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Which bottle did you just buy and why?

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By @PeatyZealot @PeatyZealot on 24th Nov 2014, show post

Replies: page 266/268

@65glenfarclas

FOMO rears its ugly head ... again.

Couldn't pass up the latest addition to the LCBO clearance shelf: a) Craigllachie 17. marked down from $200 to $146 ... LESS than the 2015 price ($154). A well aged single malt at a now "reasonable" price.

b) Also took a flyer on a bottle of Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon, marked down from $284 to $206. Without the crazy packaging these things should sell for $75 less. The box is so extravagant I'm sure many people spend less for vessels holding their loved one's cremated remains. (the ex-sherry and vinho barrique have also been marked down).

Interestingly, this may be a sign that consumers are finally having second thoughts paying the 2023 pricing craziness - perhaps excluding THE Macallan (the Mount Rushmore of branding). We've now seen about a dozen single malts reduced ~25% by the LCBO, "discounts" not seen in Ontario for years.

4 months ago 7Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@RianC I've already tried it - @fiddich1980 opened his bottle for us, and he gave me a sample. That sample may delay me opening my own bottle but I hope not by too long...

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Nozinan - how was it? I heard it a very old skool sherry vibe. Did you find that?

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@RianC Fantastic. I'm not an expert on the "old school vibe" but it is clean sherry and rich and powerful flavour. I can't wait to compare it to the Macallan CS which is discontinued. I have a couple of bottles and when I open one I will definitely have to do a H2H.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Ardmore SMWS 66.223 (13 year - Nov. 2008) "Savoury combinations" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 59.7% ABV.

Why? Because every year for Christmas, my mother-in-law gives me a gift card from the Society. I was looking around the website and the tasting notes on this one resonated with me. Notes of sweet cereals and toasted pine nuts merged with cask char, seaweed and dried herbs while smoked duck and kippers joined maple syrup on bacon.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

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Astroke replied

Craigellachie 17, the province wide clearance price pushed me over the edge.

4 months ago 5Who liked this?

@Jonesz
Jonesz replied

Bit of a sale in Calgary at BSW (online sellers) so ordered a couple of extra Wild Turkey Rare Breed (my current go to favourite), an Elements of Islay bourbon cask, an Elements of Islay Edit, Makers 46 and a Glen Scotia double cask. The only repeats on the list for me are the WTRB. Reason being is I have been doing Dry January and saved so much money so far that I deserved a treat!!!

4 months ago 5Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Jonesz Nice haul. Which distilleries did you get from Elements of Islay. The first time I tasted one was in August of 2014. Lg 2. It was fantastic.

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Jonesz
Jonesz replied

@Nozinan I am a rookie when it comes to Elements of Islay but understand that the Bourbon cask is a blend of Laphroaig and Caol Ila? Everything I have read about it has been thumbs up. Will have to check out the Edit when it arrives. Strange name but reviews are good. The bourbon cask is 54.5% ABV and the Edit 46%. They have no colour added and are non-chill filtered. Hope they turn out to be as good as the one you tried several years ago.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Jonesz if it’s more than one distillery it should be called “Compounds of Islay…”

Sorry, the scientist in me

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

RikS replied

This may not be new, or interesting, and I couldn’t find a good thread for it…but thought I might share it in case someone finds it interesting :-)

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Last Sunday night, my wife, some of her family and I went to a local restaurant / whisky bar for a Burn's Night event which I posted about in the "So, what are you drinking now?" thread. At the event, you could order bottles of what was being poured as well as other, select Diageo offerings at (slightly) reduced prices with tax included. I purchased the Oban Distillers Edition, The Talisker Distillers Edition and the Lagavulin 11-year Offerman Charred Oak Cask bottle. Why? Because those were my 3 favorites of the night and most importantly, my wife let me. laughing

4 months ago 9Who liked this?

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@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Not a purchase, rather a birthday gift from my lovely wife yesterday.

The first item is gin, not whisky, but I think it is worth noting because the distillery makes amazing, unique gin and this is a new release from them. The original Indigo Empress 1908 gin is bright purple in color due to the butterfly pea blossom botanical they use. Their new gin is called Elderflower Rose. In addition to elderflower, they use rose petals and black carrot to obtain the red color.

The whisky I received is one that I have not tried before. Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 4 (64.3% ABV). I haven't had any of their Cask Strength releases yet, but I'm anxious to try this one because it has been matured predominantly in first-fill sherry seasoned European oak casks, along with first-fill sherry seasoned American oak casks, a small quantity of refill casks, ex-bourbon casks and ex-port casks.

3 months ago 6Who liked this?

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@Victor
Victor replied

@bwmccoy when you open and taste it, please comment on that Highland Park Cask Strength, Batch 4. That release was named in the current Winter 2023 issue of Whisky Advocate magazine as their #2 best (reasonably obtainable and moderately priced) Whisky of the Year, among 20 named and ranked.

