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What is the consensus on miniatures?

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@Wodha
Wodha started a discussion

BlueNote wrote "What is the consensus on miniatures?" and I agree. I feel one should never judge a whisky by a miniature. My guess is the volume and the quality of the bottling tends to diminish and whisky. What is your opinion?

11 years ago

12 replies

@systemdown
systemdown replied

I've only ever opened a handful of miniatures, one was a bad one (a Glengoyne 10 year old) which (I suspect) was heavily oxidised - whether due to a poor seal on the bottle, or a bottle that had been sitting around for a long period of time and not stored with care, or plain inferior whisky went into it - I will never know. I suspect distilleries may take a few more risks with miniatures.

After all, if you have a bad miniature, you're hardly going to bother getting it replaced (if it was cheap), but a bad full bottle, you most certainly would - and that will cost the distillery time and money.

Having said that, I think miniatures are a great way to try whisky with little risk. I would not buy a "premium" whisky miniature thinking that it will be an adequate reflection on a full bottle - for that, I would want to try a dram from a full bottle.

11 years ago 0

@Mantisking
Mantisking replied

I agree with systemdown. It's a great way to try a whisky without having to shell out the price of a full bottle.

11 years ago 0

@valuewhisky
valuewhisky replied

I think miniatures are great. I think that they are bottled with the same whisky that goes into full sized bottles. I, for one, generally do judge a whisky by the first taste, and I find that my opinion seldom changes very much through the rest of the bottle, even if the whisky evolves a bit.

11 years ago 0

@YakLord
YakLord replied

@valuewhisky, @systemdown - I agree. Miniatures, or even 20cl bottles, are a good way to try a whisky with little risk. My problem is the availability of miniatures in my area: there are almost none, and even the selection of 20cl bottles is very limited. The 5cl mini of Bowmore 12 that I tried, I had to pick up in Calgary, but based on that experience, I bought a full bottle (which is now in storage, awaiting its place in my rotating shelf system).

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

Being able to obtain 50 ml bottles to sample is a great thing, and I wish that the number of brands and expressions available were 20 times what it currently is here. I have to say, though, that my experiences with minis being totally wretchedly bad off-kilter whisky is much higher than is my experience with the large bottles being off. My opinion of a couple of usually good brands was long poisoned by first samples from bad minis. Those experiences have made me very wary of what will be in a mini. At this point I would never judge any brand by what I have had out of a mini without corroboration from samples from a standard size bottle.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

Thanks for picking this up and starting a thread @Wodha. My experience is a bit like Victor's. It seems to be hit and miss. I had a range of Glenfarclas minis that were all very good, a Glengoyne 17 that wa very good, a Glengoyne 21 that was quite disappointing and the HP 30 that I probably poured straight out of the bottle and drank it (drunk it?) right away. As Victor advised on the other thread, it needs some breathing and oxidizing time, so I will try that one again. The cask strength Laphroaig 10 yr. old was excellent. Minis are certainly the best way to try an expensive whisky before popping for the big bottle and probably cheaper than buying drams in a bar. I picked all of these ones up at the distilleries last year when we were in Scotland.

11 years ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael replied

Mini's are a wonderful way of trying something new without having to pay alot for a 750ml bottle...Via a mini - I cam to learn that I love the Highland Park 12 yr, really enjoy the Lagavulin 16 yr, enjoy the Caol Ila 12 yr, and not enjoy the Talisker 10 yr.

11 years ago 0

@Wodha
Wodha replied

Me thinks I'll try every Canadian mini I see. I lack Canadian experience. The few I tried I didn't like except the Wiser's De Luxe Whisky. I bought a 750ml of Forty Creek Barrel Select and regretted the purchase. And I'm not THAT picky when it comes to whisk(e)y. I ended up using it in cooking. I still hold hope for finding a few Canadians I like. Minis will be the key.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Abunadhman
Abunadhman replied

@Victor: I agree with your sentiments and have also found that minis can be very hit and miss. I have found that the 2oz. minature hardly ever opens well and have long since poured them into my largest glass, which is a medium wine glass, covered it and set it aside for any thing up to 1/2 day.

Minatures, to me, seem more 'locked up' than standard size bottles and allowing them to 'breathe' certainly improves the Whisky, especially if you thoroughly coat the inside of the glass.

Slainte!

11 years ago 0

@tjb
tjb replied

I haven't tried many miniatures so far but have decided to start to add them in with my regular purchases. It seems a good way to try different types especially higher ed bottles without breaking the bank. Until reading this thread I hadn't considered "bad" bottles but will bear it in mind. Thanks to everyone for the input as always, I knew I could rely on Connosr for an opinion.

11 years ago 0

indynoir replied

@Victor: That's interesting Victor b/c the only scotch I've ever really disliked was a Glenlivet 18 from a miniature. I had read many solid reviews and was very surprised the scotch lacked any real smoothness. It was astringent and somewhat bitter. I could still finish the dram but I had no desire to purchase a bottle.

11 years ago 0

@muckrum
muckrum replied

I said this in another thread but I'd rather have more 20 cl bottles that 5 cl. Just because a 5 cl goes in one glass and then that's that. No chance of confirming os dispelling first impressions. Also no chance os sharing a proper meaningful tasting with others. Currently there are almost certainly less than a dozen bottlings in 20 cl size. The industry should take notice.

11 years ago 0

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