Scotch Recommendations?

Discussion in 'The VIP Lounge' started by Graeme, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    As mentioned in my thread on taste, I've become quite fond of the taste of Scotch. I'm sure there are afficianados here, and looking for people's recommendations. Thought I'd start a separate thread for this.

    So far, the scotches that I can remember enjoying:

    Johnnie Walker Black - decent Scotch

    Johnnie Walker Blue - excellent, however there were many others I enjoyed equally (or more) that cost a fraction of the price

    The Macallan 12 Year - Probably my favorite Highland Scotch, because I found the flavor full as well as sweet

    The Macallan 15 Year - Not sure why, but enjoyed the 12 year more. Which is good for the pocketbook!

    The Balvenie 12 Year - Enjoyed it, fruitier than the Macallan

    Glenfiddich 15 Year - Smooth and light, but rather Generic as far as single malts go

    The Glenlivet 12 Year - Smooth and light, a little too light for my liking.

    Dahlwinnie 15 Year - Smooth, enjoyable. Probably my #2 behind The Macallan for Highland malts.

    Laphroaig Quarter Cask - In your face, smokey, peaty, salty. After having this, I am definitely going to by trying out some more Islay Malts!

    As you can see, the list is not extensive, and I'm always looking for recommendations for others to try. Ones on my "To Drink List" include Cao Ila and Lagavulin (for Islay malts) and Talisker, Oban and Glenmorangie (for Highland Malts).

    Anything else to suggest?

  2. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    it's late but I highlighted 2 from your 'futures' list.
    And it's common to not always like the older year lable.
    Sounds counter intuitive.

    in addiiton consider some of the dbl wood Scotchs.
    These have spent time in Sherry Casks along the way.

    and you might like to try some "Cask Strength' labels
    & adding your own H2O.
  3. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    Try Balvenie DoubleWood. First matured in an oak whisky cask and then in an oak sherry cask, with the latter imparting clearly different flavors than when only whisky cask is used. Great stuff.

    I think at one point I also had a two-cask from Aberlour, similar to Balvenie DoubleWood.

    And Glenlivet Nadurra. 104 proof, but pretty smooth.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2009
  4. Ken McDaniel

    Ken McDaniel Active Member War Zone Member

    Glenlivet is my stand-by, I like the lightness compared to other single-malts. My fav though is a single-malt Irish Whiskey, Bushmill's.
  5. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Member

    +1 on the Balvenie Doublewood.

    Also one of my favorites is from Aberfeldy, they are one of single malts that go into Dewar's. They have 12 and 21 year old bottles, the 21 is AMAZING, but you will pay for it. The 12 almost as good (IMHO) as the 21 and 1/3 the price.

    Aberfeldy 12 is the one single malt that I always have in the liquor cabinet, others like Macallan and Balvenie rotate.....

    FWIW, I like the Macallan 12 better than the 15, now the Macallan 21, that's another story.....
  6. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year is in the house. Similar in flavor to the Macallan (owing to the Sherry Casks I guess), really enjoyed my first dram!

  7. Stefan

    Stefan Active Member War Zone Member

    I don't drink this stuff, but here is what a friend of mine says:

    Compass Box Peat Monster - blend of several isley single malt scotches.
  8. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Here's a favorite Scot(ch):

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2009
  9. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster


    Do you like Crown Royal Cask 18.....Canadian with Sherry casks involved.
    Bushmills Black Bush has Port casks involved as well.

    There is a Canadian Distillery out East on some Island (s) which makes
    a Whiskey very , very similar to Scotch Whisky. I can't recall the name
    but I've had it & it's pretty darned good.

    Does Highland Park make a double wood style? I like Highland Park
    as well as Oban....for straight single Malt Scotch Whisky.
  10. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Member

    Enjoy!! I do like the doublewood.

    How do you take your whiskey? neat? rocks? with water?

    I have been enjoying a bottle of Glenmorangie Lasanta of late, it was great over this past weekend as we had a very cold and wet bit of weather (reminiscent of Scotland)
  11. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Member

    I must confess my ingnorance, can you tell me who this fine lass is?
  12. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Carl, the whiskey you are referring to is probably Glen Breton by the Glenora distillery, known as Canada's Only Single Malt. I am intrigued, but the 10 year costs as much as many other fine Whiskies (The Macallan 12 Year for example) so it isn't high on my list at the moment.

