A Whisky thread

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  • Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Several of us have started reminiscing about our favourite whiskies on another thread, and rather than completely hijack that serious discussion I have started a new thread here. Please join in with your reminiscences of world of barley and peat.

    I shall start with one from the Isle of Islay, known to all whisky lovers as the home of peaty whiskies. They were the first whiskies I ever tried, and remain my favourites – as they were my father’s. This stems from a chance visit in 1970 to the distillery at Bruichladdich, then of course just a working factory with nothing resembling a visitor centre or tour. Undaunted, my father and I poked our nose round the corner, and asked if we could look round. The manager looked surprised that we would want to but said yes, and after we had been there for about 30 minutes he asked if we would like to try one. It was the first single malt either of us had ever had, and immediately and forever more it was my father’s favourite.

    Well, almost for evermore, because some 15 years later the distillery changed hands, the new owners changed the branding and then also the style. Still very nice, but not the same as a real 1970s Laddie.

    Fast forward to 2014 and my father was clearly nearing his end. And I decided to give him one last bottle of old style Bruichladdich (that is, pre ownership change). I scoured the internet, and eventually found one (see picture – note the “70 degrees proof” and the size in fluid ounces). I gave it to him, we tried it, it was every bit as good as we both remembered … and he died 4 days later.

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    capetonianm
    Participant

    This may appeal to those of you who, like myself, are lovers of fine single malts. About 10 years ago I was in Edinburgh and met a local pal in a bar called The Standing Order, a great name for a pub (I thought ‘The Colour Bar’ would be a good name for a pub but was told that might be pushing things a bit in terms of PCness.) Sadly it’s now a Wetherspoons,

    We met after work and he asked me if I’d like a whisky.
    “No thanks,” I said : “it’s really not something I enjoy.”
    “That’ll be because you’ve never had a decent whisky” he said, in his gentle Scottish accent, ordering me an Ardbeg 17 year old.

    I was hooked, and have since possibly spent the equivalent of the GNP of a small country, on fine whisky. I have a soft spot for the lovely peaty iodine tang of the Islays. I saw a bottle of 17 y/o Ardbeg on sale a few years ago in Princes Street for £120, bought one bottle but hesitated at buying more. About 2 years later I saw the price was around the £500 mark, and kicked myself. Hard.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    I have a soft spot for the lovely peaty iodine tang of the Islays

    Then you must certainly fly over to join Canucklad and me when we are able to gather! Islay whiskies my favourite too …

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I look forward to that very much. A trip to Islay is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, but last time I had two days for it, all the accommodation was booked out, so the nearest I’ve been was standing at the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim, looking wistfully towards Islay, where I tried to imagine I could see Bruichladdich and Lagavulin.

    Ireland (both parts) produce some excellent whiskies.


    esselle
    Participant

    I think it was in the film Local Hero where on of the (American?) visitors walked into the pub and said “have you got any of that 42 year old malt left?”. when the reply came “no”, he said “then give me three 10 year olds and a 12 year old”. I think!!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    Several of us have started reminiscing about our favourite whiskies on another thread, and rather than completely hijack that serious discussion I have started a new thread here. Please join in with your reminiscences of world of barley and peat.

    I shall start with one from the Isle of Islay, known to all whisky lovers as the home of peaty whiskies. They were the first whiskies I ever tried, and remain my favourites – as they were my father’s. This stems from a chance visit in 1970 to the distillery at Bruichladdich, then of course just a working factory with nothing resembling a visitor centre or tour. Undaunted, my father and I poked our nose round the corner, and asked if we could look round. The manager looked surprised that we would want to but said yes, and after we had been there for about 30 minutes he asked if we would like to try one. It was the first single malt either of us had ever had, and immediately and forever more it was my father’s favourite.

    Well, almost for evermore, because some 15 years later the distillery changed hands, the new owners changed the branding and then also the style. Still very nice, but not the same as a real 1970s Laddie.

    Fast forward to 2014 and my father was clearly nearing his end. And I decided to give him one last bottle of old style Bruichladdich (that is, pre ownership change). I scoured the internet, and eventually found one (see picture – note the “70 degrees proof” and the size in fluid ounces). I gave it to him, we tried it, it was every bit as good as we both remembered … and he died 4 days later.

    Cedric, I too love the peaty taste and aroma from the Islay region of Scotland and my favorite is Laphroaig (think thats how you spell it) there are some stunning single malts from that region and capetonianm also mentions Ardbeg 17 which is also a special whisky. I like Laphroaig 18 as well as some of their casked bottles

    Moving from Scotland to Ireland there are two special whiskies I can recommend, Jamesons 18 is a tremendous single malt as is Middletons (which is the specialist range from Jamesons) which I again highly recommend. They make up some of the 6 bottles of special ( to me) Single Malts I have in my collection

    I hope one day when the world is back to normal we can all meet at a Whisky Bar somewhere in the world and share our passion for Single Malts now that would be a night to remember and I am sure Martyn would join us 🙂


    TominScotland
    Participant

    A lovely, whimsical thread so looking forward to reading more contributions, even though I am not a whisky (or whiskey) drinker.

    K1ngston, being pedantic (but accurate), Islay is not a region by any stretch of the imagination. It is an island, and a relatively small one at that!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    A lovely, whimsical thread so looking forward to reading more contributions, even though I am not a whisky (or whiskey) drinker.

