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******************SCOTCH*****************

265,810 Views | 1653 Replies | Last: 3 hrs ago by AgInSingapore
AgBQ-00
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AG
An Oa

If you could take the whole experience of eating a cake style cobbler cooked in a Dutch oven over a campfire I think that is what they captured with this.

There is campfire smoke, stone fruit and shortbread/cake sweetness. It is delicious.

Eta: the salty brininess hits in the lingering flavor. I am very impressed
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AgBQ-00
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Wee Beastie

Definitely tastes young. It is spiky. One taste will be smoke. The next you'll get spice and yet another you'll get a salty sweet. I like it but it is a bit of a flavor shifter. The alcohol seems a bit more present.

All in all I think Ardbeg is somewhere between Laphroaig and Lagavulin. I really like what they are doing. For me it is much more enjoyable than the Laphroaig I've had. It is also more easily drank in warm weather than Lagavulin. Seems a bit lighter/brighter if that makes sense. Very happy I got the sampler. I will be buying full sized bottles of theirs with confidence in the future.
Communists aren't people. They are property of the state.
AgInSingapore
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AG
Good writeup, I get what you're saying and agree it is an easier hot weather dram than the other two. Now find a Port Ellen (or save the effort and let me share).
AgInSingapore
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So my initial pour I was honestly disappointed with the Ardbeg Ardcore, but knew not to put too much into that one as it was just the neck pour. Now that it has had a chance to breathe, I'm digging it.

Nose is slightly sweet, like a vegetal funk sweet, maybe a wet green hay or straw. A hint of smoke and a bit of a sting in the nostrils but not so much from high ABV, almost a spice from capsicum. Maybe even some slate dust if that makes sense, and light malty goodness which I presume is the black malt they used.

Visually the color is very pale, almost looks like sauvignon blanc.

Palate is smoke like when you know someone is burning oak nearby but not close enough to pinpoint what direction it's coming from. A meaty aspect but not overly so, like eating uncured sugar free bacon because you're making 'better' choices but you know you miss the other stuff. More of a back and sides of tounge whisky, with a little chocolate hiding.

Finish is mid to long with that smoke lingering but not overpowering. A bit drying on the middle of the tounge with what seems to be a coal dust (maybe that was the slate note I was getting earlier). No burn bet definitely warming with a sweetness I expect from Ardbeg.

All in all, very happy with how this opened up. My better half is a Caol Ila nut and she really enjoyed this which makes perfect sense, just gotta keep her from sneaking drams when I'm not looking. Good thing I ended up with 3 bottles.
AgBQ-00
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Sounds interesting. Will keep an eye out for it
Cromagnum
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Great writeup. I'll have to try some sometime. I too have seen that several of my bottles taste better when I come back to them later after an initial opening pour. Lots more flavors come forward and things seem less "flat" if that makes sense.
AgInSingapore
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Today was a good day, grabbed a 2022 Laphroaig Cairdeas and a Balvenie 16 year old French oak finished in pineau casks
AgBQ-00
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Those are opposite ends of the scotch world
AgInSingapore
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Right?! My collection knows no bounds, and when I saw that Balvenie I couldn't say no. The Laphroaig is just second nature at this point, the Islay bottles basically jump into my basket without question.
AgInSingapore
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Coworker and I went for lunch and hit up 3 smaller liquor stores just to see what they had on the shelves. Nothing out of the ordinary at two of them, but the third had one bottle of the Laphroaig Cask Strength Batch 8 (a 2016 release). That shop no longer has that bottle on the shelf. I asked if he had more in the back, unfortunately he did not.
Ryan the Temp
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AgInSingapore said:

Right?! My collection knows no bounds, and when I saw that Balvenie I couldn't say no. The Laphroaig is just second nature at this point, the Islay bottles basically jump into my basket without question.
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte is a nice one from Islay. The also distill my favorite gin, The Botanist.
AgBQ-00
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Will have to share how it is. Quarter Cask has really grown on me.

Picked up a 750 of Ardbeg 10 today.
ziggity06
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Y'all need to try the Port Charlotte nama chocolate
https://roycechocolate.com/collections/nama/products/nama-chocolate-port-charlotte
Ryan the Temp
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Is there a "Scotch 101" hiding anywhere in this thread? I'm an inexperienced Scotch drinker and am always looking for new things to try. Problem is, I don't know how to figure out what to look for when it comes to Scotch.

Up until about 3 years ago, I'd never even tasted it (I'm a gin man). I wanted to pick up a bottle, but the dilemma was not wanting to spend big bucks on something I might not like when being cheap would almost certainly mean I wouldn't like what I bought. I had purchased a bottle of Highland Park 18 as a gift for my boss on the recommendation of a friend, so I looked at Highland Park for my first bottle and found a 12-year that was wallet-friendly.

I absolutely loved it, and the peatiness is what made it really nice - almost a matchstick kind of flavor and a richness that lingers on the palate. I've been told the peatiness is what usually turns off new Scotch drinkers, but it definitely works for me.

I don't know that I'm ready to spend $140 on a bottle of Highland Park 18 for myself, but I'm interested in what y'all might recommend for a new drinker to branch out.
AgBQ-00
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If you like peated Scotch, Islay is definitely the region to explore. My favorite is Lagavulin 16 but it is a pain to find right now. Talisker 10 is really good too, not technically and Islay but it is the same flavor profile. Ardbeg and Laphroig are both tasty and I really like them as well. Caol Ila 12 is a whisky that blenders use to get the Islay flavor in their blends. Johnnie Walker uses them for their smoky/peaty flavors.

If you want to go into less smoke and peat The Highlands region is the largest and probably has the most variety of flavors. Think of them as a mix between Irish and American Whiskies.

