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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Not sure any more. Macallan stopped age dating some of their whisky, which has pissed off a number of people , including me. Macallan used to exclusively use first fill Oloroso casks which they picked out themselves from the Bodegas in Spain. Ghastly more expensive, which is why the scotch cost a lot more than many. They may still do this for some of them, but I haven't tried it in a while. They started making a "plain wood" expression several years ago which I think they call fine oak. If you can get it, I would buy the 12 year old sherry cask- it used to be my gold standard.
This one?

They're calling it a Highland, but The Macallan is Speyside, right?

The Macallan 12 year old whisky aged in fine sherry casks
 

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"Best" scotch is such a hard concept for me... I've met very few I didn't like or appreciate. Perhaps I'm the exception, but the peaty Speysides and Highlands are an occasional "special occasion" drink, with the Lowlands being a more "weekend scotch", Auchentoshen being a fav. In particular, Auchentoshen Three Woods which I was fortunate enough to sample right from the cask on our individual tour (ie, everyone else in Glasgow had better things to do on a Thursday afternoon).

So... interesting fact...While sampling the excellent wares at the Auchentoshen distillery (below) I happened to notice a couple of McClellands bottles and was curious as to why they were there. mcclellands.jpg

My tour guide was a bit hesitant to share this with me, so he said it this way "McClellands is a brand, not a distillery". "Now", I said, "I love McClellands Lowland -- I can usually pick it up for $18-20 per 750 ml -- it's just as good as Auchentoshen Classic", expecting massive push back -- instead, just a smile. "Guess where it comes from.." he said.

OK, so the story is that Auchentoshen sells excess production of Classic for the "Lowland".
The others are single malts from other distilleries -- Auchentoshan (Lowland), Bowmore (Islay), Glen Garioch (Highland), Bunnahabhain (Speyside -- I know.. I know.. Bunnahabhain is actually an Islay).

Net-net is you can pick most of these up (when you can find them) for about 2/3rds the cost of the "real thing". Granted, most of them are the "base 12 year" versions, but I can certainly vouch for the lowland and the highland, although have not been able to get a hold of the others.

(My current collection at the bottom.... and yes....Archer Fans...that is a Glen Goolie Blue in the middle:~O
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You are right - it's a rare occasion single malt that I wouldn't like :) But still there are favorites. But then I guess if you drink the same stuff every time - any favorite would become boring. So we buy different scotches. Circle of life.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
That's it! Speyside is part of the Highlands. All Speysides are Highland, not all Highlands are Speyside. I think they came up with the distinction due to the sheer number of distilleries in the Speyside area.
Understood.
 

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How did you drink Laphroaig? Straight? Ice cube? Water?
You can do whatever you want to do but personally I would never drink a single malt Scotch with ice. If you must add ice, it is acceptable if it is a round ball of ice. (A round ball melts slower.) Are you going to ruin the Scotch if you add ice? Probably not. I just think it loses some flavor.

When I am trying a new Scotch the first thing that I do is look at the label and see if a Scotch is cask strength (vs bottle strength). (Most Laphroaigs are cask strength.) If a Scotch is bottle strength (40 to 45%) I will probably drink it straight. If a Scotch is cask strength (60 to 63%) I will take a sip and see if I need to add a drop or two of water. (I literally have a dropper to add water.) :crazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I appreciate being able to benefit from your knowledge, guys.

Like I said, I am very new to this.

I have experimented a little with ice or water. I don't have round balls of ice, so I find the ice kind of uncontrollable- it tends to water down my Scotch on it's own timeline. Right now, I am just sipping it straight.
 

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instead of trying a bottle, go to pub/lounge/speakeasy and try what they have in the way of single malts....take them out for a test drive before you buy
My son and I were sitting at the bar at Gleneagles in Scotland. The head bartender came over to talk to us and my son asked him what his best Scotch was. He named a brand (which I have forgotten) and said, "But it costs £500 for a dram!" My son said, "We'll try it." I almost fell off the bar stool. :crazy:

Needless to say, that particular Scotch is not in my collection. :(
 

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OK you scotch mavens . . . I tried (and loved) a bottle of Oban, though I wasn't crazy about the $80 price. Then I tried a bottle of Laphroaig 10--too smokey for my taste. What do y'all recommend next????
Any Glenmorangie is good.

If you live in a state that allows you to buy Scotch on line try buying sample bottles at masterofmalt.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
What about food with Scotch?

Because I know next to nothing, I would be concerned about food messing up my ability to discern stuff that I need to discern, when sipping Scotch.
 

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What about food with Scotch?

