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Peter Petersen
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#1 Post by Peter Petersen » January 4th, 2018, 7:10 pm

It’s been awhile since I drank a dram of malt. Used to like Laphroigh, Talisker and especially the usual Lagavulin that essentially brings me back to weird smells from my childhood.
My son now has an interest and needs advice. He, without knowing it, likes a similar style. His experience lies with liking Glenfiddich and he doesn’t like Balvenie, Dewar, Macallan.
Any advice for reasonably priced single malts? He really wants Lagavulin so I’ll get that. Is Campbell Town still around? I don’t see much locally.

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#2 Post by Drew Goin » January 4th, 2018, 7:37 pm

Lagavulin. Period.

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#3 Post by Peter Petersen » January 4th, 2018, 7:58 pm

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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#4 Post by RichardFlack » January 4th, 2018, 10:09 pm

Ardbeg Corryvreckan (or any of them really);
Bunnahabhain 18, fancy cask versions if you like that sort of thing.
If you want max peat try something like Bruichlaidich Octomore if budget allows.

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#5 Post by Doug Schulman » January 5th, 2018, 4:22 pm

RichardFlack wrote: Bunnahabhain 18, fancy cask versions if you like that sort of thing.
Are you saying there are peaty variations of this? The regular bottling has very little to no peat.
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#6 Post by Alan Rath » January 5th, 2018, 4:39 pm

I'm going to give some controversial advice: for me, peat and smoke in whisky is the equivalent of oak in wine (or, frankly, hops in beer). A little is OK, but too much just covers up the natural flavors in the whisky itself. I'd suggest having him try different producers, not just lock in on what he thinks he likes, going straight for the super smoky versions. Personally, I can't drink Lagavulin, Laphroaig, etc., so take my comments for what they're worth.

Campbeltown: coincidentally, my daughter gave me a bottle of Kilkerran 12 year, from Campbeltown. I don't know the price, but I'll assume it wasn't particularly expensive. It has some definite smoke, but not overwhelming, and is otherwise fairly bright and lighter in style. Your son might like it, worth a try.
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#7 Post by Peter Petersen » January 5th, 2018, 7:32 pm

Alan, Thanks, I’ll look more carefully, but lots of camp fires etc have probably made us immune to the smoke flavors.
I remember Springbank having a really nice Campbeltown whisky (not single malt) that was priced well for people just starting out.

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#8 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » January 5th, 2018, 8:30 pm

Laphroaig 10 cask strength

The quintessential Islay
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#9 Post by Dustin Buchko » January 5th, 2018, 9:10 pm

Laphroaig and Ardbeg if you really like peat, Lagavulin if you really like a little.

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#10 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » January 5th, 2018, 9:17 pm

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#11 Post by robert creth » January 6th, 2018, 9:47 pm

[quote="Alan Rath"]I'm going to give some controversial advice: for me, peat and smoke in whisky is the equivalent of oak in wine (or, frankly, hops in beer). A little is OK, but too much just covers up the natural flavors in the whisky itself. I'd suggest having him try different producers, not just lock in on what he thinks he likes, going straight for the super smoky versions. Personally, I can't drink Lagavulin, Laphroaig, etc., so take my comments for what they're worth

I remember cleaning up after my parents party nights in the 60s and tasting the leftover Scotch and thinking that all the cigarette smoke had messed with the whiskey. It was years later that I discovered that it was made that way. I’m a Balvanie guy though and don’t understand the campfire appeal.

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#12 Post by Kris Patten » January 7th, 2018, 6:07 pm

Highland Park
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#13 Post by David H. » January 7th, 2018, 6:55 pm

Kilchoman.

I'm a big Ardbeg and Laphroaig fan; but I think Kilchoman is doing some good things and you can get some reasonably priced bottles.
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#14 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 9th, 2018, 11:27 am

Kris Patten wrote:Highland Park
While I love Highland Park, it would not be my suggestion to someone specifically asking for a peaty whisky and citing Lagavulin as a benchmark. Yes, Highland Park bottlings generally do see some peat on the floor malted parcel (at least), but not a lot and the Orkney peat is quite different from Islay peat.

