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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:11 pm 
 

I got this for my birthday last week. I only had a glass or two, so I can't really say yet, but so far, it's not so bad.

http://www.connosr.com/reviews/arran/arran-machrie-moor-first-edition-peated/
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:13 am 
 

@Grave_Wyrm: Half glasses is a good way to go if the bar is down with it. Twice the research for the money! Glad you got to try something from Nikka, I'm looking forward to checking out anything from Yoichi or Miyagikyo but they don't seem to be very easily found or affordable around here.

Inspector_Satan wrote:
Not at all actually, I've only had a handful of the big names besides the Suntory one which was surprisingly good. The concept always struck me as economic by design so I hadn't bothered wasting the money. I definitely prefer bourbon but I'll pick up an Auchentoshan on occasion since it's like the appletini of the scotch world. I've heard good things about Bruichladdich too, and I'm open to suggestions if you know of anything similar.


The only Bruichladdich I've had thus far is the Rocks, which was pretty alright but nothing amazing. I had a bit of a hard time pinning down what was going on in the flavor department with that one, which on one hand is kind of interesting and on the other sort of left me wanting. I don't know what the more standard expressions are like, but I can't say I've ever heard them widely praised. I also still have yet to try Auchentoshan, but it's on my list, both the 12 and the Valinch. If you're into scotches on the sweet/smooth side I'd suggest you look into the Aberlour 10/12 or the Yamazaki 12 off the top of my head, though there are plenty more out there. That style is also the stock in trade of Glenmorangie and Macallan, two other big names, so be sure to not miss those either.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:31 am 
 

He's on to something with that Glenmorangie, Inspectah. I think you'd like it. I had a bottle a while back as a blind buy, and I wish I had it back.

Happy Belated, Ardbeg Wizard! Let us know how the big dog treats you.

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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:10 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:

Happy Belated, Ardbeg Wizard! Let us know how the big dog treats you.


Thanks, dude. The Machrie Moor is not bad. You can taste that it's quite young. Maybe even bottled too early. Nice peat, nice smoke, but not really notable tastes. It's very simple, which obviously means balanced, but I can't say it stands out.

Today I was looking for an after dinner Single Malt. Usually I'm a peat monster, but I wanted something more delicate:

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:14 am 
 

Tasting update! Had a few glasses recently that I wanted to make note of:

Longrow: This is the no-age-statement release (now-standard release?) with the white and gold label that I pictured earlier, from the Springbank distillery. I now have a bottle of this and it's been open for a week or so. At first I felt a bit let down because the nature of the whisky feels a lot younger than I was expecting - perhaps somewhere in the 8-year range - and it comes off a bit sharp/non-complex... peaty, yes, sweet and oaky, yes, and also spicy, but lacking the overall sense of richness you get from the Springbank 10. A less mature version of the S10 with added smoke, let's say. Well, I'm glad to report that after a few pours the flavors have rounded out a bit more and it's starting to reveal itself. It's also the only whisky I've had that I've habitually added water to, as it dulls that sharp spirit feel and lets the flavors speak a bit more clearly. I think it'll open up nicely as the bottle empties and offer up a more unique identity. In any case, a tasty scotch! It's not in Islay territory as far as the peat goes, the smoke really only hits mostly on the finish.

That said, I'm very curious to try another Springbank side project, the Kilkerran (Work in Progress). Just saw this in the shop the other day and really liked the presentation, so I read up on it. They've released several batches since 2004, each one reportedly better than the last, and now they're up to Work in Progress 4 - nine years old. For a younger whisky it's definitely got some nice reviews. Their target date for the "real" release of Kilkerran is 2016, so they're looking to do a 12-year maturation. I guess part of what makes Kilkerran different is that they're using new casks to deliver a whole different profile. Interesting... will be tasting this soon!

Bowmore 12: This was a pretty nice dram. Clearly an Islay, but with slightly more restrained peat smoke. Has a quite oily, rich body, with well blended savory/sweet flavors that are thoroughly blended but almost too much so, to the point of losing a bit of complexity. Smoke is somewhat dry, will some shellfish-like notes. It's pretty robust and deep-flavored stuff, not as enchanting as some other Islays but quite solid nonetheless. Would be keen to try the 15-year-old or the highly rated Tempest.

