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Scotch

Taste Test

Posted on 2007.02.08 at 19:40
Current Location: 63114
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Name Age Body Peatiness Palate Rating Repeat purchase
Balvenie 10 Kinda rough No peat Strong flavor *** Probably
Balvenie 12 Smooth enough Very mild peat Medium flavor ** Probably
Balvenie 15 Very smooth Light peat Medium flavor *** Probably
Dalmore Cigar Malt 15 Smooth Stronger peat Strong flavor *** Yes
Glenfarclas 10 Kinda rough No peat Light flavor * No
Glenfiddich 12 Smooth enough Light peat Medium flavor **** Definitely
Glenfiddich 15 Smoother No peat Medium flavor *** I prefer the 12
Glenfiddich 18 Smooth Medium peat Medium flavor **** Yes
Glenlivet 12 Smooth enough No peat Medium flavor ** Possibly
Glenmorangie (Madeira Wood) 12 Smooth Light peat Strong flavor
Glenmorangie (Rare Malt) 15 Smooth Great peat Strong flavor ***** Yes
Glen Parker ?? Kinda rough Hint of peat Medium flavor * (See below)
Isle of Jura 10 Smooth enough No peat Strong flavor **** Have Already
Macallan 12 Smooth No peat Light flavor *** Yes
Macallan 18 Very smooth No peat Light flavor *** Unlikely
Sheep Dip 8 Kinda rough No peat Medium flavor ** No
Tomatin 12 Smoothish No peat Meek flavor * No





What I enjoy most about scotch is the peat. As Jim, manager of PX Liquors in Saint Louis intoned, I like to 'chew the peat.' Unfortunately, quite a few of my selections were low on the peat-scale. Still, with a strong enough flavor (Isle of Jura)1 or a rougher body (Balvenie 10)2 I've found that I can drink my way past the peat. Considerable time & expense have gone into the above study, and it was a joy each and every step of the way. I'm still short a couple I would have liked to have added, namely, a scotch I hear they don't make any more I tried back in '02 (Bowmore Darkest 12-year) introduced to me by Mr. Green of Wichita, and (Oban 14-year) which PX Liquors has for $58 a bottle. At the prices I've found recently, and with my wife's affection for the Isle of Jura, I think I'll exhaust that supply first. But I'm still searching for that peaty bottle of scotch...


1Special thanks to lehah for suggesting the Isle of Jura.
2Special thanks to catttitude for the Balvenie.



Added Sheep Dip to the list. It's only an 8-year-old scotch and was mentioned to me twice, once by the proprietor of PX Liquors, and a follow up by danzigfried. It was $27 dollars a bottle, three dollars more than the Isle of Jura which my wife now also drinks. Betwix the two, my money's on the Isle scotch, though I'll give this one it's due: It is unique.

Added Dalmore Cigar Scotch. It's between 15-25 years old, and cured in in casks used previously to mature Oloroso sherry. According to reviews, "The additional dose of sherry adds to the whisky's already full body. It is a fabulously flavorful whisky that inexplicably costs in the mid-$20s." The bottle we picked up was $31.99, and it was wonderful.



Added Glenmorangie, Tomatin and GlenParker to the list. Of these, two bottles are ~$20. The Glenmorangie (12-year Port Wood Finish) was $64, and the clear leader in enjoyment. The latter two were rather horrific, but the GlenParker at least had a hint of peat, where the Tomatin did not. If I'm ever flat-broke, I'll buy another bottle of the GlenParker (which, incedently is how I ended up with this one), as it is reminiscent of a poor man's Glenfiddich. Have purchased three more bottle of Isle of Jura however, as that is my wife's favorite, and it always pleases the palette. Every time I'm in the store, I see the Cigar Malt, and memories of D.C. fill my head - what good times, and what good scotch!




Saving up Scotch for my next visit with photogoot turned out to be at The Party of the Decade! We sampled for the first time the Macallan 12, and the Glenfiddich 18. Both of them very nice, but not quite what I look for in a Scotch. Prior to the party, however, I cracked open a bottle of Glenmorangie 15 Rare Malt (which I've since discovered they've stopped making). Ashame really, at $70 a bottle, my new favorite! (I've highlighted it in the matrix above). I did, however, learn of The Peat Monster</i> from photogoot upon his arrival back to D.C. MUST try that one. The party was a lot of fun, and I got to share a lot of good Scotch with people who appreciated it.