Love the whisky, though.

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#15 Post by Peter Petersen » January 9th, 2018, 3:41 pm

For now we went with Lagavulin 16 and the more civilized Oban 14 as they were on sale. Next we’ll get some Ardberg which I remember being good and is now just as easy to get.
Not quite sure why my son is keen on these but they remind me of many of the smells I grew up in a small fishing village.

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#16 Post by RichardFlack » January 9th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Doug Schulman wrote:
RichardFlack wrote: Bunnahabhain 18, fancy cask versions if you like that sort of thing.
Are you saying there are peaty variations of this? The regular bottling has very little to no peat.
I think a little peat, yes very low on iodine etc versus Laphroaig was suggesting contrast against Ardbeg Bruchkaiddich etc

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#17 Post by John Osburn » January 10th, 2018, 11:11 am

Peter Petersen wrote:For now we went with Lagavulin 16 and the more civilized Oban 14 as they were on sale. Next we’ll get some Ardberg which I remember being good and is now just as easy to get.
Not quite sure why my son is keen on these but they remind me of many of the smells I grew up in a small fishing village.
If you visit the Lagavulin and especially Laphroaig distilleries you will smell why their whiskies smell/taste the way they do as soon as you get out of the car....

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#18 Post by Peter Petersen » March 30th, 2018, 4:54 pm

For his next visit home my son has requested Laphroaig “quarter cask” and “triple wood”. Never tried them myself. Personally I’m going to try something else that I haven’t tried Kilchoman “machir bay”
Hoping for the best.
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#19 Post by K John Joseph » March 31st, 2018, 7:26 am

Lagavulin 16 is beautiful.

Talisker 10 is also a decent option for those that want a dialed back peat and smoke note, but one that is still most certainly pleasant. I think Talisker is kind of a blend between an Islay and a Highland, leaning a bit to Islay. I also think it's better than Springbank 15, which is another alternative.

If you have an interest in peat, Bunnahabhain is not it. It is literally the ONLY unpeated Islay scotch. Any other Islay whiskey will serve but that one.

Now, with that said, Bunn is delicious and I second the general recommendation, just not when discussing peaty whiskey.
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#20 Post by Al Osterheld » March 31st, 2018, 8:01 am

I wouldn't think Springbank 15 would be very peaty.

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#21 Post by RyanC » March 31st, 2018, 8:35 am

Lagavulin 16 and Laphroaig 10 cask strength.
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#22 Post by Kris Patten » March 31st, 2018, 10:12 pm

Don't disagree Sarah, but it's a great Whisky that many don't think of as peated as they aren't Islay. They are nicely peated though.
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#23 Post by Peter Petersen » April 1st, 2018, 6:45 pm

I am intrigued by Bunnahabhain. Despite not being peaty the descriptions do sound interesting.
Also I should look for Highland and Laphroaig “cask strength”.
Btw Oban was ok but not in my son’s style and not something I feel I need to have around.

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#24 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 1st, 2018, 7:55 pm

I got the px version of the bunnahabhain, excited to try it!

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#25 Post by Michael Bowden » April 3rd, 2018, 10:11 am

I'm taller than Zach Lang.

It's Michael.....not Mike, Mark, Mick, Mikey...get it? got it? good.

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#26 Post by Peter Petersen » April 5th, 2018, 7:06 pm

I agree with David, Kilchoman is pretty awesome. Just now enjoying my first dram.

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#27 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » April 9th, 2018, 2:32 pm

K John Joseph wrote: If you have an interest in peat, Bunnahabhain is not it. It is literally the ONLY unpeated Islay scotch. Any other Islay whiskey will serve but that one.
While it's complicated, that's not entirely accurate. There is a lot of whisky produced on the island that is unpeated, 30 to 50% is a statistic I've read - plenty that goes into blends, for instance - but in general if you're talking major house styles, there isn't much: two that I know of. In addition to Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich is now unpeated, unless we're talking Octomore or Port Charlotte or older stuff. But Bruichladdich bearing that name is unpeated now, and now all the labels and tins say so.

