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Old 12-24-2010, 08:59 PM   #361
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Re: Whisky

On a whim I picked up this bottle of Nikka Miyagikyo 12 yr. Similar to the Macallan 18 sherry oak but with a longer finish imo. I thought it was a nice change of pace after going through 4 islay bottles in the last 6 weeks.

I also grabbed a bottle of the Oban 14 to bring to a family party this evening.

Happy drinkin'!
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:51 AM   #362
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Re: Whisky

Mom got me the Oban 14 for christmas (picked it out of a list I gave her). Mmm, it was delicious! Easily my second favorite so far. The balvenie doublewood beats it out by a hair, but I think they were pretty similar. I don't think it was quite as woody/smokey though.

Also tried the Highland Park 18, thought it was pretty lame too (a little like the Macallan 12). Very bland and not exciting at all. Definitely not worth the price imo.

I'm headed to Mexico next week so I'll finally have the chance to pick up some decently priced duty-free whiskey. Going to keep my eyes peeled for the balvenie 21yr portwood or maybe the 84 glenrothes. Perhaps a bourbon too, seeing as I've never even really had one. Looking forward to trying new things!
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:43 PM   #363
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Re: Whisky

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Originally Posted by KingOfFelt View Post
I'm a Whiskey amateur. I bought a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue as a Christmas gift for someone. They usually drink Johnny Walker Black. Will they be able to notice a distinct difference between the two assuming they have a casual whiskey drinker's palate?
I have a casual whiskey drinker's palate and I can confirm the two taste very different.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:24 PM   #364
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Re: Whisky

Several years ago I pulled out a golf ball full of whisky that I had received as a gift many years earlier and found it to be quite tasty. I recall it being quite sweet and much easier to drink than I was expecting of Scotch. It must have been Old St. Andrews which I believe is a blended whiskey. This kicked off a brief foray into trying a couple different types of Scotch which ended rather quickly as I was getting some nasty reflux in the middle of the night which I attributed at the time to the Scotch. If I recall correctly I had tried some Glenfiddich and some Dalwhinnie 15 and never really developed a taste for either at the time. I am more of a rum or vodka + mix, beer or wine drinker and generally stay away from the straight goods.

During this Christmas break I was re-stocking my bar and decided to top up the Whiskey supply…just in case. Based on this thread or another similar such thread on the interwebs I grabbed a bottle of The Macallan 12 and Highland Park 12. Somewhere along the way, ¾ of the Macallan 12 bottle evaporated into my belly and it was quite pleasant, so I tried the Highland Park and picked up a bottle of Oban 14 to try – both of which I found quite enjoyable as well. I reloaded the Macallan 12 as well, though now am thinking I should have tried something new.

I am in Canuckistan, where Macallan 18 pushes $300, so am curious what to try next without completely breaking the bank. I took a peek into the corners of the stash and there are still a few drops of Dalwhinnie 15 hiding there, plus a couple Dalmore 12 samples and a few other bourbon, irish, blended and rye whiskeys I can still try – Maker’s Mark, Crown Royal, Chivas Regal, JD7, Jameson, Canadian Club.

Which single malt should be up next for a whiskey noob? Balvenie? A trip to Islay?
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:35 PM   #365
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Re: Whisky

Definitely try the Balvenie Doublewood. At only ~70$ in Canada, pretty much the cheapest single malt you can get, it is my personal favorite.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:00 PM   #366
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Re: Whisky

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Originally Posted by GooseHinson View Post
Definitely try the Balvenie Doublewood. At only ~70$ in Canada, pretty much the cheapest single malt you can get, it is my personal favorite.
Thanks, I'll give that a try!
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:00 AM   #367
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Re: Whisky

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Originally Posted by GooseHinson View Post
Definitely try the Balvenie Doublewood. At only ~70$ in Canada, pretty much the cheapest single malt you can get, it is my personal favorite.
Balvenie Doublewood is certainly a good value, but there are more than 30 single malts available in Ontario alone for less than that price.

One of these you might also consider is Highland Park 12, which sells for $6 less in Ontario. GooseHinson might disagree, but many consider Highland Park to deliver consistent value. Paul Pacult of Spirit Journal has named Highland Park 18 top spirit in the world for 3 years running. Highland Park 18 has done very well in (usually blind) tastings I have particpated in. The 12 year old is not nearly as good as the 18, of course, but it is only half the price and good value for it.

BTW, I see that production of the Balvenie 10 year old has been discontinued by the distiller, and replaced in their range by Balvenie Signature 12. This has been followed by Laphroaig's decision to discontinue distribution of the 10 year old in Canada (or maybe only Ontario) and replace it with the Quarter Cask.

Last edited by DoTheMath; 12-30-2010 at 04:04 AM. Reason: I see Floppy J has already tried the HP12.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:59 AM   #368
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Re: Whisky

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Which single malt should be up next for a whiskey noob? Balvenie? A trip to Islay?
Given what you have enjoyed, you will almost certainly like both Balvenie Doublewood or Balvenie Signature. Other well-made Speysides might appeal as well.

If you want to broaden your horizons, look to an Islay malt. Lagavulin 16 is probably the best readily available in Canada. It goes for about $110. Bruichladdich Peat and Bowmore Darkest are alternatives in the $75-80 range. I haven't tried Laphroaig Quarter Cask, which is new in this market. Ardbeg 10 goes for only a bit less than Lagavulin 16. I don't think it is quite worth the price.

