Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

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lord.wexford
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Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby lord.wexford » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:48 pm

Hello All,

I'm curious about the peat and smoke accents of the Islay scotches, having been captivated by the smoky finish of Highland Park 12, but seek the advice of those far more learned than myself. Having had a long love affair with JW Black, I ventured into the single malts by way of Glenlivet 12, then Glenfiddich 12 and most recently Highland Park 12. I found the Glenlivet 12 a little dull, the Glenfiddich 12 agreeable and the Highland Park 12 sublime. I want to explore the Islands a little more, but am wary of such tasting notes as "iodine", "cigarette ash" and "vomit" - none of these sound particularly appealing. It seems I need to ease myself into the peats and smokes, as I do not believe my palette is quite ready for the Ardbergs, Lagavulins and Laphroaigs of this world. I'm intrigued by Talisker 10, and suspect it may be my best bet due to my fondness for Mr Walker. Not an Islay, but believe it to share some of the characteristics thereof. I have heard good things about Bunnahabain 12, and somewhat mixed opinions on Bowmore 12. I am aware that the older Islays have less pronounced peat, but fear those are beyond my meager budget at this point in time. What thinks the collective?

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bredman
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby bredman » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:11 am

lord.wexford wrote: are beyond my meager budget at this point in time.

Lord Wexford, you sound loaded.

I think Talisker 10. Alternatively Caol Ila 12 or Longrow CV. These three are in between the HP and the whisky nirvana that is Laga/Laph/A'beg. I can't recommend Bowmore as it's not my thing, but it may be yours. Keep us updated on your choices and progress.

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dramtastic
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby dramtastic » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:13 am

Tali 10 sounds like a sound choice, with IMO Ardmore Traditional Cask and Longrow CV being other viable alternatives. Any of these three a far more powerful(flavour wise) than HP12 though.

You could always try Japanese such as Yoichi 10 if you can afford it. This will offer you amongst other things pure peat and smoke flavours, without the medicinal notes.

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Swedish Chef
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby Swedish Chef » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:14 am

Unlike lockejn I love Springbank so I would recomend that or better still the bowmore 12 (both shoudl be easy enough to get your hands on) for stepping into the world of smoke. I'm sure there are others that more experienced members will tell you about.
I usually don't agree with most of the more experienced members when it comes to peat smoke-levels so I may be way off though.
And if I read iodine in someones tasting notes, it's a good thing (vomit is not, makes me think of The Arran Malt 10yo).

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bredman
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby bredman » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:17 am

Which reminds me, "vomit" flavours are not particular to the big Islay whiskies, i note them in Speyside whiskies the most, and not at all in Islay, iirc.

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Swedish Chef
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby Swedish Chef » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:20 am

Good call on the Yoichi 10 DT! Even though I haven't had it a while I'd say the Longrow is a lot more smokey than the Bowmore so it would be quite a step uo from the HP12.

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bredman
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby bredman » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:27 am

Swedish Chef wrote: Even though I haven't had it a while I'd say the Longrow is a lot more smokey than the Bowmore so it would be quite a step uo from the HP12.

Your quite right. However the Longrow has improved so much over the last couple years, it's simply stunning, you can't not like it.

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Swedish Chef
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby Swedish Chef » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:46 am

Don't get me wrong, bredman, I love the CV (as I said in a post way back, I can't sleep properly without one at home) and the Bowmore isn't fit to wash it's dirty underware. But Bowmore 12 is what got me into smoke in the first place and should be a good way of stepping up the smoke level. Also I think the first time I had the CV was a little under two years ago.

In Sweden, thanks to a greedy importer, the CV is twice the price compared to TWE. :twisted:
Last edited by Swedish Chef on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

matteo
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby matteo » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:43 am

I agree on all Ganga!!! Thumbs up!!
Really impressive :shock:

My indication for lord.wexford is to try:

Talisker 10 - Spicied whiff smoke

Springbank 10 - Smoked salted seawead - remind you drinking whisky on a seashore

Caol Ila 12 - marinated bacon

Ardbeg 10 - peat bacon grass - remind you a barbecue on the grass near the seashore

Lagavuling 16 - Diesel peat medicine some sort of sweetness oily - very tasty and Disttiler's Edition is more sweet making it a dark choccolate mate

The order is my personal indication, a progressive initiation to smoke - peat.
Now it's on you :mrgreen:

lord.wexford
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby lord.wexford » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:37 pm

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, very much appreciated. I'm hoping I can find a pub with a varied selection, and try a dram of either Taliskers or Coal Ila before splurging on a bottle. Failing that, I may just invest in a bottle of Taliskers . . . although I do love bacon! Ultimately, it will boil down to selection and price at my local.

Rufus Skytrousers
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby Rufus Skytrousers » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:23 pm

If your in the UK Wex, the larger branches of Sainsbury's carry the 20cl bottles of Talisker 10... Always a good way to sample scotches, without too much risk, price wise.

P/S Other than that,..I reckon Longrow CV is a real good one for you, when you have pocket.

lee J lane
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby lee J lane » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:57 am

Hello, it doesn't cost the earth and you can try two strengths, try the Ileach at 40% and then the cask strength "wow", if you'r looking for Islay give these two beauties a try, the only downside is that there are very few, "if any" cheaper bottles that will tax your palate like these.

Nu2Whisky
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby Nu2Whisky » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:07 pm

And two and half years later, theres someone else (ME) probably on the other side of the world thats going through a similar story of really really liking HP12 and now trying the Laphs, Tali's, Arbeg and Laga.
How wonderful.

Thanks y'all for this great, informative, welcoming community.

bscepter
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby bscepter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:21 pm

Wee Robbie wrote:
Nu2Whisky wrote: I was at one time put off by descriptors such as Sea Weed, Iodine, Medicinal, Bacon and so on. No longer.
Wee Robbie


to me, laphroaig smells like burning band-aids. and i LOVE it. :P

whiskymate
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Re: Want to explore the smoky whiskies . . .

Postby whiskymate » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:35 am

The whisky you should have saved up for by now if you like the HP 12 is the HP 18 a way superior drop.
Caol Isla is a great entry but way less body than the HP
Talisker would be a good road.
Try one of the smokey vatted malts, there are a few cheaper ones out there that are fine for a look see.
Take the Islay Journey when strong

Briuch classic would be where I would start Followed by C.I. followed by Bowmores legend or 12.
If I had Port C I am thinking it has such a big sweet finish that I might try it last after the big 3 southerners. Which I would take Laph Ard Lag 16
There is a great range from the islands and Campbelltown
Some dump on Bunn' so I haven't tried it yet.
I haven't quite connected with Jura, can't 'yet' see why people buy.
Ledaig is a favourite of mine.
Look out for Hellyers Road 'Peated' from Tasmania beautifull full smoky nose that you can get from a distance and a wonderful balanced drop with a long sweet finish.
Hard to get, but a delight when you get your hands on the stuff.
Enjoy!
ps this answer really is to the next in line so to speak for I imagine the originator has taken his path by now.


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