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Old 04-23-2013, 04:14 AM
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Default Suggestions For A Present - Something Similar To Laphroaig

Hi all,
I'm looking for suggestions for my husband for his graduation coming up in a few weeks. Laphroaig is his favorite. He's had the 10 & 12yr, Quarter Cask, and Cairdeas.I know there are others from Laphroaig, but I'd like to get him something else. He likes Laphroaig because of it's strong flavor - he does not like anything sweet. He always drinks his Whiskey neat (never on the rocks or with anything added). He's thrown out some ideas for me: Ardbeg, Talisker, Caol Ila, Dalwhinnie, and Lagavulin. He told me to avoid: Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Ballantines. It isn't that he doesn't like these, just that he's had them before and kept thinking "I'd rather have Laphroaig".
Basically, I'm wondering if any of you have suggestions for what would be the closest to Laphrroaig. I've tried reading reviews of these on my own, but since I'm not fond of Whiskey, it's hard for me to make a decision. If you have another idea please let me know. My husband has tried most of the common ones...I'm looking for something that isn't as well known.

Thanks in advance everyone!

Rosemary (USA)
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:24 PM
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One key question which will lead the answer, what's your budget?
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosamarie3 View Post
Hi all,
I'm looking for suggestions for my husband for his graduation coming up in a few weeks. Laphroaig is his favorite. He's had the 10 & 12yr, Quarter Cask, and Cairdeas.I know there are others from Laphroaig, but I'd like to get him something else. He likes Laphroaig because of it's strong flavor - he does not like anything sweet. He always drinks his Whiskey neat (never on the rocks or with anything added). He's thrown out some ideas for me: Ardbeg, Talisker, Caol Ila, Dalwhinnie, and Lagavulin. He told me to avoid: Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Ballantines. It isn't that he doesn't like these, just that he's had them before and kept thinking "I'd rather have Laphroaig".
Basically, I'm wondering if any of you have suggestions for what would be the closest to Laphrroaig. I've tried reading reviews of these on my own, but since I'm not fond of Whiskey, it's hard for me to make a decision. If you have another idea please let me know. My husband has tried most of the common ones...I'm looking for something that isn't as well known.

Thanks in advance everyone!

Rosemary (USA)
I'd think that since he's a Laphroaig fan and has thrown out the names, I'd suggest Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Lagavulin 16.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:36 AM
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My budget is in the $150 range. Would consider $200 if it was considered really good
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:50 AM
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Ardbeg Corryvreckan is about $100 here, maybe less where you are, but is a very unique scotch that I like even better than my other favorite Ardbeg's, the 10 and Uigeadail.

If you were lucky enough to find a bottle of the all but no longer existent Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist, it comes highly recommended, although I have not yet been able to find a bottle of it.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:47 PM
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I second Ardbeg Uigeadail - it's a filthy, mucky dram


You could go for a 'phroiag 18yo - amazing, but mellowed down verion so may not be as big a bang as he's after.

If you want to get him something truely different, hard to get and a little bit special you can try to search out Laphroiag Cask Strength. It's produced in very small batches and is bascially the 10yo, small batched, and at full power - 55% (ish depending on batch). It goes - distilled > cask > 10years > bottle > end

....its a little bit good (very hard to find though)

Last edited by opelfruit; 04-24-2013 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:33 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'm seeing a lot of Ardgerg, is that because it's the most comparable to Laphroaig?

I'm thinking I'm gonna go with the Ardbeg Uigeadail. Sounds like something he'd love.

Islay Peat: I might also spring for the Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist. I live in Alaska USA, so the selection is limited here, but I did find someplace online: The Whiskey Place, that has it in stock and can ship to me.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosamarie3 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'm seeing a lot of Ardgerg, is that because it's the most comparable to Laphroaig?

I'm thinking I'm gonna go with the Ardbeg Uigeadail. Sounds like something he'd love.

