Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

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RyanC
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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#1 Post by RyanC » October 17th, 2016, 6:43 pm

I adore single malt Scotch. But I'm a relative beginner and it seems that, more often than not, I read about an exalted distillery that is no longer performing up to historical standards (e.g., Ardberg, Macallan, Springbank...). To me, the Scotch world does seem to be a (highly rewarding yet frustrating) minefield. I'd love to hear opinions about which distilleries with relatively wide distribution are at the top of their game.
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#2 Post by jbray23 » October 17th, 2016, 8:23 pm

Kilchoman
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Look for Gordan Mcphail single bottlers.
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#3 Post by Louis Demers » October 18th, 2016, 6:34 am

I wonder why you would put Springbank in your example? It is on the spot IMO ( I've been in the scotch world for 15 years now) for most bottling. MacAllan have fallen to the greedy part of the market with their NAS lineup and I have deleted the distillery from my buy list as they are just a bad QPR. If you can get an 18 it is superb. Arberg ain't that bad since Luis Vuitton bought the place but pricier each year.

Top Glendronach (Revival Bottling in peticular) are nice if you like the Sherry finish.

Stay away from Bruichladdich as the boat steers the wrong way since they were bought by Cointreau. If you can grad older bottle jump on them.

It is hard to point you in the right direction as you don't provide styles you like.

That being said there are gems in the G&M bottlings and Douglas Laing The Old malt Cask bottling also.

hope this helps

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#4 Post by jbray23 » October 18th, 2016, 8:50 am

Yeah, Springbank was a weird throw in, our liquor guy says that it's his #1 distillery for QPR and overall quality.
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#5 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » October 18th, 2016, 4:12 pm

I know this isn't really an answer to your question, but I've found more success across an independent bottler's range than I typically do a distillery's range. I heartily endorse the SMWS (Single Malt Whisky Society) as well as Cadenhead's for independent bottlers. There are many other good ones out there, but those two are my favorite (especially SMWS, as they *only* do cask strength bottlings).

...

Now, to answer your question: this may be a surprise to some, but I'm loving what Aberlour is doing these days. Same with Laphroaig. Same with Springbank and Longrow.
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#6 Post by Louis Demers » October 19th, 2016, 7:50 am

jbray23 wrote:Yeah, Springbank was a weird throw in, our liquor guy says that it's his #1 distillery for QPR and overall quality.
Since Laddie was bought it is now my favourite distiller. While not cheap here the value you get in the bottle is top notch. ( I mean the 15 yrs is a big wow and the 18yrs is just insane).

I unfortunately left SMWS out because they dont deliver where I live snif snif. [soap.gif]

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#7 Post by Michae1 P0wers » December 1st, 2016, 1:29 pm

Bump. I want to grab a couple of bottles for the holiday. Anyone have any recent hits?

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#8 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » December 2nd, 2016, 5:25 am

The above suggestions are still on target, I would say. If you can find the Springbank Local Barley 16, it is very nice. On the pricey side (retail around $200, according to a very cursory look), but priced in the correct range for its quality, in my opinion.

We buy mostly older bottles, but do still purchase occasionally from SMWS and Cadenhead, as well as Silver Seal, though that's not available in the US.

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#9 Post by Louis Demers » December 2nd, 2016, 6:42 am

Michae1 P0wers wrote:Bump. I want to grab a couple of bottles for the holiday. Anyone have any recent hits?

Well, I just bought the Bowmore tempest VI, Lovely CS.

If you are in the budget and can find one (regular production but still), the Springbank 18yrs was one of the best I've had this year.

If not in the usual suspect:
- Talisker 10 (the easy to find and real nice single mal IMO)
- Balvenie Caribbean cask ( if your into the sweeter malt)
- Ardberg Uiegdail
- Lagavulin 12 ( CS) or 16 or the DE (which I alwys found to be great)
-Gelndronach 15 revival ( if you like the Sherry finish)

The rare to find
- Any special reserve Gordon and Macphail ( brown/copper tint) would be a hit as I have never tried one I did not like



Any preference in the flavor spectrum?

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#10 Post by Karl K » December 3rd, 2016, 9:39 pm

I would ditto the recommendations for Cadenhead's - my experience with them is always good.

Also, I understand how we could have less esteem for say The Macallan for their NAS offerings. However, when we talk about age-statement single malt producers, and noting that 10 and 12 years is on the younger side for this category, how can we know right now if a distillery is at present firing on all cylinders?

