Anyway, I'm going to be involved in such a tasting, in a couple of months, and we're trying to decide which distillery would be the best one to explore. The basic expectations are first, the price - we know we can't stick to the cheap stuff, but it's got to be within reason. Second, the attendees will be a broad group of people, so we don't want want to exclude a large portion of them by doing a peaty Islay. Third, six whiskies.
My first thought was Glenlivet, but we just did them a couple of years ago. Bruichladdich has a wide variety of tastes, but their peaty ones are very peaty, so... maybe. Macallan, Glenmorangie and Aberlour have come to mind. And that's about it.
Our current frontrunner is Macallan. We're thinking two Fine Oaks (12 and 15?), an independent and three sherry maturations (12, 18, Cask Strength?). The prices of the bottles are not unreasonable for anything less than 18-year. Wasn't there a 15-year sherry version? I'd swear I had that a couple of years ago.
Of the aforementioned Glenmorangie and Aberlour, I'm not sure what the appropriate offerings would be, but it seems they have several to choose from. Can anyone tell me if any of these would be reasonable, and what we might be looking for? Or any other distilleries to investigate? Suggestions, anyone?
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I don't know what's availbale in shops around, but I would do some research and see what's available
Other than the mentioned I reckon Springbank would be an excellent choice as well
If this ends up costing too much, since the Springbanks can get pricey, I'd do the Glenfarclas line up stated above. They have some of the best expressions for the price in my opinion and is a distillery less explored by most people (in comparison to Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan).
Glenmorangie is similar - Original, Lasanta, Quinta Ruban, Nectar d'Or, Finealta, 18. All fairly common and within our price range.
Glenfiddich starts with only four - the 12, 15, 18 and 21. The 30-year is definitely beyond our price range. We'd have to see if we could get the 102 or Solera. That's still only five.
Other suggestions... Aberlour, which has four, maybe five, plus independents. Glenfarclas and Springbank, slightly better variety.
One think I like about Macallan, Glenmorangie and Balvenie, is the variety of styles. Macallan basically has sherried and non-sherried, but they have a cask strength offering. Glenmorangie has different wine-type finishes. Balvenie has an even wider variety of styles. I think Macallan is the only one that has readily available (affordable) independent bottlings, which I would find very interesting to add.
Also, of those three brands, it is most likely that the attendees will have some basic familiarity with these brands, as opposed to Glenfarclas, Aberlour or the like. Our aim for this tasting is to expand people's horizons, but there's the matter of getting people to sign up. We want to say, "hey, you've had this before, and maybe you liked it. We want to show you more of it, and better." Given the nature of the particular group of people we're trying to bring in, we generally to start with that basic element of familiarity.
Thanks to all for your suggestions! Feel free to add more comments or suggestions.
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