Islay Peat: I might also spring for the Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist. I live in Alaska USA, so the selection is limited here, but I did find someplace online: The Whiskey Place, that has it in stock and can ship to me.
Both distilleries are on the same island in Scotland where the usage of peat in drying the barley continued uninterrupted when the rest of the country quit using it, and that gives a particularly smoky aspect that lovers of Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bowmore and others are renowned for.

I've really liked the Uigeadail from the first time I tried it and it's available from time to time in the Fairbanks area, as is the bottle of Corryvreckan I picked up last month and what I liked about the Uigeadail, I think is there in spades with the Corryvreckan.

If you're at all close to Anchorage I would think you could find anything you wanted. By the way, there's a scotch tasting/dinner at the Chena Pump House in Fairbanks on May 2nd if you're anywhere close by.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:35 PM
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I'd think that since he's a Laphroaig fan and has thrown out the names, I'd suggest Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Lagavulin 16.
I agree 100% on the corryvreckan! Lagavulin, to me, is too much like laphroaig to justify the price difference, but its very good nonetheless and no one would lament at receiving it as a present, for sure.

If you're going to go Ardbeg, I'd definitely get the corry. In my opinion, and with good reason, Uigeadail and the 10 yr are just watered-down versions of the corry. You'll notice as you step down from the corry to the oogy and to the 10, you'll see the price decreases $20 each time as well as the alcohol content. Therefore your most flavorful and hard-hitting is going to be the corry.

As far as presents go, he'll never forget the corry. That I can assure you!
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:37 AM
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Lagavulin, to me, is too much like laphroaig to justify the price difference, but its very good nonetheless and no one would lament at receiving it as a present, for sure.

In my opinion, and with good reason, Uigeadail and the 10 yr are just watered-down versions of the corry.

As far as presents go, he'll never forget the corry. That I can assure you!
I'm floored at the thought of Lagavulin and Laphroaig being too much alike and wonder if you shouldn't try them again. Worlds apart for me, although some common ground is there, can't even imagine accepting one as an alternative for the other.

Same goes for the Ardbeg comparisons - I love all three and if I were to see your thinking that the Uigeadail is a watered down Corryvreckan, hmm, I'm going to have to do a side by side again, but maybe so.
However the 10 to me is simply the base for the others, and when I need a plain, non-complicated sip, this is still my preference, even over both the others, depending on mood.

However, the Corryvreckan for sure, for Ardbeg lovers.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:39 PM
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I'm floored at the thought of Lagavulin and Laphroaig being too much alike and wonder if you shouldn't try them again. Worlds apart for me, although some common ground is there, can't even imagine accepting one as an alternative for the other.

Same goes for the Ardbeg comparisons - I love all three and if I were to see your thinking that the Uigeadail is a watered down Corryvreckan, hmm, I'm going to have to do a side by side again, but maybe so.
However the 10 to me is simply the base for the others, and when I need a plain, non-complicated sip, this is still my preference, even over both the others, depending on mood.

However, the Corryvreckan for sure, for Ardbeg lovers.

For an Ardbeg drinker, you're floored too easily

A visit to this page will show my points: http://www.masterofmalt.com/distille...ky-distillery/

10yr 46% and $54
Oogy 54% and $80
Corry 57% and $95

There you go.

And about Lagavulin... I'm not saying Laga is a substitute for Laph or vice versa. What I'm saying is they're more similar to each other than Ardbeg is to either.

Apparently the idea isn't new:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagavulin_distillery

"In the 19th century, several legal battles ensued with their neighbour Laphroaig, brought about after the distiller at Lagavulin, Sir Peter Mackie, leased the Laphroaig distillery. It is said that Mackie attempted to copy Laphroaig's style."

Additionally, the OP said to avoid Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Ballantines. I can see the similarities with those brands. One isn't a substitue for another, but they're enough similar that they can be placed in a grouping and labeled "please avoid". I find a similar comparability with Laph and Laga.

