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Overrated Whisk(e)ys

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Jonathan started a discussion

Old Weller Antique 107 and Old Rip 10 come to mind for me -- too sugary--but I'm interested in hearing what others here find overrated.

6 years ago

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@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE

Macallan pole dancer series.

6 years ago 4Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
  • Johnnie Walker Blue
  • Johnnie Walker Platinum 18
  • Every Macallan I’ve tried (many are good, but none worth its price tag or the hype)
  • Every Dalmore
  • Highland Park 18 (good, not great, but very “hyped” all over the interwebz)
  • Oban 14 (gets lots of love everywhere but tastes incredibly ordinary to me)

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

@OdysseusUnbound ooooh.... have to disagree with HP 18. That’s spectacular stuff.
Agree with a few of your others, and could add a few myself:

Dalmore Johnny Walker Green Laphroigh QC

At Spirit of Toronto last year the Dalmore table was largely ignored despite their pouring 10 through King Alexander III.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@nooch See and I drank my last HP18 from someone else’s bottle, so the fact that it’s $200/bottle didn’t play a role in my assessment. At least, I don’t think it did. It was good, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve heard such great things about it, and it’s always THE whisky mentioned in all those “Men’s Health” or “The Art of Manliness” etc. articles as THE whisky to buy if you want to splurge and impress someone. I liked it, but I guess I was expecting to be blown away, and I wasn’t.

I sort of agree on Laphroaig Quarter Cask. I like it a lot, but seeing the praise it’s getting online (and the concomitant price increase) has reduced the frequency with which I buy it. I think there’s less than a dollar difference between the 10 and the QC and I find the 10 more complex.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

@OdysseusUnbound I find the HP 18 is heavily affected by oxidization in the bottle. The first dram I ever had of it out of a bottle just opened was mind blowing to me. Like whisky from another planet. I have a bottle of HP 21 right now, but HP 18 is better bang for your buck assuming you’re not paying KGBO prices - which I rarely do outside of huge markdowns. If you can get it for $135 I would say you can’t go wrong.

The QC is sooo overwhelmingly oaky. It dominates. The last time I went through duty free there were bottles of the 18yo, but I passed in favour of picking up some Glenmorangie 18yo. The Glenmorangie is soooo dangerously easy to drink.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@OdysseusUnbound - From that list I think I've only had Oban 14 and the Macallan Gold - I agree, they were fine but nothing special.

I'd 2nd Laphroaig Quarter Cask as well. Again, very decent but not as stellar as some suggest. I could probably add Talisker 10 and Lagavulin 16 to that too (dons tin hat!).

Really is down to personal taste though.

6 years ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound

@RianC I've heard a LOT of mixed reviews of Talisker 10 and Lagavulin 16, and I'm going to chalk that up to batch variability, and obviously personal taste. If prices were more reasonable, I'd always have a bottle of both those malts on hand. They're among my favourites. But I can see how someone might be lukewarm on Lagavulin 16, even if it's from a good batch. It doesn't do it for everyone, and I've freely admitted many times that I'm very favourably biased where Lag is concerned.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@OdysseusUnbound - You're probably right about batch variation and I'd also not exactly turn down a bottle of either. I like them, but don't get the 'love-in' that they sometimes get.

I read an article on WhiskyFun recently by Angus that suggested the Laga 16 has declined in quality slightly over recent years. I had it in a bar last week and it's very drinkable, just doesn't wow me like some other Islay malts.

whiskyfun.com/archiveseptember17-2-Lagavuli….

I'd bet that's the same story with Talisker 10.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@MadSingleMalt - cheeky! wink I guess that is a story of the underdog becoming the cult hero . . .

I enjoyed my bottle a lot - very malty and something a bit different but I can see why it may not appeal to some. Maybe even seen as a bit 'bland?'.

6 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt

@RianC, yeah: "bland" would describe my disappointment with Clynelish 14. It's fine—I just found it lacking all the waxy & salty business that its fans describe.

6 years ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound

@RianC Thanks for sharing the link. I have mixed emotions about posts like that one:

  • On one hand, I’m suspicious of the “back in my day, everything was better” crowd. Were these whiskies tasted blind? Predictably, the older bottlings scored better than the newer ones. Now of course, maybe the older bottlings were simply better, but I have a hard time believing that bias plays no role whatsoever.

  • On the other hand (cue Randy Travis): I’ve noticed batch variations personally, even where I had no skin in the game. I tasted an older bottling of Grant’s Family Reserve (pic elsewhere) this past weekend and it clearly had a much higher proportion of malt whisky than any bottle of Grant’s I’ve ever owned. So perhaps bottlings from days when demand was much lower are simply better.

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@OdysseusUnbound

My NP friend tasted JW red last week and said it was undrinkable. My only experience with the red was a H2H with a bottle from late 70s early 80s and that WAS drinkable, whereas the mini we bought to compare was not. Not blinded (but luckily the JW red didn't blind us!) but valid.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

gfc replied

Balvenie DW 12yr. This is the one whisky I just cannot see any appeal in. I have given it many chances from my own bottle, from a mini, and bar pour. Not only did I find it extremely bland, but there is a certain off note lurking in the nose that causes a gagging sensation in the back of my throat. I never could quite identify that note, but it was somewhat akin to hot garbage.

