Best Scotch Under $100

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Corey N.
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Best Scotch Under $100

#1 Post by Corey N. » May 30th, 2015, 7:27 pm

A friend needs a bottle of Scotch for a gift for a Scotch drinker. He doesn't want to ask what the guy likes because it's a surprise. So with this limited information to go on, what's the best Scotch reasonably available for $100 or less?

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#2 Post by Alan Eden » May 30th, 2015, 8:57 pm

Its a very diffucult question, the sctoches vary so much based on style.

I would go with a good Glemnorangie, Macallan or similar as they are good without being ine of the extremes that the recipitant might not like

Others are tomintoul 21 should be $100
Glenlivet 18
Macallan 15 nfine oak
Johnnie walker platinum, dont underestimate the name, its a great scotch
Dalmore 15
Highland park 15

Avoid Islay malts unless you know he likes peat and smoke
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#3 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 30th, 2015, 9:33 pm

Springbank 12 yo cask strength
Glenfarclas "105" ... (this one can be a little bit more, or less, than $100, depending on location)
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#4 Post by Scott Sutherland » May 30th, 2015, 9:42 pm

Glendronach 15 ($80)

It's better than the 18 ($120) or the 21 ($150).

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#5 Post by N. Justl » May 30th, 2015, 9:47 pm

Laphroaig 18
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#6 Post by Drew Goin » May 30th, 2015, 10:26 pm

Lagavulin.

Really, when I worked at a wine & gourmet shop, customers who wanted to buy Scotch for a regular Scotch drinker was encouraged to determine the friend's tastes. Usually Scotch drinkers are very loyal to specific brands or regional styles.

Then again, most drinkers, in my experience, enjoy Balvenie Double Barrel.

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#7 Post by Barry L i p t o n » May 30th, 2015, 11:41 pm

Laguvallin and Laphroig are too peaty for me. Balvene is too oaky for me.

Glenfiddich 18 is my suggestion. Or d'Abundah by Ablemour.

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#8 Post by RyanC » May 31st, 2015, 4:52 am

Lagavulin 16 is my go to and is widely available
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#9 Post by Corey N. » May 31st, 2015, 7:30 am

Thank you gents. This is very helpful and I appreciate the suggestions.

Best wishes for an enjoyable Sunday.

Corey
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#10 Post by John A Kramer » May 31st, 2015, 8:09 am

As folks have said, it's less a question of best under $100 as what's a good gift if you don't know whether the recipient likes peaty whisky. So Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, etc. - all nice, but I wouldn't recommend them for this purpose. Also not sure if I'd recommend a heavily sherried whisky - otherwise things like Highland Park Dark Origins, Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso, Aberlour a'Bunadh, etc. would all be good choices.

The Glenlivet 18, Glenfiddich 18, and Macallan 15 Fine Oak are good and have broad appeal. Another good choice is the Highland Park 18 - some places might still sell it for around $100.

I'll put in a second vote for Springbank 12 cask strength - very nice whisky. The Springbank 12 "Green" is recently on the market and is also very good - very fruity with a hint of coastal influence, so would appeal to folks who like all sorts of whisky. Has the added appeal of being a limited release.

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#11 Post by Thomas Keim » May 31st, 2015, 8:24 am

I would stay away from Islay malts as well - you either love them or hate them, with no in between.

I would also go with the Springbank 12 year - it's gorgeous - and pretty flawless -

One other suggestion is: CADENHEAD is an independent bottler based in Scotland with pretty good representation in the US - they bottle a wide range of cask strength scotches from a wide assortment of houses - and I have never had less than a terrific bottling from them. You will find quite a bit of aged - 12-18 year old Scotches under their label -
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#12 Post by Alan Eden » May 31st, 2015, 9:12 am

The more I think about buying for someone you don't know I really think Johnnie Walker Platinum is the way to go, it is neutral in style but extremely good. It would be a safe bet.

Don't let Whiskey snobs talk you out of because its a blend, its a blend of single malts with a large component of 18 year old malt in it
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#13 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 31st, 2015, 2:47 pm

Alan Eden wrote:The more I think about buying for someone you don't know I really think Johnnie Walker Platinum is the way to go, it is neutral in style but extremely good. It would be a safe bet.

