And of course I'll bring a bottle or two for myself. I actually would like a bottle or two from each region, but then I'll go bankrupt, as I've just begun to work since I finished my degree. I think I'll just get myself an Islay or an Island (which is hardly available in the city I'm working in). I can't decide between Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Talisker (quite understandable for a virgin facing these peat monsters I think). Anyone to help me out...
Ardbeg 10 is very, very smoky.
Laphroaig is phenolic although the attack has dimished recently.
Talisker has a very smoky and peppery start but a sweet finish. It is not so much drunk as conquered.
Try also Springbank 10 yr or 100 proof which are both excellent as is the blended Campbeltown Loch 21 yr which costs £25.
Macallan cask strength or 12 yr old are good ones to get from the airport as well for the sherry lover.
Try Royal Mile whiskies which has branches in both London and Edinburgh and has an excellent website.
All of those whiskies are available from either RMW or a well-stocked supermarket like Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury's and are all reasonably priced.
The 18 y o Glenlivet is a gem and have seen it in some Sainsbury's also and Oddbinns, but not all. Even the 12 is forever surprising with its softness to a malt newcomer.
Talisker distillers edition is the best i have tasted from there.
If you want to rock their socks off and show them what whisky is all about you can get Aberlour a'bunadh (cask strength, non-chillfiltered) from Sainsbury's and it is often on offer
It should set you back about £30 in the supermarket. I've seen it in some branches of Asda and Tesco's.
I wouldn't have said that it was a typical Speysider though. I'd give that honour to Cardhu 12 yr old SINGLE malt - not the pure one.
The classic Speysider, at least to me, is Cragganmore 12 yr old. Has there ever been a more moorish whisky. I once had two thirds of a bottle in a night, it was so addictive.
If you can get it, and you'll have to go to a specialist for this one, I also recommend Glen Elgin 12 yr old for the same reason. It's nearly as smooth as Glengoyne 17 (and that's dead smooth - see my notes elsewhere on this forum) and is like drinking velvet from a glass.
also instruct the recipient to take notes and to pay attention to the styles of each region. offer to discuss 'the map' and make suggestions based on personal observation, which i think works more inductively after the tasting rather than before, e.g. suggest whiskys 'like' rather than 'is', such as longmorn is _like_ cragganmore rather than 'ardbeg 1977 is sooooo good (which it is btw!)'
However, if he knows anything about single malts, then you've probably picked out a bottle that would be the envy of many, many a scotch drinker (including this one!! )
If you are still unsure as to whether your friend enjoys malt or not, then the Bruichladdich 10 is a safer bet. It's a reasonably uncommon bottling from a quiet and little-known distillery, which any malt drinker would appreciate. And if he's new to scotch, then the flavour isn't too challenging.
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