I have a couple of questions for you...
1) Which is the smokiest whisky that you can lay your hands on for less than 100£?
2) After trying out the Balvenie Doublewood, I was so impressed that I'm aiming for buying at least another one. I was thinking of the 21y port wood, but I was wondering anyone had other ideas? Is there a better Balvenie (in my price range, which is about 0 < 100€)?
I also enjoy The Balvenie 12yo Doublewood and I've been thinking about trying The Balvenie 12yo port wood but in the meantime I found a Chieftain's Choice bottling of Auchroisk 11yo port finish which is really good for half the price of The Balvenie 21yo. Now, it is half the age but age isn't everything. That bottling of Auchroisk is my favorite speyside at the moment. I finished my first bottle and bought another (as yet unopened). Don't have any speysiders open at the moment, actually.
The Balvenie Doublewood is a fantastic malt. It is my favourite in their core range (the 10, 15 single cask, 17 Islay cask finish, 21 port and 25). I always recommend it to friends as a classy, elegant & appetizing whisky at an affordable price.
My advice would be to try the 10 before buying the older & more expensive ones. I believe there are "gift sets" of 10 or 20 cl bottles of the 10, 12 and 25 year olds. Might be worth considering (can't remember the price though).
In any case, happy hunting in the wonderful world of Balvenie.
I would stick to Balvenie 10 yr old. I have tried the 10 yr, 12 yr, 15 yr and 21 yr and I've yet to be convinced that the 10 yr old isn't the best. It's like drinking warm hioney in a glass.
I've tried the 10y old Balvenie, but I don't think it is as good as the doublewood. And as a matter of fact, I just got word from a friend of mine that he had found the 21y old port wood in a tax free zone in Italy, for 50€. So next week I will lay my hands on it! Preciousss..!
And it was the same friend as above who was wondering about smoky whiskies. He claims that he drank a whisky a while ago, that was VERY smoky, but he can't recall its name. And as he's an avid drinker of Laphroig and Lagavulin, I have mentioned Ardbeg and Ileach (even Cragganmore and Oban), but he doesn't think it was any of those...
Could it have been Port Ellen? Brora? Any ideas? Maybe a cask strength Laphroig under a different name (is there any?)?
I find current Laphroaig 10yo 40% ABV to not be smoky at all. Phenolic, peaty, some seaweed and so on but not smoky. It used to be smokier, I think. I don't find Lagavulin 16yo to be that smoky at the moment either, again more peaty and phenolic than smoky like Ardbeg TEN.
Caol Ilas can be quite smoky as well. I have a 10yo Dun Bheagan bottling right now that is good and smoky, I'd say 80-90% as smoky as Ardbeg TEN.
Finlaggan was good advice! I'll look one of those bottles up as soon as I can! It seems Jackson recommends the 15y old if you're in it for the smoke and the roaring Islay character. Which do you recommend? I think I read here somewhere that Finlaggan was probably made by Laphroig or Lagavulin? Is this still true? Any insights?
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