Arbdeg Uigeadail: Fuck this is good. Beautiful dark color and one of the absolute best noses I've yet encountered. Wonderfully rich aromatic experience, with peat, sweet oakiness, leather, spices, just this gorgeous mulch of notes going on. Though they keep the age statement under wraps, it seems fairly clear this has a fair bit of well-aged whisky in the mix, as I felt I could really feel the cask's influence going on in this. Perhaps they age it in smaller casks to increase the liquor-to-wood contact. In any case, absolutely gorgeous stuff, with the smokiness toned down somewhat from the 10-year-old, instead taking a more middle-ground role and also making room for what seems to be a pretty significant sherry presence. Great Scott(ch)! Must pick up a bottle of this soon, maybe over Christmas time.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:09 pm 
 

I had a bit of Bowmore last night m'self. No year on the bottle. It went by Dusk. It had a bit of a confusing label: Bordeaux Casked it said up high, and Claret Casked lower down. It was an interesting mixture. A bit on the sour side, and didn't blend together as well as I'd have liked, but I'm going to give it another go tonight.

Also a short dram of the safe and standard, but easily repeatable Glen Ord 12, a Northern Highland Single Malt. It tasted like what I'd imagine Glenfiddich would be like if it actually decided to take a stand to be substantial. After that, I poured another shorty of The Knot from Ireland. That stuff was pretty strange. Not that it wasn't good, it was tasty, but it tasted a hell of a lot like egg nog .. slightly smoked egg nog, which I'm not sure I could drink at any other time but Yule. Seemed best for a novelty gift which would most likely be best to just bring to a Christmas party and let everyone polish off at a full charge .. which i'm guessing was the reason it was in my host's liquor cabinet in the first place.

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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:19 pm 
 

Got around to trying some Tailsker 10 last night - Whew, I definitely see what people mean about the cracked pepper aftertaste. I rather enjoyed it, though I can understand why some would find it too strong. I think Laphroiag still remains my favorite Islay. Used to like the 10 year the best, but the Quarter Cask is growing on me - I love that sweet coconut flavor that segues into the Islay smokiness.

On the to-try list:

Glenlivet 15 French Oak: Manager of the local liquor store recommended this when I asked for scotches with a strong oaky flavor. I didn't care for the Macallan Fine Oak as I found the bourbon flavor too prevalant, but I'm still interested to try the G15.

Incidentally, I found the Macallan FO mixed pretty well with cola. I'm guessing the cheaper oaky scotches are best as mixers, as I could only imagine an Islay tasting like absolute shit when mixed.

Ardbeg Uigeadail: I've heard a lot of praise for this outside of recent posts as well. This would be the most expensive bottle I've ever bought, so I'm hoping I might be able to snag one after Christmas. :D

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Lasanta: All the reviews say these are very sweet and almost dessert-like, with notes of chocolate and mint. Would be interested to try as that doesn't sound like anything I've tasted thus far.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:05 pm 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Incidentally, I found the Macallan FO mixed pretty well with cola.

:o

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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:00 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Incidentally, I found the Macallan FO mixed pretty well with cola.

:o


:o
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:35 am 
 

:lol: Okay, that's either surprise at that being a good mix, or surprise that I'm wasting a good scotch on a cheap mixer (and it was the 10 year, not the 15 or 18 year Fine Oak)...Look, I honestly tried to like it, but it was just too bourbon-y for me to drink straight, thought it was a little better when I splashed in some water.

In any event, I'm glad to be back to the realm of Islay with this delicious Talisker. :D
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:26 am 
 

Talisker's no Islay - 'tis from the Isle of Skye! But it's sort of in the same ballpark in terms of style, I suppose.

Tried the Highland Park 12 for the first time last night. It's reputed to be something of a jack-of-all-trades in terms of flavor, and I did get that to a certain degree. The nose, initial palate, development, finish all sort of presented somewhat different impressions, delivering a kind of unpredictable (but definitely pleasurable!) experience. Interesting. Would be game to try it again under more controlled circumstances, as by that point in the evening my palate was by no means lucid.
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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:40 pm 
 

Under_Starmere wrote:
Talisker's no Islay - 'tis from the Isle of Skye! But it's sort of in the same ballpark in terms of style, I suppose.


Yeah, both a nice dram for rainy weather, cold days. That's basically it, though.
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:29 am 
 

The Ardbeg Wizard wrote:
Under_Starmere wrote:
Talisker's no Islay - 'tis from the Isle of Skye! But it's sort of in the same ballpark in terms of style, I suppose.


