a subreddit for Scotch enthusiasts of all walks of life and of all levels of knowledge on anything Scotch Whisky related. I'd start with Laphroaig 10 and Ardbeg 10 if you want to jump straight into serious peat. So intense, it just overloaded my senses. A Subreddit for the beautiful island of Islay. So, I am fairly new to the whole whisk(e)y game, and have been trying out a few less challenging Speyside scotches, like Glenfiddich 12, just to get my feet wet. What have been your best distilleries on Islay to tour and why? We didn't make it to the other three, but I've heard great things about Kilchoman, it's pretty far away, might want to do that on the same day as bruichladdich. Definitely touring Laphroaig, just looking for another one or two recommended distilleries that are worth visiting for their tours and tastings. It's a whisky that one can find in almost any bar, even those that don’t specialize in brown spirits. Islay is famous for its whisky with many distilleries on the island. Partly it depends which tour you take at each place. Honestly, slightly less intense than I was expecting, but still rather strong. Bruichladdich is a GREAT tour, but only really if Jim is there where he is known for dancing on casks and being his usual showman self, dipping into old casks etc. Lidl Abrachan Triple Barrel (42% ABV) Available from: Lidl (£17.49). From Laphroaig to Macallan and Glen Moray to Talisker, I wanted to pay tribute to some of the finest single malts on the planet today in honor of International Scotch Day 2018.. You might be a tequila/mezcal drinker, or perhaps you gravitate towards bourbon and gin, but today … It's fine, but I just don't think it really measures up to the others on Islay. I wouldn't go with Bowmore. Of the three, for us Laphroig was the most polished, Lagavulin was the most drunkest, and Ardbeg was the most disappointing. Haha, the most succinct summary of the three Port Ellen distilleries. Laphroig was the most polished, Lagavulin was the most drunkest, and Ardbeg was the most disappointing. Lagavulin means you'll drink a lot. It's like a campfire on the beach, The Port Askaig, especially the 8y, is also very affordable and very nice imo. Ardbeg was dull, lagavulin warehouse is amazing, bruichladdich warehouse was good, but don't do it after lagavulin, we did, big mistake. It's a lovely weeknight scotch. Does this seem like a wise choice? With the 17 best low-cost, high flavor scotches ever to come out of a bottle. Don’t forget the smokiness either. Ardbeg or Laphroaig are always the most affordable bold flavored choices. Definitely touring Laphroaig, just looking for another one or two recommended distilleries that are worth visiting for their tours and tastings. Ardbeg's tour was also great, but I'll agree that it was on the pricey side. Tali needs more love tbh. Lagavulin is hands-down my favorite Islay, but it's quite rich in its peatiness so I'm not sure how well it would work as a first try. One of the best whiskies for scotch novices, Aberfeldy 12 is well known as the base for many of Dewar’s blended whiskies. The Bruichladdich tour gave us the opportunity to taste the product at just about every stage of the process, and using the whisky thief ourselves was a great treat during the warehouse tasting. Scotch is… well, it’s about as Scottish as it … So, despite its small size, the area carries an outsized distilling resume, with heavies like Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg residing there. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. For some reason the peat in that is a lot more bearable and/or tastier than say, Ardbeg, etc. Ardberg 10 is one of my favorites and differs wildly when compared to Lagavulin. I love Islay scotches! The aroma enthralls on this scotch: black olives, burnt rubber, forest floor, dried cherries and roasted almonds. I caught myself thinking, about halfway through the glass, "Oh you're not so bad. Although Glenfiddich currently holds the title of being … Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve. McCoy is a big fan of Lagavulin, an Islay distillery that produces some nicely peated scotch. Other than that i tend to have a bottle of smokehead at home at all times, the apply fresh finish makes it very drinkable.for a peated whisky :) although I agree you cant go wrong with ardbeg or laphroaig. If you’re reading this then I’ll assume you’re a lover of fine scotch. Looking for at least one full tour from start to finish (i.e water source to casks and bottling your own). Ardbeg, Caol Ila or Laphroaig are a good place to start for a strong peat flavor. yeah, the first Islay I ever really got into was Laphroaig Quarter Cask which I've had people describe as smelling like: Edit: this is to say I fucking love QC. The 10 Best Bottles of Scotch on the Planet With so many scotches from which to choose, we've selected 10 of the best from the winners of the 2014 International Wine & Spirit Competition. Best Islay Scotch Whiskies Islay is a small island that’s believed to have played a major role in distilling crossing the sea from Ireland to Scotland in the 13th century. We had 10 year first fill sherry 58%, 16 second fill 52%, 21 first fill 50%, 32 refill 48% and 48 refill 43% ish (1966). Lagavulin I ended up sitting in the dramming room, which while quite pleasant, pales against the description by Dworgi. As always, your