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I know this is not wine, but I need to purchase a 15 year old single malt and I need some recommendations, good & bad and why...thanks !


"You throw a rock, I'm going to throw a concrete block back"
 
Posts: 827 | Registered: Oct 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Peer Gynt knows an awful lot about good scotch...


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Posts: 3010 | Location: San Luis Obispo, CA | Registered: Mar 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been a single malt fan for over 10 yrs Inky, got into it when I started smoking cigars. My favorite 16 yr old single malt for the money is Lagavulin. Enjoyed straight up or with a little water to bring out the flavors. My overall favorite is a 30yr old Macallan, out of this world!


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Say NO to Shiraz!
 
Posts: 2756 | Registered: Nov 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We'll be spending a week in Scoyland next summer, most of it in the Highlands. I'm not a big fan of Scotch, but I expect to visit one or two distilleries. What's another favorite besides Macallan? I beleieve we'll be passing through Oban? Opinions?


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36827 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Board-O, Oban is pretty good, not my favorite however, but I would definately visit while you are there. I am jealous you are going to Macallan, hope you get to try the 30 yr old if you havent already. I drink Dalmore 21 y/o mostly just because its a little easier on the wallet than Macallan. I would go there also if you have the time.


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Say NO to Shiraz!
 
Posts: 2756 | Registered: Nov 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the Balvenie double wood 15 year old scotch. A richer style yet smokey too. Razz
 
Posts: 9442 | Location: minneapolis minnesota usa | Registered: Dec 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My favorite everyday scotch is the Ardbeg 10-year old. It is very very peaty.

Lagavulin is really nice, too, but a completely different style.


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Posts: 3110 | Location: ATL, GA | Registered: Jan 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree with Lagavulin wholeheartedly, but the price has shot up bigtime in recent years. And, make sure the recipient is a real scotch lover. Lagavulin is serious, peaty stuff. Not for the beginner. If they like it on the lightside, I'd go with Oban or Dalmore, or heck, nothing wrong with Johnny Walker Gold (or Blue if you can swing it).


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Posts: 8882 | Location: The Circle City | Registered: Nov 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 in the house for guests and I just poured myself a bit in a snifter and have taken a couple of sips. It feels hot going down. I don't know that I can ever develop a taste for this stuff. You don't put ice in this, do you?


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36827 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool Could never acquire a taste for it.
 
Posts: 834 | Location: Southern California | Registered: Apr 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by inky:
I know this is not wine, but I need to purchase a 15 year old single malt and I need some recommendations, good & bad and why...thanks !

What's your budget and do you have a preference as to style - Highland, Lowland, Islay... Sherry cask or not, peaty or not.

I'm guessing 15 year old is because it's an anniversary?


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Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A few suggestions:

My #1 recommendation for a 15YO whisky would be Springbank. It's not cheap, mind - it'll set you back around $100. But it's certainly one of the very best malts available. Will suit anyone.

There's a 15YO Macallan "Fine Oak" - runs around $70. I'm a huge fan of Macallan but I haven't tried the Fine Oak series yet. It's a departure from their usual style as it's not 100% sherry casked.

The standard Laphroaig is a 15YO. Runs about $70 or less. But bear in mind that this is NOT a whisky for beginners. The Islay malts are strongly peaty with a medicinal, iodine character. Some people adore them; others can't be in the same room.

Highland Park makes a good 15YO that runs around $55. It's got a spicy flavour to it.

Some of the Lowland malts are available in 15YO bottlings. These are a much lighter style than the others. My wife loves Rosebank.


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Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong BBP:
quote:
Originally posted by inky:
I know this is not wine, but I need to purchase a 15 year old single malt and I need some recommendations, good & bad and why...thanks !

What's your budget and do you have a preference as to style - Highland, Lowland, Islay... Sherry cask or not, peaty or not.

I'm guessing 15 year old is because it's an anniversary?


I would like to keep it under $100, in the "mid price range". As far as style, I am not looking for a Lowland. Sherry cask preferred for the flavor, but...(this is a gift for a single malt drinker)

I checked your recommendations compared to what is available in my local stores, they have the Highland but only the 12 year old. The Springbank is only a 10 year old, and I cant find a Laphroaig.

What difference would there be in the 12 versus 15 year old ? Are there any "high quality" 12 year olds that you would put in the class of a good 15 year old ?


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Posts: 827 | Registered: Oct 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lagavulin, Talisker and Bowman's are some of my favorites and the former two are not for light-weights or novices.

Cragganmore is a good choice because it combines the peaty smokiness of a Lagavulin with a more fruity buttery softness of a less aged malt.

Glenfiddich is the way to go for a complete beginner.


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Posts: 6597 | Location: Montreal | Registered: Feb 21, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Springbank is available here: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=620014

And wine-searcher also covers scotch; you might find something there.

You didn't explain why you wanted a 15YO; if the age isn't an issue but price is then consider an 18YO such as Macallan - that's sherry casked - or Glenmorangie or Talisker. All are excellent and available for well under $100.

Basically the older the scotch the more concentrated the flavours become.


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Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong BBP:
Springbank is available here: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=620014

And wine-searcher also covers scotch; you might find something there.

You didn't explain why you wanted a 15YO; if the age isn't an issue but price is then consider an 18YO such as Macallan - that's sherry casked - or Glenmorangie or Talisker. All are excellent and available for well under $100.