Because I know next to nothing, I would be concerned about food messing up my ability to discern stuff that I need to discern, when sipping Scotch.
DO NOT EAT MEXICAN BEFORE TRYING SCOTCH!!!!! (Don't ask me how I know.)

Cheese, crackers, and hams slices are good with Scotch. Chocolate is great! If you are doing a Scotch tasting drink water and eat crackers between different Scotches. Don't try more than 5 or 6 Scotches. You will lose your ability to taste the differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
DO NOT EAT MEXICAN BEFORE TRYING SCOTCH!!!!! (Don't ask me how I know.)

Cheese, crackers, and hams slices are good with Scotch. Chocolate is great! If you are doing a Scotch tasting drink water and eat crackers between different Scotches. Don't try more than 5 or 6 Scotches. You will lose your ability to taste the differences.
Mexican is not something that I would have thought to pair with Scotch.

Good cheese and fine chocolate, I could see.

Of course, fine chocolate also pairs well with my favorite beers- Porters, Stouts, Imperial versions of both, and especially Russian Imperial Stouts. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #54
So I don't have all the terminology down, and once again I am very new to this, but I've been into the Glenkinchie 12 for a few days now, and I still remember what The Glenlivet 12 was like.

The most apparent thing to me, is that the finish of the Glenkinchie 12 is much cleaner- it doesn't have the long spicy finish that The Glenlivet 12 did. The Glenkinchie 12 doesn't seem as complex, but it does seem smoother, which for me as a novice, I am perceiving as a good thing.

I've got a long ways to go...
 

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:cheers: to Blackmanx for the McClelland info and the recommendation of Auchentoshan. A malt that I don't think I have tried.... until now.

auchentoshan.jpg

They didn't have the McClelland version so I had to pony up for the authentic label. Such is life.
 

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I love oban....I agree on the price although I rarely pay more than$75 for it (Boston is a pretty competitive market).... It has a great Smokey flavor while still maintaining a nice malty ness...for the malty flavor(but no peat) Try auchentoshan clasic -- about$30, or mcclelands lowland same scotch, smaller price ($19 on sale!)...if you are ready to splurge tho and if you can find it...Try oban little bay. It's oban only smoother with a bit more character. Wicked good. Here in the.northeast the nh state liquor store has both oban and a small supply of little bay on sale for$62

Woo hoo!!!!!!
 

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Glad you enjoyed it!

If you ever see the 3-woods version, buy it! It will be about twice the price of classic. It's darker and has more port notes (the three woods refer to the three barrels it's agreed in-- tn bourbon barrels, sherry and port....

Interesting fact--Auchentoshen is the only unpeated scotch. There's no peat bogs in Glasgow so they dry the malt with hot air. If you want to experience the"bookends" of scotch try an Auchentoshen followed by Cragenmore.

Cheers!!!!
 

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Glad you enjoyed it!

If you ever see the 3-woods version, buy it! It will be about twice the price of classic. It's darker and has more port notes (the three woods refer to the three barrels it's agreed in-- tn bourbon barrels, sherry and port....

Interesting fact--Auchentoshen is the only unpeated scotch. There's no peat bogs in Glasgow so they dry the malt with hot air. If you want to experience the"bookends" of scotch try an Auchentoshen followed by Cragenmore.

Cheers!!!!

Actually the 3 wood is only 15 bucks more than the 12 year old. Next on the list!
 

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Wow - Canadian prices! (Not to mention Scottish Prices)

Here (in Boston) Auchentoshan Classic is about US$30 regular ($25 on sale), the 12 year is a bit more ($35) and the 3Woods is about $65. I actually paid MORE at the Auchentoshan distillery (About $80) for the 3Woods than I did here at home (I didn't realize the liquor store about a 5 minutes stroll from my office had it for about 15 bucks less than the bottle I carted home!).

Some buddies of mine in Montreal made me the "mule" for their Macallan 18 addiction - we can get it for $185 - they were running about C$250. I had to buy one for them every time I visited - this meant I never needed to convert my cash :)

The NH Liquor Stores are generally a "good deal" - ie, they represent the average price for the Northeast sale. When stuff goes on sale there, it's a pretty good price. You can still sometimes do better in the Boston area, but you can't beat their selection and ease-of-access (you'll find them right on the highway usually near a state or international border)

If you like the Auchentoshan 12 you will LOVE the 3Woods. It's much darker, richer. I typically drink Classic with an ice ball, but enjoy 3Woods straight from a cordial-style whiskey glass

Hey - NH is not so far from Ottowahhhh... Drink enough and your trip will be paid for :)
 
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