to all scotch drinkers,
in the wide array of different types, i.e islay,speyside,lowland, or any other.... what is your favorite style and or distillery?
comments on flavor notes and characteristics would gladly be heard
I visited the Blair Athol distillery in Scotland, they make quite good scotch. However, I tend to prefer less of a smoky taste in mine, and lean more toward the Irish whiskey rather than Scottish whisky. Something about that extra 'e'... I've tried more bourbons than Scotch, a product of spending a time living on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It's amazing the difference between low-end and high-end Wild Turkey. I do plan on diversifying my knowledge of Scotchs however.I believe Ron Burgundy demands it (I know you're a fan, Casey).
Started out with the 'Glens' but have recently progressed to the following 3 as my favorites. I typically have a bottle of each and open them depending on the occasion. I particularly fancy the Lagavulin - enjoy the 2 or 3 flavors one can experience in a single sip.
Special Occasions: Highland PArk 18yr - Smoky, rich and full flavored with notes of honey and peat and characteristics of toffee sweetness and almond nuttiness. Lagavulin 16 yr- a representative of that 'Classic Malt' with a deep, dry and exceptionally peaty note. I find it to be most distinct of all Islay malts.
General Occasions: Balvenie Single Barrel 15 year old & Balvenie 12yr Double Wood
Here's a story that I think I've recounted before on another thread.
Marty and I were on vacation in Scotland about 15 years ago; we'd been up the Western side of Scotland to John O'Groats and back down the Eastern side; sampling the scotch malts, among other things, as we went along. The night before we got back to Edinburgh, we stopped at a small Inn in Pitlochery. After kicking the dust off our boots, I decided it was time for a drink in the bar; Marty passed and reached for the pillow. When I got there, the bar was full of what I'd call "local color"; people with loud voices, big smiles and opinions aplenty. I pulled up a bar stool and said the the bartender: "I'll have a Lagavullin; straight up, no ice, no water". The guy sitting next to me, who looked like he made his living pulling trees out of the ground by their roots, turned to me, gave me a once-over look and said: "you'll have a what?" Before I could come up with a pleasant reply he said further: Do you know what that stuff is?". Once again, he beat me to the answer with his own: "It's phiss poured down a chimney!". I smiled a little, but judging his size and demeanor, decided on saying: "What would you recommend?" His answer: "The Macallan; a real malt!" So, discretion usually being the better part of valor, I turned to the bartender and said: "Make that The Macallan." I got a nod and a grunt from my neighbor; he went back to his conversation and I got very familiar with a new malt. Of the Speyside malts, I still prefer The Macallan to this day!
Recently I was turned on to another malt by some friends in Lyon who knew that I was a scotch drinker. It's called Glen Moray; not very well known outside of Europe not that expensive and on a dark and foggy night off the coast of Maine, the 12 year is drinking particularly well - right now.