Yeah, both a nice dram for rainy weather, cold days. That's basically it, though.


I honestly had no idea the two were different before you said that. Interesting.

Also, you guys still haven't said what was so odd about me mixing the Fine Oak. :P
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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:11 pm 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Also, you guys still haven't said what was so odd about me mixing the Fine Oak. :P


One does not mix a good single malt ;)
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:03 pm 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Also, you guys still haven't said what was so odd about me mixing the Fine Oak. :P

I was just playing. If you didn't like it, why not throw it in a coke? Personally I'd try it in a cocktail before a coke, but the principle's basically the same.

In related news, misguidedly paid $12 for a glass of The Balvenie 12 Doublewood. :durr:

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:26 pm 
 

Hmm, what was that like? Can't say I've ever had reason to chance it.
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:43 pm 
 

So remember how I mentioned that old Scottish guy my dad used to work with? Apparently his grandfather owned a pub in Scotland during the late 19th century and was involved in the production of this:

http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/wi ... ns-whisky/

He said he'd bring some for me to try over Christmas break. :-D
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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:06 am 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
So remember how I mentioned that old Scottish guy my dad used to work with? Apparently his grandfather owned a pub in Scotland during the late 19th century and was involved in the production of this:

http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/wi ... ns-whisky/

He said he'd bring some for me to try over Christmas break. :-D



Meh. That's all I have to say.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:02 pm 
 

Under_Starmere wrote:
Hmm, what was that like? Can't say I've ever had reason to chance it.

Don't. Don't bother with a whole bottle, either, since that's .. um .. lots more glasses. It's utterly bland. Even after 12 years it has no character whatsoever. It's more interesting than Jameson, but that's as much an insult as it is a comparison.

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The Ardbeg Wizard
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:12 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Also, you guys still haven't said what was so odd about me mixing the Fine Oak. :P

I was just playing. If you didn't like it, why not throw it in a coke? Personally I'd try it in a cocktail before a coke, but the principle's basically the same.

In related news, misguidedly paid $12 for a glass of The Balvenie 12 Doublewood. :durr:


:p
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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:22 pm 
 

So I work at a liqour store, and right when I'm broke they have sales on two whiskies I would like to try. Laphroaig 18 for $69.99 and glenmorangie 10 for $40. On the plus side I do have my ardbeg 10 and my impluse bought bulliet rye. It's only my first rye whiskey, but I got it for $21 on sale and its 95% rye mash. Cinnamon and spice up front, then a big spearmint flavor comes through overshadowing with it but not completely eclipsing the spice. Also tried jim beam personal shot, nice vanilla, caramel and corn flavors, but not very complex. I've also had a small mini of macallan 12, which I did not care for, i guess because of the sherry flavors. So, anyone have a good rec for a bold bourbon (not hugely expensive, but I'm willing to pay $50-60)?

Also, I've had a super peaty scotch (ardbeg 10, loved it) and a sherried one (macallan) but my only other foray into scotch has been chivas 12 (bland) and glenlivet 12 (good, but a bit tame). So is there such a thing as a heavily flavored,highland, lowland, or speyside scotch? I've been looking at the glenlivet 16 nadurra, and for irish whiskey the redbreast 12. Anyone have opinions on those?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:46 pm 
 

"Heavily flavored" is a severely subjective term, sir ;). Really depends on what it is more precisely you mean and what you're comparing it to. Tons of scotches are plenty heavy on flavor, makes it kind of a huge question to flail at, a bit like "what is some dark-sounding doom metal?" Maybe some more detail might speed our recommendatious sailing forward.
I've read good things about the Redbreast 12, been meaning to try it myself... though something tells me there are probably loads more exciting whiskies out there. Worth a shot, though!

Speaking of the Bulleit rye, just had my own first glass the other night. I liked it a lot! It was....incredibly rye-y. Like the nose was basically nothing but rye with some vanilla and some sugar and spice. Probably one of the first whiskies I've had with that explicit a grain presence, though maybe it's just that rye has such a distinctive aroma to it. Great stuff, though, nice alternative to bourbon. I'd definitely sooner pick up a bottle of that than the Bulleit bourbon.

