

Edward Sargent

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Here you go @HuskyHawk.

I'll start: my house Scotch, which is my favorite, is Lagavulin 16 year. But all my locals are now charging $80 or more for it, which pisses me off because I used to be able to get it for $65 to $70. Now I'll need to make a trip to Total Wine to find that price.

Anyone got suggestions for something similar to Lagavulin that I might check out? I've liked a lot of the special Balvenie Scotches I've had, but they weren't much cheaper.
I'm not a peaty guy but try Oban
 

storrsroars

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Thanks. I'll hold off on the Bruichladdich then. The guy was also high on Laphroaig. I had a good deal of Laphroaig 10 when I was first getting into single malts and I also found it too medicinal, which is how I ended up with Lagavulin as my favorite among all the ones I had explored back then. He also mentioned the An Oa and a couple others from Ardbeg, which I may consider next time considering how much I like the Ardbeg 10. The Caol Ila was around $65 there iirc, which didn't seem too expensive as among its competition, so I am curious to try it when I can find it in stock. They and everyone else have plenty of Lagavulin 16 but it's $80+ now everywhere I see it. I bought my last bottle of Lagavulin for $65 around six months ago, so I don't know what the hell happened in the meantime. Interesting notes on the Indian whiskies. I will stick with the Scotch for now but will keep an eye out for those to try.
If you find yourself on LI, Total Wines in Westbury had Laga for $65 last Christmas.
 

8893

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Hopefully you will like the Ledaig more with time. It sometimes needs air.
Liked the Ledaig better on second time. It is more interesting than I thought on first impression, but it's subtle. I do a few cubes for a chill and I think this is better less cold.

I'm not a peaty guy but try Oban
That's another one I tried when first getting into single malts many years ago. I have a vague recollection that Oban and Laphroaig were both part of some "single malt collection" of Scotches that were marketed together with a few others for a time, and it seemed every bar had them with the same display. Consciously or not, I ended up preferring Lagavulin--which was not part of that collection--better than the ones that were.
 

HuskyHawk

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Liked the Ledaig better on second time. It is more interesting than I thought on first impression, but it's subtle. I do a few cubes for a chill and I think this is better less cold.



That's another one I tried when first getting into single malts many years ago. I have a vague recollection that Oban and Laphroaig were both part of some "single malt collection" of Scotches that were marketed together with a few others for a time, and it seemed every bar had them with the same display. Consciously or not, I ended up preferring Lagavulin--which was not part of that collection--better than the ones that were.
I don't use ice. I don't think it would suit the Ledaig. It has peat, but also a funky aspect to the distillate, and cold might repress that (as it represses all flavors).

Lagavulin, Oban, Talisker, Cragganmore and a few others are all owned by Diageo. That "Classic Malts of Scotland" crap is just them marketing their brands. Oban tastes nothing like Lagavulin, and is unpeated. Talisker 10 is quite good, and is peated, but less heavily.
 
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I don't use ice. I don't think it would suit the Ledaig.
Yeah I dont ice any single malts. I'll add a drop or two of distilled water to open them up after trying neat first. Some take well to that drop, some I like better neat. But no ice.

However Im a big fan of pouring blends on rocks. Dewars, Johnnie Black and Chivas are all fine with me at social events over ice. I can drink a bathtub full of it.
 
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I don't know Springbank 10.
Just bought a bottle with a gift card I was given for my birthday. Completely underwhelmed. I have friends who absolutely swear by it. The flavor profile was just bland. When it comes to the non-peated realm, the Glenfiddich 15 Solera is so much better at a $15 lower pricepoint.
 

HuskyHawk

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Just bought a bottle with a gift card I was given for my birthday. Completely underwhelmed. I have friends who absolutely swear by it. The flavor profile was just bland. When it comes to the non-peated realm, the Glenfiddich 15 Solera is so much better at a $15 lower pricepoint.
Interesting. Springbank 10 isn't "non-peated". It's definitely peated, but not heavily. Never heard it described as bland, even among those who aren't fans. But it's never bad to like something that is easy to get. Glenfiddich 15 is cheap at BJs.
 
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Interesting. Springbank 10 isn't "non-peated". It's definitely peated, but not heavily. Never heard it described as bland, even among those who aren't fans. But it's never bad to like something that is easy to get. Glenfiddich 15 is cheap at BJs.
Right, poor choice of words on my part.

