OCAU Whisky appreciation

Discussion in 'Geek Grog & Homebrew' started by xian, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. xian

    xian Member

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    Seen a few comments scattered around the pub about whiskies and thought I'd start a thread about it. (I couldn't find any other threads about whisky in general, but if I'm wrong please mod as necessary)

    Post your favourites, cheap bottles you've found somewhere, wishlists, hints or tips. Any whisky (be it scotch, irish, or bourbon) and what you think of it.

    [highlight]*** If you are interested in getting some good whiskies cheaply then have a look at The Single Malt Whisky Club, a non profit club that uses the buying power of many members to get whisky cheaper for its members. ***[/highlight]

    To be honest I couldn't even spell whisky until I came over here to Scotland earlier this year. I thought bourbon was another type of alcohol. (Good thread on bourbon here) I've since come to appreciate some of the finer scotch whiskies on offer over here.

    There's a good intro about scotch whiskies here if you don't know the slightest thing about it.

    Even after nearly a year I still don't know a great deal about scotch whiskies, but I'll try to give back what I learned. Every time I meet someone scottish I usually end up asking them what their favourite cheap, and their favourite special occasion whisky is. The answer is pretty much different for every person, and its because everybody has a different palate.

    Cheap whiskies tend to be of the blended variety, although you can get blendeds that have been aged longer (12, 18 yrs etc). The most popular over here are Famous Grouse, Bells and Whyte & Mackay. There might be others but I see them in shops far less and less people tend to name them as their favourite cheap whisky. And there's no shame in buying a bottle of cheap blended whisky - they are made to taste good to the wider population.
    Avoid really, really cheap whisky.

    Malt whiskies tend to have specific flavours and so to find one you like you really have to taste a few different ones. My palate has never been really good so it usually takes a few tastings (ehehehe) to get a good idea of it. I've been told the best way to taste a whisky is to swish it back and forth between your teeth (this apparently gets your gums to absorb some of the alcohol?) then swallow it slowly over the back of your tongue to get a good taste of it. I know dedicated whisky drinkers will give it a really good sniff and inspect the 'columns' (I think thats what they're called) before giving it a taste. Thats probably over the top unless you're a fanatic.

    That said I'll throw down some of the favourites I've tasted.

    As stated my favourite cheap whisky is Famous Grouse. J & B is another good one.
    Malt whiskies: Laphroaig, Dalwhinnie, Macallan, Haig's (not sure if Haig's is blended or single actually) They were all about 12-15 yr old whiskies.
    Bad malt whiskies: So far only Bowmore. Bleagh.

    I asked quite a few people what the best whisky would be to give as a present and was told that Cock O' the North makes a great present. Its actually a whisky liqueur, and tastes really, really nice (probably owing to the slightly thicker consistency and sweeter taste). I'm still not sure what I'm allowed to send back home, but it'll be by courier anyway.

    I'm looking forward to tasting some new whiskies; the bottlo down the road has just started their christmas specials on malt whiskies so plan on getting some bottles when I get back from my trip =)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2005
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Member

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  3. fo3

    fo3 (Taking a Break)

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    Tullamore dew is an irish whiskey (note the 'e' between the 'k' and 'y')
    Scotch is spelt without the 'e', so I'm guessing the OP mainly wants to talk about scotch whisky. Not thats there's anything wrong with irish whiskey, I like that as well. Had a bottle of tullamore duty free, drink jamesons as my regular, and I'm 3/4 way through a black bush, really want to get a bottle of bushmills next :D

    Scotches I have and like, lagavulin (really peaty, smokey and strong) Got this duty free don't know where or how much it retails for here.
    My GF's old man brought me back a litre of Glenfiddich, not bad.
    This weekend I'm going to try the glenlivet bottle my bro got me for my birthday last week.

    anyway, cheap whisky: I don't buy it, I always for for canadian club on a budget :)
    worst whisky I tried: ballantines
    whisky I'll never buy: Any expensive JW, whats the point, i'm not paying for a name, I'm paying for a well crafted single malt, and the smaller distilleries are usually better
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  4. xian

    xian Member

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    I posted about scotch 'cause thats all I've tasted ... and there happens to be a lot of good stuff around me. I saw a bottle on a UK online whisky shop, 40 yr old Macallan I think, price £900 odd quid. Ouch.

    Bit disappointed as just got an invitation to a free whisky tasting on Wed evening, but my holiday starts Wed morning. Shit happens I guess.
     
  5. Dilbert

    Dilbert Member

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    My Favourite Scotch that i have tasted so far is the Macallan 25. I just bought the Maccalan 18 on the weekend. On the not so expensive ones i like Dimple and GlenFiddich. I want to try anything on this page http://www.themacallan.com/shop/items/special.html

    Also with the blends they go really well in a manhattan. But a nice single malt with a few drops of water and thats the way scotch is meant to be had. With Good company of course.

    GlenLivet is not too bad, one of my mates came over and we sat down and sipped a few different ones, the ones listed above, and two more i can't remember. Damn i love my scotch. I am going on a little whirlwind tour next year and heading to cambridge for a couple of days and trying to find a good guided scotch tour that is cheap. Or convince a friend to drive me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  6. hunter2k

    hunter2k Member

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    Ooh I like scotch. But I like Irish Whiskey better :D. Whilst both are good, IMO whiskey tends to have a somewhat sweeter and more mellow taste. They both have their place, however.

