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Recomendation for a good whiskey


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Whiskey is Irish, Whisky is Scottish.

 

Smokey Whisky = Ledaig 18, Glenturret 10 or Port Charlotte 10. Speyside (not smokey) Dailuaine 16, Ben Rinnes or Mannochmore.

As mentioned Auchentoshan is (like Irish Whiskey) triple distilled, the Three Wood is very good, much better (IMO) than the American Oak.

 

The online 'Masters of Malt' shop is good.

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On 07/02/2021 at 10:42, JohnfromUK said:

Therefore - I suggest going to Aldi or Lidl

On this occasion I say no, I've tried them and I won't bother again.

I might have a glass maybe two at the weekend so I want it to be really nice not just ok.

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I recommend Bunnahabhain 12yr old - I got a bottle from Amazon over Christmas and it was lovely. It's an Islay single malt with a good review set and I'll definitely be getting more if it.

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4 hours ago, Mice! said:

On this occasion I say no, I've tried them and I won't bother again.

That's fine - they are a cheap way to try the different styles.  Get very acceptable reviews.

Have you also considered one of these 'tourist' type selections?  3 or 4 small size bottles of different malts.  It is an expensive way of buying whisky, but you do get to try several - and don't end up with a full size bottle of something you don't like.  (No connection with the company linked and offered as an example)

https://whiskytastingcompany.com/products/single-malt-whisky-tasting-set

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I'm not a big whiskey drinker as fine alot of them harsh and the west coast ones seem always too peaty for me, but, I like ROYAL LOCHNAGAR 12year old and it must be reasonable as it states on the bottle:

By appointment to their late majesties Queen Vic, Edward VII and George V

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Royal Lochnagar is good, but harsh compared to the likes of Mannochmore and Ben Rinnes. Speyburn is similar to Royal Lochnagar but still smoother as are they are from the Flora and Fauna range. They are all Diagio whiskys too so principly used in thier blends.

The OP asked about Irish Whiskey, of which I know little. I think most of the good stuff is only available in Ireland with only the supermarket casks getting across the border. Teeling and Fercullen are pretty good I recall.

Edited by miki
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So there you have it.  Everyone recommends you buy every single type of whisky there is! 😃

I was going to give exactly the same answer as John did above:

On 07/02/2021 at 10:42, JohnfromUK said:

Whisky is so varied and what people like so different, its is only really possible to recommend what you like yourself.

Therefore - I suggest going to Aldi or Lidl.  They have three 'in house brands - Aldi's is called Glen Marnoch, not sure what Lidl's is called.  They are both available in Highland (blue label), Speyside (purple label), and Islay (green label) 'regions' as a basic malt whisky - with some older more deluxe versions around.  All are cheap for a malt whisky - and perfectly passable to drink being representative of the style.

Speyside is easy drinking and probably the most likely to please for the beginner, with Highland slighly peatier - and Islay the most peaty and probably the least 'easy' for the non whisky drinker.

I would buy an Aldi/Lidl Speyside (or Highland) for about £20 or less - and see how you like it.  If it goes down well - explore more widely (and more expensively!)

If you find that you develop a taste for single malt, and you've the time and the funds in the future, a Distillery tour around Scotland's mainland and islands would be a fantastic holiday I think - wherever you go you're amongst some absolutely breathtaking scenery.  Definitely on my bucket list.

As to the here and now, I have a few suggestions.  Firstly, most people buy their whisky in a supermarket.  That's fine, you get some perfectly acceptable malts on the shelves, and some really good, but the selection is limited and doesn't change much from year to year.  I'd go for something like a Glenlivet, Tamnavulin, Dalwhinnie or even a Glenfiddich which are all easy drinking.  You can read the blurb on the packaging to give you half a clue of what to expect but some are more pretentious than others.  As is the norm with with supermarkets they fiddle with the prices all the time so you should try to buy them when they're reduced to somewhere in the region of £22 to £25.  Quite a few options will have a half bottle size but when you look at the price difference you may as well buy the full one!

Further to John's mention of the supermarket "own brand" whiskies, I have a theory.  These three "regional" own brands (Islay (pron. "eye-luh"), Speyside & Highland) all became available at roughly the same time in Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and Asda so I reckon they're exactly the same stuff wherever you buy them.  Therefore I'd suggest you don't waste your time and money trying the same type from different shops.  To the more distinguished palate, these regional examples are, it's fair to say, a bit rough round the edges... but they are perfectly acceptable and give you an indicator as to what you can expect from the different regions.  Not all Scottish whiskies fit into these three very broad categories though, so basically the more you try the more you find out!

Suggestion 2:  Check out https://www.whisky-me.com/  where you can subscribe for £7 a month and receive a 50cl sample of different whisky every month.  Not only do you never get bored of the same thing but they have tasting notes and info on the distilleries, and also a live tasting online if you keep tabs on their social media outlets.  They also have an online shop so if you really like a particular dram you can buy the bottle.  A bit on the pricey side but hey that's single malt nowadays, it's become fashionable and has acquired a price tag to match.

