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A Steal of a Deal ?!

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By @HP12 @HP12 on 13th Mar 2011, show post

Replies: page 32/33

RikS replied

@BlueNote true words! I don’t think anyone has ever complained in their last hour of having had too many nice experience in good company … thumbsup sparkles

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

Ok, I need some advice. The inestimable wisdom of the Alcohol Beverage Control board of Virginia has decided to close out all of the McClelland single malts. I am sure many of us dipped our toes in the basement budget single malt that is the McClelland’s Islay and Highland single malts at 40% ABV at some point in our whisky journey. It is my strong belief that the McClelland’s Highland is young Gen Garioch and the McClelland’s Islay is young Bowmore. Many others on this site have confirmed the suspicion. I can see that @OdysseusUnbound gave it a 76 in 2018 while @Nozinan gave it a 70 (same year).

Virginia is also closing out the Auchentoshan Three Wood at 43%. I see @Victor gave it 88 points in 2013. I haven’t had a bottle of Auchentoshan since a friend gave me a bottle of the “Classic” back in 2010. Never picked up another bottle from this distillery.

I just looked at my old review of the McClelland’s Islay single malt from October of 2013. At the time I gave it an 80 and concluded saying, “Next time I find it under $20 I will pick it up again.” Well, I haven’t bought a bottle since. Who knew it would take almost 10 years to see the price below $20.

Both McClelland’s were $34.99 - now both reduced to $17.59 The Auchentoshan Three Wood was $87.99 – now reduced to $44.09

That said . . . they are a steal of a deal . . . how many should I buy of each?

Worst case I end up vatting them into my Great Bastard Reserve Infinity Bottle.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Nock don’t be lulled by a steal of a deal. This isn’t OGD 114.

A reasonably priced single malt that tastes bland or worse will not taste better at half the price.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Nock my sense is that you want to make this purchase. I don't recommend your going forward with any of these, but I think that you really want to do so. So my recommendation to you is, if you really have to do this, buy only one of each one in which you are interested.

I LOVED my handle of McClelland's Islay Single Malt when I first opened it in about 2011. Unfortunately it had a bad bad progression in flavour after it had a few months of air AND HEAT exposure, and it took me 7 years to muster the will to finish off that 1.75 Litres of it. I am not one of the multitude of young-Bowmore haters. I like the stuff. Not a big favourite, but I like the House Style fine. There's a leather note other people don't like. I'm fine with that leather note. I look forward to the Bowmores I have in my cabinet, Bowmore Legend (8 yo), Bowmore 12 yo, and an unopened bottle of Bowmore 15 Darkest.

About Auchentoshan Three Wood, I liked my bottle very much at first. Later, with air, it became obvious that the wine casks had a lot of sulphur in them. This is no problem at all for you, of course, because you are insensitive to sulphur. For you Auchentoshan Three Wood should be OK, but no world beater.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Jonesz
Jonesz replied

@nock I do realize the value of a good dram at a reasonable price but suggest that you give some thought about buying multiple bottles of McClellands Islay. It has been some time since I have tried that one but coincidentally one of my friends had just been given a bottle of this by a friend who had been recently become a widow. We tried a dram and are both of the opinion that it is very harsh and best left in the bottle. Suggest you try one before buying multiple bottles of McClellands Islay. The price is the only plus here but buying for that reason alone doesn't make it any more enjoyable. As a qualifier letting you know that I have never been a Bowmore hater and have a few treasured ones on hand such as Tempest and Devil's cask and have enjoyed Bowmore 12 in the past.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Jonesz how wonderful that you have owned Bowmore Tempest and Bowmore Devil's Cask. I am a huge fan of both, but have never seen either offered for sale in my region.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Victor We did have the Tempest here years ago, but it's long gone now. Also no longer available is the much missed 15 year old Laimrig. The only way to get a taste of that now is by a full on raid of @Nozinan's bunker. yum

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@BlueNote the only time a raid is successful when the target knows you’re coming is when it concerns whisky.

I have bottles of Tempest, Laimrig and Devils Cask slumbering, waiting for your arrival.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

What would you have paid? What is the top you would have spent?

Today I saw a self-described Blended Malt called “Peatside” from the Five Lions (An independent bottler of whom I have never heard)

Here is the information given on the bottle:

A single cask from the Island’s region that has been “teaspooned.” It is a first fill oloroso hogshead that is filled with a peated spirit on 03/2010 and bottled on 08/2017 and has sat in the bottle ever since. So a 7 year old whisky with an ABV is 61%.

