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Greyghost
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2008/03/18 20:01:31 (permalink)

Island Or Highland Scotch?

Island Or Highland Scotch?

Of course we are talking single malt here...everything else is a blend and does not count.
For me it is Isle of Islay scotch. The highlander's might as well be making Irish whisky. I have not found one with taste or character. My particular favorite is Laphroaig as it is intensely smoky and has the taste of the sea as well. It is perfection itself.

I know others may differ and that is why I want your opinions. Mentioning particular brands would be appreciated so brands can be compared. Please no blended scotch!
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    Davydd
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/19 18:38:32 (permalink)
    Ah, you caught me with a bottle of the Glenlivet in my liquor cabinet. It certainly is nothing like Jameson's Irish Whiskey I bought for a St. Patrick's Day nightcap.

    I kind of thought Laphroaig had the taste of peat. What is your opinion of Lagavulin? I can't afford to keep that much in my cabinet to make comparisons. When we were on an Alaskan cruise I discovered that all drinks were the same price whether a single malt or a cheap Phillips blend. So we closed each evening out in the quiet bar with string quartets and I tried a different single malt each night. With 24 hours between they all tasted great.
    #2
    uncledaveyo
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/19 18:45:17 (permalink)
    I can appreciate either if its well made and smooth - different single malts for different occasions.
    I may just drink some now - any excuse!
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    Greyghost
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/19 19:42:38 (permalink)
    Davydd,

    Lagavulin is certainly an excellent Isle of Islay single malt. For me if Laphroaig is not available, Lagavulin will certainly do. They have been neighbors forever and fighting forever over the water rights. Laphroaig won that battle some time ago. You are correct about the peat...it is all about the peat. In fact if you buy a bottle of Laphroaig and will register it with them, you are part owner of a small plot of the sacred peat bog. You can collect your "rent" yearly by showing up at the distillery and demanding your yearly dram. They also send you a yearly Christmas gift. Great marketing!

    Laphroaig is all about the water, the sea drenched peat and above all the smoke. It is the smokiest Scotch in existence. A good deal of the product is sold to the famous blended whisky distilleries to provide a smoky base note.

    Lagavulin is a much tamer whisky, lacking in the intense flavor of Laphroaig. Many might like it better, but I don't. It is a smooth whisky and rather pale compared to Laphroaig.

    Laphroaig has a rather interesting web site. Here is the link:

    http://www.laphroaig.com/
    #4
    tiki
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/19 19:49:16 (permalink)
    There's no such thing as a BAD single malt, is there?????--but i still prefer a single malt IRISH!
    #5
    Greyghost
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/19 21:17:54 (permalink)
    Well Tiki, there is certainly a relationship between Irish whisky and scotch. I think the Irish were the first master whisky makers and brought their technique over to Scotland. In my humble opinion the Scots perfected the process with the addition of smoke. It was a transformation. Sure I will have a dram or two of good Irish whisky, but I really miss the smoke. Make mine an Islay scotch every time.

    Think of it in terms of BBQ...what's a BBQ worth without the smoke? It may be good but it is not great.
    #6
    BTB
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 09:06:03 (permalink)
    My top preference is Lagavulin over Laphroaig and all others. I can't find my Scotch ratings book, but I thought I remembered Lagavulin being among the highest rated and indeed, after a few sips, it sure is great. I enjoy going to a specialty bar and trying out each of the super premium single malt scotch labels, not all in one day, however. There was a lounge up in Edmonton, Alberta that had a special night attraction for single malt liquor lovers and they let indulgers try out all the various brands. And down in Florida, the lounge/bar at the Don Cesar resort has an elaborate inventory of great scotch whiskeys.
    #7
    mr. sausage
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 19:26:42 (permalink)
    First we must determine which Laphroaig we're speaking of. Since you didn't specify, I'll assume you meant the 10 year old. As much as I enjoy the 15, I find the 10 completely over the top and monochromatic. It reminds me of a young punk rock band that thinks loud=quality. Peat, salt, peat and...where's the malt? Where is anything else? I'll admit the one power chord this whisky relies on is impressive but it does edge into liquid smoke territory.
    Lagavulin, now, that's another story. Huge. Animal. Sea fog (like the Laphroaig 10), but with incredible depth, mystery and beauty.
    So, Greyghost, if you're buying, I'll gladly drink your beloved Laphroaig. It certainly is a lot of... scotch for the money. The Lagi is about 80 dollars a bottle where I live so, If I'm feeling flush, I'll pour you a generous dram and we can discuss further.
    By the way, my everyday malt is The Dalmore, a Highland of considerable distinction. Nowhere near the balls or unabashed rawness of the Laphroaig, but a mannish malt nontheless (and ten bucks less than yours). A double taken after dinner ( with a splash of spring water, oh yes) has a finish that will follow you to bed.
    The malt world is too rich to only celebrate one extreme example. I'm reminded of those chile fiends who only eat foods seasoned with habeneros or Tabasco sauce. They're ruined for the subtler pleasures of the table. And I must add, before I wear out my welcome, that, as in wine, blending is an art to be enjoyed. All of your single malt producers put a lion's share of their output towards blends. The best of them are made up of many different single malts, resulting in something not better than, but different from and worthy of your tumbler.
    Now, off to the liquor cabinet...
    #8
    Greyghost
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 21:36:27 (permalink)
    Good post, Mr Sausage. I am talking about the 10 year old as that is the one my budget allows and that is infrequently. For me it is a special treat. Yes, it is brash and loud with smoke, peat drenched sea salt and it inspires visions of the ever turbulent North Sea. That is why I like it. Laphroaig 10 year old is a wild and reckless thing but like the ancient Celtic bards has a refinement and poetic quality that will live forever.