    Hayes, if it is 40% ABV, then I will have it neat. If it is higher (i.e. cask strength, such as Laphroaig Quarter Cask @48% ABV) then I will splash some water.

    Lasanta intrigues me, but I believe the next bottle I will purchase will be either a straight Highland/Speyside single malt or something more peaty rather than sweet. Oban and Highland Park are both on my list, as are Talisker and Cao Isla.

    Stefan, I did see that scotch when I was last at the store. I read a couple reviews, both positive -- being a vatted malt vs. single malt, it's cheaper as well.

  13. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Nicci Jolly
    Truth be told I was not familar with her, and found her by Googling for Scottish models.
  14. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Member

    I like the way you cut your jib;) My whiskey is either neat or with a spalsh of water.

    The lasanta was a gift. I do like it, but I would not have bought it myself.

    Of the four highland whiskey's you mention, I like the Oban, although I have never had Cao Isla. I ahve tried the other three

    Thanks Larry for enlightenling me on Miss Jolly
  15. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Actually Cao Isla is Islay and Talisker is Island.

    A scotch loving friend of mine had a poker game a few months back, and we of course sampled some of his collection. One of our other friends asked for some water with his, and came back to the table with what looked like half a glass of apple juice.

    My scotch loving friend looked like he was going to be sick, and proclaimed "if that's how you take your scotch, I have some Johnnie Walker Red for you!" :lol:

  16. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    I am not a big fan of Islay malts with that big peat taste. A good friend of mine who's also a Scotch fan like me once brought over a bottle of Ardbeg, which he said is his favorite Islay single malt. I thought it tasted like used motor oil. :)

    I prefer Highlands or Speysides, with my favorites being the old stand-by The Glenlivet or The MacCallan. I also like Dailuaine, and if you can find a bottle of their 16-year old, it's worth the investment.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2009
  17. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Everything I've read/heard about Islay malts is it is a Love it or hate it type of thing. I was warned to try a couple first (either through friends or at a bar/restaurant) before investing in a bottle.

    Words I've seen used to describe them (by people who like them!!):
    - Earthy
    - Like drinking a mouthful of campfire
    - Smokey
    - Iodine
    - Scent of a bandaid
    - Peppery
    - Salty
    - Seaweed

    After trying them, I am definitely in the "Love It" camp. But I can completely understand if someone is in the "Hate It" camp.

  18. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Graeme, single malt discovery is a life time of sampling and enjoying. You should certainly try some older malts as well as discover some new small batch productions. Years ago I would invest in very small editions were you buy the scotch like stock. Buying in the year it's casked and waiting for it to age. I could usually break even on just selling 3-4 bottles. But its a long wait and I only did that a couple of times. If I had stayed in London it might have been different as I was addicted to searching out classics. These days I only have maybe 70 bottles left between here and the UK.

    If you want peaty then have a go at an Octomore 5yr. You will soon decide your likes there. If you don't want to overdo it then go for an Aultmore 15yr or for a nice balance of peat and sweet try the Ar1 Elements of Islay.

    If you want more refined then try out Glen Ord 18yr and Royal Brackla 14yr. And if willing to pay Bruichladdich 1991. I also highly recommend you track down a Ardbeg Uigeadail you will not be disappointed, I wasn't. Ardbeg was unfortunately taken over by Glenmorangie a few years back, but still produces exceptional scotch.

    My favourite sipping whiskey in general is a Glenfarclas 15yr, very nice and much better than a Macallan.

    Biggest regrets: I was offered a Macallan 50yr a few years back and felt the price was just too high to justify holding it. Since then its almost tripled in price.
  19. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Thanks for the tip Jim, I will look for this one.
  20. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member


    Unfortunately up here with the Provincial Government running all Liquor selling and importing, if the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) does not carry it, I cannot buy it unless I am willing to pay for an entire case and import fees for the LCBO to import it on my behalf (this is how restaurants who want a very specific alcoholic beverage do it).

    They have a very detailed website that lets you search their current inventory. At this point they do not list any of the scotches you mention above. The closest is Bruichladdich 21 year old for $200 and Glenfarclas 21 year for $140.

    That said, their stock/selection constantly changes based upon the research they do, so I'll keep your list in mind in case some of them do become available.


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