Wouldn't we have to wait 10, 12 - 15 or more - years to find out? Aren't we just now finding out if the distillery was firing on its cylinders 12 years ago (and in the intervening years as it properly aged its whisky)?
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#11 Post by Michae1 P0wers » December 6th, 2016, 10:13 am

That depends on what one means by "firing on all cylinders" Karl. When I ask what I am looking for is a distillery that has good quality stocks and blends them well to place items in the current market that are of excellent quality and priced appropriately. There's a sort of built-in aging component to the question, but blending a final product is an important part of it, whereas you are referring to whether they are distilling at the top of their game.

Any particular Cadenhead's bottlings that are worth finding? I've seen a few here locally. Prices around here for Cadenhead's are on the high side for an independent bottler, about on par with the Exclusive Malts and a tick below the Duncan Taylor Octave line, with G&M, Signatory, Chieftain's all a bit lower but the latter group seems a harrowing place to jump in as they have such wide ranges that it seems impossible to make an educated decision.

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#12 Post by C Chen » December 6th, 2016, 12:25 pm

Balvenie [cheers.gif]
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#13 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 6th, 2016, 6:45 pm

Michae1 P0wers wrote:That depends on what one means by "firing on all cylinders" Karl. When I ask what I am looking for is a distillery that has good quality stocks and blends them well to place items in the current market that are of excellent quality and priced appropriately. There's a sort of built-in aging component to the question, but blending a final product is an important part of it, whereas you are referring to whether they are distilling at the top of their game.

Any particular Cadenhead's bottlings that are worth finding? I've seen a few here locally. Prices around here for Cadenhead's are on the high side for an independent bottler, about on par with the Exclusive Malts and a tick below the Duncan Taylor Octave line, with G&M, Signatory, Chieftain's all a bit lower but the latter group seems a harrowing place to jump in as they have such wide ranges that it seems impossible to make an educated decision.
You can safely buy any Cadenhead's bottling --- just buy from a distillery you know you like or from one you're interested in trying. Regardless, it will be a high-quality dram. Cadenhead's are on the expensive side because they know what they're doing (i.e.: know which casks are the good ones, and tend to bottle at cask strength).
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#14 Post by Michae1 P0wers » December 7th, 2016, 1:33 pm

Thanks Brian. Like I said, just found this at my LWS, hadn't seen before so may be a newly acquired line in this area.

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#15 Post by Karl K » December 8th, 2016, 9:38 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
Michae1 P0wers wrote:That depends on what one means by "firing on all cylinders" Karl. When I ask what I am looking for is a distillery that has good quality stocks and blends them well to place items in the current market that are of excellent quality and priced appropriately. There's a sort of built-in aging component to the question, but blending a final product is an important part of it, whereas you are referring to whether they are distilling at the top of their game.

Any particular Cadenhead's bottlings that are worth finding? I've seen a few here locally. Prices around here for Cadenhead's are on the high side for an independent bottler, about on par with the Exclusive Malts and a tick below the Duncan Taylor Octave line, with G&M, Signatory, Chieftain's all a bit lower but the latter group seems a harrowing place to jump in as they have such wide ranges that it seems impossible to make an educated decision.
You can safely buy any Cadenhead's bottling --- just buy from a distillery you know you like or from one you're interested in trying. Regardless, it will be a high-quality dram. Cadenhead's are on the expensive side because they know what they're doing (i.e.: know which casks are the good ones, and tend to bottle at cask strength).
concur.

An even higher price point, and products of often remarkable quality, are the Samaroli bottlings.
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#16 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 8th, 2016, 2:37 pm

Michae1 P0wers wrote:Thanks Brian. Like I said, just found this at my LWS, hadn't seen before so may be a newly acquired line in this area.
You're lucky if it is, Mich@e1. of all the independent bottlers you named, I'd place Cadenhead's at the top of that list. I will say, however, that Signatory is pretty damn good considering they tend to water-back their selections --- nonetheless, that *is* a deal-breaker for me these days.
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#17 Post by Thomas Keim » December 22nd, 2016, 10:03 pm

jbray23 wrote:Yeah, Springbank was a weird throw in, our liquor guy says that it's his #1 distillery for QPR and overall quality.
It's one of Scotland's top two distilleries, why would it be a "weird throw in"?
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#18 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » December 23rd, 2016, 12:02 am

Weird to throw it into the group that it is "no longer performing up to historical standards."

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#19 Post by Alan Rath » September 13th, 2017, 6:35 pm

Too much Bourbon and Gin talk, no one wants to talk about Whiskey?

