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Puff Daddy
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Puff Daddy

Age : 55
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PostSubject: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Mar 31, 2012 8:47 pm

Laphroaig or Ardbeg? What say ye?

For me (sampling the ten year old versions, can't be shelling out for the Cask Strength or collectors bottlings) I'm torn between the two and it depends on which day you ask me. Laphroaig is huge. Mineral, medicinal, immensely aromatic when given a tiny splash of ice cold water (like maybe a teasoon), peat bomb unmatched by any other (although Ardbeg is damned close). When I want to be bowled over with an olfactory experience I grab Laphroaig. Ardbeg is a little less in your face but still menacing enough. Less mineral and medicinal, a little more refined but still big and peaty, more edge on the initial taste (almost peppery) but less aromatic than Laphroaig (hell, what else is that aromatic?). The finish seems longer with Ardbeg, but more unique with Laphroaig. Ardbeg is much more clear and clouds when you add cold water because of the filtration method, seems more craft-style, less design-manufactured. No caramel added, no concern over clarity, just hard core whiskey.

So far these are the only two Islay powerhouses I've sampled. There are others I'm interested in, but they're damned expensive (Lagavulin, Caol Ila).

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pipesmoker09



Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Mar 31, 2012 9:17 pm

Want to talk Islay huh?? I can sit down and talk hours about Islay single malts....... My introduction to Islay single malts was a good family friend steve who owns a bar here in fort wayne Indiana the same bar that served its first legal beer the day probition ended awesome bar.. any ways it was caol Ila 18 year old it was absolutely breath taking!! Then moved on from there ..... I love laphroaig and actually purchased a case when it went on sale at my local liquor store....

As far as moving on to others at a good price may i suggest
Bowmore... this is my 1st reccomendation this is perfect IMHO... just the right amount of smokey peat characteristics with that touch of iodine undertones....

Bruichladdich about the same price range as laphroaig but sometime you can find it cheaper... again another classic Islay scotch that great for the price!!

Ive been drinking Islay scotches for 5 years now and havnt found one I havnt liked, but please do keep an open mind when tasting them as well as keep in mind that these are superbly crafted and unfortunately we cant pick up for $25-30 a bottle, though i wish!!

If you however, feel the need to indulge on yourself I HIGHLY reccomend Port Charlotte, this Islay single malt is no longer produced and collectors gobble up these bottles!!! thought sometimes you might find a deal on one and when i say deal for me dropping $160-210 a bottle to me this is a deal... ive seen port charlotte bottles certain makes and vintages go as high as $5k

hope this might help you some in voyaging in you Islay selections
cheers
Mike
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Mar 31, 2012 9:37 pm

Mike, are you speaking of standard 10 or 12 year old releases of Bowmore and Bruichladdich, or is it older stuff or special bottlings? I can find Laphroaig 10 year at Trader Joes for a tick over $30, cheaper than the one chain liquor store in town that actually stocks good scotch. But, that's about it for Trader Joes, they don't stock much. The Chain store (Bevmo) has a lot, but a lot of it is pretty steep. Not much in the $30 range, most of the interesting stuff runs $65-$100, so I'm not likely to be buyin it.

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Mar 31, 2012 9:42 pm

Oh, and at the last pipe club a gentleman was very kind to bring a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask and offer a glass. It was quite impressive, but sadly was near $70 Crying or Very sad

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Last edited by Puff Daddy on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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pipesmoker09



Registration date : 2011-10-23

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Mar 31, 2012 9:43 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
Mike, are you speaking of standard 10 or 12 year old releases of Bowmore and Bruichladdich, or is it older stuff or special bottlings? I can find Laphroaig 10 year at Trader Joes for a tick over $30, cheaper than the one chain liquor store in town that actually stocks good scotch. But, that's about it for Trader Joes, they don't stock much. The Chain store (Bevmo) has a lot, but a lot of it is pretty steep. Not much in the $30 range, most of the interesting stuff runs $65-$100, so I'm not likely to be buyin it.

