Whisky Connosr


If you HAD to choose just 3 whiskies...

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Jules started a discussion

Pretty self-explanatory. Just three choices for the rest of your life - what would they be?

10 years ago

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Nolinske replied

Of what I have had in my life.....Staag, Glenmorangie Signet and Pappy 15

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Uisgebetha replied

@Jules Just three, thats tough! I could pick three (Ardbeg Uigeadail, Glenmorangie Original & Highland Park 18y) but I'd change my mind in an hour. Did you have a scenario in mind for the situation where you would have to choose just three?

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan replied

What a question!

I would have to go with:

  1. Peat Monster for smoky stuff (or possibly Octomore)

  2. Aberlour A'Bunadh (batch 44 or 45) or Bladnoch sherry matured 55% (likely the 10 year old)

  3. Forty Creak Heart of Gold (or possibly original Confederation Oak - it's been too long, I'd need a H2H)

But in fact the question is unfair. Essentially, to limit someone to only 3 whiskies in a world with so much diversity is just so sad....

But it's a great question. Really makes you think...

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

wtrstrnghlt replied

@Jules that's a pretty tough but great question! 

It's easy to choose mega expensive bottles that are hard to get, but I think that's not fair. I'll limit my self to the OB's and core range single malts, because normally they will be available for years to come.

I also want to make sure I will able to buy these whisky's for years to come, without spending a fortune on them.

Besides these two demand, I want to cover as many profiles with my selection. Peated, sherry cask, bourbon cask, light, rich, summer, winter, aperitif, after dinner.

So no Brora, Port Ellen, Rosebank for me.

I think my choice will be: - Aberlour A'Bunadh (sherry, rich, winter, after dinner) - Laphroaig 10y (peat, light, summer and winter) - ....

And then I realized I dont have a favorite bourbon cask matured malt that fits in the bourbon, light, aperitif, summer profile.

So for now I'll pick either Lagavulin 16y or Ardbeg Uigeadail as a third malt.

But like @Uisgebetha said, this selection could change overnight.

10 years ago 3Who liked this?

LarsA replied

Well that depends, on whether somebody would give me a lifetime supply, or if I´d have to pay and find it myself. If Money is no object, then a Single cask (Sherry cask please) Karuizawa would be me first choice. I was recently fortunate enough to taste a 1972 (Botteled 2011), and that was without a doubt the best I´ve ever tried. Second choice would be some kind of Talisker. For the moment I´m very fond of the 25, but I haven´t tried the 30, which I suspect is even better. Third choice would be a Speysider, most likely a Balvenie Tun 1401.

If I´d have to pay myself, then the first choice would be Karuizawa spirit of Asama 55%. Of course far from the 1972 single cask, but still very enjoyable. When the Asamas run out, which they will most likely do within a few years, then a Yoichi is likely to be my substitute, unless I must have cs sherry matured whisky, in which case Aberlour A´Bundadh seems a good choice to me. Second choice can only be Talisker 10. Not quite as good as the 25, but surprisingly close. The quality is incredible for the price. Third choice is still a Speysider. I´m torn between some kind of Balvenie (I very much enjoy the signature 12, which can still be found for resonable cost) and Glenlivet Nadurra. I´m however looking forwar to trying the new Sherry matured nadurra, and I suspect that might become my choice in this category.

10 years ago 3Who liked this?

asmazda replied

Not considering cost and picking from whiskys that are regularly available I would say: 1. Macallan 18 2. Talisker 18 3. Old Pulteney 21

10 years ago 3Who liked this?


Willett Family Estate Rye 24 yo barrel 637, Pappy Van Winkle's 20 yo Family Reserve... these two were very easy choices, two of the best whiskies I've ever had. The third is extremely difficult, but I think I'll go with... Ardbeg 10 yo. That's a whisky I have never been disappointed with!

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Pandemonium replied

Lagavulin 16, Springbank 10 and a Lochside from 1981.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

Jules replied

LOL, these responses (to a lighthearted & somewhat hypthetical question) just go to show what an obsessive, nitpicking old bunch we malt lovers are! ;-D

@wtrstrnghlt and LarsA - it is indeed the 'idea' that you choose bottelings that are somewhat affordable, but they can of course be single barrels or special editions - supply is, hypothetically, not a concern..