Here are the tasting notes from the bottle (if you believe such things):

Nose: Caramel, well integrated peat, raisins, a trace of cinnamon, well integrated0muted alcohol content, ripe plums, demerara molasses, dark toffee.

Palate: Rounded creamy, velvety soft, sweet, plenty of toffee, present peat, peanut-butter, smoked bacon

Finish: long, sweet, toric, bacon-flavor

The original list price was $130.

What discount would you need to take a gamble?
I clearly picked up a bottle and will report back with my findings/impression and the price that pushed me over the “steal-of-a-deal” hurdle.

11 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

I intended to include this picture . . . what is the top you would have paid to try it?

11 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@Nock If I were buying bottles this one would be worth a max of $90 plus tax to me. It would be very attractive at $ 70 or below.

11 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock If it lives up to its label hype, it would be well worth $120 Can to me. Tell us what you got it for. I’m guessing about $60 US. If it was a steal of a deal.

11 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@Victor and @BlueNote thank you both for playing along.

I stood in the store for the longest time just looking at that bottle and really trying to figure out the “risk vs. reward” of this bottle.

For me the strong selling points are first and foremost the righteous 61% ABV. Then the fact that it was peated in a first fill sherry cask (hogshead). I find more and more that a good heavily peated monster in a sherry cask to be utter delight.

Then I get to the fact that they claim it is from the Island’s region.

Well, as I am sure the majority of you who are reading this know . . . the Island’s isn’t an officially recognized Scottish region. The official 5 regions are: Lowlands, Highlands, Campbeltown, Speyside, and Islay.

It has been customary for some time to brake off the “Islands” from the Highland Region, but I wondered if the bottlers of this label understood this or were perhaps trying to obfuscate the origins of this bottle even more. Perhaps they were calling an Islay distillery part of the “Island Region”?

But I decided to assume that they were operating in good faith and appropriately designating the unofficially recognized Island distilleries: Arran, Jura, Tobermory, Highland Park, Talisker, and Scapa.

So, which of the 6 distilleries would have been most likely to sell off a teaspooned single cask of peated malt in a sherry hogshead in 2010? (I guess they could have sold it off as late as 2017 when it was bottled). I highly doubted Talisker, Arran, or Highland Park. Scapa was right out. That left me thinking either Jura or Tobermory’s Ledaig. I have seen plenty of Ledaig with Independent bottlers . . . so that was my strong guess. Still, it could have been any number of those distillers. Jura makes a lightly peated malt. Arran has a heavily peated spirit. Highland Park makes various levels of peated spirit. And Talisker makes a medium peated spirit. But Ledaig make the most heavily peated spirit from the Islands . . . so here was hoping it was from Ledaig. I can’t stand Jura . . . so that would have been a disappointment.

But with a discount from $130 down to . . . $75 . . . I decided to take the gamble. So thank you both. Not quite as low as both of you would have postulated for a Steal-of-a-deal . . . but really close in my estimation. So, I picked up a bottle.

And boy am I glad I did.

This is heavily peated, earthy, funky, and farmy. The Peat really reminds me of an Octomore, Longrow, or Ballechin. But that dark funky earthy peat is then wonderfully paired next to dark luscious sherried fruits. It is still rough and raw at 7 years of age, but it is how I like my whisky.

So ya, I am not sure if it is a “steal-of-a-deal” but it is very well priced 7yo heavily peated whisky with sherry influence at 61%. I am more than pleased. In fact, I am thinking of heading back to the store tomorrow to buy some more. This bottle was on closeout. I think there were three more left. But it is a 30 mile drive with tolls . . . could be worth it. For the future bunker.

11 months ago 5Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Nock, well, now you know that you like that particular release a great deal. That ups what it is worth to you. It better had.

30 miles x 2 directions @ $0.655/mile vehicle depreciation plus gasoline plus tolls = $ 39.3 plus gas plus tax plus tolls plus one hour's "labour". . Even if you buy 3 more you are spending at least $ 15/bottle more than that $ 75 base price. So more like $ 100 per.