Basically the older the scotch the more concentrated the flavours become.


Unfortunately I need it by Friday. I initially stated 15 year old because that is what they drink. So basically as far as that goes, are all 12 year olds "lesser" than a 15 year old and 18 year olds "greater" than 15 year olds ? Their "everyday" is Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak, so I wanted to get something a notch above, whether it is a top 12 year old or a 15 year old.


"You throw a rock, I'm going to throw a concrete block back"
 
Posts: 827 | Registered: Oct 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lagavulin...Lagavulin...and, um....LAGAVULIN!!! This stuff is the best scotch money can buy for under $100 (if you're lucky, you'll be able to track it down for $60, but expect to pay $70-$85). Incredibly peaty, but oh-so-smooth at the same time ...it's a 16 year Scotch, but don't let that trip you -- it just means it's one year better than if it were a 15 yr scotch. Do not, i repeat, do NOT consider buying any Johnnie Walker (or any other blended whiskey) for your single-malt friend -- at best they will think to themselves, "well, at least 'inky' tried, but 'inky' just doesn't get it." At worst, your friend will put-on a forced smile while wondering to themselves, "what the hell am I going to do with this piece of s--- blended whiskey!?!" Lagavulin is the way to go...it's not that hard to find, but you'll have to look harder than if you were buying Glenlivet or Glenfiddich (don't buy either one of those!).

Unless your friend dislikes the peaty single-malts, the Lagavulin will blow his/her socks off!
 
Posts: 1864 | Location: L.A. | Registered: Dec 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Where are you?


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Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong BBP:
Where are you?


South Florida


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Posts: 827 | Registered: Oct 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Inky, I would go with the Lagavulin if I was you, it is under a 100$, outstanding single malt and if the person you are buying it for is a single malt fan he will have a big Big Grin on his face when he/she opens it.
Board-O, a small ice cube would be fine, its similar to putting a little water in the glass to bring out the flavor of the malt. But, personally drinking a expensive single malt on the rocks is a waste. ( I look at it the same way as putting ice in wine) Drink Johnny Black and put that on the rocks if you like. Have fun on your trip!!


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Say NO to Shiraz!
 
Posts: 2756 | Registered: Nov 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The few times I've had Scotch, I haven't added anything to it.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36827 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mpls wine guy:
I like the Balvenie double wood 15 year old scotch. A richer style yet smokey too. Razz


Second that. I love Macallan and if you get to their cask or longer aged bottles, they're better. But for $35, the Balvenie Double Wood is really tasty.


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Posts: 425 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: Apr 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Never, ever put ice in single malt scotch. A drop or two of water is perfectly acceptable, particularly when drinking cask-strength scotch, but don't drown it.

The main reason not to buy Lagavulin is that if s/he likes Islay malts - and not all malt lovers do - then s/he almost certainly has a bottle already. At one point I had three of them at the same time.

Board-O: If you're visiting a distillery it doesn't really matter which one all that much, the principle is exactly the same. Glenkinchie is close to Edinburgh, and Edradour is nice too. Just remember that the rule about not buying at a winery if you can get it at retail goes double for scotch - with £5.48 and 17.5% sales tax the chances are it'll be way cheaper in the US or the airport duty free shop.

You'll probably have more fun sampling in a pub among the locals. Just remember, in case of emergency:

DON'T SAY: We saved your ass in WWII.
DO SAY: I'm Canadian.


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Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What kind does he like and where do you live?

The best deal on the market as far as official bottlings (as opposed to independent), if you can find it, is Port Charlotte PC5 (Bruichladdich). It's only five years old and heavily peated, but it's unbelievable. Even my mom liked it. I am seeing more and more of these pop up and I know that Hi Time had three last time I was there. Don't let the age fool you. It's flawless and seamless and I can't imagine how good it's going to be when they do the standard release five years from now. This one needs to be watered down (over 63% ABV).

If he's somewhat new or if he's not a regular scotch drinker, try the single cask Linkwood that The Whisky Shop (SF) bottled. Hardcore Scotch drinkers would call it weak (43% ABV), but when you're palate is in normal working order, it's really nice. Good "sense of place" for a Scotch and nice green apple notes.

If he's into Islays, the new Lagavulin Distiller's Edition (1991) is amazing. It was finished in PX sherry casks, but it's not sweet at all. I'm not sure how they achieved that.

Another good crowd pleaser that may be just over your budget is the Highland Park Bicentennary bottling. I haven't had it, but everyone I know likes it and Highland Park is probably the most reliable distillery when it comes to special releases and getting bang for your buck. I'm pretty sure it's 21 years old or thereabout. They have it at The Whisky Shop and a handful of other places.

I usually stick to independent single cask bottlings nowadays, but those will run you around $200 each. Duncan Taylor and Douglas Laing are very reliable bottlers.
 
Posts: 577 | Location: Wildomar | Registered: Dec 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Also, you can't go wrong with Macallan 18yo. I've seen it for around $120 in some smaller places, but the average price is around $150 nowadays. Try to get the older vintages if you can. I had a 1978 vintage 18 year old that was incredible, but the ones from the late eighties are good too. Wine and Liquor Depot in Van Nuys has the largest selection of Scoth in the U.S.
 
Posts: 577 | Location: Wildomar | Registered: Dec 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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