    Lagavulin is tame by comparison. Smoky yes, but so refined and smooth it is like a bard that goes to London with pretentious intent and loses his poetry and soul as well.
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    Rick F.
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 21:58:41 (permalink)
    Generally Laphroaig, but I like Lagavulin at times.
    Funny that I haven't seen but one highland scotch mentioned here so far.
    #10
    JRPfeff
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 22:32:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rick F.

    Generally Laphroaig, but I like Lagavulin at times.
    Funny that I haven't seen but one highland scotch mentioned here so far.

    The Dalwhinnie, 15 years. A beautiful malt with hints of honey and a lush, sweet finish.

    A lady suggested this while I was in Duty Free many years ago. This Highland malt was a pleasant surprise. My other bottle was Lagavulin, 16 years.

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    Davydd
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 22:46:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rick F.

    Generally Laphroaig, but I like Lagavulin at times.
    Funny that I haven't seen but one highland scotch mentioned here so far.

    Since you mentioned it, I just had to pour myself a wee bit of The Glenlivet for a nightcap.

    ...and I am doing that while perusing this wonderful book titled, Single Malt Scotch by Bill Milne with stunning photos by Roddy Martine that I got for Christmas.

    http://www.amazon.com/Single-Malt-Scotch-Roddy-Martine/dp/1567994407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206067411&sr=1-1
    #12
    Scorereader
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/20 23:16:26 (permalink)
    I loathe the dirty sock peat taste of Islay scotches. I prefer Speyside single malts. I've been drinking and sampling scotch for years. Some scotch drinkers say "one has to graduate to the Islay." I say one can retire there, but I'm sticking to less peaty (dirty socks) scotches.
    A recent addition to my stock is a 14 year old single malt from Scapa Distillery from the Islands of Orkney.
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    Davydd
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/21 10:30:20 (permalink)
    Hey now let's not get skanky with the socks or I will head back to Bourbon.
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    rjb
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/21 11:04:10 (permalink)
    Springbank, from Campbeltown. Great stuff and very Roadfoody -- purports to be the oldest family owned distillery in Scotland and the only one that does all production on site.
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    avalon83
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/23 17:01:41 (permalink)
    Talisker single malt from the Isle of Skye
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    Phildelmar
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/03/23 17:17:18 (permalink)
    Laphroaig for special times,Lagavulin comes second. Although blends were excluded, I should mention that White horse has a healthy measure of Lagavulin, and it shows.
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    SeamusD
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/04/15 17:01:30 (permalink)
    I'm in the Speyside/Highland malt bin too... the smokey Islays are too much for me to enjoy. Give me a Macallan 12 year old or Auchentoshan over Laphroaig any day.
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    rumaki
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/04/15 17:14:11 (permalink)
    Macallan was the first single malt I ever tried (while I was in grad school in the mid-70s), but I've switched to Islay malts in my old age. I love Bunnahabhain, which is milder than some of the other Islays. Bruichladdich is another one well worth trying -- it's the only independent distillery on Islay.

    Recently, though, I came across a fantastic Lowland whisky at a liquor store: Rosebank. Unfortunately, the distillery closed in the mid-60s, so it's only available through one of those independent bottlings.
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    bluetick
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2008/04/17 23:43:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Greyghost

    Good post, Mr Sausage. I am talking about the 10 year old as that is the one my budget allows and that is infrequently. For me it is a special treat. Yes, it is brash and loud with smoke, peat drenched sea salt and it inspires visions of the ever turbulent North Sea. That is why I like it. Laphroaig 10 year old is a wild and reckless thing but like the ancient Celtic bards has a refinement and poetic quality that will live forever.

    Lagavulin is tame by comparison. Smoky yes, but so refined and smooth it is like a bard that goes to London with pretentious intent and loses his poetry and soul as well.


    Cask strength?
    #20
    plb
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/07 21:18:00 (permalink)
    Bringing back an old topic.
    I'm iced in here in the Dallas metroplex.  Mrs. plb is stuck on the East Coast and I've had to raid the pantry and frig to find anything to eat.  But that O.K. because I've got a bottle of:
    The Balvenie - "DoubleWood, Matured in Two Distinct Casks, Aged 12 Years."
    I don't know much about Scotch but it is great.  Last week we visited an old friend who has really gotten into Scotch and he highly recommended it.  
     
    post edited by plb - 2014/06/30 16:22:41
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    tiki
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 08:59:28 (permalink)
    I'm with Avalon on this--just finished a bottle of Talisker a friend brought back for me---excellent---but---i still prefer Irish
     
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    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 11:31:05 (permalink)
    Phildelmar

    Laphroaig for special times.
     