Don't let Whiskey snobs talk you out of because its a blend, its a blend of single malts with a large component of 18 year old malt in it
It's important to remember that the person the gift is to be given to is probably a whisky snob.
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#14 Post by Jason Hagen » May 31st, 2015, 2:56 pm

That really is a tough question. Not far from, what's a good bottle of wine for under $100. You could end up giving a Kosta Browne to a Burgundy lover or vice versa.

Lot's of great suggestions. For gifts I like to get lesser known stuff, since that is what I like to receive. Something like Thomas suggested, like the Cadenhead. The Cadenhead Bowmore 14 Yr would fit the bill.

My other thoughts were, Lagavulin 16 (risky), Grangestone 18, Glenfarclas 17 and I generally like the stuff Bruichladdich puts out.

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#15 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 31st, 2015, 3:08 pm

Bruichladdich and Bowmore will be just as risky as Lagavulin, as all three are Islay malts; the Lagavulin and Bowmore are guaranteed to be peated, and *most* (but not all) Bruichladdichs are peated, too.
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#16 Post by JYoung » May 31st, 2015, 3:23 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:Bruichladdich and Bowmore will be just as risky as Lagavulin, as all three are Islay malts; the Lagavulin and Bowmore are guaranteed to be peated, and *most* (but not all) Bruichladdichs are peated, too.
Actually, I don't think any of the non-Octomore, non-Port Charlotte Bruichladdich are peated anymore. According to their website:

http://www.bruichladdich.com/article/pe ... lay-whisky
Last edited by JYoung on May 31st, 2015, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#17 Post by Corey N. » May 31st, 2015, 5:11 pm

Thanks all. I relayed the information and he's going with the 12yo Springbank cask strength.

I appreciate the help:
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#18 Post by p a u l b a t t a g l i a » May 31st, 2015, 5:56 pm

bunnahabhain 18 would be my choice, but there are a lot of other good suggestions.

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#19 Post by David Kaufman » May 31st, 2015, 6:47 pm

Should be able to get a bottle of Highland Park 18 for around $100.

I also like Yamazaki (12 as I think 18 is too $$$ and hard to find) and Aberlour 16

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#20 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 31st, 2015, 7:27 pm

JYoung wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:Bruichladdich and Bowmore will be just as risky as Lagavulin, as all three are Islay malts; the Lagavulin and Bowmore are guaranteed to be peated, and *most* (but not all) Bruichladdichs are peated, too.
Actually, I don't think any of the non-Octomore, non-Port Charlotte Bruichladdich are peated anymore. According to their website:

http://www.bruichladdich.com/article/pe ... lay-whisky
That link doesn't work for me, but I tooled around on their website some ... horrible website, btw. That certainly is interesting if Bruichladdich isn't peating any of their non-Port Charlottes and non-Octomores anymore. When I visited them a few years ago they had ~15 whiskies available for the tasting, many of which were peated and not under the Port Charlotte or Octomore umbrellas. It's hard to stay on top of Bruichladdich's bottlings and going ons.
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#21 Post by JYoung » May 31st, 2015, 7:45 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
JYoung wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:Bruichladdich and Bowmore will be just as risky as Lagavulin, as all three are Islay malts; the Lagavulin and Bowmore are guaranteed to be peated, and *most* (but not all) Bruichladdichs are peated, too.
Actually, I don't think any of the non-Octomore, non-Port Charlotte Bruichladdich are peated anymore. According to their website:

http://www.bruichladdich.com/article/pe ... lay-whisky
That link doesn't work for me, but I tooled around on their website some ... horrible website, btw. That certainly is interesting if Bruichladdich isn't peating any of their non-Port Charlottes and non-Octomores anymore. When I visited them a few years ago they had ~15 whiskies available for the tasting, many of which were peated and not under the Port Charlotte or Octomore umbrellas. It's hard to stay on top of Bruichladdich's bottlings and going ons.
Yeah, sorry, I had trouble embedding the link... it seems to embed the [\url] part of the code in the hyperlink.