     
  7. Steve

    Steve Member

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    While it's not flash, it's a shitload better than a lot of other 'basic' scotch in bars like JW Red and McCallums :)

    My regular drink is Jamesons, and I don't mind the odd bourbon like Makers Mark, Wild Turkey or even Jim Beam Black at a pinch. I dont at all mind Tullamore Dew, but prefer Jamesons. Actually I would gladly pay twice the price for Jamesons - It is excellent value

    It's funny how your tastes change - I drank a LOT off rum at school and up until probably 1st year at Uni, then I drank Bourbon almost exclusively until I was around 23, then I moved into the Scotch and now I mostly drink Irish whisky. (excpet for a good Shiraz, but thats another topic) now I'm 26 i suppose my palate will stay the same for a while
     
  8. Danthemanz

    Danthemanz Old School Admin

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    This year ive really got into malt Scotch.
    Ones ive had this year and liked:

    The Glenlivet (12 and 18 years)
    Glenmorangie 10 year
    Dalwhinnie 15 year
    The Macallan 12 year oak

    Not a huge fan of lagavulin or Talisker, not that they are bad just not the flavour im after....
    Im getting quite a collection going :)
     
  9. Dilbert

    Dilbert Member

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    The livet and the morangie i can reccomend. The Macallan is a must. I personally love the ones that just taste a little peaty.
    Haven't had the lagvulin or the talisker. How would you describe the flavour?
     
  10. TOX

    TOX Member

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    My scotch doesnt venture out past JW Red and Black :)

    Red is my mixing scotch but Black I always drink on the rocks
     
  11. Pike

    Pike Member

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    Lagavulin 16 y.o. is my personal favourite 'cos I like the smokey Islay malt whiskies, but Glenlivit 16 y.o.(EDIT: Ooops, meant 18y.o.) is another 10/10 (if you can get it) :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
  12. Predator

    Predator Member

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    Will have to try the above. Personally I like Laphroig, Glenfiddich and Tallisker. There is just something about a nice smokey whisky.
     
  13. hoju37

    hoju37 Member

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    My current fare is White Heather for the everyday "buggrit I need a drink" stuff and Glenfiddich 12yo Solera Reserve for the special occasions.

    By all accounts (used to work in a bottlo, and everyone has an opinion) Famous Grouse is a good bottle on the cheap end of the scale and will be my next purchase once the White Heather runs out.

    As with most things the more you pay the better the quality of the product, as a general rule of thumb. It then comes down to personal preference more than anything and with the pricier (read: $60+/bottle) drops the differences in the taste and individual characteristics become more discernable.
     
  14. Danthemanz

    Danthemanz Old School Admin

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    Hmmm, never seen the 16 year, i did have the 15 year oak, it was ok, but nothing to the 18 year :)
     
  15. arytel

    arytel Member

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    You mentioning this is making me drool for a glass.
    I bought a bottle for a mate ages ago as a 'get out of jail' free card worth every penny.
     
  16. anakha

    anakha Member

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    Favourite Whiskys

    The Macallan 18 y.o. - gave one to each of my groomsman and best man as wedding presents. Divine stuff. Shame they only gave me two nips before they drank it all ;-)

    Bushmills (Irish WhiskEy) is average. Wouldn't bother with it again.

    Bowmore is a mildly peaty Islay malt. Good at 15yo+ Nowhere near as many phenol ppm as Lagavulin, Talisker, etc.

    Johnny Walker black is drinkable. Higher priced ones are definitely not worth it.

    Best way to buy scotch is duty free :)

    A nip with a drop or two of water to free up the volatile oils / alcohols is divine... to be sipped and savoured, not sculled.

    Anakha
     
  17. Amran

    Amran Member

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    Another vote for Famous Grouse here, I've only tried one really expensive whisky of note. It was in a bar, very very expensive shot. Can't rememeber the name, or anything else from that night come to think of it, except that the bottle could be returned to the manufacturer for a refund.

    Anchorman, such a classic movie: "You look look awfully nice tonight...maybe don't wear a bra next time....no I was talking to you...no not her, I don't know her name, what is it? Lanolin? La....Lanolin? Like..like sheep's wool?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
  18. NaCr0

    NaCr0 Member

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    Finally a thread with my type of people in it, the original poster will actually realise what my avatarr is a pic of :p If he's not green.

    Now i cant afford to splash out on alcohol to much so my variation isnt really that big.

    Glenfeddich: Had a real good glenfeddich about a year or so ago probably the best i have had not sure about the year but im sure it was single malt.
    Cheaper Glenfeddichs: Had about 2 bottles of these (they are around the $60 range ? and these arent too shabby either i have found.
    Johnnie Walker Black: Not too bad i guess, alot better than Red anyway :)
    Glenlivet: I have had a 12 yr of this and i think i had a 12 yr oak as well, very nice i will be grabbing another of these at christmas i think.

    As my father is scottish he always has a nice bottle stashed away somewhere for the perfect occasion,
    "Oh james its so good that your getting your new job as a pirate"
    MyFather " OH I HAVE THE PERFECT THING"

    /Father produce single malt.

    Now the everything he has introduced to me has been excellent, so i savour for when he brings in new whiskeys to try.
     
  19. Pike

    Pike Member

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    Ooops, you're right...I meant 18 y.o. Good pickup there :p

    You can get Lagavulin HERE but I have seen it under $90 if you Google a bit more.

    If you like the Speyside malts then, yes, Glenlivit 18 Y.O. is a goodie at $90 to $100, but my favourite Speyside is still Arberlour Abunadh, also around $100 (these are definitely "special occasion" drinks in our household :( )
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
  20. Danthemanz

    Danthemanz Old School Admin

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    Guys, i dont know if you are aware but there is an Australian Whisky club!
    Ive recieved a few malts from them already...

    www.singlemalt.com.au


    IMO Johnny Walker Black is totally overrated and overpriced.

    Has anyone tried the Green? its a 15 year malt blend, sounds like it could be ok...

    Anyone had Gold or Blue? Im planning to have a nip of Blue next month when im at Crown in Melbourne :)
     

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