Not Scotch, but has anyone tried Yellow Spot Irish?
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#20 Post by K John Joseph » September 19th, 2017, 7:08 am

Alan Rath wrote:Too much Bourbon and Gin talk, no one wants to talk about Whiskey?

Not Scotch, but has anyone tried Yellow Spot Irish?
Actually had a conversation about Yellow Spot with my mom yesterday (they recently returned from Dublin and tasted through the portfolio).

Yellow Spot is wonderful. It's really malty, wonderfully smooth, and carries a nice creamy nutty malt note through the finish. Lovely stuff. Reminds me to some degree of a maltier nuttier Dalmore 15. Worthwhile purchase, great addition to the home bar. I would rather have Yellow Spot than Redbreast 15.
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#21 Post by Alan Rath » September 20th, 2017, 9:33 am

Thanks John. Amazingly, I found it at our Total Wine.
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#22 Post by Scott Butler » September 27th, 2017, 6:15 am

C Chen wrote:Balvenie [cheers.gif]
Yep, I drink more bourbon than Scotch, but I love The Balvenie. I always have the 12 year Doublewood and the 14 year Caribbean Cask in the house. I need to try some of their higher end stuff as well.
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#23 Post by Louis Demers » September 27th, 2017, 7:11 am

The Caribean cask is a nice one but I buy less and less as I tends to stay away from the colored and chill filtered ones theses days ( but as a daily drinker that wont stay open for long it is a good one)

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#24 Post by Michael S. Monie » October 20th, 2017, 1:51 pm

I had never had Springbank prior to reading his thread. I acquired both the 10 and the 18. I typically drink neat but I found the 10 a bit harsh and needing a splash of water. The 18 on the other hand was great. I am wondering whether or not to give the 15 a try or just stick with the 18. Any thoughts?
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#25 Post by Michael S. Monie » November 15th, 2017, 3:47 pm

With all of the love for Springbank, how about Longrow and Hazelburn?
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#26 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » November 15th, 2017, 4:39 pm

Shut yer yap about Longrow.
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#27 Post by Michael S. Monie » November 16th, 2017, 2:45 pm

Any thoughts on Aultmore 18 year old?
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#28 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » November 16th, 2017, 4:47 pm

I'm not familiar with that distillery, unfortunately.
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#29 Post by M.Kaplan » November 16th, 2017, 8:48 pm

Springbank was at one time a great distillery. Top five (top two in my book). Since the late 1980’s their (including Longrow) cask selection, especially sherry casks, has been atrocious. A criminal crying shame.

Kilchoman is a beacon of hope. Laphroaig periodically releases whisky worth finding. Pulteney can be good. I tend to seek out European independent bottlings, as they can be excellent, if not reflective of the homogenized distillery profile. More craft rum and mezcal than scotch whiskey is distilled these days. Which is also a criminal crying shame.
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#30 Post by Patrick Keigan » November 17th, 2017, 6:51 am

Balvenie always seems to be doing good things. I think Ardbeg has the peat dialed in, especially when it is balanced with sherry cask finishes. Kilchoman has really impressed me with the few drams I have had from them.

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#31 Post by N. Nikolis » November 20th, 2017, 9:04 am

M.Kaplan wrote:Springbank was at one time a great distillery. Top five (top two in my book). Since the late 1980’s their (including Longrow) cask selection, especially sherry casks, has been atrocious. A criminal crying shame.

Kilchoman is a beacon of hope. Laphroaig periodically releases whisky worth finding. Pulteney can be good. I tend to seek out European independent bottlings, as they can be excellent, if not reflective of the homogenized distillery profile. More craft rum and mezcal than scotch whiskey is distilled these days. Which is also a criminal crying shame.
What would you say are some current official bottlings that are good?

I am on a Scotch hiatus these days, I usually drink Green Spot and Encantada armagnac.

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#32 Post by Kris Patten » November 26th, 2017, 12:43 pm

If all I could drink was Balvenie 21 Portwood, I'd be happy for life. I am looking forward to trying the new Glenfiddich Winter Storm aged in ice wine casks....their innovation has been best in class with IPA Cask, XX and Bourbon barrel aged 14 year ....has really gotten Bourbon drinkers to try other styles of Whisky in our area.

Enjoyed Highland Park releases and Macallan is releasing a Cask Strength soon that hasn't been out in years....thankfully in US we still get age statements.