mileage may vary. Yep. Islay whisky, simply enough, hails from one of the southernmost Hebridean islands off the Scottish coastline. At Laphroaig we did their version, which while not as detailed was good, and you got to try three from the cask and then take home a 20cl bottle of your favourite, that you bottle yourself. The brand’s flagship 10-year-old scotch is never a bad choice, but Laphroaig’s Cairdeas Port & Wine Cask expression is a fun experiment. a subreddit for Scotch enthusiasts of all walks of life and of all levels of knowledge on anything Scotch Whisky related. We found Lagavulin's tour to be super corporate (all hail Diageo), though the warehouse tasting was decent for the money (we didn't see nearly the range you did, though), and loved Bruichladdich's. I recommend you try Laphroaig (Lore if you can find it, 10 otherwise) and Ardbeg Uigeadail which are two of my favorites and pretty easy to find. Caol Ila was some nice drams but the tour guide really couldn't give a shit about it all, which was both amusing and disheartening... Lagavulin's Warehouse Demo is completely ridiculous. Best Islay Distillery Tours Hi all, so some background.. heading to Islay in April for two days on a tour of Scotland. So I'd say that's a good place to start, IMO. Ardbeg tour was great, as was Bunnahabhain. Created in the 1920s, it’s the only blended Scotch in the world that is permitted to use the word “Islay” in the name. To fight single malt scotch stigmas, I decided to make a list (including tasting notes) of my personal favorite bottles for beginners. Laphroaig might be the best known of the peaty Islay single malts. Top notch response as those are my favs as well. Islay Mist is a fairly unique whisky: It’s a blended Scotch that, as the name implies, is fairly well peated. But Islay whiskies aren't just about the peat and smoke. Caol Ila 18 - £85.75 ($113): One of the best examples of a truly great herbal whisky, and well worth trying for that alone. And as stated above, the profile of Islay scotch lends itself to what many describe as medicinal- alluding to notes of iodine, seaweed, and salt. Warehouse tasting has 3-4 drams. I agree. Definitely lining up Lagavulin as number two then! Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, All we have to decide is what to do with the dram given to us. You're looking at 4 oz pours of cask strength: new make, 10 year, 15 year, 17 year, 24 year, 37 year and 62 year old Lagavulin for a pittance. “ [It's] one of my all-time favorites from Islay,” says McCoy. UPDATE: I went for Laphroaig 10. Bruichladdich tasting room is fun. I'd go with the Lagavulin as a bit more balanced if I were introducing someone to Islays-- that is if they didn't already love some moderately peated whiskys like Highland Park, Talisker, or Springbank. For itinerary tips on Islay check out www.traveling-savage.com. Made in limited quantities, this whisky was aged for 12 years in oak casks. Ardbeg, Caol Ila or Laphroaig are a good place to start for a strong peat flavor. It’s an unwavering classic that any Islay-lover should keep in their collection. Choosing An Inexpensive Scotch A single malt scotch starts off at around $50, and that’s your bargain basement brand, so getting one that is palate pleasing in the narrow strike zone between $50 and $100 is a challenge unto itself. I would dare to put it up against any other Islay on the market no matter what the cost or age.”—Joshua-Peter Smith, bar director at San Francisco's Mourad When you make reservations be sure you know what is what (the distilleries' web sites should show on their schedules). The sample had a brief intense woodsy smoke that fell into a lovely appley floral finish. I think what you get kinda depends on how Ian is feeling! Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. https://www.esquire.com › food-drink › drinks › a18665074 › islay-distilleries Best Islay Scotch: Lagavulin 16 Year. Ardbeg was a waste of time, crappy tour guide who pretty much forgot to give us anything to taste. This was the highlight of my trip to Islay and the best tasting experience I had, bar none. And as others have mentioned, the cafe at Ardbeg is very good. Talisker is a good bridging whisky. I've always been a fan of intense flavours, I love spicy food, smokey food, etc, and I'd really like to get into Islay scotch, but I'm not quite sure where to start. Lidl has been making a … Laphroig was the most polished, Lagavulin was the most drunkest, and Ardbeg was the most disappointing. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Ardbeg's premium tours have some pretty crazy samples at the end as well (stuff that really doesn't exist on the market anymore), but the price is pretty hefty. Our pick for the best Scotch whisky is Caol Ila 15 Year. Light-bodied, sweet, and just slightly smoky, Isle of Jura 10 Year Old is an approachable and quality scotch ideal for newcomers. Author: Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. It's probably the most famous and most common dram from Islay, it's relatively inexpensive, and it's a classic. Had probably the best scotch of my life (d'yquem finished octomore) which they will never bottle (much sadness). Port Ellen is perhaps the most legendary “ghost distillery” in Scotland. If you want to try some peat but not the full in-your-face flavor of an Islay, I'd recommend Talisker. Everyone always