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Old 05-17-2013, 12:41 AM
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Default Cask Strength Suggestions

Hey, folks! I've been seeking your inout on aother thread related to an upcoming birthday purchase, and I'd like to supplement it/narrow it down here. Specifically, I am figuring to include one cask strength offering among the bottles I buy. If I can mange 5 expressions, I'm likely to make 4 of them Lagavulin 16; Caol Ila 12; Highland Park 12; and Springbank 10. I'd like to fill that final slot with a CS expression. I'm an "if it ain't Islay, it ain't scotch" type so far, although a dram of Highland Park 18 almost made a believer out of me where other regions are concerned. I tend to enjoy "big" expressions, but this might be a good time to try to branch out just a wee bit. However, I still want something "big" that leaves a strong impression (whether it's big smoke; big peat; or something else). Cask strength promises a bit of the "big" I'm looking for.

Right now, I'm inclined to go for the Glenfarclas 105: partly based on a feeling about the distillery (the last of the family-owned; very informative website); partly based on what I've gleaned about the quality of the expression; and partly based on current availability and price (using Rakuten, an Internet sales source in Japan). (And yes, I have checked into Aberlour A'bunadh. While I like the romance and personal feeling of small batches, notwithstanding inconsistencies between batches, it doesn't seem as attractive to me for reasons including availability.) However, I've also looked into Bowmore offerings (Bowmore Cask Strength, which seems less attractive but available, and Tempest, which is more intriguing but harder to come by) and Finlaggan (both Peaty & Old Reserve versions offer an inexpensive CS option that seems to be fairly highly regarded). I would really like to go for a bottle of Laphroaig CS, which is occasionally available for around 45 bucks online in Japan, but the cheapest now available is around 90 bucks, nearly 3 times what it would cost to fetch a bottle of my beloved Quarter Cask!

So... what do you think? I'm a big fan of non-chill filtered and non-colored, although those are not deal breakers. I like the idea of signatory or independent bottlings such as Douglas Laing, but price and availability are key concerns here...
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:09 AM
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My two favorite Cask Strength bottlings so far are Connemarra Cask Strength and Miyagikyou 10 Cask Strength, but the Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength sure has a lot of fans.

Personally I liked the Quarter Cask better than the Cask Strength, even if the prices were the same, but the other two are definitely worth acquiring if you get the chance.

Interesting tidbit on the Glenfarclas there.

Last edited by Islay Peat; 05-17-2013 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:33 AM
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Default thanks again

yeah, i'm feeling like the laphroaig CS can't be that much better than the good ol' QC, which i lovelovelove. i sense a yoichi 10 in my fairly near future: i just think that i should go all-out on this opportunity to try stuff that i wouldn't be able to pick up locally. who knows, though? might end up making yoichi 10 the 5th bottle "wild card". how is it on the smoke and peat front?
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:41 AM
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Not so much smoke or peat in the Yoichi 10, but it's so unique and special that it could be my favorite overall mild 'scotch'. My friends last week said they smelled smoke in it, but I'm an Islay fan, so to me it's very gentle.

Super special and now I want a sip - I think I'm going to replace the JW Green Label in my flask with it.

Speaking of Quarter Cask, look at the new pictures I just put up in my Diamond Cut Glencairns And Spiegelau Pocket Glasses - My Favorites! thread.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:50 AM
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Default nikka!

i DID like the nikka from the barrel that i had, as well as the yoichi NAS--so it seems that nikka is more to my taste, generally, than the alternatives to be found under the suntory umbrella... if you come out here, we'll toast nikka properly... :-) and you'll bring your guitar, right?
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:59 AM
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I'll bring more than a guitar - this is a whisky thread after all.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:29 PM
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Lagavulin 12yr special releases are stonkingly good, the 2011 was one of my favourites if you can find it.

Im also partial to glendronach single casks and recent benriach single casks were very good - especially the tawny port 22yr.

Tali 57 north? Not strictly cask strength but still cracking.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:00 AM
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I just fell for the Lagavulin 12 a couple weeks back, which really floored me, as I hadn't thought I cared for it at all the first time I gave it a try.
Now I'm really looking forward to buying a bottle, if I can afford it when I find one.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:52 AM
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They catch most people out; so different from the 16yo, totally different beast. Much more ardbeg than lagavulin i think.