Also there is one single malt Bunnahabhain release that is peated (could be others I'm not aware of), the Ceóbanach. There has also been some made that has gone into blends.

I'm not arguing your point that Bunn isn't going to give you peat, in general. Just getting a little more nit-picky.

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#28 Post by M.Kaplan » April 9th, 2018, 3:29 pm

Sarah is of course correct.

I own examples of unpeated or very lightly peated Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, as well as peated Bunnahabhain. All except for Ardbeg (Kildalton) and Bruichladdich are independent bottlings, which I assume were sold-off because they didn't fit distillery character and the distillery didn't want to bottle as one-off single casks.
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#29 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 9th, 2018, 10:25 pm

I've been under the impression the only peated Bunnahabhain was/is the "Toitech." But that's based on knowledge that hasn't been checked in a few years, so perhaps things have changed.

In addition to the other unpeated Islay malts that have been mentioned I'll add the unpeated Caol Ila I came across a few years ago --- and it was a distillery bottling, ta boot! It was good-not-great. For unpeated whisky, I'm not looking to Islay.
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#30 Post by K John Joseph » April 10th, 2018, 8:23 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
K John Joseph wrote: If you have an interest in peat, Bunnahabhain is not it. It is literally the ONLY unpeated Islay scotch. Any other Islay whiskey will serve but that one.
While it's complicated, that's not entirely accurate. There is a lot of whisky produced on the island that is unpeated, 30 to 50% is a statistic I've read - plenty that goes into blends, for instance - but in general if you're talking major house styles, there isn't much: two that I know of. In addition to Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich is now unpeated, unless we're talking Octomore or Port Charlotte or older stuff. But Bruichladdich bearing that name is unpeated now, and now all the labels and tins say so.

Also there is one single malt Bunnahabhain release that is peated (could be others I'm not aware of), the Ceóbanach. There has also been some made that has gone into blends.

I'm not arguing your point that Bunn isn't going to give you peat, in general. Just getting a little more nit-picky.
Sarah,

Glad for the response. I was only speaking of normal house bottlings, as opposed to special bottlings like the Ceobanach or Octomore or whatever from whomever (including Glan Muir from Laphroaig which to me is like Titleist making bowling balls). I haven't had Laddy in quite a while and didn't realize they'd killed their peat program. Time to have some whiskey.

I enjoyed your post so much I started poking around and stumbled across this article which I found very interesting:

https://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2015 ... rom-islay/

Gross overestimation of peat based on faulty survey suggests major peat shortages for Islay within decades. Looks like more low-peat options likely coming soon!
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#31 Post by John Osburn » April 10th, 2018, 4:01 pm

Did you note the date of that article?

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#32 Post by K John Joseph » April 11th, 2018, 8:35 am

John Osburn wrote:Did you note the date of that article?
Oh god damnit.
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#33 Post by Martin E. Pezdek » April 21st, 2018, 10:55 am

Another rec for the Peat Monster (a blend of a few different single malts—no grain in there). One that hasn’t been mentioned is the Longrow line of scotches from the Springbank distillery. Its the heavier-peated brother to Springbank. Not quite the smoke level of an Islay, but approaching it. Non-chill filtered as well.
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#34 Post by Hans Werge » April 24th, 2018, 12:01 pm

@OP: The cheaper blend from Springbank, you're looking for, is called Campbeltown Loch. They still make it.

As for unpeated Islay's; Sarah is correct, the two B's are generally unpeated. Also, Caol Ila occasionally does an unpeated Cask Strength bottling, that is worth picking up

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#35 Post by Peter Petersen » May 7th, 2018, 7:58 am

Kilchoman Sanaig is excellent, more sherry cask than Machir Bay and I’d think a bit more age.
So far Kilchoman is leading the pack for me, but my experience is extremely limited.

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#36 Post by David H. » May 9th, 2018, 7:33 pm

I disagree on the Peat Monster recommendations. If memory serves me correctly, Peat Monster has the highest PPM of peat of all scotch whisky. The Glenfiddich reference is what pushed me towards the Kilchoman.