Would he like Laga? Yes, almost certainly. Will he switch from Laph to Laga? No, I would bet not. Will he buy another bottle of Laga after his gifted bottle is finished? Probably not. Why pay twice the price of Laph when you could just have some more Laph? I mean, unless you just like to collect various whiskies like Ralfy.

Would he like Corry? Probably so. Possibly not. If he does like it, would he switch from Laph to Corry? No, I would bet not. Will he buy another bottle of Corry to have in addition to Laph? If he would own anything in addition to Laph on a regular and continuous basis, I think Corry would be the best bet... and it could all begin as a graduation present.

Of course, this is just my opinion. But I feel justified in stating my opinion and possibly affecting someone's choice in a very important decision because I feel I can relate to the husband. My friend, who also can find no other drink in preference to Laph, most certainly can relate. Its our opinion that if you like Laph, nothing else is going to be as good as Laph.... and its a pointless endeavor to seek a replacement. Therefore Ardbeg seems like the logical choice, but if it turns out to be the wrong choice, at least it was a logical decision and not a "close your eyes and pick one" choice. One thing is for certain, which isn't an opinion, but is fact... when you try Corry, love it or hate it, you won't forget it. What better way to mark a momentous occasion? With that line of thinking, she could surprise everyone and pick up a bottle of Octomore 5.1 at 60% ABV and 169ppm phenol content which, I can only imagine, would make Ardbeg seem like watered-down ice tea. One of these days I'm going to try that stuff! Can too much ever be enough?

As for me trying Laga and Laph again... I think I will happily accept that suggestion and do that now
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by IslayAddict View Post
For an Ardbeg drinker, you're floored too easily

A visit to this page will show my points: http://www.masterofmalt.com/distille...ky-distillery/

10yr 46% and $54
Oogy 54% and $80
Corry 57% and $95

There you go.

And about Lagavulin... I'm not saying Laga is a substitute for Laph or vice versa. What I'm saying is they're more similar to each other than Ardbeg is to either.

Apparently the idea isn't new:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagavulin_distillery

"In the 19th century, several legal battles ensued with their neighbour Laphroaig, brought about after the distiller at Lagavulin, Sir Peter Mackie, leased the Laphroaig distillery. It is said that Mackie attempted to copy Laphroaig's style."

Additionally, the OP said to avoid Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Ballantines. I can see the similarities with those brands. One isn't a substitue for another, but they're enough similar that they can be placed in a grouping and labeled "please avoid". I find a similar comparability with Laph and Laga.

Would he like Laga? Yes, almost certainly. Will he switch from Laph to Laga? No, I would bet not. Will he buy another bottle of Laga after his gifted bottle is finished? Probably not. Why pay twice the price of Laph when you could just have some more Laph? I mean, unless you just like to collect various whiskies like Ralfy.

Would he like Corry? Probably so. Possibly not. If he does like it, would he switch from Laph to Corry? No, I would bet not. Will he buy another bottle of Corry to have in addition to Laph? If he would own anything in addition to Laph on a regular and continuous basis, I think Corry would be the best bet... and it could all begin as a graduation present.

Of course, this is just my opinion. But I feel justified in stating my opinion and possibly affecting someone's choice in a very important decision because I feel I can relate to the husband. My friend, who also can find no other drink in preference to Laph, most certainly can relate. Its our opinion that if you like Laph, nothing else is going to be as good as Laph.... and its a pointless endeavor to seek a replacement. Therefore Ardbeg seems like the logical choice, but if it turns out to be the wrong choice, at least it was a logical decision and not a "close your eyes and pick one" choice. One thing is for certain, which isn't an opinion, but is fact... when you try Corry, love it or hate it, you won't forget it. What better way to mark a momentous occasion? With that line of thinking, she could surprise everyone and pick up a bottle of Octomore 5.1 at 60% ABV and 169ppm phenol content which, I can only imagine, would make Ardbeg seem like watered-down ice tea. One of these days I'm going to try that stuff! Can too much ever be enough?