    Even though my family is 1/2 Scot I always found Scot's Whiskey to be too aromatic of smoke and earth.  Hence, the French side of me leads me to prefer Bourbon. (IMO, Evan Williams Black is the best bargain in the liquor store).
     
    Years ago (about 1980) - before the 'single malt' craze hit - I bought a fifth of Laphroaig sinply because Ian Fleming had written that it was James Bond's favorite Scot's Whiskey.  It was $8. - only half the price of Chivas or JW Black! 
     
    That was the first and last time I ever bought it; man, that stuff really puts hair on your chest and I already had sufficient! 
    #23
    Phildelmar
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 12:00:56 (permalink)
    Nice to see this thread revived
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    Phildelmar
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 12:09:00 (permalink)
    Agree about Evan Williams
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    EdSails
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 12:38:07 (permalink)
    plb

    Bring back and old topic.
    I'm iced in here in the Dallas metroplex.  Mrs. plb is stuck on the East Coast and I've had to raid the pantry and frig to find anything to eat.  But that O.K. because I've got a bottle of:
    The Balvenie - "DoubleWood, Matured in Two Distinct Casks, Aged 12 Years."
    I don't know much about Scotch but it is great.  Last week we visited an old friend who has really gotten into Scotch and he highly recommended it.  


    I had Balvenie for the first time last night. It was excellent. Ach, if I could have I would even given a taste to my wee lad Hamish McTavish---I'm sure the pup would have enjoyed a wee bit from his home country too!
    #26
    Davydd
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 15:54:17 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
    Even though my family is 1/2 Scot I always found Scot's Whiskey to be too aromatic of smoke and earth.  Hence, the French side of me leads me to prefer Bourbon. (IMO, Evan Williams Black is the best bargain in the liquor store).  

    I doubt there is one iota of French in Bourbon other than the name derived from Bourbon County, KY where it seemed to center in its development. And then Bourbon County had no French connection in regard to people. It just happened to be territory claimed by France way back in the 18th Century. It might have been explored but never occupied. Bourbon is strictly an American whiskey with North American origin of corn as its primary ingredient (51% by law). The German, English, Welsh, Irish and Scots that came across primarily from Pennsylvania down the Ohio River and Virginia across the Cumberland Gap, first settled Kentucky. The Beam family was German. My ancestry came to America early in Colonial America through PA, MD and VA, and my surname ancestor was in Kentucky prior to 1792, the first recorded tax and census right in the heart of Bourbon territory. I don't have any records of my ancestry ever being involved in distilling.
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    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 16:18:44 (permalink)
    Davydd

    MetroplexJim
    Even though my family is 1/2 Scot I always found Scot's Whiskey to be too aromatic of smoke and earth.  Hence, the French side of me leads me to prefer Bourbon. (IMO, Evan Williams Black is the best bargain in the liquor store).  

    I doubt there is one iota of French in Bourbon other than the name derived from Bourbon County, KY where it seemed to center in its development. And then Bourbon County had no French connection in regard to people. It just happened to be territory claimed by France way back in the 18th Century. It might have been explored but never occupied. Bourbon is strictly an American whiskey with North American origin of corn as its primary ingredient (51% by law). The German, English, Welsh, Irish and Scots that came across primarily from Pennsylvania down the Ohio River and Virginia across the Cumberland Gap, first settled Kentucky. The Beam family was German. My ancestry came to America early in Colonial America through PA, MD and VA, and my surname ancestor was in Kentucky prior to 1792, the first recorded tax and census right in the heart of Bourbon territory. I don't have any records of my ancestry ever being involved in distilling.


    Thanks for the interesting info.
     
    I was just kidding about the French/Bourbon comment (although the Bourbon are part of my family tree). 
     
    I was born in Washington, PA - home of David Bradford (a Scot) and the Whiskey Rebellion.  That story was part of our ninth grade PA History, which included a field trip to his home, now a museum.
     
    About the only thing French about Bourbon is that the Wild Turkey brand is (or was recently) owned by a French company.  To my delight, it is readily available in Paris groceries for less than half the usual U.S. retail.
    #28
    Phildelmar
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 17:31:36 (permalink)
    Always associated the roots of Bourbon with corn whisky, and Mike Finks Monongahela redeye
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    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Island Or Highland Scotch? 2013/12/08 19:07:59 (permalink)
    Phildelmar

    Always associated the roots of Bourbon with corn whisky, and Mike Finks Monongahela redeye


    Indeed.  Lands west of the Alleghenies were cleared and farmed first by Scots/Protestant Irish, including the McCulloughs, my family, who came over in the 1760's.
     
    Since these days were before roads and rail, any trip 'back east' was long and arduous.  Making whiskey from their corn crop permitted them easy shipment and little spoilage.  When the Feds began taxing "their crop" Bradford and others rebelled and Mr. Washington led troops there to put them down.  It is a little-known fact that Mr. Washington was also the landlord of many of the rebels.
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