In order listed this is what I like...
I'm thinking of trying Glenfiddich 15year next, that'll be my birthday bottle in June. Any other recommendations?
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Personally, I would not add anything to that. If you want a slightly peaty one - I really enjoy Caol Ila 12 yr (45$). It is like a roasted meal - I could conceivably see it matching the taste of a nice summer barbecue. The smoke in highland park is more black, this smoke is more like warm tasting.
It is a must-buy at some point, I know I couldn't resist.
I mean bourbon is good too- If it gets hot, you want to put it on rocks anyways, like is custom with bourbon often.
Maybe you could look at the more extreme ends of the scale like Aberlour a'bunadh, a peaty Islay whisky like Ardbeg/Laph/Laga, a straight rye or wheat whisky or even an Irish like Redbreast.
Otherwise if you're really looking to stick with whiskies of a similar vein then I think the 'fiddich is a great choice.
On the other hand, if you wish to go for something heftier, then borgom's and dramtastic's recommendations of the a'bunadh and NÃ durra are both excellent ones.
For easing into Islay, evanstonwhisky's suggestion of Caol Ila 12YO is very sage... There's just so much to like about this whisky.
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looking down your list you could opt for some alternative expressions to those already there, not sure if the Balvenie 12yo Signature is available near you but is worth trying, and, the Highland Park 18yo should be a must-have on your wish-list if you enjoy the 12yo. Others you might find interesting would be;
Glen Elgin 12yo
Glendronach for a replacement for Balvenie DW, Glen Elgin, Longmorn and Benriach for something more along the lines of the Dalwhinnie. I struggle with Cragganmore to find similar malts, tho, if its around maybe the Balblair 89.
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Johnny Walker Gold
Tyrconnell Maderia or even just the regular Tyrconnell Irish single malt
Older Balblairs but not sure on availablity in your neck of the woods or price.
I had a the 1979 26yo and a wonderfully smooth viscous and sweet malt.
I'll suggest two others to get you out of the Highlands area that you may really enjoy. 1st - Glenkinchie 12. I'm thinking this is a nice dram for summer time sessions. 2nd - Jura 16. Something about this one is really interesting and you may enjoy the spiciness with a little kick at the end. Have fun and enjoy!
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In my humble opinion, Glenfiddich 15 is pound for pound the absolute best in the range.
My cupboard cannot bear to be without one, and whilst I enjoy the 21 Havana reserve, and the 30 when I can nick somebody else`s, remember this is pound for pound, and you do not need a remortgage for the 15.
My first SM was Glenlivet 12. After much research, yes I do a lot of research before I plop down $$ for alcohol, my next whisky was Glennfidich 15 Solera Reserve. This whisky is very complex from beginning to end. The only thing that bugged me was the texture of it. It was thinner to me compared to the Glenlivet and was subsequently lighter than the HP12 that I purchased later on. The HP12 is definitely one of my favorites. Now as far as complexity and flavor is concerned the Glennfidich 15 had more subtle flavors hiding at every corner and had a wonderful tobacco finish that went on forever. That's what is so great about Glennfiddich 15, not purity of one flavor but tons of subtle flavors and a gentle and lengthy finish. Only qualm was about the texture. A tad thin for my tastes. Maybe it's just me! Happy Birthday, let us know what you think
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