Yes i am referring to the standard 10/12 year old bottlings there are even a couple of smaller distillery names that have 8 year old offerings for under $40 a bottle Ill have to go back and find the names... Much of the scotch I buy are 12/18 year old single malts I have indulged in some 25 30 year old malts that are quite amazing and mind blowing but also tasted 25 year old malts that really didnt outshine anything 13 years younger...
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Mar 31, 2012 9:46 pm

Hmm, I may have to go make a search Wink

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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySun Apr 01, 2012 12:13 am

Between Laphroaig and Ardbeg, it's almost a toss up for me. They both taste great, but Ardbeg is more complex.
However, the fact that the 10 yr old Laphroaig is about $20 less than the 10 yr old Ardbeg is hard to ignore.
Ardbeg's packaging is also a bit more "deluxe".
Disclaimer: I'm enjoying some Laphroaig as I type...

Hey PD, next time you're down south, you have a standing invite to come over and have some Lagavulin or Caol Ila in Pasadena.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySun Apr 01, 2012 7:40 am

I'd love to take you up on that some Day Harlock! Very Happy

You know it's funny about southern California (or funny about me, most likely). We came up north to get away from the mass that is LA, but it didn't take long before you could hardly tell the difference between here and there,except that the weather is nicer there. The wife and I are actually considering moving back there in a few years when I retire. San Diego if we can.

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Doc Manhattan

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySun Apr 01, 2012 12:24 pm

Some great news via Facebook from Islay on April 1!

Islay King? 6889379224_617ba5db3b

(I do love a Scotch with a sense of humour...)
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySun Apr 01, 2012 12:48 pm

Only on April Fools Day would a Scot joke about his whisky.

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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyMon Apr 02, 2012 10:29 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
I'd love to take you up on that some Day Harlock! Very Happy

You know it's funny about southern California (or funny about me, most likely). We came up north to get away from the mass that is LA, but it didn't take long before you could hardly tell the difference between here and there,except that the weather is nicer there. The wife and I are actually considering moving back there in a few years when I retire. San Diego if we can.

Anytime!
There's a place down the street that stocks some really good stuff, even the bottles that only G.L Pease can afford... Cool
I can understand wanting to get out of LA! It's a rare day when I haven't felt like that myself.
San Diego is great, and I also like the Ventura/Camarillo area as well.
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Hater

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyMon Apr 02, 2012 12:37 pm

Doc Manhattan wrote:
Some great news via Facebook from Islay on April 1!

Islay King? 6889379224_617ba5db3b

(I do love a Scotch with a sense of humour...)


HAHAH!! I love it. I almost had a heart attack as I looked at the pic before I read that it was an April fools Day joke. I, personally, love LaPhaoig. It is my favorite drink. I have 6 bottles right now including a couple 10s a 15 a couple Quater casks and a 25.

As a whiskey related note though I would like to add that the other night I tried RedBreast ( an irish) for the first time. what a great daily drinker in and of itself. (yeah yeah I know it aint Islay, closer to a much more complex Dewers as it were but still. Just a note)
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 3:04 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
So far these are the only two Islay powerhouses I've sampled. There are others I'm interested in, but they're damned expensive (Lagavulin, Caol Ila).

Well, I couldn't resist putting these to a test, and my analysis?
Caol Ila is a fine drink, but not quite in the same class as Lagavulin.
In short, the Lagavulin is drier, smoother and more refined. The Ila, oilier or more buttery, and peatier.
I certainly would not refuse a glass of either. And of course the Lagavulin is a 16 yr old, as opposed to the 12 year old Caol Ila...
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 9:11 am

So comparing Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg, how would you rank them?

Another that I'd ike to try is Bruichladdich's Laddie 10, sounds like a very interesting whisky, and story as well.

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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 9:53 am

Islay King? Cutty-sark


Sorry Brothers, couldn't help it... Twisted Evil
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 10:54 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
So comparing Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg, how would you rank them?

Another that I'd ike to try is Bruichladdich's Laddie 10, sounds like a very interesting whisky, and story as well.

Well, I'm a little hung over(!), but I think I would want my cabinet stocked in this order:
1.) Lagavulin 16
2.) Laphraoig 10
3.) Ardbeg 10
4.) Caol Ila 12

There's just something special about the Lagavulin, and it's the least like the others. Laphraoig gets the nod over the equally enjoyable Ardbeg because of the price. Both of those do the peat thing very nicely. Caol Ila is a close 4th... drunken
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 11:28 am

Interesting Harlock. I saw the Lag 16 when I grabbed my bottle of Ardbeg but it was really pricey, about $70. Might keep a lookout for the 12 but not so sure it'll be any cheaper. I'll most likely have to tuck that idea way until later this summer.