And thank you for the details of the botanicals in the two Empress 1908 Gins. As you know I am a fan of their original Empress 1908 Gin.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor Purple is my favourite colour. I would buy any spirit that was purple...even gin.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

@Victor - I have that copy of Whiskey Advocate but didn't realize it was the #2 whisky when I purchased it. Thanks for letting me know. That makes me want to open it sooner rather than later. I will definitely pass along my thoughts when I do.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Dunville's VR PX finish 10.

Why? Really enjoyed a bottle about 6-7 years ago but it disappeared and auction prices were too high for a repurchase. Stumbled across this latest release couple of days ago and, after some buyers due diligence, took the plunge. It was also on offer £65, which helped. And I love the pretty label!

A sourced whiskey, with chatter suggesting it is still Cooley distillate, but I don't care one bit. Cooley is rare as hen's teeth in these parts and I really enjoy it - so £65 for a 10 Cooley with a PX finish. Not bad! Also a wee pre-birthday treat. I actually get a real one at the end of the month for a change ... smile

Last bottle was a tad spirity at first, but by the time I was on my last pour, I remember being very glum to see it empty! Fresh, floral, malt-grain led and fruity. The PX finish really worked. Fingers crossed ...

3 months ago 6Who liked this?

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RikS replied

Just stumbled across this one, in GQ, guaranteed to either entertain or annoy :-)

Difference between good and bad whisky: Here's how you can pick between the two

Whisky, in itself, can be an intimidating drink. How do you know you’re picking the right one? What’s the difference between good and bad whisky? Is it best to drink neat?

In short, when it comes to the amber liquid, there’s a lot to unpack. However, answering the question of the difference between good and bad whisky — it doesn't automatically translate to categorising expensive whiskies as ‘good’ and cheaper variants as ‘bad’.

In fact, cheap blended whiskies can actually be quite tasty and have the added advantage of going easy on your bank account. So in that case, what gives?

Mandy Naglich, a food journalist, advanced cicerone and author of How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering and Savoring Life, says the answer lies in the smell and taste of the whisky. For instance, in the case of good whisky, its taste and odour should be complex. “You should notice certain top notes in the aroma like vanilla, caramel, or coconut… The flavour might start off nutty similar to toasted walnuts and then shift to reveal some baking spices or stewed fruit. That shift in flavour with many notes layered on top of each other is what you're looking for in a well-made spirit,” she tells Tasting Table.

Simply put, this means that good whisky will carry the traces of a number of flavours, with the taste changing with every sip. As most aficionados know well by now, the finish matters as much, if not more, than the first sample; something that Nahglich expands upon. “The complexity will continue into the finish and may shift again to reveal a slight drying tannic mouthfeel or a pleasant warming,” she adds.

On the other end of the bad spectrum lies bad whisky, which doesn’t usually sport an amalgamation of flavours. In fact, it is typically dominated by a singular flavour and unlike a good whisky, will have a more “burning” finish. “Whiskeys that aren't so good will be very one note (often vanilla or caramel) and they will also finish quick and hot”, she says.

This is another key denominator to understanding the difference between good and bad whisky. While good whisky tends to have a smooth and pleasantly warm finish, bad whisky will often leave you with a burning sensation in your throat. Additionally, good whisky will almost always have a balance of flavours, while bad whisky will feel harsh, astringent or overly grainy.”

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@RikS - I'd agree with most of that but the bit about bad whisky having a singular flavour (less complexity) doesn't always ring true. And the opposite can also be the case - complexity, if not in notes that work well together, could make a bit of a mess!

My last Ben Nevis 10 (example off the top of my head) was fairly one-dimensional and 'spirited', shall we say, but it was enjoyable because of that. And a single cask Caol Ila I recently had was very complex but the flavours didn't quite gel together. It got better with air, to be fair.

I'm nit picking, of course and, as general rules of thumb, they are a useful 'tick sheet', as it were.

Edit: thinking more about it, harshness - overt alcohol (vodka!) notes - is usually synonymous with bad whiski, but even here we have to be cautious. Many bourbons (and some other whiski), I find, have a clear acetone note: it's quite subtle but there seems to be what one might term 'good alcohol notes' , as in the acetone in JD, say, and 'bad alcohol notes', as in raw ethanol/vodka in a whiski. I think as soon as we nose/taste a whiski though, we immediately know the difference.

And yes, I'm aware ethanol and acetone are different things, before we have any smart pants chiming in wink

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

RikS replied

@RianC When I read it, I didn’t violently disagree with any of it….and at the same time, it reminded me of sitting in a bar and overhearing a slightly educated know-it-all lecture the less educated — and I was sort of smiling thinking how most of the connosrs on here would be able to take that “expert” apart in 5 minutes :-) Hence, I just had to share it!

