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Fans of Islay?
05-01-2014, 06:25 PM
Post: #11
RE: Fans of Islay?
(04-10-2014 02:31 PM)Sunset Wrote:  
(03-29-2014 06:53 PM)Badwater Wrote:  Laphroaig? Caol Isla? Ardbeg and all of the others!

Do I have any fellow fans here of Islay single malts?

Big fan here, though I tend to enjoy them more often in the colder months.

One thing I just can't tolerate is Laphroiag 10 CS. Everyone's tastes are different, but this one is just vile to me. As a result, the bottle I bought sat for years. That is, it sat until two seriously lushy friends came by for a visit and, like swine, hozzled up all the good stuff I set before them. Then they asked:

Them: "(hic)...Whud elsh ya got...(hic)?

Me: Ohhhh, I have just what you need!

Their palates were so anesthetized they failed to realize what they were pouring down their necks until it was waaaay too late.

Their(sober) wives were mortified.Big Grin

I love the CS, then again, I also drink dark roast coffee (With a few extra scoops thrown in) completely black so my palate is somewhat skewed.
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09-25-2014, 12:08 AM (This post was last modified: 09-25-2014 12:16 AM by SpaceCadet.)
Post: #12
RE: Fans of Islay?
I've gained a serious taste for peat via Islay malts, to the point where I'd much rather spend my cash on one of my Fab Four - Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Caol Ila - than traditional-tasting whiskies. Without that peaty, smoky flavor it's just...whisky. Which is still whisky of course and that's always a good thing, but... lacking.

My first not-so-wee dram of Ardbeg's Uigeadail was a revelation. Lagavulin 16 has always been what I consider to be the ultimate single malt - a deep, complex, even mysterious symphony of flavors - and I still do, but Uigeadail gives it a heavy-duty run for the money. A very, very close second, to my palate.

Laphroaig is the first Islay malt I tried - because I'd read all the horror stories about how bad it was - and immediately determined that it was getting a major bum rap. It's really in-your-face and zero subtlety, fer sure - at least the 10 year expression - but like anything it's an acquired taste that grows on you. I don't buy the 10 yr. much except when it's on the cheap at the supermarket or if I'm in the Midwest and it's the only thing available that's more exotic than the Glenlivet and Glenfiddich. But I actually enjoy the Quarter Cask, and the 15 yr is far more sophisticated (though at roughly the same price as Lagavulin 16 it generally loses the nod in the liquor store aisle.) I managed to snag a bottle of their rare Cairdeas and liked it enough to spring for the second bottle before it disappeared altogether. But like an IPA in beer, I have to be in the right mood to dive into that stuff, and that mood is rare. It's more complex than their 10 yr but still in-your-face, like it wants to jump out of the glass and sock you right in the kisser. It's really good for wiping out boredom and inspiring gnarly licks on the guitar.

Caol Ila to my taste is the subtlest and softest of the Islay malts, almost delicate. Good stuff for when you want something "lighter" and mellower.

I didn't care for Bunnahabhain much - to the point where I think of it as a kind of alien-invader distillery on the island, or "What's this stuff doing here?" I bought one of their 12 year old bottles out of curiosity, and I think it must be something like 21 now - 'still a third of it left and not really enthused about polishing it off. From what I remember... hang on, I'll take a nip.... Ok, it's not all that bad, just more like conventional Scotch - heavy on the wood and not enough peat. Good for when friends who aren't really Scotch drinkers visit and want a shot of something.

Now, what am I forgetting? Besides brevity, I mean. Rolleyes

"Waiter...can you stop that noise? What you call 'music.' It sounds like dirty water. How can they eat food - and listen to ****?"
- Sabina (Lena Olin) in The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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