Rob, you're a sick bastard! Laughing

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 11:34 am

Found this interesting flavour profile map

http://www.lfw.co.uk/diageo/flavourmap.html

According to this the Lagavulin might be better to you and different from the other two Islay Peat Muthas because it's richer rather than lighter, although I'd personally have a tough time calling Laphroaig and Ardbeg light drunken

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 11:55 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
Rob, you're a sick bastard! Laughing

Why Thank You, PD. I resemble that remark! Islay King? 710492
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyTue Apr 03, 2012 1:38 pm

You know I saw that flavor map a while back, and based on Clynelish being the closest to the center, I was curious and decided to try it, and I didn't like it. Very bitter, and not much else to recommend it.
I think I would put Caol Ila a little closer to the rich spectrum based on it's comparison it to Lagavulin.
Talisker 10 is one I REALLY liked, and I would say it needs to be placed much closer to the rich fruity side.

As a side note, I always add a small ice cube, so that may be coloring my experience with these malts...
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Ossian

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyFri Apr 06, 2012 10:59 am

As for which whisky's the king of Islay, I cannot say. But last year my class went on a fieldtrip to Islay (I'm studying geology) where we visited the Laphroaig destillery on the last day! The people who worked there were so friendly, witty and overall extremely nice to us that that has to count for something! The tour ended with free drams of Quarter Cask for everyone!
A funny thing was that our guide also played the accordion at the pub in Port Charlotte, which seriously was THE best pub I've ever visited!

If you have the chance, take a trip to Islay! Very Happy
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptyFri Apr 06, 2012 1:22 pm

Ossian wrote:
As for which whisky's the king of Islay, I cannot say. But last year my class went on a fieldtrip to Islay (I'm studying geology) where we visited the Laphroaig destillery on the last day! The people who worked there were so friendly, witty and overall extremely nice to us that that has to count for something! The tour ended with free drams of Quarter Cask for everyone!
A funny thing was that our guide also played the accordion at the pub in Port Charlotte, which seriously was THE best pub I've ever visited!

If you have the chance, take a trip to Islay! Very Happy

That sounds like a wonderful trip!
Now I'm dreaming...
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Apr 21, 2012 2:13 am

Had a glass of Caol Isla, and then a glass of Laphroaig. The Isla is drier and a bit more antiseptic, and the Laphroaig is much richer.
Either way, I'm happy! drunken
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Apr 21, 2012 9:55 am

Hung, over... Embarassed
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Islay King?   Islay King? EmptySat Apr 21, 2012 10:09 am

I got to try the Lagavulin 16 at pipe club thursday night, a gentleman there brought a bottle and was kind and generous enough to offer a dram. I enjoyed it thoroughly, enough to know that I definitely need to get a bottle and spend some time with it, but the one drink in a smoky room while goofing off with friends didn't leave me feeling I had a handle on it well enough to comment. It's now on my short list.

I have been trying to source a bottle of Bruichladdich The Laddie 10 and am coming up empty. Seems it's out of stock everywhere, but I have a customer service rep at Total Wine trying to order me a bottle through his distributor. This and the Bunnahabhain 12 both interest me a lot as they are Islay whiskies but are either unpeated or extremely lightly peated. They seem rather mandatory in order to assess Islay single malts as a genre, rather than just the peat monster distilleries.

My own recent enjoyment of the bottles of Laphroaig 10 and Ardbeg 10 has Ardbeg leading the race by a good bit. Much more depth, more going on. By summers end I hope to have tried the Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and the two previously mentioned unpeated Islays. The summer of Islay, if you will Smile

As a side note, I have to mention the merits of Springbank 10. It's not an Islay whisky but is in the same general region (southwest seaside of scotland, not in the mainland). This Campbeltown indie makes a damned impressive unchill filtered 46% 100% in house made product that shares a lot of taste similarities with the likes of Laphroaig and Ardbeg. To my it's like what Ardbeg would be if you turned the smoke down a couple of notches. Highly recommended Exclamation




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