Pretty up on the ones above as we sell them, and I don't get to see other producers much, did enjoy Glendronach 13 Sherry Cask while in Scotland a few times.
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#33 Post by Kris Patten » December 16th, 2017, 9:26 pm

Anyone tried Glenfiddich Winter Storm? We sold every bottle before I could taste one....and had a shitload of accounts pissed as they thought they could wait to buy it.
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#34 Post by A*W*Means » February 4th, 2018, 12:15 pm

I believe Ardbeg, Springbank, Kilkerran, Lagavulin, Compass Box, Kilchoman are firing on all cylinders. Ardbeg 10 is my all time go to, desert island dram. Uigedail and Corryvreckan are bada$$ in their own right. Lagavulin does everything good. Kilkerran is one of the best of the new breed (12yr is a perfect dram, and WIP are cool takes on the new make). Springbank is also just hitting it right pairing its new make with good 1st fills and finishing with great barrels that are complimentary.

I tend to steer away from independent bottlers right now cause a lot of them are sourcing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill barrels from distillers which just tend to be really inferior.
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#35 Post by M.Kaplan » February 5th, 2018, 9:43 pm

A*W*Means wrote: ...

I tend to steer away from independent bottlers right now cause a lot of them are sourcing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill barrels from distillers which just tend to be really inferior.
Getting good casks has become more difficult over the past 10 years. The better independents have old stock that they've owned for a long time or have purchase from blenders. Some of the European IB's are excellent: Whisky Doris, Van Wees, Archives, Alambic Classique, Cadenheads (of course), Signatory, Duncan Taylor, The Laings/OMC, Gordon & MacPhail, Hart Bros, Whisky Agency, and others; but beware, US retailers and their sources, not so much (they too often buy the dreck passed over by the Euros).

Our group of a dirty dozen or so 'self-styled whisky connoisseurs,' The PLOWED Society (don't ask), has purchased and bottled 6 casks over the years: Springbank from Murray McDavid, Ardbeg, Brora, Port Ellen, and Laphroaig from Douglas Laing/OMC, and Benriach direct from the distillery. It has become exceedingly difficult to get good casks. We haven't bought one in a few years because we haven't liked what we've been offered. A small group of us spend a night or two tasting samples before deciding on a cask, or not, and we've had good success. Single bottles of our '72 Brora 30 and '72 Ardbeg 29 sold today at the British whiskyauctioneer.com online auction for £5500 and £4300, respectively, which is both flattering and ridiculous.

https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/97 ... rorageddon

https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/97 ... dbeggeddon

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#36 Post by RyanC » February 5th, 2018, 9:56 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
A*W*Means wrote: ...

I tend to steer away from independent bottlers right now cause a lot of them are sourcing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill barrels from distillers which just tend to be really inferior.
Getting good casks has become more difficult over the past 10 years. The better independents have old stock that they've owned for a long time or have purchase from blenders. Some of the European IB's are excellent: Whisky Doris, Van Wees, Archives, Alambic Classique, Cadenheads (of course), Signatory, Duncan Taylor, The Laings/OMC, Gordon & MacPhail, Hart Bros, Whisky Agency, and others; but beware, US retailers and their sources, not so much (they too often buy the dreck passed over by the Euros).

Our group of a dirty dozen or so 'self-styled whisky connoisseurs,' The PLOWED Society (don't ask), has purchased and bottled 6 casks over the years: Springbank from Murray McDavid, Ardbeg, Brora, Port Ellen, and Laphroaig from Douglas Laing/OMC, and Benriach direct from the distillery. It has become exceedingly difficult to get good casks. We haven't bought one in a few years because we haven't liked what we've been offered. A small group of us spend a night or two tasting samples before deciding on a cask, or not, and we've had good success. Single bottles of our '72 Brora 30 and '72 Ardbeg 29 sold today at the British whiskyauctioneer.com online auction for £5500 and £4300, respectively, which is both flattering and ridiculous.

https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/97 ... rorageddon

https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/97 ... dbeggeddon

I'm off tomorrow for Ardbeggeddon XIX, held annually since January, 2000 at Dick Cheney's Secret Underground Bunker, located on/near a nuclear test site in Nevada. Can't wait. Proud to be PLOWED.
Everything about this post is awesome.