I was there last summer, and really enjoyed the visit... they seem to have a neat philosophy and are willing to do a lot of experimentation. For some reason I came away from the visit thinking that they were still independently owned, but it looks like Remy has owned them since 2012?
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#22 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 31st, 2015, 8:07 pm

Who owns them isn't clear to me, either.

Anyways, thanks for posting that extra info.. [cheers.gif]

I'd say this passage from that link (without the "[/url" appended to the back end) pretty much clears-up any confusion I had on the matter:
Bruichladdich is not a peated whisky. This is now stated on the labels and tin. Any previous bottlings that contained peated whisky have been discontinued. Bruichladdich is now a peat-free zone.

However, we also distil some exceptional peated whisky, and this is now sold exclusively under either the Port Charlotte or Octomore labels.
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#23 Post by jamesharry1 » June 2nd, 2015, 2:55 am

Hi, really you can try , Ballantine’s 12 Years Pure Malt Scotch Whisky or McGibbon´s Premium Reserve Scotch Whisky

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#24 Post by Jay $$ Winton » June 2nd, 2015, 6:34 am

add Balvenie 14 aged in rum cask.
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#25 Post by Joel W » June 2nd, 2015, 10:01 pm

Has anyone tried Glen Grant 16?

I went to a tasting at Seven Grand a few weeks ago and it was pretty tasty stuff. Not peaty (good for me, much more my style) and I think it runs for 75 bucks or so. Been tough to locate though.
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#26 Post by Michae1 P0wers » June 5th, 2015, 8:20 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
Alan Eden wrote:The more I think about buying for someone you don't know I really think Johnnie Walker Platinum is the way to go, it is neutral in style but extremely good. It would be a safe bet.

Don't let Whiskey snobs talk you out of because its a blend, its a blend of single malts with a large component of 18 year old malt in it
It's important to remember that the person the gift is to be given to is probably a whisky snob.
Yeah, the problem with giving Walker is that a more experienced whisky fan is going to be unimpressed. Give something really good and if its too esoteric they'll still probably like it. I prefer to miss long than short personally. Goes for almost everything.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#27 Post by Edward H. Earles » December 28th, 2018, 5:59 pm

Michae1 P0wers wrote:
June 5th, 2015, 8:20 am
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
Alan Eden wrote:The more I think about buying for someone you don't know I really think Johnnie Walker Platinum is the way to go, it is neutral in style but extremely good. It would be a safe bet.

Don't let Whiskey snobs talk you out of because its a blend, its a blend of single malts with a large component of 18 year old malt in it
It's important to remember that the person the gift is to be given to is probably a whisky snob.
Yeah, the problem with giving Walker is that a more experienced whisky fan is going to be unimpressed. Give something really good and if its too esoteric they'll still probably like it. I prefer to miss long than short personally. Goes for almost everything.
I came to this thread late, but I have to say, this is good advice. Neither I, nor any solid Scotch fan I've met, would be impressed by the likes of Johnnie Walker Platinum. Go long or go home.

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#28 Post by Alan Eden » January 2nd, 2019, 7:16 am

Edward H. Earles wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 5:59 pm
Michae1 P0wers wrote:
June 5th, 2015, 8:20 am
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: It's important to remember that the person the gift is to be given to is probably a whisky snob.
Yeah, the problem with giving Walker is that a more experienced whisky fan is going to be unimpressed. Give something really good and if its too esoteric they'll still probably like it. I prefer to miss long than short personally. Goes for almost everything.
I came to this thread late, but I have to say, this is good advice. Neither I, nor any solid Scotch fan I've met, would be impressed by the likes of Johnnie Walker Platinum. Go long or go home.
Thats what happens when you drink labels and not the actual Scotch, enjoy your fancy names and labels because they make you a more educated Whiskey drinker than someone like me who only focuses on the Whiskey and not the really important label
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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#29 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 2nd, 2019, 8:29 am

There’s an interesting book by Thad Vogler, by the smoke and the smell, where he visits the both the independent distilleries and the corporate distilleries. Pretty interesting difference. Worth a read for those interested in spirits. Cliff notes are that whiskies like the platinum are mass producers in a factory like gallo while springbank is much more in charge of their entire production process. Does that translate over to the quality of the product? Well, that’s up to the consumer.