@The Wyrm: Thanks for the warning... Balls to the Bal' then!
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Evangelion2014
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:40 am 
 

Under_Starmere wrote:
"Heavily flavored" is a severely subjective term, sir ;). Really depends on what it is more precisely you mean and what you're comparing it to. Tons of scotches are plenty heavy on flavor, makes it kind of a huge question to flail at, a bit like "what is some dark-sounding doom metal?" Maybe some more detail might speed our recommendatious sailing forward.
I've read good things about the Redbreast 12, been meaning to try it myself... though something tells me there are probably loads more exciting whiskies out there. Worth a shot, though!

Speaking of the Bulleit rye, just had my own first glass the other night. I liked it a lot! It was....incredibly rye-y. Like the nose was basically nothing but rye with some vanilla and some sugar and spice. Probably one of the first whiskies I've had with that explicit a grain presence, though maybe it's just that rye has such a distinctive aroma to it. Great stuff, though, nice alternative to bourbon. I'd definitely sooner pick up a bottle of that than the Bulleit bourbon.

@The Wyrm: Thanks for the warning... Balls to the Bal' then!


Ah ok, looking for something not sherried, not peaty but not elegant and mild either. I really liked the oaty malt notes of glenlivet 12, but wish they were more prominent. Flavors from aging are another thing I really like, especially the vanilla and oak flavors. It's kind of hard to articulate my question when I haven't tried many scotches. I guess the simplest way to articulate it would be a big malty and grainy sweetness without a heavy emphasis on floral tastes. I'm trying to round out my liqour shelf with something on the sweeter side.

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:34 am 
 

Hmm... from the sounds of it, you'll definitely want to explore the Highland malts. Malt-prominent, robust whiskies without many extraneous flavors aren't my strong suit, but I'd say you might give Old Pulteney 12 a go (if you don't mind a salty edge) or perhaps Cragganmore 12, though I'm just running on descriptions/intuition with the latter. Do look into the "Glens," as well... lots of Highland distilleries that dwell around that type of profile, though not many of them are easily available in the States.
If you can find Stronachie, also, that might be a good road, judging by description.

The Springbank 10 might also do you really nicely, if you can get down with an added bit of earthy (not smoky!) peat, salt, and other subtleties.
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:49 pm 
 

The Ardbeg Wizard wrote:
Smoking_Gnu wrote:
So remember how I mentioned that old Scottish guy my dad used to work with? Apparently his grandfather owned a pub in Scotland during the late 19th century and was involved in the production of this:

http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/wi ... ns-whisky/

He said he'd bring some for me to try over Christmas break. :-D



Meh. That's all I have to say.


Darn. Oh well, at least I can still say I know someone with a scotch-producer connection.

I tried The Quinta Ruban, but the bourbon flavor was still way too strong for me. The chocolate-and-fruit aftertaste was definitely present, but I'm just not much of bourbon drinker...

On that note, are there any recommendations for oaky scotches that aren't aged in bourbon barrels?
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:23 pm 
 

Under_Starmere wrote:
Speaking of the Bulleit rye, just had my own first glass the other night. I liked it a lot!

Damn!

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:21 pm 
 

Uh...blast!

These bottles on my shelf are coming along nicely. Longrow's opening up a bit more, Hakushu is proving to be quite an excellent choice for a crisp, sweet/grassy scotch and the Benromach 10 is starting to transform a bit, now offering an initial palate of autumnal sweetness, spice, and oak and then doing a bit of a morph into a rather sustained, peaty finish. Interesting!

Currently quite keen to try Port Charlotte PC 10. Need more campfire-y whiskies in my life.

Also just recently revisited the Caol Ila 12 momentarily and fuck, it's so good. Still one of my absolute favorite whiskies.

Four more on the prospective tasting list:

Port Charlotte PC 10
Bruichladdich 10
Kilkerran WIP4
Glendronach 12
Bunnahabhain 12
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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:21 pm 
 

Caol Ila 12 is one of my definitive standards. The lush, full bouquet is just...so perfect.

I've been meaning to check out Hakushu 12 for about 6 months but Japanese scotch is just so hit or miss for me.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:27 pm 
 

PhilosophicalFrog wrote:
Hakushu 12

It's pretty good. What I can say about the Japanese whiskies I've tried is that they're "refined." That is to say minimal. It's not a rousing glass, I can say that much, but neither is it unpleasant. It's clear, smooth, and tasty without being particularly charismatic. May as well try it. I'd ask the bartender for something with a little more charisma, though, if there's more to be had.