As for me trying Laga and Laph again... I think I will happily accept that suggestion and do that now
Lagavulin tried to produce whisky to be similar to laphroaig with the MALTMILL but failed. I prefer ardbeg to laphroaig but cannot stand lagavulin. So I guess it's strictly personal. As for the OCTOMORE it's a very nice whisky especially the 10 year old but its not so much smokier than the others. I would recommend the OCTOMORE 10 year old if you can find it its something different and very nice.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:03 PM
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Lagavulin tried to produce whisky to be similar to laphroaig with the MALTMILL but failed. I prefer ardbeg to laphroaig but cannot stand lagavulin. So I guess it's strictly personal. As for the OCTOMORE it's a very nice whisky especially the 10 year old but its not so much smokier than the others. I would recommend the OCTOMORE 10 year old if you can find it its something different and very nice.
You can't stand Laga? How come? Now I'm floored!

Yes, it doesn't look like an easy find for the Octomore 10 http://www.bruichladdich.com/whisky-...hisky/octomore

I would have thought at 80ppm that the Octomore 10 would be more meaty and flavorful than Ardbeg Corryvrekan, but would you say the two are similar?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:46 PM
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You can't stand Laga? How come? Now I'm floored!

Yes, it doesn't look like an easy find for the Octomore 10 http://www.bruichladdich.com/whisky-...hisky/octomore

I would have thought at 80ppm that the Octomore 10 would be more meaty and flavorful than Ardbeg Corryvrekan, but would you say the two are similar?
They are not similar. The OCTOMORE is very different. I prefer the OCTOMORE but is very expensive and hard to find for an everyday drink. But as we all know its a matter of personal taste. I don't know why I don't like lagavulin 16 to be honest , everyone seems to be crazy about it. I have two bottles of the distillers edition 1989 and 1991 maybe the sherry influence will change my mind.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:55 PM
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They are not similar. The OCTOMORE is very different. I prefer the OCTOMORE but is very expensive and hard to find for an everyday drink. But as we all know its a matter of personal taste. I don't know why I don't like lagavulin 16 to be honest , everyone seems to be crazy about it. I have two bottles of the distillers edition 1989 and 1991 maybe the sherry influence will change my mind.
I think everyone is crazy about it because there seems to be an element of prestige, distinction, elegance, etc from the fact that its been sitting in a barrel for 16 years and it has developed a reputation that influences everyone's perception. People like the "finer things" and there is this idea that Lagavulin is one of them.

I wouldn't want to discount any complexity or range of flavors (although nuanced) developed from 16 years aging, but like the Laphroiag 18 and Triplewood, often times and to many people, its just less flavorful than the 10 year... and can be quite the let-down considering the price of these longer ages.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:15 AM
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Its our opinion that if you like Laph, nothing else is going to be as good as Laph.... and its a pointless endeavor to seek a replacement.

As for me trying Laga and Laph again... I think I will happily accept that suggestion and do that now
So much difference in all of these and I can't imagine making the choice of whether to have Laphroaig 10, Quarter Cask, Ardbeg 10, Corryvreckan or Lagavulin 16 - they are all different enough for me that when I want one, while I can settle for another, they each have their perfect times.

Now all this talk of Laphroaig has me decided - it's my pre-bar drink tonight. (Besides, they've got a bottle of Ardbeg 10 over there waiting for me too.) Wish I had a bottle of Lagavulin 16 so I could do your same comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drakoskl View Post
I don't know why I don't like lagavulin 16 to be honest , everyone seems to be crazy about it. I have two bottles of the distillers edition 1989 and 1991 maybe the sherry influence will change my mind.
I always wonder the same about beer, but it's pretty fun actually to note our varying preferences, and a bit maddening at times when trying to predict our own, or one of our friends tastes.

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I think everyone is crazy about it because there seems to be an element of prestige, distinction, elegance, etc from the fact that its been sitting in a barrel for 16 years and it has developed a reputation that influences everyone's perception. People like the "finer things" and there is this idea that Lagavulin is one of them.