I also find everything I have had from Buffalo Trace disappointing (with the exception of the one pour GTS I have had). Everything has been very simplistic and, for lack of a better term, monochromatic.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

RikS replied

Dalwhinnie 15. It's not necessarily bad, nor expensive.. but I find it bland and boring* and do not like the bitter finish I tend to get from it. So, I'll say it's "overrated" for the simple reason it was always presented to me as a 'great place to start whisky adventures' - whereas in hindsight, I can think of plenty better options if I were now to introduce someone else to whisk(e)y.

*and there are plenty there gentle lowlands which aren't, so I'm trying to be fair and compare it for what it is and with it's 'peers', not based on taste preferences and with an Ardbeg.

6 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt

Balvenie Doublewood 12 and Dalwhinnie 15 are both good examples of "easy" whiskies that are often suggested to newbies. But I'm with @gfc and @RikS: They're bland & boring, and—I would think—unlikely to excite a person new to scotch.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@MadSingleMalt - Dalwhinnie 15 was one of the first malts I bought (after Ardbeg 10, Old Pulteney 12 and Aberlour 12 iirc, and although it didn't wow me like Ardbeg, I liked it a lot relaxed

Just shows how personal taste is I guess? That said, I've not rushed to buy another and wouldn't go out of my way to. Feel like I've negated my own comment with that last bit . . .

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@gfc - I may not go as far as you with Balvennie but I agree they are overrated.

I recently had a mini set of the 12, 17 and Caribbean cask (all at 43%). The 17 was a huge disappointment and given it goes for around £80 would be one I'd actively discourage folk to buy. The 12 is OK but there's better for the money. The 'rum' cask was the best of the bunch but far too sweet for my tastes in malts - I'd rather just have rum.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

RikS replied

@RianC Ha! I think we all were a bit seld-contradictory with the Dalwhinnie, cause whilst I also wouldn't buy another bottle... here I am today, hooked on the life giving water and buying new bottles every month and writing messages on a whisky forum. :) Ms Dalwhinnie is the girl no one wants to marry, but we all have her to thank for showing us something in our youth....

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS LOL !! True words ! While I no longer buy it, Balvenie 12 DW was the seductress who convinced me to spend more than $50 on a bottle of scotch on a regular basis. I'm not sure if I should love her or hate her for it. ;)

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@OdysseusUnbound Have to agree on the HP18. It is very expensive and lacks the complexity it once had. I actually don't mind the Balvenie DW 12, particularly the 43% version. A pretty good daily drinker. But that's about all I can find that's affordable in the Balvenie core range. And to be clear, it's affordable if I buy it in Mexico or the US, but definitely not here in Beautiful BC. The single barrels are just goofy prices here.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

Jonathan replied

@OdysseusUnbound Surprised to see HP 18 there. I had it once and the bottle was 80 or so dollars, but that whisky had it all for me (peat, sherry, quality malt). I have never tried Dalmore--mostly, I think, because of the bad press it has received here.

6 years ago 0

Jonathan replied

@OdysseusUnbound I'm a big fan of both of these (Tali 10 and Lag 16) and haven't had a bad bottle of either, but the last few botlles of Laga that I've had are the 8, 12, DE. I think I'd need to try a current batch of regular Laga 16 to know whether I should buy it or not.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch replied

@OdysseusUnbound I wonder what percentage of people on this site would list Balvenie DW 12 amongst their first 2-3 bottles purchased. It was amongst mine. I was determined to try something other than the glenfiddich or Glenlivet 12 I had been introduced to previously and my research pointed to the DW as a logical next step. I haven’t bought another since and won’t ever. It’s basically $100 a bottle in Ontario now, just like the Dalwhinnie 15. Not a chance I’m paying that when Glenmorangie 18 looms for 125 at duty free. I do remember my first sip of your beloved Lagavulin 16 - it opened up the world of Islay whiskies to me. They had been the boogie man every site told my noobie level of experience to avoid. Instead it was a campfire in a glass. Now I’m on the hunt for the 12, which I have yet to try.

6 years ago 4Who liked this?

RikS replied

@nooch Dalwhinnie 15 $100... That's just cruel. Here I think it can be found for about £40.

6 years ago 0

@nooch
nooch replied

@RikS at duty free it’s $50 usd. Our provincial liquor board is just the cruelest.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Jonathan I found HP 18 good, not great and not worthy of all the hype, or the $200 price tag.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@nooch - I get why folk say you should avoid Islays or smoky whiskys to start with but I'm not sure I agree.

I think Ardbeg 10 was the first malt I ever bought (I'd tasted a few; certainly Laphroaig - which I thought tasted like medicine - and Glenfiddich - which I didn't like, still not a huge fan) and it bowled me over.

I guess if you like peat, you like it; but can also see why one may need to 'ease in gently'. I'd offer advice similar to Serge - Try a few vastly different malts to begin with and see where your taste preferences lie.

6 years ago 3Who liked this?

@KRB80
KRB80 replied

I completely agree with the HP18. Also, nearly everything from Macallan. And!...I'm starting to sense a certain "house profile" underneath all the obvious, forefront notes in everything coming out of Diageo which turns me off. Possibly the casks?

6 years ago 0

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