Speyside are typically pretty light but really good flavors. My favorite distillery of all distilleries is found here with Balvenie. They do a ton of work with using different woods/casks to get different flavor profiles.

Lowlands and Campbelltown are my least explored regions. Have never had a Campbeltown Scotch. Have had Glenkinchie from the Lowlands region. It is really light and delicious. Very good summer dram.

What I tell new Scotch drinkers is to get used to exploring flavors that span the whisky/whiskey gambit. If you like hard liquor there is a Scotch for you.

ETA: There is a chart in previous pages that gives a good lay of the land of different Scotches and their flavor profiles.

ETA2: Because it is good to keep handy
Ryan the Temp
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Interesting that my Highland Park 12 is almost exactly in the center of the graphic. I suppose that means it's a good home base to branch out from.
arrow
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My three favorites I like to keep around for various flavor profiles are: Talisker 10 (peat), Macallan 12 (sherry), and Oban 14 (balanced). These are all excellent and easy to find. Islays were definitely an acquired taste for me. I think if you really enjoy Talisker, then it's time to try an Islay.

Johnny Walker Black and Balvenie Doublewood 12 can be a good combo to start. You get a decent amount of peat and smoke in the JW Black and the Doublewood 12 is a superb sherry finished scotch that is easy to drink for someone new scotch.

The Highland Park whiskies are a very unique taste (in my opinion) with smoke and peat. I picked HP12 early on when I was new to scotch and didn't like it near as much then as I do now.
Cromagnum
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If you like Oban, then give Springbank a try for Campbelton. If you like less peat, get their Hazelburn. If you like more peat, get Longrow.
AgBQ-00
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Love Oban 14. Thanks for the recommendations!
Chipotlemonger
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If you like the peat, Laphroaig 10 and Ardbeg 10 on that chart are good ones to try. I like both. Have never done a back to back but I think I prefer Ardbeg 10 if I had to choose. I believe both are actually from aforementioned Islay, can't say 100% off the top of my head though.

Ardbeg 10 was a recommendation from this thread once I said I liked Laphroaig 10 and wanted something similar.
AgInSingapore
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You are correct, though I'd put The Botanist as my number 2 behind Monkey 47.

Laddie makes some good whisky, PC is better than the Classic in my opinion but nowhere near Octomore.
Ryan the Temp
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AgInSingapore said:

You are correct, though I'd put The Botanist as my number 2 behind Monkey 47.
I'll look for this. Never had it.
AgInSingapore
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Been thinking about what I add to the collection next, Ardbeg 25 or Laphroaig 25... Going on vacation Saturday, will have two weeks to think about it but I'm leaning Laphroaig.
JSKolache
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Highland is a good middle of the roader. If you like peat try the ones just listed for $$ or just go straight for the Lagavulin $$$ love that stuff for dessert, it is heavy heavy peat while also smoother than ardbeg, laphroig, caolila, etc. On the opposite side of the ring i really like Cragganmore for a lighter option.

If you can find a Diageo tasting event or something similar its a good time and they will walk you through 5-6 samples of some the single malts used in blending the big name brands.
Chipotlemonger
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AgInSingapore said:

Been thinking about what I add to the collection next, Ardbeg 25 or Laphroaig 25... Going on vacation Saturday, will have two weeks to think about it but I'm leaning Laphroaig.


I think the oldest scotch I've had is 10 year. Need to try something older out sometime!

Will probably start with a pour at a bar or restaurant sometime.
AgBQ-00
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Balvenie Doublewood 12 tonight.
arrow
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Macallan 12 for me tonight.
MEENag
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Cromagnum said:

If you like Oban, then give Springbank a try for Campbelton. If you like less peat, get their Hazelburn. If you like more peat, get Longrow.

Springbank 10 is my favorite Scotch. Oban 14 is way up there too. My go-to reasonably priced option is Laphroaig.
BBRex
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AG
Talisker 18 for me tonight.
dsvogel05
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If you aren't signed up for it, do yourself a favor and get on the Concierge Sales list from Total Wine.

https://concierge.totalwine.com/

There's a Dalmore 14 yr that is available for pre order today. I've scored some good scotch and tequila from being on the list.
AgBQ-00
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How is the Talisker 18? Have only ever had the 10 year old
Cromagnum
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AgBQ-00 said:

How is the Talisker 18? Have only ever had the 10 year old


Curious as well. I saw it on the shelf once but didn't pull the trigger, but have never seen it again.
OaklandAg06
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Looking for a recommendation from the board- I just finished my Ardbeg Uigeadail and need a new bottle of scotch. I currently have some Bruichladdich port charlotte olc:01, Red Breast 12, and some single barrel bourbons. Was thinking about getting some Glendronach 15 which I had before and liked. What would you guys recommend instead?

AgBQ-00
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If you want to get something that is away from the peat you might try Glenfarclas or Arberlour or Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. Balvenie Single Cask is one I really like as well. If you want a completely different experience that is not sherried I really like Glenkinchie.

If you want to try another well rounded peaty whisky Lagavulin 16 is mouth wateringly amazing.
Cromagnum
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Sounds like you have tried the peat side and the full bodied oddity that is Ueagadail (which I like a lot).

Depending what you are after:

Sherry bomb? Aberlour Abunadh

Good speysides? Balvenie Doublewood. Glenfarclas 12 or Glendronach 12. Aultmore of the Foggie Moss (current drinker)

More neutral without Sherry or peat? Dalwhinnie 15 or Tobermory 12.

Something coastal but not super peaty? Springbank 10 or 15. Oban 12.

A little more peaty and spicy? Talisker 10, or Longrow.
 
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