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#30 Post by K John Joseph » January 2nd, 2019, 3:13 pm

Alan Eden wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:16 am
Edward H. Earles wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 5:59 pm
Michae1 P0wers wrote:
June 5th, 2015, 8:20 am


Yeah, the problem with giving Walker is that a more experienced whisky fan is going to be unimpressed. Give something really good and if its too esoteric they'll still probably like it. I prefer to miss long than short personally. Goes for almost everything.
I came to this thread late, but I have to say, this is good advice. Neither I, nor any solid Scotch fan I've met, would be impressed by the likes of Johnnie Walker Platinum. Go long or go home.
Thats what happens when you drink labels and not the actual Scotch, enjoy your fancy names and labels because they make you a more educated Whiskey drinker than someone like me who only focuses on the Whiskey and not the really important label
I think the problem is that most scotch drinkers have had a bunch of Johnny Walker products and most of us think that one of the worst bargains in town is Johnny Blue. Some others are rather rough hewn, though I'll admit that I've had green and gold and found both to be fine drinkers. Given the reputation of Blue among most folks who like digging into scotch, the desire to jump into something like Platinum is not great. Since it's a gift for a scotch drinker, not a personal purchase, a little "wow you did your research" is probably a better delivery than "Johnny Walker huh, thanks." Only to later taste it and like it. You may well be right on the money with your suggestion, but it'd be like getting a wine nut a new Caymus offering. The initial reaction would be a polite smile and a thanks, and then the bottle would probably be set aside for a while. It might end up being a brilliant take on bordeaux in Napa, but when you're gift giving, hoping reality exceeds expectations is a tough road to hoe.

Like Ryan I'd be tempted to give Lagavulin 16, which is dynamite and almost always in my liquor cabinet (though I'm currently out), but its massive peat and iodine profile is not for everyone. There are plenty of "scotch drinking scotch fans" who'd much prefer Dalmore 15 to Lagavulin 16.

Fun thread. For those HP 18 suggestions, I'd love your tariff, but that's like $135 here.
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#31 Post by K John Joseph » January 2nd, 2019, 3:15 pm

Good lord I need to check thread activity dates.
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#32 Post by Barry L i p t o n » January 2nd, 2019, 3:30 pm

I guess I’m in a minority here, don’t like JW blue at all, Laguvallin, Balvenie, even found HP 18 a but oaky. I enjoy Macallan 12, love Macallan 18, drink Glenfiddfich 18 to keep my hands off the Macallan 18, and I like d’Abundah. Dalwhinnie 15 was nice at the price. Will have to try the Ablemour mentioned upthread.

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#33 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 2nd, 2019, 3:44 pm

I’d be glad to get a bottle of JW Blue as a gift, would be awesome for regifting.

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#34 Post by Al Osterheld » January 2nd, 2019, 4:24 pm

Lagavulin 12 is great, but more like $150 a bottle. There is a Lagavulin 8 for around $65 that I picked up but haven’t opened. The Lagavulin 9 Game of Thrones is quite nice and I’ll be interested to compare it to the 8 year version. But Lagavulin definitely has a style that appeals to some more than others.

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#35 Post by Craig G » January 2nd, 2019, 6:39 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 4:24 pm
Lagavulin 12 is great, but more like $150 a bottle. There is a Lagavulin 8 for around $65 that I picked up but haven’t opened. The Lagavulin 9 Game of Thrones is quite nice and I’ll be interested to compare it to the 8 year version. But Lagavulin definitely has a style that appeals to some more than others.

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Why not Lagavulin 16, also around $65-70? Or Talisker 10 around $50. Scotch has great deals in this price range.
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#36 Post by Al Osterheld » January 2nd, 2019, 7:11 pm

Why not Lagavulin 16, also around $65-70? Or Talisker 10 around $50. Scotch has great deals in this price range.
I like both of those, and the Lagavulin 16 was already recommended. I was responding to a post that seemed to say he found the 16 a bit woody, so throwing out some other Lagavulin options.

