View Full Version : Whisk(e)y

15-01-2005, 08:25 PM
Since scott single handedly named every beer in the world in the other thread, how about considering another drink (since my beer intake is limited to the odd Tanglefoot at my local)?

For a few years now I've been drinking Malt whisky. Maybe it's seen as an old man's game, but personally I can't think of a drinking experience that comes close to it for that combination of aroma, flavour, and the ability to knock your head off.

My personal favorite is Lagavulin, in its standard 16 year old form (can't say I've tried any older variants than that, as they cost too much). I've also got a lot of time for Highland Park, Glengoyne and Macallan. My girlfriend swears by Balvenie though, so to each their own.

I don't drink much Bourbon, so anyone wanting to educate me on that, feel free.

15-01-2005, 09:30 PM
I am afraid it was a bottle of Lagavulin that led to my long time inability to drink single malts. I can manage a Bushmill's from time to time but that's about it :(

16-01-2005, 08:23 PM
Aah what possible circumstances could make a bottle of Lagavulin put you off malts?

17-01-2005, 02:45 PM
i've just bought a bottle of ardbeg 10yo, one of the islays that i haven't tried. islays are a bit like heavy metal, aren't they? real knock your head off stuff. though the best ones have a prog-rockish complexity to them. maybe like king crimson or something. yr lowland malts, dalwhinnie and that, are kinda cocteau twins-ish. more delicate and delightful, but after a while, a bit insubstantial. anyone have any musical equivalents for speyside malts? cragganmore's a rather lovely one.

are there any malt drinkers who also like bourbon? i've always found it dog-rough (rocket[-fuel] from the crypt?), but maybe i've not given it enough of a chance.

trivia bit: the first ever filmed advertisment was for dewar's blended whisky in 1900, apparently.

17-01-2005, 03:27 PM
I had a bottle of Cragganmore last christmas... as the barman at St. Cats once said to me 'son, that's too good for the optic'.

When I was at Heathrow in October, in their little Malt Whisky den they had a bottle of something, I can't for the life of me remember what distillery it was. But the 70cl bottle was one of a very limited edition, only 50 bottles or something, and was retailing for about 40k.

17-01-2005, 03:32 PM
There's a shop in Soho (maybe Wardour Street, round there anyway) that has a cabinet of really, really expensive bottles at the back. There's a complete set of whiskies from one distillery for each of the last 30 years or so; the cheapest is about 1,500, but they get more the further you go back. There's another bottle that IIRC was at least 50,000. Mad.

17-01-2005, 04:05 PM
I think the most expensive bottle I've ever had (I didn't buy it, it was a present) was a 21 year old Oban, but I think that couldn't have been more than 50-60 quid. I remember having a glass of 20 year old Glengoyne in southern spain one summer, which was ridiculously expensive, at about 15 a measure... but it was sensationally good.

17-01-2005, 05:28 PM
Aah what possible circumstances could make a bottle of Lagavulin put you off malts?
most of a bottle = worst hangover in the world = inadvertent physical reaction to the smell of malt whisky ever since

17-01-2005, 05:56 PM
i like single malts occasionally. dalwhinnie is one of my favourites, because it's quite honeyed and girly. then again, i also really like oban, too, which packs much more of a salty, ozoney, seaside wallop.
as much as i like single malts i do find the snobbishness that surrounds them pretty bloody daft, especially when yr talking about a bog-standard-aged one, not really expensive or anything, and people say "oh you have to drink it neat or with a splash of water; no ice for you sonny".
yr bigger-tasting islays, i wouldn't do this to anyway, coz they're better for winter drinking but ice happens to be very good in a big macalllan on a hot summer evening.
i don't like bourbon much but i do love canadian blended whiskies like crown royal for good, general-purpose slugging and drinking on the rocks.

17-01-2005, 09:09 PM
I prefer drinking whisky neat, but I dislike the snobbishness too. I've looked at a couple of little books on the subject, just to see how many different types there are out there, and always loathe the patronisingly avuncular tone. About Islays for example, the last book I read (can't remember the title) suggested that people new to Malt really 'shouldn't be allowed' to drink Islays until they'd spent a few years drinking 'less demanding' whiskies. For fuck's sake.

18-01-2005, 10:01 AM
i also really like oban, too, which packs much more of a salty, ozoney, seaside wallop.

You ever tried Laphroaig, Dave? That's lovely, reminds me of seaweed and rockpools.

18-01-2005, 03:01 PM
I love the Laphroaig label too.

18-01-2005, 04:53 PM
kudos to Philip here,

as i said on that beer thread my favourite single malts are indeed Laphroaig, Oban, and Jura. though i am a neophyte so i'll take anything within reason (i just know i like those in particular though i have not the vocab. to articulate the particular pleasures each gifts one).

snobbery of the old hands is something to be avoided yes but it's all a good laff.

otherwise it's just bog-standard Bushmills or especially Jamesons (its smoothness means it's very popular in the USA, incidentally - i once met a beefy young American cop, who told me he bought all his buddies a round of this in a bar once and aside from this chap who was already a Jamesons fan all these huge, beef&corn-raised, athletic 20something Americans could not drink it all right down, 'twas too much for them... :o ) for me, mostly. you stop drinking Jack and coke when you're about 17/when you stop regularly going to metal clubs (whichever is soonest) don't you?

sipping with a little ice, or neat, or cola with me Jamesons. in the USA any whisk(e)y is generally delivered submerged in a glacier.

my lack of interest in Canadian whiskey (Crown Royal once or so maybe?) may be getting reversed any day now by Dave's fine proselytising for their seemingly all-singing, all-dancing qualities... ...i am in Chicago at the moment and this Friday am due a visit to a very well thought of bar (for bourbon and i'll admit their website has me excited: http://www.barsonline.com/chicago/delilahs/booze.htm), so i may well give any interested parties a bourbon report over the weekend - given bourbon-wise i know i like Makers Mark (i was introduced to it by way of a glorious all-nighter once, drinking bottles of it and nothing else from the previous early evening until about 5 or 6 in the morning: good stuff) but that is like saying 'i like beer, my faves are Stella and John Smiths' i suppose...

i am due back on that beer thread soon with reports of some quite shocking ales consumed over the weekend.

18-01-2005, 05:01 PM
actually the insistence on maybe a little water for your single malts etc reminds me of a line i found hilarious in Magnum once.

Tom Selleck pours his terribly-R.P. English chum a drink (probably some fancy bourbon, knowing it's Magnum P.I.) and offers him ice.

the British bloke replies witheringly along the lines of "Ice? What do you think I am, a bloody American?"


18-01-2005, 05:50 PM
i'd always understood that from the afficionado pov islays were a good place to start because of the big & relatively obvious flavours... then progress to the subtler stuff... personally i'll drink anything... the more expensive the better... ;)

24-01-2005, 05:52 PM
all i really discovered about bourbon was that it gave me incredibly strange and quite violent nightmares, something about a vampiric cat iirc...