You may also consider the standard Caol Ila bottling. A touch peaty but much more iodine and saline in my opinion. If you could find some older Bruichladdich's prior to them selling out, that would be a good option as well.

Back to Peat Monster, Compass Box makes some fantastic blends and exploring their range of expressions is an endeavor well rewarded in my opinion. I particularly enjoyed their special bottling of Delilah made for the punk rock club in Chicago. The Great King Street Glasgow bottling could be a good option as well, great value with a good peaty kick. The standard Great King Street is an excellent bottle I can drink all day long.
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#37 Post by Peter Petersen » May 10th, 2018, 10:21 am

David, Almost picked a Caol Ila as well, next time.

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#38 Post by Martin E. Pezdek » May 16th, 2018, 6:56 am

Didn’t know Peat Monster had the highest ppm of peat, I’ve found the scotch to have more layered and lingering peaty aroma and taste. Less of a upfront-punchy smoke and iodine, more tar and smokey-earthy elements. Perhaps the influence of the separate single malts add different points to the flavor profile?

Haven’t had the Great King Street Glasgow since it’s release, great reminder to taste it again.

Peter, let us know your next bottle.
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#39 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 16th, 2018, 9:31 am

pretty sure Bruichladdich's Octomore has most peat ppm. Or has that changed now? ... not that it really matters, the couple times I had Octomore it seemed I might as well be drinking gasoline.
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#40 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » June 8th, 2018, 11:02 pm

Ardbeg grooves brings it, especially committee release.

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#41 Post by M.Kaplan » June 9th, 2018, 8:16 am

I was kicked off the Ardbeg Committee (was an original member) and am persona non grata with GlenMonsanto after saying and writing that the brand managers at GlenMonsanto are soulless cretins and that Dr Bill Lumsden is complicit in ruining the greatest spirit in the history of mankind. I find all Ardbeg distilled under GlenMonsanto’s ownership be undrinkable effluence and the annual silly-name releases to be worse. Obviously, if you wish to poison yourself by drinking that crap, it’s up to you. ;)
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#42 Post by Bob Kot » June 17th, 2018, 7:29 am

• Lagavulin – Can’t beat it. A perennial overachiever.

• Ardbeg 10 year

• Ardbeg Corryvrekan

• Ardbeg Uigadail – Sublime

• Laphroaig 10 year

• Caol Ila 12 year – Delicate and well structured

• Bunnahabhain 25 years – For that special occasion

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#43 Post by John Osburn » June 20th, 2018, 5:45 pm

C'mon Mark, don't sugarcoat it. How do you really feel? [wow.gif]

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#44 Post by M.Kaplan » June 22nd, 2018, 8:52 am

The WB word censors won’t permit that. I really, truly don’t understand how Bill Lumsden and the marketing f*cktards at GlenMonsanto can sleep at night, knowing that they have reduced the greatest spirit in the history of mankind to a sewage swill that tastes like a dead, putrifying donkey’s *sshole that has been rubbed with an ashtray.

How’s that?
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#45 Post by Chris Blum » June 22nd, 2018, 10:28 am

Kinda a cool event we did at Proof Brewing in Tallahassee where we have an assisted living...

http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Seniors ... 36661.html
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#46 Post by John Osburn » June 25th, 2018, 4:13 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:The WB word censors won’t permit that. I really, truly don’t understand how Bill Lumsden and the marketing f*cktards at GlenMonsanto can sleep at night, knowing that they have reduced the greatest spirit in the history of mankind to a sewage swill that tastes like a dead, putrifying donkey’s *sshole that has been rubbed with an ashtray.

How’s that?
[thumbs-up.gif]

Visited Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin distilleries a couple of years ago. Although Laphroaig has definitely modernized their marketing game, Laphroaig and Lagavulin were still real treats to visit. Ardbeg was a mess, both in the new gimmicky facilities and the whisky. Could not even find anything good enough to bring back with us from there, as opposed to the others.

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