February 8th, 2007

Scotch

Taste Test







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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.