Also, I've had good luck with Cadenheads bottlings. Spec's has a decent selection and they've been across-the-board very good-to-excellent.
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#37 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 5th, 2018, 10:16 pm

Cadenhead's is one of only two independent bottlers whose selections I will buy blind (with SMWS being the other). BB&R comes close, as does Signatory.
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#38 Post by A*W*Means » February 7th, 2018, 3:36 pm

RyanC wrote:
M.Kaplan wrote:
A*W*Means wrote: ...

I tend to steer away from independent bottlers right now cause a lot of them are sourcing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill barrels from distillers which just tend to be really inferior.
Getting good casks has become more difficult over the past 10 years. The better independents have old stock that they've owned for a long time or have purchase from blenders. Some of the European IB's are excellent: Whisky Doris, Van Wees, Archives, Alambic Classique, Cadenheads (of course), Signatory, Duncan Taylor, The Laings/OMC, Gordon & MacPhail, Hart Bros, Whisky Agency, and others; but beware, US retailers and their sources, not so much (they too often buy the dreck passed over by the Euros).

Our group of a dirty dozen or so 'self-styled whisky connoisseurs,' The PLOWED Society (don't ask), has purchased and bottled 6 casks over the years: Springbank from Murray McDavid, Ardbeg, Brora, Port Ellen, and Laphroaig from Douglas Laing/OMC, and Benriach direct from the distillery. It has become exceedingly difficult to get good casks. We haven't bought one in a few years because we haven't liked what we've been offered. A small group of us spend a night or two tasting samples before deciding on a cask, or not, and we've had good success. Single bottles of our '72 Brora 30 and '72 Ardbeg 29 sold today at the British whiskyauctioneer.com online auction for £5500 and £4300, respectively, which is both flattering and ridiculous.

https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/97 ... rorageddon

https://www.whiskyauctioneer.com/lot/97 ... dbeggeddon

I'm off tomorrow for Ardbeggeddon XIX, held annually since January, 2000 at Dick Cheney's Secret Underground Bunker, located on/near a nuclear test site in Nevada. Can't wait. Proud to be PLOWED.
Everything about this post is awesome.

Also, I've had good luck with Cadenheads bottlings. Spec's has a decent selection and they've been across-the-board very good-to-excellent.
Good to know. We have a fair amount of Cadenhead product in the local stores. I'll check them out for good distiller sources!
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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#39 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 8th, 2018, 11:49 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
A*W*Means wrote: ...

I tend to steer away from independent bottlers right now cause a lot of them are sourcing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fill barrels from distillers which just tend to be really inferior.
Getting good casks has become more difficult over the past 10 years. The better independents have old stock that they've owned for a long time or have purchase from blenders. Some of the European IB's are excellent: Whisky Doris, Van Wees, Archives, Alambic Classique, Cadenheads (of course), Signatory, Duncan Taylor, The Laings/OMC, Gordon & MacPhail, Hart Bros, Whisky Agency, and others; but beware, US retailers and their sources, not so much (they too often buy the dreck passed over by the Euros).

Our group of a dirty dozen or so 'self-styled whisky connoisseurs,' The PLOWED Society (don't ask), has purchased and bottled 6 casks over the years: Springbank from Murray McDavid, Ardbeg, Brora, Port Ellen, and Laphroaig from Douglas Laing/OMC, and Benriach direct from the distillery. It has become exceedingly difficult to get good casks. We haven't bought one in a few years because we haven't liked what we've been offered..
So true. We tasted through several dozen on our first foray just a few years ago, and found a handful that we liked a lot, but chose to bottle only one at the time. Since then, we have not found a single cask - out of more than 100 samples - that we liked nearly as much.

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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#40 Post by Thomas Keim » February 11th, 2018, 9:46 am

jbray23 wrote:Yeah, Springbank was a weird throw in, our liquor guy says that it's his #1 distillery for QPR and overall quality.
Mine too. My favorite of the traditional Highland (Campbeltown) Producers -

For kinky-cool - Caol Ila. It's from Islay, not as peaty as their neighbors, almost bordering on the lighter side - but elegance rules.
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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#41 Post by Alan Rath » February 12th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Thomas Keim wrote:For kinky-cool - Caol Ila. It's from Islay, not as peaty as their neighbors, almost bordering on the lighter side - but elegance rules.
Bonus points is you can pronounce it ;)
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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#42 Post by RyanC » February 19th, 2018, 7:06 pm

Drinking a Cadenhead's Arran 17 tonight. Silky and and well-balanced and very satisfying.