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

Jules replied

@asmazda I like this thinking (Mac18/Talisker18/OP21) - very balanced choices and something to suit (almost) every mood!

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

sengjc replied

Ack...doing my head in just thinking about this...

10 years ago 3Who liked this?

Uisgebetha replied

It is a nice question because you don’t necessarily end up picking your best/favourite three whiskies. Glenmorangie’s Sonnalta PX would be in my top ten, while the Original would not, but I would not want to drink Sonnalta everyday...

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Jules replied

@Uisgebetha EXACTLY :-D If picked your 3 'favorites' then you may not have anything representative of a different kind of flavour (ie. Smoky vs. Light &fruity) and you would never get to taste that kind of expression again.

I'd dare say that single malt has more variety and a broader flavour spectrum than wine even - most enthusiasts of both find it far easier to choose 3 wines than 3 Scotches...

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

Onibubba replied

Keeping in the realm of standard releases, and what I do generally buy/stockpile, I would say (for today anyway) Highland Park 18, Yamazaki 18, Talisker 18.

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Jonesz replied

My reply to this question is not based on exclusiveness but on three whiskies that I really enjoy when I have a dram. These whiskies are not expensive but I really enjoy them. The first peated Islay that I tried was Caol Ila 12 and it kickstarted my liking whiskies from that region and is still a favourite. I do enjoy peat but somtimes want for somthing different so my second would be Benriach Curiositas 10, very drinkable. My last choice was going to be HP 18 for special occasions but I recently opened an Arran 14 that is very nice in the warmer weather. So my 3 are Caol Ila 12, Benriach Curiositas and Arran 14. I really enjoy these and they don't hurt my wallet too badly.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

teebone673 replied

Balvenie 21

Glenlivet 21

Talisker 10

10 years ago 0

Abunadhman replied

1) a'Bunadh; any better bottling.

2) Glengoyne Cask edn. #1.

3) Glenfarclas 105.

Three splendid Whiskies! The order could change depending on batch and some could be replaced by an especially good batch from a maker not listed i.e. Laga. 12yo. Cask 2013, Caol Ila DE. etc. There are so many variables, I tend to go with what is pressing my buttons at the time. Currently there is a sensational HP. 15 yo. Thor available ex. Duty Free.


10 years ago 0

Abunadhman replied

@A'bunadhman: Correction to detail. The Thor is 16yo. the Loki is the 15yo. I don't own either of these but have tasted the Thor with a generous neighbour who owns both.


10 years ago 0

Victor replied

3 whiskies for a lifetime? I'm sure I could come up with 100 + combinations of 3 whiskies which would give me adequate variety and complexity for a lifetime, and at least 100 + whiskies which I would consider good enough to be included on such a list of trios.

"Sampled by me but currently unavailable to me" trio: 1967 40 yo Duncan Taylor Springbank, 2007 release Willett Family Estate 23 yo Rye Whiskey "The Iron Fist", and Octomore Orpheus 2.2.

"Rare to Others, But I Own Some" US trio: The Party Source barrel of Abraham Bowman 10 yo Rye, 69.4% abv, Willett Family Estate 18 yo Bourbon, barrel # 79, "Sopressata" 69.7% abv, 2010 release Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo. (together this trio is my favourite US rye, my favourite rye containing bourbon, and my favourite of all bourbons, which is a wheated bourbon)

"Getable (if you are lucky) Big-Flavours Trio": Thomas H Handy Rye, William Larue Weller Bourbon, and Ardbeg Supernova.

"Flavourful Middle-of-the-Road Trio": Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition, Amrut Intermediate Sherry, and any Four Roses Limited Edition Bourbon.

"Canadian Trio": Wiser's Legacy 2010, Wiser's Red Letter 2007, Gibson's Finest Rare 18 yo

"Light fare trio": Aberlour 10 yo, Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 yo, and Ancient Ancient Age Bourbon (10 yo if you can get it; 10 Star if you cannot).