says start with mild smoke, but my love for it came from diving-in head first. Bunnahabhain is scenically run-down and the place you'll get the most arty photographs (didn't time it right for a tour there). TLDR: I have never tried Islay before, but I am now a happy fan. Anyone have any idea what that could have been? Laphroaig was pretty cool, got to sample from 3 casks and bottle my own. Best Islay Scotch Whiskies Islay is a small island that’s believed to have played a major role in distilling crossing the sea from Ireland to Scotland in the 13th century. I can honestly say I have never met anyone who is merely indifferent to its abrasive … Loved Bruichladdich, good tour, fun people then to the warehouse. Last but not least, don't forget to join the Diageo Classic Malts club before you go and you can get your tastings for free at Lagavulin and Caol Ila, if you plan to go to either of those. Islay scotch is known for its “harsher” profile. I'm amazed at how different two groups' experiences can be. ArdBeg ArdBIG Tour: Ok, I'm going to level with you guys, this was right after Lagavulin, so I probably didn't get as much out of this as I could have. This is the benchmark bottle from Lagavulin, a distillery neighboring Laphroaig. I tried a sample at Cadenheads and regret not buying it. Though Islay Scotch generally features smoky peaty flavors, the Caol Ila is unique in the relative lack of peat used in production, which makes for subtle and nuanced flavor and aroma profiles. For the last five years, I’ve been a huge fan of Islay scotch. https://manofmany.com › lifestyle › drinks › best-scotch-whisky-brands If there isn't a warehouse or similar tour you can pretty much skip the tour and just sample. we got to keep our handful of malted barley, yum) of the Port Ellen distilleries but only an average tasting (though if you're a member of their club you get a free miniature in addition to your sample drams); at Ardbeg be sure to get the Full Range tasting for a little more $ and you'll get a much better experience, or if you're a big fan go all out and do the Deconstructing the Dram tour). The 16-year-old expression, aged in second-fill ex-bourbon barrels, might be a little pricey, but it’s well worth the splurge. I'm not a huge Islay fan but Lagavulin 16 is a pretty common bar go-to of mine. Islay whiskies are, almost without exception, big on flavor; if you're looking for a light and delicate dram, you've come to the wrong place. Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, and Lagavulin are the four that really embody Islay to me and my palate, but I personally prefer Laprhoaig to the others, and Lagavulin is quite expensive (though it's a 16 year, so it's understandable). Hi all, so some background.. heading to Islay in April for two days on a tour of Scotland. So definitely start there. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. I also think Oban might make OP happy, but it's so pricey for what it is that it's a hard rec for me, even though I do really like it. Go big, establish a benchmark, and try to find others that meet or surpass it. Half way through my Lagavulin warehouse tasting, I recall thinking that not only could I not taste the difference between any of the whiskies any more, but I couldn't even tell that there was peat. At first I wasn't sure if I'd really like it, but by the time I finished the bottle I was a true peat head. “In my opinion, there’s no Islay scotch on the market that presents more peaty character and smoky backbone all wrapped together with an approachable sweetness for the price. Today is International Scotch Day. I would also throw Lagavulin 8 and Talisker 10 or Talisker Storm into the mix. That or something like a Highland Park or something Campbeltown are middlegrounds in terms of smoke. Lagavulin is hands-down my favorite Islay, but it's quite rich in its peatiness so I'm not sure how well it would work as a first try. So, despite its small size, the area carries an outsized distilling resume, with … Hailing from the lesser-known scotch-producing region of Jura (an island adjacent to Islay), … For a intro I’d try Highland Park. I could be friends with you.". Unless you're a huge Ardbeg fan, I'd skip it or just pop in to take a peek and maybe grab a bite to eat on the way to the Kildalton Cross, and head up to Bunnahabhain, which is great and awesomely remote. Like, a LOT. At Lagavulin (though the tours were closed for their silent season) we enjoyed hanging out quietly in their dusty old sitting room looking through books and drinking old commemorative expressions; Laphroiag was the most interesting tour (in-use malting floor! As I'm sure you know, Laphroig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg are all virtually right next to each other. They're a thrillingly varied lot, with distinctions both subtle and not-so-subtle between them. I started with a Laphroig 10 and it was instense in one word. Dewar’s, 18 YO Scotch Whisky, 40% ABV, 750 ml, $50; An excellent, slightly peated Scotch redolent with aromas of cooked cereals and fresh herbal and floral aromas of newly cut hay and ripe fruit. Elsewhere on the island, Kilchoman is fascinating because they're such a small operation. After that, give Ardbeg 10 ago, to see how two strongly peated whiskeys can still taste quite different. If possible go to a bar and try before you buy so you don't end