I try to get one each year as they are the only really affordable diageo special release (dont care for Caol Ila too much). Last years was more subtle and sweeter than previous so they always keep you on your toes :-)

Absolutely worth seeking out if you're an islay fan, you're world will not be the same again.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:53 AM
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I'm definitely going to be searching for it and it's funny that you should mention Caol Ila too, as it's one that I feel I should have liked, gauging by consensus, but while not disliking it, I have no intentions of buying any either.

Just finished up a tasting session with a couple drams of Corryvreckan, a new favorite which has pushed even Uigeadail from my 'must have' list.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:33 PM
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Right now I'm drinking The Macallan Cask Strength (not 10yr) and it is very good. You need to definately add it to your list. FYI I use Rakuten all the time to my house here in Japan. One or 2 days after order it's here.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valuetl View Post
Right now I'm drinking The Macallan Cask Strength (not 10yr) and it is very good. You need to definately add it to your list. FYI I use Rakuten all the time to my house here in Japan. One or 2 days after order it's here.
one of my favorites also. Was discontinued.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:26 AM
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Default thanks again

thanks for the input. in the end, i went with my gut (and availability) and made the glenfarclas 105 my "wild card" 5th bottle: my fun pack will arrive tomorrow morn! i'll let u know how it goes when i pop that first cork...
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael View Post
one of my favorites also. Was discontinued.
I'm also a big fan of Macallan Cask Strength - terrible that it's discontinued.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:03 PM
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Macallan Cask strength has my vote.
Just spent a night with the 12 as it was the only thing worth drinking at the grand daughters collage grad party last night.
I guess I should have chipped in a couple of grand so they could have stocked a few of bottles of the good stuff.
Oh, wait. That 12 year was very good if I remember right.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:06 PM
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Forgot to ask a question.
I can buy the 10 year Cask strength around here for $62.00 all day.
Is the non 10 the one that has been discontinued
Or both
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:17 AM
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Default first impressions: glenfarclas 105

sorry for the duplication of a post from another thread, but it seems to belong here, as well...

so, i uncorked the glenfarclas 105 on thursday and have sampled it on 3 successive nights (about 2 drams per night). i knew that this was my "wild card" bottle", so my expectations have been tempered: however i feel about it, it will be an education. for the moment, i can say that i'm not yet sure how i feel about it, but i feel sure that i need to cast about for another cask strength option at some point (thinking of bowmore tempest or plain vanilla cask strength--or perhaps the caol ila, if i find the 12 y.o. to my liking)...

the bottom line, so far: i haven't really been able to pin down the nose or palate quite--although the nose smells vaguely familiar somehow. i haven't detected the heavy sherry that people always mention, although i've gotten a faint suggestion of it when i've rubbed a small amount of "run-off" (from the side of the bottle) into the skin of my fingers or hands. the strong suit of this expression for me, so far, has been in the mouthfeel and the finish. of the former, i have gotten a nice thickness: i suppose i would call it chewy and oily, rather than dry in the way that i've often seen this expression described in tasting notes and reviews. of the latter, i have enjoyed the sort of spreading heat, a somewhat dry heat, not dissimilar to what i enjoyed about the talisker 10 y.o.

however, like the talisker (and the ardbeg supernova 2010), i've so far gotten the impression of something of a "1-trick pony", whereas a scotch needs to hit on all cylinders (nose; palate; mouthfeel; and finish) to really make the sort of impression that gets it a second date. once again, i'm left feeling like the guy who broke up with his steady girlfriend (the laphroaig quarter cask), only to find that every date in the aftermath came up short by comparison. still, it IS an education--and there's plenty of 105 left in the bottle for me yet to change my mind as its true character is slowly revealed: the romance of scotch, and the appeal of the tasting experience!
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarswanson View Post
Forgot to ask a question.
I can buy the 10 year Cask strength around here for $62.00 all day.
Is the non 10 the one that has been discontinued
Or both
The Cask Strength is a 10. As far as I know, Macallan does not make a 12 year Cask Strength.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:44 AM
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Bowmore Legend 10 Years Cask Strenght is a bargain here in Norway.

Tastes good, with big vanilla flavour, the smoke in the background.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael View Post
The Cask Strength is a 10. As far as I know, Macallan does not make a 12 year Cask Strength.
There is an "no age statement" cast strength Macallan. Worth getting ?

http://www.scotchblog.ca/scotch_blog...-strength.html
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