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Why waste you time and money Billy. Walk past the Scotch and go right to the Irish. :D

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There's a bright lad for ya.

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Why waste you time and money Billy. Walk past the Scotch and go right to the Irish. :D

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There's a bright lad for ya.

And ye can be adding meself to this list as well.  Good on ye Mates,

Slainte,

IRISHWHISTLER

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I decided to learn about them a few years ago and nearly ruined my liver trying. Still don't know much except that if there's a "Glen" in the name I like it. If there's a "Lap, Lag or Bow" in the name, I don't. That said, I generally prefer a good bourbon.

BTW, I once picked up a cheap scotch blend called Passport. The stuff was so bad I couldn't even mask the taste with Coke. It wasn't even good as a drain cleaner.

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I would recommend in about this order from light Highland style to smokey peat

Glenmorangie Original, light, citrus orange, heather, tropical fruits and little to no peat. This is my summer day Scotch whisky.

Balvenie doublewood 12 Year heather, orange, sherry with hints of vanilla and peat. watch out this goes down like water. It is getting kind of pricey. Not that long ago Balvenie bottlings were one of the best buys in single malt but no more.

Highland Park 12 Year a light richer, heather, malt and some smokey peat. It is one of my favorite single malts. It is very balanced and won't break the bank.

Talisker 10 deep, complex and rich. peat for sure, little orange, brine, pepper, brown sugar, not as much iodine as its Islay cousins.

Laphroaig 10 is a peat monster. Phenol, iodine, smoke, tar and more peat. My wife says it taste like the run off from a house fire...I find nothing better to sip by the fire on a deep cold winter's night.

If you want more a more refined Islay try Lagavulin the balanced peat monster.

Some good blendeds are Famous Grouse Black Grouse and the new Johnny walker Double Black both are well balanced with a nice amount of smokey peat.

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Lots of good info provided here.

Let me add this, don't rule out blends. I think Johnnie Walker Black is probably the best bang for the buck and is my everyday scotch. Their Double Black is also very good.

Moving onto the Single Malts, my favorites would be Highland Park, The Macallan, Dalwhinnie 15 and maybe Glenfiddich.

Also, don't rule out the 10 year old's. Talisker and Glenmorangie are two very good ones but with different flavor profiles.

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For me, if not the Glenlivet then the Highland Park...

Truth be told I am a "taster" on Scotch.  I will buy an unfamiluar bottle on the advice of my local spirits guy and taste it.  Sometimes I win.....  sometimes not so much.....

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When working on a budget McClellands bottlings are very drinkable and come in at about $20-25 range. They're an independent bottler that bottles other distillers whiskies, usually at very young ages. They can be a little rougher and lack the complexity of whiskies with more time in the wood. Their bottlings work for me as an everyday Scotch whisky and are great around a hunting camp fire.

I can't say for sure but their Islay use to tasted like a young Bowmore. These days I'm thinking it maybe they are a young Laphroaig.

I can't place their Highland and Speyside but both are good representation of those styles. They are hard to beat at their price point.

McClellands Lowland isn't my favorite but I'm not a big fan of any of the Lowland whiskies.

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Timmy probably drinks more than all the rest of us combined, and he drinks Johnny Black.  :devil:

Talisker is the best I have tried.  Try to find a place that you can sample different types.

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I'm a scotch lover. There are a lot of different flavor profiles when it comes to scotch, and I drink them all, but I am particularly fond of the smokey peaty malts. That said,....some of the less peaty malts....

One of my go to malts, also great for converting Bourbon drinkers, is The Balvenie 12 yr Double Wood.  The Balvenie makes quite a few nice expressions, and I wouldn't pass on a bottle of the 14yr Caribean Cask if you come across it.

Highland Park is also nice. I recommend spending a it more and going for the 18yr.

Aberlour is very nice, too, but I think their best is the 15yr, which can be hard to come by here in the US.

A lot of people like Oban, but I am not crazy about it. However, they have made some fantastic Distillers Editions, so you may want to look for one of them.

Auchentoshan Three Wood is a nice woody malt, similar to The Balvenie Double Wood.

Another hard to find, but delicious(and not too expensive) is Longmorn. I believe it's a 14yr, but it may be 16yr. On occassion NH has is as a special.

On to the peat and smoke,....

One of my all time favorites is Ardbeg. They make a lot of smokey, peaty, and spicy malts. Unfortunately their best, and in my opinion the best scotch ever, was called Alligator. There are a few bottles still floating around, but they are hard to come by. If you find one, spend the $300, and then invite me over. Until then, I'd recommend their Corryvreckan. The Ardbeg 10yr is damned good too.

Lagavulan 16yr is also very nice and one of my favorites.

