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Thoughts on starting a Solera bottle?

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@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound started a discussion

Does anyone here have a Solera/Infinity bottle? A part of me thinks it would be interesting, and another part fears it might end up being a big ol’ swampy mess. I currently have about 25-30ml left in my Glenfarclas 105, so I could use the ‘farclas as a Solera bottle, though getting the label off with whisky still in the bottle might prove problematic.

If you do have a Solera bottle, do you stick to one type of provenance per bottle or do you mix scotch, bourbon, rye, Canadian, Irish, etc.?

13 days ago

16 replies

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@OdysseusUnbound, it is a monumental challenge to create a whisky solera that is greater than the sum of the parts...unless you stick to one distillery and use excellent judgement when adding the next dose. Things can change quickly, and when they do ....

13 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

Your other option is to decant into a sample bottle and enjoy it in its individuality until the last drop.

Vattings can be interesting. Soleras are a bigger risk.

13 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

I've never attempted one before due to the reasons stated by the two learned fellows before me. I like the idea but it would be an experiment with potentially disappointing results. On the other hand, that is precisely how many of our greatest inventions have been stumbled across. As for me, I think I'll continue to enjoy each bottle individually (or blended on a small scale in the glass). I'll be interested to read how you get on.

13 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

It will have to wait until next time. I decided to have another dram, and thereby finish my Glenfarclas 105. Sad day...I will need to replace this one...

13 days ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@OdysseusUnbound, coincidentally, I too was enjoying Glenfarclas 105 (10 YO purchased in 2014), as well as Hazelburn 10 YO, and Laphroaig Lore. each was sampled in turn and then a vatting of 25:15:2.5 made for an enjoyable, but short-lived solera...it sat for 15 minutes.

13 days ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@paddockjudge Man, are we ever getting ripped for Lore here. I could have bought a bottle at the distillery for 60 pounds, but opted for the 10 CS at the same price. Had a taste of Lore, though, and was tempted. Love that Hazelburn 10.

13 days ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

Forgot to mention: Lore is over $200 here on the Wet Coast.

13 days ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@BlueNote, ain't that the truth! Almost $200 in Ontario. I picked up a bottle for $100 in Maryland. The LCBO adds 143% on top of the vendor's price, as a tariff, then adds the markup and HST.

12 days ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@paddockjudge and happily you were charming enough at the Canadian border not to have to pay a second $ 100 for that Laphroaig Lore.

12 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor that and 13 other bottles.... And all legally...The man is a master....

12 days ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Solera bottles are fun. Go for it! It's just whisky.

I used to have an "everything" bottle. It got messy, and I decided to put it out of its misery, dram by dram. I don't miss it. But it was fun.

When I saw that one was losing steam, I started an "Islay only" bottle. That's one's still going strong years later. I always look forward to cracking a new Islay bottle because it gives me an excuse to have a dram from the solera & make room for the newcomer. And I can still recall the delight I felt on that night years ago when I added its first dollop of Kilchoman to round out the team of all the Islay distilleries operating today. (And I eventually added some Big Peat, so the solera now contains some homeopathic portion of Port Ellen too.) The bottle itself is a classic de-labeled Lagavulin with the "ISLA" stamp in the glass.

Because I found the "Islay only" bottle so fun, I did the same with Campbeltown. The team there is smaller, and they meld perfectly as a harmonious whole. I'll admit to assigning no small amount of sentimental value to this one, as it contains fading wisps of some very cracking Springbanks I otherwise said good-bye to years ago. I only wish that I had started this one earlier so that it could contain a memory of my all-time favorite bottle, the Cadenhead's Campbeltown Malt that the Edinburgh shop fills from their barrel behind the counter.

12 days ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@OdysseusUnbound - I made a vatting earlier this year (not a solera per se) of some mostly decent, if not stellar, Scots malts and some Irish. It was done mainly to use up the dregs of a few bottles I had and empty some less than desirable ones.

I had a dram the other day and it wasn't too bad at all. I've been thinking about whether to top it up or just let it go then start a more themed vatting like @MadSingleMalt . I really like the sound of that Islay one and am 'wel jel' of the Cadenheads behind the counter offering.

One day . . . soon, I hope relaxed

12 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@MadSingleMalt That Islay Solera is awesome. If you go by the "spirit" of homeopathy, the more you dilute that Port Ellen, the stronger it will get...

12 days ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@paddockjudge I don’t see a link....But I’m familiar with WV. I used to be a member or their inner circle (I was a Magnificent Bastard) but there was too much nonsense with other members, so I totally disconnected myself from Rex and Daniel.

10 days ago 0

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