$ 100 per is still a very good price for a bottle which floats your boat. And all of the going and coming is joyous recreational travel. I never regretted driving 400 miles in order to buy 3 bottles of Old Potrero Hotaling's Whiskey. The trip was like a little mini whiski vacation.

11 months ago 6Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock @Victor A pleasant drive with some good tunes playing and an excellent reward at the end? Hell, yeah, I'd do it. @Nock you'd better make sure they hold them for you before you hit the road.

What's your best guess as to where it comes from?

11 months ago 4Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@Victor thanks for the breakdown. I actually decided to take a step back and make sure it was what I wanted. Right now I am in Virginia with the bottle. When I nosed it last Wednesday on my way out of Maryland it really was off putting to my nose. So I decided to pass on picking up more at that moment. Maybe it really is rough and too youthful? Maybe I was just not in a mood? I have been off alcohol for the past week. Tonight, I might try to revisit it. We will see. Maybe I will slip it into a blind heavily peated tasting with the likes of Octomore and Ardbeg and see how it fairs.

@BlueNote, my best guess is that it is young Ledaig. It Is the only distillery that makes sense given the information on the bottle and the actual contents of the bottle. It is so peat, farmy, and funky. If it truly is an Island single malt at 7 years of age distilled in 2010 . . . Ledaig is the only option. It is far too peaty for Talisker, Highland Park or Jura.

11 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

Yes, Professor @Nock! Good thinking! Do that statistically significant double blind research project to find out for yourself through your own EXHAUSTIVE experience just what you think about that particular bottle.

If you like it sufficiently, hopefully all of the additional bottles of it which you will buy will be just as good as the "come on" bottle. They should be from the same batch,...so chances are good that they will be just as good. Of course there was that Aberlour A'bunadh (same) Batch # 45 experience. "We bets our monies, and we takes our chances"!!! Good luck, friend!

11 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

I haven’t found a steal of a deal but I’m hoping to soon. My wife and I leave for Nashville this afternoon. We won’t have a car so we’ll be in the “row” for most of our trip. Of course, this being a tourist area I’m not sure there are many deals to be had. That said, any recommendations (e.g. “Don’t miss” or “Don’t bother”) are appreciated.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@OdysseusUnbound if I were you I would have been DM-ing @casualtorture, who is likely to have good information. My pal @Nock knows Nashville liquor too. Bon voyage, mon ami!

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke replied

@OdysseusUnbound I would look into the Bunnahabhain 12 year cask strength which for unknown reasons has never been available in Canada.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@OdysseusUnbound And if all else fails, bring a bottle or two of Old GrandDad 114 back home. Definitely well-priced, and one that will leave no regrets.

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@OdysseusUnbound in Nashville I would tour Corsair Distillery, arguably the most innovative whiski-maker on the planet. When I did I would almost certainly buy some of their distillery only products. Derek Bell is a Connosr member.

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

I'm not giving people much notice on this one but the UK supermarket Waitrose have Ardbeg 10 on offer at £39 until the end of July. I grabbed a bottle yesterday (I don't normally shop at Waitrose a bit above my wallet!) because I think the Ardbeg 10 remains a pretty solid Islay peated whisky and hard to turn down at that price.

8 months ago 3Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

House of Malt have a sale on their Signatory Vintage line.

houseofmalt.co.uk//…

Not sure if they ship out of the UK but some good deals on there. Rather annoyingly, I've recently bought a couple from that line but there a still few tempters ...

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - not bought an Ardbeg 10 for ages but I've noticed that they're often heavily discounted at xmas, sometimes as low as £35!

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@RianC I often buy a bottle at Christmas when it's discounted. I've always got at least one bottle of Ardbeg 10 in my stash. It suffers from a bit of batch variation but to me still remains one of the best 'bang for your buck' peated Islays. Especially if you're getting it for less than £40

8 months ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

The Ardbeg 10 is no longer on offer in Waitrose but the Ardbeg 5 wee beastie is now on offer at £33 and Talisker 10 for £32. Both until Aug 29th

8 months ago 4Who liked this?

Astroke replied

@Wierdo Are you making fun of us in Ontario, lol

8 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Astroke - Good price for Talisker that! I popped in our local Waitrose last week but all the Ardbeg had gone ... sleepy

8 months ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Wierdo Killer deal on the Talisker 10, at least by Canadian standards.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

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@ajjarrett@PaolaPerez@Victor@GoodVintage@DutchGaelisch + 1 others

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