And of course there are the Laphroaigs. Laphroaig has some peaty, iodiney expressions, but I particularly like their Quarter Cask. I thought it combined peaty and sweet nicely.

Anyway, these are just a small sample of what I like.

The thing is, there are a lot of them, and its fun to try out a new one, and explore other expressions, so just but a couple of bottles, and do a little sipping.

You had me until you went to ardberg.  I thought i was reading one of my old posts.  The heaviest islay and i don't get along much more than once every 2-3 years.  i am highlands and speyside.

For me, scotch is about quality vs price.  For most brands, there is a noticeable increase in quality commensurate with the price increase as you get up to about 18.  Above that the prices get crazy and i don't get enough benefit.

Tonight i had some 16 year store brand highland that was nice and you won't get, but it is very similar to glengoyne which is one of my favorites.  Glenlivet 18 is one of my favorites also.  The 12 and 15 are good, but the 18 is great.  Glenfiddich 15 is great value for money.  Aberlour is good and i have done the distillers tour which is cool.  The A'bunah cask strength is awesome if you can find it.  Highland park 12 is super easy drinking and the 18 is a top shelf dram.  Glenmorangie is very good as a whole.  The original 12 is easy drinking, nectar d'or is something else.  If you want a bit mor heft, bowmore 15 and 17 have a lot more smoke and iodine but not as far as an islay.  Tallisker is spicy and smoky- good and warming.  There are plenty of others, but i don't want to recommend anything you can't find.

And, johnnie black isn't the worst thing to go with either.  It is better than a lot of single malt and you can get it anywhere, often at a discount.  If you see it cheap, pick up a bottle and it might surprise you.

Rick

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Can't go wrong with anything by Balvenie.  Try Glenmorangie.  Reasonable.  There are some smaller house single malts that can be great deals and can be found at liquor stores that carry many different scotches; seek them out and the proprietor will assist you with your flavor preferences. Current open bottle is Tomatin, a twelve yo Highland finished in Spanish Sherry casks.  Really good.  $28, a steal.  In fact, I think I'll have some now.

What's also interesting is that you'll find that your tastes for different scotches wax and wane.  On a whim I picked up a bottle of Bowmore 'cuz it was on sale for like $23 bucks.  The stuff is super peaty liquid smoke.  At first I didn't care for it then grew to love it, on occasion.  That's what makes scotch the most interesting of all the brown likkers; it's fun to have 4 or 5 sitting around at any given time, all completely different.

Oh, and learn to trust your own preferences.  In the scotch realm one man's elixir is another's p!sswater; nothing wrong with that at all.  Beer's gone that way.  In some circles if you don't like super hoppy IPA's you're a tasteless cretin.  Ridiculous.  It's at those moments that I really enjoy a PBR can in a beer cozy.  In other words, enjoy that Cutty Sark.

The Tomatin distillery is pretty cool.  It is a tiny little place on the road between inverness and the southern spey valley.  It sits along a tiny stream in the middle of a big heather valley, just set off of the main road.  Tomatin 12 is good, but a little sharp for me.  The 15 is a lot better but not a lot more expensive.

If you like tomatin, then try glengoyne.  Less peat, but similar malty flavor.  Very nice.

You know there is a great little bar just down the street that has ~100 different bottles...

Rick

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One of my all time favorites is Ardbeg. They make a lot of smokey, peaty, and spicy malts. Unfortunately their best, and in my opinion the best scotch ever, was called Alligator. There are a few bottles still floating around, but they are hard to come by. If you find one, spend the $300, and then invite me over. Until then, I'd recommend their Corryvreckan. The Ardbeg 10yr is damned good too.

.

You had me until you went to ardberg.  I thought i was reading one of my old posts.  The heaviest islay and i don't get along much more than once every 2-3 years.  i am highlands and speyside.

Rick

Come on, now. Ardbeg Alligator is (was) fantasic.

But thats the thing about scotch; like wine, you know it when you taste it, but they are all different.

Nothing wrong with Highland and Speyside malts. I often drink them. I like to keep a selection of various regions and flavor profiles on hand and drink them according to my mood. The Islay malts are more often than not a fall, winter, and early spring selection for me.

Truth be told, if I had to keep only one bottle it'd probably be a Balvenie (Triple Cask easily comes to mind) or Highland Park 18yr.

Incidentally, I just PMed you about something non-scotch related. But if you want to talk scotch, that's okay, too.

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I don't drink scotch but Craig Doherty's Balvenie Double Wood I had with him last summer was pretty good.  Tim's Laphroig (don't know which) was definitely not for me.  .02 from a guy who doesn't know anything about these things.
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You know there is a great little bar just down the street that has ~100 different bottles...

Rick

Oohh.  And we can walk there when I come for a little visit?

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