We are leaning towards Aberlour 12 & 16 and Laphroaig 10 and Quarter Cask. We want to find a pair of malts that does not have the strong sherry or peat flavors as these two distilleries. Something fairly neutral so we can really concentrate on the wood.
Is there a third duo out there that is a) fairly easy to find in the States, b) not too expensive (<= $120/bottle), and c) does not have another strong flavor going on?
Thanks for any help you can give us on this!
And MacAllan 10 Fine oak a& 15 Fine Oak.
Are the Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, and Highland Park expressions (young verses old) really the same spirit, just an age difference. They aren't monkeying around with a little double-casking or anything on the side, are they?
Thanks again for your help with this.
I agree with what C57 says, unless its cask samples and taken from the same type of Oak and same amount of fills its virtually impossible to get an accurate picture.
blawder wrote:...so we can taste the difference that just the wood has made on the product.
As others here have intimated, this isn't going to be quite so simple as it may at first seem. The principal difficulty stems from the fact that many distilleries with a fairly wide range of different age offerings subtly (or not so subtly) alter their cask regimens for their various releases.
I have to wonder if the two Aberlour choices will give a clear picture of how age alone affects the spirit in the bottle, the problem being that I find any sort of wood finishing technique employed tends to cloud the age factor by introducing a 'polishing' factor into the equation. Ditto for sampling the Laphroaig 10YO versus the Quarter Cask; the latter is (I find) quite distinct from the rest of the distillery's lineup. Perhaps better (as has been recommended) to opt for the 15YO or 18YO (depending on local availability) to pit against the 10YO.
With the Glenfiddich 12YO and 18YO, one runs into a subtle change in cask regimen, as the older release seems clearly to display a greater influence from ex-Sherry cask maturation than the younger version (which is much crisper). Likewise with the 12YO and 17YO Old Pulteney bottlings.
Highland Park may represent your best bet, though even here there are 'transitions' in terms of the relative proportions of ex-Sherry American oak and European oak utilized for the different ages (never mind the varied use of first and second fill casks).
Lark Distillery in Tasmania, Australia (they sell online from their website) offer the chance to buy un-aged spirit. The exact spirit they use to make their whiskies which can also be purchased.
When i tasted this spirit next to whisky from the same distillery, it really demonstrated what wood can do.
Obviously, this isnt Scotch, but stilll maybe something to consider
Collector57 wrote:Yes it's true that the CI in my tasting is primarily to show the effects of aging, on peated whisky, rather than the wood effects.
The GF is more for that.
Collector57 wrote:But nevertheless, it's fun and it's an excuse to taste 6 whiskies
And one simply can't resist such an opportunity.
- Laphy QC
- all the Distiller Edition
- Auchentoshan Triple Wood
- any kind of finishing
- and so one
Because they are vatting/blending of different age or different cask, even different "cask taste" so you will not taste the influence of wood maturation but the influence of the finish, different style of wood or ex-filler cointained in the cask.
So I'd like to suggest also having a second tasting event based on the difference given by finishing so you can try:
- standard edition vs DE edition (Laga 16 vs Laga DE which is the 16yo plus finishing in sherry)
Or you can also try a "vertical" Balvenie like:
- Islay Cask 17 yo
- RumCask 17 yo
- SherryWood 17 yo
- NewWood 17 yo
- NewOak 17 yo
- Port Wood 21 yo
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