(And also Mezcal Vago Mexicano, which is so so good.)
C@ughey

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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#43 Post by Kris Patten » July 28th, 2018, 9:27 am

Not that most can afford it but The Macallan is releasing a 50 year and 72 year this Fall. Very rare and likely expensive. Expect to see quite a bit of innovation from them as they continue to age more Sherry Oak and reduce 12 year availability while expanding Double Cask and Triple Cask. Highland Park putting out a 50 year too soon.
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#44 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » July 28th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Kris Patten wrote:Not that most can afford it but The Macallan is releasing a 50 year and 72 year this Fall. Very rare and likely expensive. Expect to see quite a bit of innovation from them as they continue to age more Sherry Oak and reduce 12 year availability while expanding Double Cask and Triple Cask. Highland Park putting out a 50 year too soon.
Afford it? Try finding it! Only 200 released globally and my understanding is they are almost all going to "on premise" accounts (hotels, clubs, restaurants) so people couldn't put it in collections so much. The 72 year is a Lalique bottling, but unconnected to the previous Lalique series, I believe. Then there's a 1977 40 year Fine and Rare being released - this year's addition to the Fine and Rare series.

All that said, I personally can't put Macallan in the category of distilleries firing on all cylinders. They are so focused on these super premium bottles, and the double/triple cask - which way way over-woods them to me - they no longer care about making things that taste good. All this "innovation" seems like smoke and mirrors to jack up quantities, speed the process, use wood/yeast science to simulate complexities and increase efficiencies in ways that aren't about the whisky but the clothes you dress it in. There's nothing made for public release that is approaching the quality of the old 18 year. The Fine Oak, for instance, tastes just terrible. IMO, of course.

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#45 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » July 29th, 2018, 6:43 pm

I like rare cask a lot, actually. I know ppl don’t like it bc it’s NAS but it stands up to the 18 imo. I adore the 25, but that’s a bit pricier.

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#46 Post by Kris Patten » July 31st, 2018, 9:55 pm

Sarah,

Beauty of taste, we all differ, and I totally respect that. We get a few of each to sell in my home State, so it is available as far as 2 to 3 bottles can be "available". I would counter your innovation claim, Double and Triple Cask (formerly Fine Oak) will ease some pressure on Sherry oak so that older age statements become more available. Right now 12 year Sherry oak gobbles up the ability for grow 17, 18, 21, 25, 30, etc....stocks.
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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#47 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » August 1st, 2018, 4:25 am

Hi Kris - Indeed, tastes differ, and I certainly can't fault that, but I do think quality has gone down objectively speaking as well.

If it wasn't already obvious, I am personally disappointed in what's happening there. I feel the brand is now more important than the product. The house that has openly stated that you can tell they care because they put everything in sherry cask, now putting a lot of focus elsewhere is hard to swallow. Maybe it's nostalgia on my part, or distaste for the marketing behemoth. I think they are trying to grow at crazy rates, increase the power of the already super luxury brand recognition, and decisions are being made more based on that than on the whisky. It's their prerogative, of course, but it makes me sad. But, if the Double and Triple Cask series frees up more space for the sherried line-up as you suggest, that would be great.

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Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#48 Post by Peter Petersen » August 3rd, 2018, 12:00 pm

Kilchoman is definitely my favorite, can’t find anything I’d rather buy these days, except Armagnac.

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Re: Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#49 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 28th, 2018, 8:54 am

I've been enjoying the Glenmorangie 18, which I think at its price point, is a really good value. Any thoughts on the Signet?
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Re: Which Scotch distilleries are firing on all cylinders?

#50 Post by Sanjay Nandurkar » September 24th, 2018, 7:37 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
August 1st, 2018, 4:25 am
Hi Kris - Indeed, tastes differ, and I certainly can't fault that, but I do think quality has gone down objectively speaking as well.

If it wasn't already obvious, I am personally disappointed in what's happening there. I feel the brand is now more important than the product. The house that has openly stated that you can tell they care because they put everything in sherry cask, now putting a lot of focus elsewhere is hard to swallow. Maybe it's nostalgia on my part, or distaste for the marketing behemoth. I think they are trying to grow at crazy rates, increase the power of the already super luxury brand recognition, and decisions are being made more based on that than on the whisky. It's their prerogative, of course, but it makes me sad. But, if the Double and Triple Cask series frees up more space for the sherried line-up as you suggest, that would be great.
Macallan single cask prices have gone to stratosphere. However, their recent release of a 12 year old 100% sherry cask whisky is really good and inexpensive. Personally, i see much improvement especially after tasting their 12 year old "Fine Oak" cask.

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