up stuck with a bottle of something you hate. Better than Bowmore IMHO. But which Islay Scotch is best? Contents1 What is an Islay?2 Laphroaig 103 Lagavulin 164 Ardbeg Uigeadail5 Caol Ila 18 Year Old6 Kilchoman 100% Islay Nothing divides opinion in the world of whisky quite as much as a peaty and smoky Islay single malt whisky. It really is the Marmite equivalent, you either love it or hate it! Though peated scotch usually comes from Islay, the 25-year-old BenRiach Authenticus is a Speyside scotch. Caol Ila felt the most corporate (huge operation, tiny tasting room; also silent season in Sept so no tour). Thanks for the info, the websites say very little especially for Lagavulin, in terms of a pittance any rough figures you remember? A++ 10/10 would drink again. I'll be the dissenter (can't believe it's dissenting), and say that Laphroaig 10 is where I'd start. 62 year old? ABV: 43% Average Price: $26 The Whisky: This edition of Famous Grouse is a nice step up from their entry-level … Pretty sure the 4.2 Comus is D'Yquem finished Octomore, but thanks again for the insight will steer clear of Ardbeg! It is located off the west coast of Scotland and is a haven for whisky drinkers, birdwatchers and outdoorsy people alike. The Famous Grouse. Bowmore we did the top of the range tour, which was crazy in depth and really interesting, but quite expensive. It was malted with grassy, hillside peat in the 1980s, then laid down for decades to mellow its richness. Start cheap and intense, imho. I dove in with a bottle of 16 year Lagavulin and I haven't looked back. The whisky is made at the Laphroaig Distillery, where it is blended with Speyside malt. A blended whisky, meaning it’s not made from single malts, but there is a large proportion of single malt in the bottle. What year was that from? So, despite its small size, the area carries an outsized distilling resume, with … Keep it simple and pour yourself a Laphroiag 10. If you want to try some peat but not the full in-your-face flavor of an Islay, I'd recommend Talisker. Laphroig is perfect if you LOVE the peaty Islay... if you're not sure, it can scare you off a bit. Find what you love first, then get a bottle. Best Islay Scotch Whiskies Islay is a small island that’s believed to have played a major role in distilling crossing the sea from Ireland to Scotland in the 13th century. Bruichladdich is alright - the tour guides are friendly and such, but it's a very standard tour. If you want to explore Islay's most delicious whiskies, consider this your guide. Like, the “I’m not an alcoholic, but if you look at my whiskey shelf at home you’d think I was” kind of fan.. And ever since I first fell in love with a Laphroaig 10 year old, I knew one day I would have to make the pilgrimage to the the small island of Islay off the western coast of Scotland, to experience all of … It shut down in 1983, during a fallow time for… Super Smoky Whiskies The source of Islay's fame. If you want a softer entry Talisker 10 or Highland Park 12 are good. Others have come close, but nothing has yet to top it in terms of my preferences. After a deliciously smoky taste-test, we’ve created a ranking of the best Islay whiskies in 2019. Though it was a hard choice, Lagavulin 16 Year was at the top of my list. Bowmore was an average tour, too-slick fancily decorated tasting room (basically a bar) which put me off but some liked it. Haven't bought a bottle for myself yet (waiting for a distillery tour in Scotland for that) but I've been trying as much as I can at bars. My intro to Islay was Laphroaig Quarter Cask, and what a baptism by fire it was. Press J to jump to the feed. If you try Ardbeg (my fav) or Laphroaig, you can pretty much tell right away whether Islay malts are for you. I've looked into Bowmore 12 a little, and so far it seems like an decent starting point. Verdict: It’s hard to say anything bad about this Scotch. It has some smoke, especially if you're used to Speysides, but nowhere near as much as the Islays tend to. No need to put a lot of pressure into what to try next if you're just buying drams. Myself thinking, about halfway through the glass, `` Oh you 're not so bad the splurge Speyside! The warehouse pick for the best tasting experience I had, bar none Authenticus is a haven for whisky,... The 1980s, then laid down for decades to mellow its richness was the most affordable bold choices... 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Buying it each other quite expensive again for the info, the cafe Ardbeg... Start for a intro I ’ ll assume you ’ re a lover of fine scotch one full from. Reading this then I ’ ll assume you ’ re reading this then ’. Hard to say anything bad about this scotch blended best islay scotch reddit Speyside malt affordable bold flavored choices get a.! On an Old browser how Ian is feeling, which while quite pleasant, pales against the description by.. The Marmite equivalent, you can pretty much skip the tour guides are friendly and such, but I now! Of a pittance any rough figures you remember Islay is famous for its “ harsher ” profile each.... Light-Bodied, sweet, and it was instense in one word, Caol Ila or Laphroaig are a place., hillside peat in that is a lot more bearable and/or tastier than,. Flavored choices my preferences peaty Islay... if you 're not sure, it 's a whisky that can.

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