There must be at least 100 whiskies I know which I would consider good enough to be included in a "3 whiskies for a lifetime list".

A very good game could be made of taking ANY 1 or 2 whiskies, positing them as the basis of a "you'll have to live with them for life" scenario and then adding the additional 1 or 2 others to fill out a trio.

@Jules, posting a discussion topic on Connosr is like a composer giving a score to the musicians: as soon as you hand it over, all of your control over it is lost...it may be 'self-explanatory', but others will make up their own explanations.

10 years ago 4Who liked this?

numen replied

This is really tough. I'd want my three to be drinkable enough that I wouldn't have to feel like I'm in a particular mood for all of them, but complex enough to keep me engaged. My first choice is easy:

Springbank 1967 Prestonfield 3131/3136. It was abrosia. It's not even (or merely) alcohol or whisky. I want to have that every day, so it was an easy choice.

the next two were much tougher. Initially, I thought that I'd do Glenfarclas 40 and Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th. The 'farclas would get me that old sherry, clean, completely drinkable, and rich. Compass Box for a touch of peat, Clynelish, and unsherried. Then I decided that I'd go for my Brora 1981/2009 cask #291, which is far richer and oily, but I think that I'd console myself.

I went back to the 'farclas 40 and realized that I'd be missing my beloved Karuizawa trademark profile. I've had a few better, but none quite as drinkable and rich as the 1999 Noh from K&L. So that would replace the chocolatey Glenfarclas 40 (the first out), leaving me with two fairly fruity sherried whiskies.

1) Springbank 2) Karuizawa 3) Brora

Choices, choices..

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Nock replied

So I am going to take this question with the following stipulations: 3 standard release whiskies that you have buy off the shelf for the rest of your life to the exclusion of all others without any hope for batch consistency. Basically, if you had to be “brand loyal” to three standard releases what would they be? My answer:

1.) Ardbeg Uigeadail 2.) Laphroaig 10yo (standard 43% here in the US) 3.) Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 12yo

Good price point for all three here in Virginia and I am able to get them all on a fairly regular basis (the ECBP is the hardest, but so far so good).

But I love the answers given by @ Victor and @numen . . . so many fantastic options . . .

Of bottles I have owned to drink forever? 1.) Ardbeg Supernova 2.) Brora 21yo Old Malt Cask 3.) George T. Stagg

Bottles I have tasted? This list of dreams is long . . . but that Abraham Bowman 10yo Rye at 69.4% was something amazing . . . I could drink that every day

10 years ago 0

MaltActivist replied

Great question. If I had these three whiskies for the rest of my life I think I'd be ok.

  1. Amrut Portonova First Edition
  2. Ardbeg Uigeadail 2005
  3. George T Stagg 2011

I think this also nicely covers a fairly wide flavor profile too!

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

paddockjudge replied

Difficult Choices for the eaux-de-vie trifecta.

3) Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel is my top bourbon pick. I've sampled some of the Sazerac Antique Collection, a few Van W's; and an assortment of barrel strength top-shelfers; however, I looked into my own cabinet to choose 3 'lifers'. It was not an automatic selection, but I gave the nod to ETL. Rock Hill Farms 100 proof, Four Roses Small Batch Barrel Strength 125th Anniversary, and Jefferson's Reserve Very Old all could have been acceptable alternatives.

2) Macallan Cask Strength - NAS or 10 yr-old. Although no longer readily available, this expression has caused me considerable anguish. It is without a doubt my favourite whisky and I have gone to great lengths to secure a few bottles. There is no way I could leave this classic sherried monster off the list. Old Pulteney 21, Talisker 18, and HP 25 are worthy candidates that I would gladly settle for, but The Mac CS is a can't miss pick.

1) Considerable thought went into this selection. Looking into my cabinet once more to this time select the whisky that has left the greatest impression upon me over 40 years of whisky enjoyment.