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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:42 pm 
 

I've heard, the Fishman and I talked about the Yamazaki 12 - and I really liked the floral elements, but it seemed that the whole drink didn't really stand out. Charisma is a good word to use. Perfectly functioning, performing, and tasting...but lacked the certain punch? Punch may work...or maybe memorability?
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:51 pm 
 

balls. Ask the bartender if there's anything back there with Japanese balls.

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:54 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
balls. Ask the bartender if there's anything back there with Japanese balls.


"Yah hey, gimme something with...*makes vague circular waving motion*...I want like the Toshiro Mifune of whiskies. Uh hyeah. Something with big old samurai balls. C'mon...you know what the fuck I'm talking about. Slap those big Japaballs right up here on this bar, bartender. I'm ready."

Like Japanese beer, Japanese whisky may be tailored toward the "polite." Harmonious flavors, a certain dry crispness, brief finish leaving little sustained aftertaste. The experience that I'm having with the Hakushu is that it's definitely a whisky that rewards patience and attention. It doesn't - like some whiskies - have that immediate "wig-blow" effect (and no, I'm not talking about shitty oral sex in a tent at The Gathering of the Juggalos) that hits you immediately, having as it does more subtle flavorousness, but sit with it when you've got some time on your hands, let it breathe a good bit, and it's a really damn good dram. It's not exactly a "winter warmer," as they say...though it's going down damn well this season, mind you, I think it would be best (excellently!) suited to spring or summer drinking. The drier, grassy notes following on the heels of the initial apple-like sweetness is just such a good combo. It's actually a lot like the delicious anCnoc 12, to my recollection, which is gettable at a much lower price point.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:09 am 
 

Right. "Polite" is a good word for it. It's definitely well-made, clearly has a lot of care put into its crafting. Immediately noticeable is that it doesn't feel young or rushed. It's like the distillate was cut back with snow water collected straight from the air. It's supremely clean without being watery. I'll definitely come back around to it, and when I do I'll give it more time, as you recommend. Chill the fuck out and enjoy your snacks, Wyrm. You got all fuckin night.

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:57 am 
 

Two whiskies tried this night, both a bit disappointing:

Cragganmore 12 - This Speysider starts off with one of the sweetest noses you're likely to come across, very light and rock candy-fruity. Palate is also nice with a blend of sweet and grassy notes, but then the dram fizzles with an abrupt finish that's neither clean nor flavorful, just...meh. Kind of a waste of what might be a good whisky. Sort of reminds me of an inferior, sweeter version of the Clynelish 14. Will not be giving this a second chance.

Bruichladdich 10 "The Laddie Ten" - This is Bruichladdich's new signature expression. I'd read good things about it and it's retailing at a nice price, so I was keen to try. Unfortunately it's not far off from the Bruichladdich Rocks, which I'd had mixed feelings about. It's a bit better, with some maturation benefits, but it's still got that same interesting-but-not-genuinely-appealing cheesy nose and that weird taint of bitter sourness on the palate/finish that reminds me of over-charred casks or something. It's definitely a unique whisky with some standout qualities, but unfortunately it simply doesn't agree very well with my personal palate. Maybe my taste buds just aren't geared to this. Unlucky! I will try the Port Charlotte, though, and see how that fares.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:44 pm 
 

Bought Krampus Yule presents for m'self.

Image

Image

Aye, they're both delicious, both made on islands. In the Talisker you can taste the sea air, with a nose to match. In Caol Ila, the autochthonous heather of a peaty chaparral.

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Goatfangs
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:29 am 
 

I've been searching for Caol Ila for a while now and can't seem to find it, but the local liquor store can special order it for me. I might just do that - especially for the autochthonous heather of a peaty chaparral.

Talisker is the first peaty whisky I tried. In fact, when I tried Laphroaig, it reminded me of Talisker with a bigger kick.
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Smoking_Gnu
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:48 pm 
 

Anyone try the new Laphroiag Triple Wood?
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:19 pm 
 

Nay. Have you?

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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:23 pm 
 

The Triple Wood and Quarter Cask are both on my try list but I haven't gotten around to them yet. The 10 put me off Laphroaig for a while.
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:29 pm 
 

Really? I've become something of a die-hard Islay fan so I couldn't possibly imagine that, haha. I really liked the Quarter Cask - It opened up with a sweet, almost coconut-like flavor before moving into that classic Laphroiag smokiness.

That said, I'm really not a fan of bourbon-barrel-aged scotch, so I'm wary of this Triple Wood...Though it would be interesting to see how that combines with the Laphroiag flavor.
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