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#37 Post by Alan Rath » January 2nd, 2019, 7:35 pm

Craig G wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 6:39 pm
Why not Lagavulin 16, also around $65-70?
Because it smells and tastes like a bbq pit? [wow.gif]

Seriously, I always wonder why winos who don’t care for over-oaked wine tolerate over-oaked/peated whisky.
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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#38 Post by Craig G » January 2nd, 2019, 7:46 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:35 pm
Craig G wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 6:39 pm
Why not Lagavulin 16, also around $65-70?
Because it smells and tastes like a bbq pit? [wow.gif]

Seriously, I always wonder why winos who don’t care for over-oaked wine tolerate over-oaked/peated whisky.
To be honest, I haven’t had it in a while and I’ll have to re-try. But I have always liked some wines that have a strong oak signature, like traditional Rioja, Ridge and Silver Oak. Somehow in those wines the oak seems to me to be in harmony. Some other heavy oak wines I find very annoying. It’s similar with Scotch, at least with peat. I love Talisker but I found Ardbeg Uigeadail to taste like an ashtray.
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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#39 Post by Al Osterheld » January 2nd, 2019, 8:12 pm

I would call Lagavulin (very) peaty, but not particularly oaky especially when tasted next to whiskys of comparable age. That's why (in terms of the original question) any of the Islay whiskys are risky since the buyer didn't know the preferences of the recipient. But, if he'd known the recipient likes Islay scotches, I wouldn't recommend the Lagavulin 16 or Talisker 10 since they undoubtedly already know them and likely have bottles in their cabinet.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#40 Post by Alan Rath » January 2nd, 2019, 8:34 pm

Craig G wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:46 pm
Alan Rath wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 7:35 pm
Craig G wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 6:39 pm
Why not Lagavulin 16, also around $65-70?
Because it smells and tastes like a bbq pit? [wow.gif]

Seriously, I always wonder why winos who don’t care for over-oaked wine tolerate over-oaked/peated whisky.
To be honest, I haven’t had it in a while and I’ll have to re-try. But I have always liked some wines that have a strong oak signature, like traditional Rioja, Ridge and Silver Oak. Somehow in those wines the oak seems to me to be in harmony. Some other heavy oak wines I find very annoying. It’s similar with Scotch, at least with peat. I love Talisker but I found Ardbeg Uigeadail to taste like an ashtray.
We both should try it again; I haven't had it in man years, but given my even lower tolerance for oak and smoke now, I'm pretty sure it would not suit my tastes.

It's a bit of a button pusher for me: ultra-peated whisky, ultra-hopped beer, ultra-oaked wine.

BTW, I wouldn't call any of the wines you listed (though Rioja is generic) overly oaked. Ridge and Silver Oak have "signatures", mainly due to their American oak, but they are not (to my perception) overly oaked.
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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#41 Post by Al Osterheld » January 2nd, 2019, 8:44 pm

FWIW, young Rioja and Ridge both strike me as oaky although I like older examples. One of the reasons I dropped off the Monte Bello list this year is I don't really like drinking it young. Different strokes.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#42 Post by Alan Rath » January 3rd, 2019, 9:08 am

Al Osterheld wrote:
January 2nd, 2019, 8:44 pm
One of the reasons I dropped off the Monte Bello list this year is I don't really like drinking it young. Different strokes.
Completely respect that, pondering a similar decision based on age and wine aging. Just saying that, for my tastes, I don't perceive the oak in Monte Bello to be nearly as strong or overwhelming as a lot of big name Napa Cabs.

My earlier point was that it surprises me when people who don't much care for strong oak in their wine don't object similarly to strong peat in whisky, or strong hops in beer. To me, they all have a similar impact: masking the underlying flavors and intricacies of the beverage.

But of course people should drink what they like.
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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#43 Post by RichardFlack » January 3rd, 2019, 10:53 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
May 31st, 2015, 7:27 pm
JYoung wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:Bruichladdich and Bowmore will be just as risky as Lagavulin, as all three are Islay malts; the Lagavulin and Bowmore are guaranteed to be peated, and *most* (but not all) Bruichladdichs are peated, too.
Actually, I don't think any of the non-Octomore, non-Port Charlotte Bruichladdich are peated anymore. According to their website:

http://www.bruichladdich.com/article/pe ... lay-whisky
That link doesn't work for me, but I tooled around on their website some ... horrible website, btw. That certainly is interesting if Bruichladdich isn't peating any of their non-Port Charlottes and non-Octomores anymore. When I visited them a few years ago they had ~15 whiskies available for the tasting, many of which were peated and not under the Port Charlotte or Octomore umbrellas. It's hard to stay on top of Bruichladdich's bottlings and going ons.