I wouldn't want to discount any complexity or range of flavors (although nuanced) developed from 16 years aging, but like the Laphroiag 18 and Triplewood, often times and to many people, its just less flavorful than the 10 year... and can be quite the let-down considering the price of these longer ages.
I'd have to say that if anyone prefers Lagavulin 16 because of the numbers one the bottle, they're pretty few and far between.

I found constant recommendations of both Ardbeg and Lagavulin 16 very annoying and my liking for them is based solely on the only thing that matters - my personal preference.

There are numerous bottlings that I should have liked if I went with the prestige issue, but being nothing more than an illusion, prefer to go with the enjoyment my senses derive from my favorites, with no regard for published reviews, age or peer pressure; which is how it should be.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:00 AM
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So much difference in all of these and I can't imagine making the choice of whether to have Laphroaig 10, Quarter Cask, Ardbeg 10, Corryvreckan or Lagavulin 16 - they are all different enough for me that when I want one, while I can settle for another, they each have their perfect times.
I go through that all the time when I approach my bottle storage unit. Hmmm... do I feel like something light like caol ila? Maybe a step up into some peat monster? How about some good ole laph? Or do I want to ruin my taste for anything else by sipping some ardbeg too soon in the night? It rarely seems like a special enough occasion to warrant breaking out the lagavulin.

Quote:
Now all this talk of Laphroaig has me decided - it's my pre-bar drink tonight. (Besides, they've got a bottle of Ardbeg 10 over there waiting for me too.) Wish I had a bottle of Lagavulin 16 so I could do your same comparison.
I would say you should get one, but I honestly think your money is better spent on something else. I'd wait until you've gotten bored with the same ole all the time.

Quote:
I always wonder the same about beer, but it's pretty fun actually to note our varying preferences, and a bit maddening at times when trying to predict our own, or one of our friends tastes.
My friend is easy. He just like Laph and that's it. Myself, I like more of a variety.

Quote:
I'd have to say that if anyone prefers Lagavulin 16 because of the numbers one the bottle, they're pretty few and far between.

I found constant recommendations of both Ardbeg and Lagavulin 16 very annoying and my liking for them is based solely on the only thing that matters - my personal preference.

There are numerous bottlings that I should have liked if I went with the prestige issue, but being nothing more than an illusion, prefer to go with the enjoyment my senses derive from my favorites, with no regard for published reviews, age or peer pressure; which is how it should be.
I don't think Peat Monster gets the recognition it deserves. I mean, if we're just going on taste n all.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:47 AM
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I would say you should get one, but I honestly think your money is better spent on something else. I'd wait until you've gotten bored with the same ole all the time.

I don't think Peat Monster gets the recognition it deserves. I mean, if we're just going on taste n all.
I bought a bottle of Lagavulin 16 on sale a few months back for about $40, but at $90 availability right now I've been holding off.

Hope I find a bottle of both Peat Monster and Black Bottle some time soon, but for the price, I've also been enjoying Black Grouse.

Now to pour that Laphroaig like I promised.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:58 AM
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If you find laga for $40, you should buy all they have and resell at a nice profit. I can't figure out why it would be that cheap in the first place. Anytime I see prices that low, I wonder what the contents actually are.

Peat Monster is everywhere. The cheapest I've seen it is $50.

Have you had any Bowmore Legend?
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:00 PM
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Almost all bottlings are cheaper in Japan than they are here, but bringing them over wouldn't be worth the effort.

What I did bring back were bottles that just simply aren't available anywhere else and though it was a tough decision, I think it was the right one. One bottle I brought back was one of the last ones available in the whole country of a limited release Taketsuru 17 non-chill filtered, which the distributors were all out of, and another was a full bottle of Hakushu 10, which was discontinued in February to be replaced by Hakushu 12. I prefer the 10, and had to bring a bottle of it back with me.

