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A worthy second chance

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@Robert99
Robert99 started a discussion

Is there a distillery that you first hate and hesitate to give a second chance to and that you now cherish as one of your favorite? For me there is a few. My first Talisker was simply dull, my first Bruichladdich was so funky and my first Bunnahabhain had a terrible boiled cabbage flavor. But then I had the 57, an Octomore 6.3 and the Buunah 18. What a come back!

What about you?

7 years ago

3 replies

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas replied

Given how many funky bottles Bruichladdich has put out over the years, I bet they could be a candidate for many of us! Too easy to get a weird cheapo and be turned off from their glories.

For me, I'm still waiting to be convinced by Clynelish.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@Robert99, I've had many bad first impressions over the years which were followed by better second and subsequent experiences.

1) Buffalo Trace bourbon, a horrible first mini, followed by good and so-so experiences from full bottles owned by others. I am still never likely to buy a bottle of standard BT. Too much chance of a "meh" batch

2) standard Knob Creek bourbon, a wretched soapy mini, followed by subsequent full bottle experiences ranging from great to pretty bad. This is another of which I never have and would not now chance buying a bottle

3) standard Elijah Craig 12 yo, the only bottle I bought of this tasted of nothing but soap for 2 full years; subsequent experiences ranged from rough to good. I still don't trust standard Elijah Craig. The Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Elijah Craig 18 yo, and EC 21-23 yos are a totally different and excellent story

4) standard Jameson: I had 4 or 5 horrible experiences before I found one I liked. At this point I have had several very good standard Jamesons, out of maybe 10-12. I would buy only if I tasted a bottle from the batch first and liked it

5) Johnnie Walker Red Label: who has not had some horrible Johnnie Walker Red Label?!?!! I have also had some good Red Label, but I would never trust it without tasting first either

6) Glenkinchie 12 yo: I had a horrible horrible sample once, before having some several years later which was quite decent

7) Ardbeg Corryvreckan: yes, I managed to buy bottles of what @Nock considers the two worst batches of Corryvreckan he knows. I am an Ardbeg fan, which makes this particularly galling. Yes, I have also had Corryvreckan which I liked

8) Evan Williams Black Label; it can be super-sweet, super-light, super-nothing-y, which I do not want or like. I have also tasted batches of Black Label which were quite good. I would not buy Black Label without tasting the batch first. White Label BIB, the batch I own, is great. Ditto for most single barrels

9) Stagg Jr.; a big "ugh" on that first batch of which I unfortunately bought 3 bottles -- way too tannic and bitter. Later batches range from very good to excellent

10) Powers Gold Label; I didn't much like my first bottle from 6 years ago. I had some last week which was quite good

11) Bushmills Original; I hated my first 3 or 4 tastes of it. I've liked some recent experiences of Bushmills Original much more. I still would not trust it to buy a bottle of it blind

12) Glenmorangie Lasanta; my first 3 or 4 tastes came from sulphur-contaminated batches and I hated them. I have had one recent taste from a batch which was not sulphured and quite good

13) Jack Daniels Old No. 7: God I hated it for about the first 6 or 8 tastes. I have also run into 2 or 3 batches of Old No. 7 I liked a lot, out of maybe 12 total sample batches

There are probably others. What do most of these have in common? They are large-volume mass-market whiskies. The left-over, so-so and worse barrels usually go into the big-volume lower-priced products. The upside here is that if you find the uncommon really good batch of a standard mass product then you have the opportunity to buy wonderful whisk(e)y on the cheap

7 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

Most recently I would say Macallan. Very underwhelmed by the 25 in comparison to other whiskies. But recently tried a 12 and 18 at 43% and amazed at how much flavour in such low ABV whiskies.

7 years ago 0