Comments:


Me
photogoot at 2007-02-09 03:47 (UTC) (Link)
A fine list and a good reference tool. Do you have a laminated card I may retain for my wallet for future use?
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-02-09 03:49 (UTC) (Link)
I'll wait to make that up after we sample the next 20-year bottle you purchase.
galinda822 at 2007-02-09 04:26 (UTC) (Link)
I'm certainly no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I liked what we were drinking at your house when goot was in town. Which one was that?
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-02-09 04:29 (UTC) (Link)
That would be the Glenfiddich, my current favorite.
snapper521 at 2007-02-10 01:58 (UTC) (Link)
As you well know, I've never had Scotch. So forgive me but it's time to ask questions.

What's it like?

Easy to drink to the point you dont know your drinking alcohol like with a strawberry pina colada? or like Whiskey were it takes everything in you to swallow cuz that shit is NASTY but after you have a couple drinks it tastes a bit better...

1-10 on the nasty scale. 10 as the most nasty shit you ever had in your entire fuckin' life.
This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2007-02-11 01:13 (UTC) (Link)
AS a whole, its not quite as biting as whiskey (even then, what whiskey are you talking about? Jack Daniels is rough but Knob's Creek goes down rather smooth).

Then you have to ask if you're into blended or single malt - blended tends to be cheaper, distilled stuff to be honest.

If you want to learn, your local liquor store may have a bottle or two open to share with customers. Just be sure to ask if it's blended or single malt and the region it comes from.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2007-02-11 15:01 (UTC) (Link)
Balvenie just released its New Wood 17-year-old single malt and Ardbeg just released Ardbeg 1990 Airigh Nam Beast (Shelter of the Beast).
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-02-11 19:52 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the heads up. I can get the 15-year for $58 a bottle, what does the 17-year run?
(Anonymous) at 2007-02-12 08:11 (UTC) (Link)

Single Malt Whiskies

If you liked Balvenie then suggest you consider Aberlour 10yo. You should be able to find this for around $30 and is probably the best quality/value ratio single malt I have ever tried
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-02-12 15:33 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Single Malt Whiskies

Thanks for the tip, anonymous commenter - that's a pretty good price. I'll see if I can scare up a bottle (after my Sheep Dip is finished, of course...)
Cat Who Likes OpenBSD
bsdcat at 2007-02-15 16:04 (UTC) (Link)
If you like Glenfiddich 12, have you tried Glenfiddich 15 (Solera Reserve)? I just killed a bottle of that last week, and it's definitely in the "A+++++++++ would buy from again" category.

For Balvenie, doing a 10/12/15 vertical was informative but I was left with a similar impression - I'm not going to drink less than Balvenie 15 in the future.
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-02-15 16:33 (UTC) (Link)
To date, the Glenfiddich is my favorite. I will most assuredly attempt to procure a bottle of the Glenfiddich 15 based on that ebay rating ;) Thanks for the suggestion!

You hit the Balvenie review right on target, and the 15-year is only $58 a bottle...
(Anonymous) at 2007-08-19 09:52 (UTC) (Link)

Peat, and other recommendations

Hey Eric: thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. It's always great to meet other scotch drinkers (in case I ever need and excuse). Of course you know there are a lot of choices out there if you are looking for peaty malts (look for any of the Islay malts, really). I've found Talisker quite peaty, as with Lagavulin (which I just won't shell out for, it's that peaty!) and I did try a Duncan Taylor Islay malt the other day that just about started a fire inside me.

Off the topic of peat for a second, my new gold standard (in terms of value for the buck) is really Cragganmore, which while it's not overly peaty, is a solid choice for me. My desire to try new single malts is the only thing keeping me from shelling out for Cragganmore every time I'm shopping.

Stop by any time, and I'll check back on you for more reviews. Oh, and I actually stopped in at the Tomatin distillery a few years back while trekking through Scotland. I couldn't tell at the time if it was good or not, but I certainly don't hear anyone talking about it, so I'll assume it wasn't all that good.

Mike
http://themikestand.blogspot.com
lesabre500
lesabre500 at 2009-03-10 08:31 (UTC) (Link)

Scotch Taste Test

A few years back I worked with a couple of guys right off of the boat so to speak from Scotland. They enjoyed their drink and turned me onto "The Famous Grouse" It isn't too expensive and we all think it's pretty good. I don't know if it's available in the States though. After reading your "Taste Test" I've got the itch to go buy a bottle today.

Thanks,
Steve
ehowton
ehowton at 2009-03-10 16:02 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Scotch Taste Test

This makes twice I've heard of that brand. I'll definitely have to give it a try. Thanks!
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