I don't believe Peat Monster or Black Bottle are anywhere in the Fairbanks area, but I'll eventually find them. Did see the Bowmore Legend and if you recommend it highly enough, maybe I'll try to pick up a bottle.
Didn't care too much for the Bowmore 18, and while not a favorite, do like the Bowmore 12.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:23 PM
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I'm not sure why Lagavulin would be held in such high regard. It's a good dram, but not anything magnificent. Maybe the extra couple years and the extra $25 make it seem more exclusive?
He likes the heavily peated malts, so just stick with that.
Instead of buying one expensive bottle, get him a few modest priced ones instead.
Lagavulin, Bowmore, Bruichladdich Octomore, Ardmore, Big Peat, something from one of the independent bottlers, etc. Expand his palate with a few other peat monsters. Any quality liquor store can help you identify the peated malts.
One other point to remember is that intensity of the peat decreases with age. If he likes a big peaty blast of a 10 year old, he might not like an 18 yr old version. One last point, if it's the heavy iodine and medicinal quality he likes, nothing comes within miles of Laphroaig. It's flavor is pretty unique.
Good luck.
One recommendation- Laphroaig 10 cask strength.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:41 PM
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What I cannot understand is why anyone that likes Lagavulin has be subjected to suspicion that we're choosing on price and years when we all have multiple selections we don't particularly care for regardless of ancient bottling or exorbitant price tag.

There may be some who like Lagavulin because they were told to, but most Lagavulin drinkers love it regardless of its inexpensive price tag and don't care about how many years it says on the label.

Almost all of my favorites are 8 year bottlings for bourbon and 10 years for Japanese or Scotch selections. I actually assumed I would not like Lagavulin 16 the first time I tried it and the only reason I like it so much is the flavor.

Let the OP select what they will, but enough of ragging on Lagavulin drinkers. 十人十色。
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:50 PM
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Almost all bottlings are cheaper in Japan than they are here, but bringing them over wouldn't be worth the effort.

What I did bring back were bottles that just simply aren't available anywhere else and though it was a tough decision, I think it was the right one. One bottle I brought back was one of the last ones available in the whole country of a limited release Taketsuru 17 non-chill filtered, which the distributors were all out of, and another was a full bottle of Hakushu 10, which was discontinued in February to be replaced by Hakushu 12. I prefer the 10, and had to bring a bottle of it back with me.

I don't believe Peat Monster or Black Bottle are anywhere in the Fairbanks area, but I'll eventually find them. Did see the Bowmore Legend and if you recommend it highly enough, maybe I'll try to pick up a bottle.
Didn't care too much for the Bowmore 18, and while not a favorite, do like the Bowmore 12.
No, I've never had the Bowmore Legend, but seen it for $25 and was wondering if I should try it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:00 PM
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What I cannot understand is why anyone that likes Lagavulin has be subjected to suspicion that we're choosing on price and years ...
I can clear this up. Its because we've had a taste of Laga and can't figure out what all the excitement is about. There seems to be more hullabaloo than the taste alone would sanction.

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Let the OP select what they will, but enough of ragging on Lagavulin drinkers. 十人十色。
Oh, you like it
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:24 PM
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Get lagavulin 16 or an ardbeg.

They are the most aggressive whiskies I've ever had.

If he likes the 16 year, THEN he could try the more aggressive 12 year.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:29 PM
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I can clear this up. Its because we've had a taste of Laga and can't figure out what all the excitement is about. There seems to be more hullabaloo than the taste alone would sanction.

Oh, you like it
I've had the same feeling about a great many things in life, not just whiskies, and always felt that personal tastes were a forgone conclusion, but additionally, that there's no beneficial reason to suggest that there's something wrong with those who have preferences differing from our own.

Hence the ending of my post saying 'To each his own', and yeah, I like Lagavulin 16 a lot!

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Get lagavulin 16 or an ardbeg.

They are the most aggressive whiskies I've ever had.

If he likes the 16 year, THEN he could try the more aggressive 12 year.
Personally love both you suggestions (well, depending on which Ardbeg), but the Lagavulin 12 definitely struck me as aggressive to be sure. Not my taste, but I do notice more than a few who like it.
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