I gravitate to the Islay peat monsters, so Springbank is LESS-peated than my usual whiskies. In addition to the Glenfiddich 15, I enjoy several lesser-peated Scotches such as Oban, Highland Park, and several of the Balvenies. Talisker, although lesser-peated than Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg, is still pretty heavily-peated. Speaking of Talisker, I used to pay under $70 for a bottle of 18-YO, now it's over $150! Ridiculous!
 

HuskyHawk

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Right, poor choice of words on my part.

I gravitate to the Islay peat monsters, so Springbank is LESS-peated than my usual whiskies. In addition to the Glenfiddich 15, I enjoy several lesser-peated Scotches such as Oban, Highland Park, and several of the Balvenies. Talisker, although lesser-peated than Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg, is still pretty heavily-peated. Speaking of Talisker, I used to pay under $70 for a bottle of 18-YO, now it's over $150! Ridiculous!
Prices are a problem unless you find a cheap one you like. I'm eager to try Oban Little Bay now that it is $35 instead of $70. Had 2 ounces of Longrow Single Cask 15 year Chardonnay finish last night and loved it. Which sucks, because it's $150. The Talisker Distiller's Edition is pretty solid around $75.
 
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JW black for 'everyday', and Macallan for other - good / affordable.
 
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Prices are a problem unless you find a cheap one you like. I'm eager to try Oban Little Bay now that it is $35 instead of $70. Had 2 ounces of Longrow Single Cask 15 year Chardonnay finish last night and loved it. Which sucks, because it's $150. The Talisker Distiller's Edition is pretty solid around $75.
Lagavulin on sale at Crazy Bruce's for $70.99. Laph 10 for $40.99. A few others as well including Oban Little Bay for $39.99.

http://www.crazybruces.com/uploads/files/current-ad/current_ad.pdf
 

geordi

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(To be read with an Irish brogue.)

Not to highjack this thread cause there are some great scotches around, the Macallen 18 for one, but try some Irish. It's smoother, much tastier, while still having the desired snob appeal. For everyday use, I'd suggest Tullamore Dew, a cheeky little beverage (they call it the 'rascal of the pot still). No bite, smooth vanilla aftertaste that will make you want another. And it's only about $26 a fifth.

For those ultra special occasions (like when you are alone and don't want to share), pick up a bottle of Midleton's Very Rare. At $170 per or more, it's pricey, but more than worth it. It'll reinforce your faith in leprechauns, pots of gold, and Finn McCool. Fine Irish sippin' whisky. Enjoy!
 

8893

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(To be read with an Irish brogue.)

Not to highjack this thread cause there are some great scotches around, the Macallen 18 for one, but try some Irish. It's smoother, much tastier, while still having the desired snob appeal. For everyday use, I'd suggest Tullamore Dew, a cheeky little beverage (they call it the 'rascal of the pot still). No bite, smooth vanilla aftertaste that will make you want another. And it's only about $26 a fifth.

For those ultra special occasions (like when you are alone and don't want to share), pick up a bottle of Midleton's Very Rare. At $170 per or more, it's pricey, but more than worth it. It'll reinforce your faith in leprechauns, pots of gold, and Finn McCool. Fine Irish sippin' whisky. Enjoy!
Big fan of the Irish pure pot stills, but I live in the space between Tullamore Dew and Middleton's. Green Spot is my favorite and I also like Red Breast 12 year.
 

Husky25

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(To be read with an Irish brogue.)

Not to highjack this thread cause there are some great scotches around, the Macallen 18 for one, but try some Irish. It's smoother, much tastier, while still having the desired snob appeal. For everyday use, I'd suggest Tullamore Dew, a cheeky little beverage (they call it the 'rascal of the pot still). No bite, smooth vanilla aftertaste that will make you want another. And it's only about $26 a fifth.

For those ultra special occasions (like when you are alone and don't want to share), pick up a bottle of Midleton's Very Rare. At $170 per or more, it's pricey, but more than worth it. It'll reinforce your faith in leprechauns, pots of gold, and Finn McCool. Fine Irish sippin' whisky. Enjoy!
 
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Big fan of the Irish pure pot stills, but I live in the space between Tullamore Dew and Middleton's. Green Spot is my favorite and I also like Red Breast 12 year.
Isn't RB Irish?
 

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