I have tasted some great whisky from bygone eras. Today's Canadian blends are a result of decades of cocktail follies. Sweet and smooth and on the rocks has been the 'order of the day' for such a long time that great Canadian sipping whisky has only recently managed to stage a strong revival.. There was a time when Seagrams Crown Royal De Luxe (standard CR), circa 1965, was a blend of whiskies as old as 30 years and not younger than 10 years. It was a highly regarded product and was considered a world class dram. Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Recently, new stars have emerged on the Canadian whisky horizon - John Hall at Forty Creek and his ground breaking special releases - Dr. Don Livermore in Walkerville with his flavourful pot still and new oak expressions - Drew Mayville at Sazerac/Buffalo Trace and his ground breaking Single Barrel Canadian whisky releases.There is always the magnificent Gibson's Rare 18 YO, and from Alberta Distillers, an assortment of masterpieces that feed a variety of Independent Bottlers as well as the Alberta Premium label for their unique 5, 10, 12, 25 and 30 yr-old flavour bombs.

The honour of top "lifer' goes to 1974 Seagram's Crown Royal Limited Edition. Rich, lush, silky smooth, flavourful - bursting with rye-spiciness...incredible harmony, balance and just the right amount of oak influence. Absolutely delicious - a bottled flavour bomb!

The last remaining bottle in my cabinet, of this heavenly ambrosia, will be opened in 2024 (60 years after distillation) to be enjoyed with family and friends.

Whisky that I can proudly share:

  • 1974 Seagram's Crown Royal Limited Edition

  • Macallan Cask Strength

  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel

Great whisky can be enjoyed by all; great whisky shared with friends becomes legend.

10 years ago 3Who liked this?

talexander replied

If I had to pay for them and availability was in the realm of realism in Ontario: Lot 40, Glenfiddich 15 and Ballantine's 17.

If I didn't have to pay for them and had a magically unlimited supply from anywhere in the world from anytime in history: Macallan 1946, Glenury Royal 23 Year Old (Rare Malts) and....hm OK Ballantine's 17.

Somewhere in the middle? Glenfarclas 15, Redbreast 15 and....hmmmm....lemme think.....Ballantine's 17.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

ewhiskey replied

Before even entering this discussion board, the image of a bottle of The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #4 captured all of my focus. And without much further thought, here are the first three outstanding whiskies that come to mind:

The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #4 For the most absolute full bodied, balanced, aromatic and flavorful whisky

Aberlour A'bunadh for a full strength sherried whisky

Kilchoman 2007 to satisfy a smoky craving, but also feature lighter bodied whisky for refreshment

I have not doubt that I will be contradicting this list (except for the 1401) since I am already feeling guilty leaving out a considerable number of loved whiskies. I only included scotches, but only by coincidence. Wiser's legacy from Canada is Phenomenal. Noah's Mill from USA, Three Ships 5yr from South Africa, Heyler's HIll, Hellyer's Road from Australia, Penderyn, Yamazaki and so many more!

I broke the rules of this post, but I couldn't help it. If I was ever stuck with the choice of only 3 whiskies for the rest of my life, I think I would go mad questioning my decision.

10 years ago 0

hunggar replied

This is a head-scratcher. Not necessarily about favorites. More about picking three good drams that would stand the test of time, and offer enough of a counterpoint to each other that we wouldn’t get too bored. I’m limiting this to what I’ve actually tried, for obvious reasons.

Fancy-pants choices: 1. Ardbeg Lord of the Isles 2. Suntory Yamazaki 18 3. Glenmorangie Quarter Century

Higher-end-of-affordable choices: 1. Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength 2. Kavalan Solist Sherry 3. Willett Single Barrel 12 yr Bourbon

Affordable choices: 1. Ardbeg Uigedail 2. Pulteney 17 3. Glenfarclas 15

Budget choices: 1. Highland Park 12 2. Glencadam 10 3. Hakushu 12

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

paddockjudge replied

@hunggar - Nice triplets! I especially like your Affordable and Higher-end-of-affordable selections....snap, crackle, and pop!

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

OCeallaigh replied

Talisker 18, Rittenhouse Rye, Johnnie Walker Black. Not too complicated or exceptional... but I think I could live a happy life with those three bottles...

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

Wodha replied

Brora 30, Benrinnes 15, Balcones Single Malt.

I'd say something different next time you ask. I'm picking stuff I can't imagine tiring of.

10 years ago 0

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