I just finished my Macallan 18 tonight. It is very nice, well-structured and reasonably complex. Spicier and more powerful than the Highland Park or Balvenie 12s. However the $250 they are currently asking for it in Ontario is too high IMO. For that money I'd rather buy a Highland Park 18 and a Lagavulin 16. Or a Balvenie Portwood and a case of St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:32 AM   #369
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Re: Whisky

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloppyJ View Post
Several years ago I pulled out a golf ball full of whisky that I had received as a gift many years earlier and found it to be quite tasty. I recall it being quite sweet and much easier to drink than I was expecting of Scotch. It must have been Old St. Andrews which I believe is a blended whiskey.
Blended, not great but better than the cheap stuff like teachers, bells etc, but not to be comapred with a single malt. Grew up on this stuff. My dad used to be their accountant and received many many bottles over the years which he never drank.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:33 PM   #370
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Re: Whisky

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I just went to pick up a bottle of Balvenie DoubleWood and Lagavulin 16. They seemed to be out of Lagavulin 16, so I picked up a bottle of Laphroaig instead and grabbed a Highland Park 15 as well to ease the pain of not getting the Islay that I intended to.

On the way out I realized they actually did have Lagavulin 16 it was just tucked away in a back room somewhere. Seeing as though someone had to make a special trip I blurted out that I wanted a Macallan 18 as well. So, I went in for two bottles and walked out with five. This should keep me entertained for a bit.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:48 PM   #371
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Re: Whisky

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloppyJ View Post
Several years ago I pulled out a golf ball full of whisky that I had received as a gift many years earlier and found it to be quite tasty. I recall it being quite sweet and much easier to drink than I was expecting of Scotch. It must have been Old St. Andrews which I believe is a blended whiskey. This kicked off a brief foray into trying a couple different types of Scotch which ended rather quickly as I was getting some nasty reflux in the middle of the night which I attributed at the time to the Scotch. If I recall correctly I had tried some Glenfiddich and some Dalwhinnie 15 and never really developed a taste for either at the time. I am more of a rum or vodka + mix, beer or wine drinker and generally stay away from the straight goods.

During this Christmas break I was re-stocking my bar and decided to top up the Whiskey supply…just in case. Based on this thread or another similar such thread on the interwebs I grabbed a bottle of The Macallan 12 and Highland Park 12. Somewhere along the way, ¾ of the Macallan 12 bottle evaporated into my belly and it was quite pleasant, so I tried the Highland Park and picked up a bottle of Oban 14 to try – both of which I found quite enjoyable as well. I reloaded the Macallan 12 as well, though now am thinking I should have tried something new.

I am in Canuckistan, where Macallan 18 pushes $300, so am curious what to try next without completely breaking the bank. I took a peek into the corners of the stash and there are still a few drops of Dalwhinnie 15 hiding there, plus a couple Dalmore 12 samples and a few other bourbon, irish, blended and rye whiskeys I can still try – Maker’s Mark, Crown Royal, Chivas Regal, JD7, Jameson, Canadian Club.

Which single malt should be up next for a whiskey noob? Balvenie? A trip to Islay?
Stay away from Canadian ryes except for Alberta Premium which uses 100% prairie rye grain.

My advice would be to go to your local whiskey haunt and do tastings of everything you're curious about instead of forking over for a whole bottle of something you may not enjoy.

Whereabouts in Canada are you?
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:01 PM   #372
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Re: Whisky

Floppy,

Love this...

Plan: "I am in Canuckistan, where Macallan 18 pushes $300, so am curious what to try next without completely breaking the bank. "

Trip: "On the way out I realized they actually did have Lagavulin 16 it was just tucked away in a back room somewhere. Seeing as though someone had to make a special trip I blurted out that I wanted a Macallan 18 as well."

You got a bunch of good stuff, enjoy!

Re: HP 12/15/18, I think 15 is the best value of that bunch.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:46 PM   #373
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Re: Whisky

The Glenrothes 1985 was a revelation. Saving the 1998 for Hogmonay!
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:22 PM   #374
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Re: Whisky

elus2,

I’m in Ottawa. Anything I don’t enjoy I’ll be sure to feed to guests. I don’t imagine anything will go to waste over a long enough time line but your tasting advice is good for sure and apt to save me quite a few dollars.

El D,

I had no intentions of going anywhere near anything as pricey as Macallan 18 but my mouth betrayed me and went ahead and made the request without consulting my brain. Turns out it is much closer to $250, so a real steal anyway…hah. It is tucked away for now and I’ll try it after I start to get some sort of appreciation for this stuff. Yeah, right, give me about three hours.

I noticed an HP25, one lone bottle of Sazerac and some Glenrothes in the vintages section – I have seen a number of posts from you singing the praises of various Glenrothes, so I may have to take a closer look at those as well. So much for not breaking the bank, damn this thread. My wife grabbed the receipt from me when I got back to the car, chuckled, and asked me what I was going to go back to buy tomorrow…I take that as a green light!

So far of the new batch I have only tried the Balvenie DoubleWood and it is delicious. I find it very easy to drink, nice and smooth. I may like it better than the Macallan 12 – I’ll have to compare. Considering price, it seems to be a much better deal, at least for my palate. I’m going to try the HP15 next and the Lagavulin 16 later. If I get really brave I’ll try the Laphroaig even later.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:40 AM   #375
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Re: Whisky

One sniff of the bottle after pulling the cork out of the Lagavulin 16 and I knew I would hate it. WRONG. Loved it. It smelled completely different to me once it was in a glass. I had no clue what peaty smokiness would taste like but apparently I like it. Definitely a different beast compared to the Balvenie and Macallan which are probably my early noob palate faves but the Lagavulin is right up there. The Laphroaig is still a little much for my palate but I still liked it far better than I expected to.
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