3 months ago 5Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@RikS - for connosr, in this case, it should probably read 'whisky nerd with too much time on his hands' laughing

It's GQ though ... I can just see the latest 'trendy' trying to memorize it all to be subsequently used as an upmarket chat up line joy

"My pessimism and cynicism knows no bounds ..."

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

RikS replied

What did I just buy - Jack Daniel's BiB 100 proof.

Why? Well, I admit to having a prejudice against JD (though, their ads always make me smile) but having stumbled on this at Heathrow airport a while back and shopping it on a whim, and realising it was rather nice, I just bought another for my beloved brother.

I am no expert on the various offerings from across the pond, neither bourbon nor whisky, without an "e", but as far as "I'll pour a sip of that one and enjoy it", this one sits rather well with me (to my surprise)! And, the fact that it's 50% / 100 proof and able to drive the palate a bit more, is probably key to that.

3 months ago 7Who liked this?

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@Victor
Victor replied

@RikS JD is a poster boy for the variability of quality in whiski. My experiences with Jack Daniel's over quite a few years of time are quite diverse. It is a highly variable whiski, especially in its mass-market forms, such as Old No. 7. I've seen Old No. 7 poor, fair, good, and very good in quality. And the flavours, per se, were all over the place in those multiple iterations. It was years before I would drink the stuff because for years all the samples I had tried tasted rather terrible to me, though it blends extremely well with Coca-Cola, no matter how bad it is to sip. Because the bad experiences with Old No. 7 outweigh the good in my experience I have never in my life owned a bottle of Old No. 7, except for several minis which I have kept for reference and reminder. That said, I have occasionally tasted from a batch of Old No. 7 that I would have loved to have owned for myself.

Gentleman Jack seemed to me not actively bad, but totally insipid...a whiski without a spine, and with respect to my own taste no redeeming features. Never owned a bottle of that one either, not even a mini. If someone gifted me a bottle of Gentleman Jack my first thought would be to re-gift it, with the request of the new owner that I be allowed to take a 4 oz sample for reference.

Even the JD Single Barrel, so well-liked by many, usually left me a little to the negative side of indifferent.

Now since JD has put out more barrel-selected higher quality and higher proof products I have found some to like a lot, though even here I do not expect great consistency of quality. .

Caveat emptor, friend! Consistency is not a common feature of mass-produced whiskis.

If I MUST have consistency, I will buy a bottle of Laphroaig or a bottle of Amrut. NOTHING else do I trust for consistency.

3 months ago 6Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS

it reminded me of sitting in a bar and overhearing a slightly educated know-it-all lecture the less educated

I feel called out. satisfied

3 months ago 6Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@OdysseusUnbound that reminds me of an old line from The Three Stooges:

(Man addressing the three:) "You're morons!"

(One of the Stooges:) "Yes! ...but we're educated morons!"

3 months ago 5Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Victor Thank you -- that adds a lot of nuance and flavour (pun intended) to my thought process too. Typically, I'd have put JD along there with e.g. JW Red... something barely palatable with Coke (which, I don't drink anyway), so this was a fun surprise when I got my bottle.

However, I think I may chalk it up to "you got lucky, boy, don't tempt your luck and try repeat....)

3 months ago 5Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@RikS - I have a bottle of that open and quite like it. The single barrel, barrel proof is where the best JD is, but this is a decent sipper and works well in cocktails. I also quite like JD on ice sometimes - works well with the sweetness. At c£30, I'd consider getting another.

@Victor - totally agree on Old no. 7 being a lottery. I was once gritted a bottle that was excellent, loads of maple and buttery corn. Then I bought one to replace it and it was alcoholic, thin and far too oaky. Never bought one since. I've also never been a fan of it with Coke...

The SB BP I had a few years back was in a different league though - the only JD I've ever had that didn't obviously taste like JD, if you know what I mean?

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@RianC @Victor I have a bottle of JDSBBP somewhere in the back of the cabinet. I first tasted one from @talexander and loved it. He gave me a sample that I still have somewhere.

Years later (2019) a bunch of us had different batches and we used them to anchor a tasting (this is how I came to open the bottle which is now deep in my cabinet and has not been touched since Nov. of that year when I poured a sample for @OdysseusUnbound). But they were not as exciting as that first one.

3 months ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Another Dunville's 10 but this time a Palo Cortado Cask finish, which, I believe, is a kind of oloroso/amontillado hybrid. Why? More Cooley distillate, never tried a PC sherry cask, it has minimal but good reviews and it was £53 on Amazon instead of the rrp of €80, which is a very decent price for any Irish these days.

Must say that the finish definitely intrigued me and the reviews seemed to suggest it was unusual but highly drinkable. I'm sold slight_smile .

3 months ago 5Who liked this?

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@casualtorture

This is finally available in Tennessee, great stuff and only $23!

2 months ago 6Who liked this?

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