A more middle of the road Islay might be Bunnahabhain. But non Islay probably best.

I’d add Edradour to the other suggestions and +1 on Glenlivet 15.

Bruichladdich must win some prize for most bottlings. The non peat comment is interesting I thought they were mainlining peat. I think I’ve also seen them bottling other distilleries whiskies in their cask program. (Bordeaux casks etc).

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#44 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 3rd, 2019, 11:19 am

I would go w kilchoman personally.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#45 Post by Barry L i p t o n » January 3rd, 2019, 2:02 pm

CG, you seem spot on. Johnny Walker Blue is the Silver Oak of Scotch.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#46 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 3rd, 2019, 2:40 pm

I'd call it the grey goose or patron of scotch. Perceived top shelf brand, which is good, and generally enjoyable, but not particularly profound.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#47 Post by RyanC » January 3rd, 2019, 3:49 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 11:19 am
I would go w kilchoman personally.
Haven't tried it, but today I picked up a btl of the Kilchoman Original Cask Strength. Psyched to give it a shot. Which is your favorite of their bottlings?
C@ughey

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#48 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 3rd, 2019, 4:27 pm

I like the sherry cask, it's pretty rare but I got a bottle of it, I also have a bottle of their sauternes cask finish but haven't opened that one yet. I liked the original cask strength, i got a bottle at the wally's sale for ~60.

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#49 Post by Al Osterheld » January 3rd, 2019, 8:12 pm

My earlier point was that it surprises me when people who don't much care for strong oak in their wine don't object similarly to strong peat in whisky, or strong hops in beer. To me, they all have a similar impact: masking the underlying flavors and intricacies of the beverage.

But of course people should drink what they like.
It surprises me when people who don't like oaky Cabernets assume others with the same preference must also share their preferences about Islay Scotches because they aren't able to distinguish the nuances (albeit without actually having tried them for many years).

But, of course people should drink what they like. :-)

Lagavulin, Talisker, Laphroig, Ardberg are all peaty whiskys and all different and it's possible to love a couple of them but not the others. Within a producer's line, the different releases share a family style but are clearly distinguishable. The truth is there are plenty of people who don't like oaky Cabernets but who do enjoy Islay whiskies and are even able to detect the underlying flavors and intricacies. No reason why you should like them, of course.

-Al

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Re: Best Scotch Under $100

#50 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 4th, 2019, 10:36 am

Al Osterheld wrote:
January 3rd, 2019, 8:12 pm
My earlier point was that it surprises me when people who don't much care for strong oak in their wine don't object similarly to strong peat in whisky, or strong hops in beer. To me, they all have a similar impact: masking the underlying flavors and intricacies of the beverage.

But of course people should drink what they like.
It surprises me when people who don't like oaky Cabernets assume others with the same preference must also share their preferences about Islay Scotches because they aren't able to distinguish the nuances (albeit without actually having tried them for many years).

But, of course people should drink what they like. :-)

Lagavulin, Talisker, Laphroig, Ardberg are all peaty whiskys and all different and it's possible to love a couple of them but not the others. Within a producer's line, the different releases share a family style but are clearly distinguishable. The truth is there are plenty of people who don't like oaky Cabernets but who do enjoy Islay whiskies and are even able to detect the underlying flavors and intricacies. No reason why you should like them, of course.

-Al
You can count me among those who dislike heavy oak in wine but have no problem with Islay whisky. Also, I don't consider most Lagavulin or Laphroaig, among others, to be "ultra-peated" at all, certainly not in comparison with the Octomore monsters and that ilk which can smell like crime scenes, and which I do not enjoy. I usually find heavily oaked wine to be out of balance, whereas judicious peat does not throw great whisky out of balance, for me. Some old Ardbegs, for instance, are some of the greatest whiskies of all times, with beautiful balance and stunning complexity. And plenty of peat.

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