    K1ngston, being pedantic (but accurate), Islay is not a region by any stretch of the imagination. It is an island, and a relatively small one at that!!

    My apologies Tom youre right 🙂


    cwoodward
    Participant

    At the risk of being gently shown the door by the assembled lovers of Scottish single malt whiskeys I gently make the point that Japanese single malts have for the past several years been picking up many the top Single Malt awards.

    Back in about 1980 we opened a Tokyo office and our partner there was a something of a whisky aficionado and the Japanese variety was understandably his favorite tipple. He knew a great deal about the stuff and was able to take me on a tour of a Suntory distillery.

    From that day I developed a taste and preference for Japanese single malts although when given the opportunity I still greatly enjoy the original.
    It has been interesting tasting over the ensuing years the many new labels that have been introduced. Suntory is still the leader of the pack and its Japan’s 25 year-old Hakushu was once again the top tipple in the 2020 awards. The Hakushu is very expensive and way beyond my budget but the Habiki 17 year old is just about affordable and for a real treat the 21 year old is an incredibly good drop – if you can find it.

    Hong Kong offers over a hundred Japanese single malts and blends but I also took a quick look at what is available and affordable in the UK

    The Akashi Single Malt Whisky at about P60.00 + is a good approachable entry level whisky which should give the drinker a good introduction
    Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old is very good at the price and has been popular in the UK market for the past 15 years or so.Its possible to pick it up at around P90.00
    I am told
    Toki is a blended whisky from Suntory’s three distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita and interesting at about P35.00 and also I pleasent drop.

    Kanpai !

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    At the risk of being gently shown the door by the assembled lovers of Scottish single malt whiskeys I gently make the point that Japanese single malts have for the past several years been picking up many the top Single Malt awards.

    Back in about 1980 we opened a Tokyo office and our partner there was a something of a whisky aficionado and the Japanese variety was understandably his favorite tipple. He knew a great deal about the stuff and was able to take me on a tour of a Suntory distillery.

    From that day I developed a taste and preference for Japanese single malts although when given the opportunity I still greatly enjoy the original.
    It has been interesting tasting over the ensuing years the many new labels that have been introduced. Suntory is still the leader of the pack and its Japan’s 25 year-old Hakushu was once again the top tipple in the 2020 awards. The Hakushu is very expensive and way beyond my budget but the Habiki 17 year old is just about affordable and for a real treat the 21 year old is an incredibly good drop – if you can find it.

    Hong Kong offers over a hundred Japanese single malts and blends but I also took a quick look at what is available and affordable in the UK

    The Akashi Single Malt Whisky at about P60.00 + is a good approachable entry level whisky which should give the drinker a good introduction
    Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old is very good at the price and has been popular in the UK market for the past 15 years or so.Its possible to pick it up at around P90.00
    I am told
    Toki is a blended whisky from Suntory’s three distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita and interesting at about P35.00 and also I pleasent drop.

    Kanpai !

    I quite like the Habiki brand as well, very smooth cwoodward


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    I’m certainly a fan of Japanese whisky too. It has a distinct, very clean taste.

    They make good whisky in Tasmania as well. Hellyer’s Road is the main brand but there are other smaller ones worth trying. And I am told Mackmyra of Sweden has its fans.

    I have also tried whisky from France (Armorik is competent, most of the rest are not), New Zealand (thin and sharp) Italy (no, just don’t), Germany (basically schnapps) and Iceland (totally unlike any other whisky known to man).


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I bought a bottle of Icelandic whisky and one of gin on a recent trip there. Definitely different, smoked over sheep dung.

    It was quite expensive for something which I wasn’t really sure that I liked, other than for its novelty value, on the plus side nobody else liked it so at least I had it to myself.

    Would I got back to Iceland? Yes, like a shot. I love the country, we did the whole ring road one summer and just found the people a delight, and so organised, safe, and uniquely beautiful scenery.

    Would I buy the whisky and gin again? No.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Would I got back to Iceland? Yes, like a shot … Would I buy the whisky and gin again? No.

    Agree with both! I first went to Iceland nearly 45 years ago and have been back for both pleasure and business many times. I even once tried to learn the language, but that is, as they say, ekki auðvelt – not easy!


    DavidGrodentz
    Participant

    Maybe 20 years ago, we spent a lovely week in Invergarry (think the spelling is correct) where we did a number of trips out to various distilleries, including to Skye. But the favourite then, and remains to this date, was one that I think is the most southerly Scottish distillery. Glengoyne, still my favourite, and not a hint of peat. Even managed to get 8 bottles, from various places, home on Ryanair from Prestwick

    Strathisla is a close second but quite hard to get here. Most of it goes into the Chivas blend


    ontherunhome
    Participant

    What about Welsh Whisky, anyone tried that? Also I have tried New Zealand whisky once, and took a bottle over to relatives in Australia. Sheep dip was the reply. Spanish whisky, DYC I believe is also available, but not recommended.
    Saw a TV prgramme this week, “in the Factory” where thy were in the Baileys Irish Cream factory, very interesting about the way, and history of Irish and Scottish Whiskey/Whisky. Well worth watching on the Iplayer.
    All these programmes make you realise how sophisticated manufacturing is, even for simple products we take fro granted.

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