Suggestion 3: Ask on your local social media if there are any whisky tasting nights local to you.  You'll find it really enjoyable to attend one of these type of things, even if you know nothing about whisky or don't particularly like it!  Some will be more expensive than others.  The one I go to is run by a small group of teachers and ex-teachers of a local secondary school.  The event is held in the school hall, with pre-drinks in the staff room! It's a non-profit venture, costing £10 for the evening where you'll get either 5 or 6 whiskies plus a "blend" at the end where they basically pour all the leftovers into a massive jug and share it out!  I'd guess this is going to be quite a privilege I enjoy because most tasting nights will cost a lot more.  To be fair, they have a raffle and I always buy at least £10 worth of tickets and occasionally bring a prize along, which helps with the funding.

Of course, you could scrap all of the above advice and just buy a bottle of Bell's and live the rest of your life thinking that that's "whisky" which couldn't be further from the truth.  I wouldn't put it in my mince pies.  Maybe use it for hot toddies if I was desperate.

Just one more note.  There's a lot of controversy surrounding HOW you drink a whisky.  To bust one myth, ice-cubes are NOT the way to drink it.  Cold dulls flavour, warmth accentuates it, so do not put ice in your whisky if you want to enjoy it to its fullest.  It's generally accepted that you add a little room-temperature water to a whisky, which will range from just a tiny drop up to a bit of a dribble depending on the dram.  Most whiskies will be "normalised" to 40% abv by, quite simply, watering them down.  A lot of unusual ones will be a lot stronger, up to the mid 50s.  So you just have to suck it and see, start with a couple of drops and work up from there.

Adding water brings out the flavour, reduces the harshness with a particularly strong one, and can help you enjoy the finer points of the nose, palate and finish.  You just have to have a bit of an experiment, take a bit of guidance maybe, and you'll be on the right path.

Slan-ge-var! 🥃

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622794821_whisky-mepouches3.jpg.efcc1acb3d66275ce5d13bb70621c0e6.jpg

Hopefully you can read all that, just an example of the variation of whiskies that you just don't get in your local supermarket.  My brother-in-law bought me a subscription to whisky-me for my birthday last year.  Bonus: When you send 10 used pouches back you get sent one free whisky!

 

 

Edited by Jim Neal
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On 11/02/2021 at 23:57, Jim Neal said:

So there you have it.  Everyone recommends you buy every single type of whisky there is! 😃

I was going to give exactly the same answer as John did above:

If you find that you develop a taste for single malt, and you've the time and the funds in the future, a Distillery tour around Scotland's mainland and islands would be a fantastic holiday I think - wherever you go you're amongst some absolutely breathtaking scenery.  Definitely on my bucket list.

As to the here and now, I have a few suggestions.  Firstly, most people buy their whisky in a supermarket.  That's fine, you get some perfectly acceptable malts on the shelves, and some really good, but the selection is limited and doesn't change much from year to year.  I'd go for something like a Glenlivet, Tamnavulin, Dalwhinnie or even a Glenfiddich which are all easy drinking.  You can read the blurb on the packaging to give you half a clue of what to expect but some are more pretentious than others.  As is the norm with with supermarkets they fiddle with the prices all the time so you should try to buy them when they're reduced to somewhere in the region of £22 to £25.  Quite a few options will have a half bottle size but when you look at the price difference you may as well buy the full one!

Further to John's mention of the supermarket "own brand" whiskies, I have a theory.  These three "regional" own brands (Islay (pron. "eye-luh"), Speyside & Highland) all became available at roughly the same time in Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and Asda so I reckon they're exactly the same stuff wherever you buy them.  Therefore I'd suggest you don't waste your time and money trying the same type from different shops.  To the more distinguished palate, these regional examples are, it's fair to say, a bit rough round the edges... but they are perfectly acceptable and give you an indicator as to what you can expect from the different regions.  Not all Scottish whiskies fit into these three very broad categories though, so basically the more you try the more you find out!

Suggestion 2:  Check out https://www.whisky-me.com/  where you can subscribe for £7 a month and receive a 50cl sample of different whisky every month.  Not only do you never get bored of the same thing but they have tasting notes and info on the distilleries, and also a live tasting online if you keep tabs on their social media outlets.  They also have an online shop so if you really like a particular dram you can buy the bottle.  A bit on the pricey side but hey that's single malt nowadays, it's become fashionable and has acquired a price tag to match.

Suggestion 3: Ask on your local social media if there are any whisky tasting nights local to you.  You'll find it really enjoyable to attend one of these type of things, even if you know nothing about whisky or don't particularly like it!  Some will be more expensive than others.  The one I go to is run by a small group of teachers and ex-teachers of a local secondary school.  The event is held in the school hall, with pre-drinks in the staff room! It's a non-profit venture, costing £10 for the evening where you'll get either 5 or 6 whiskies plus a "blend" at the end where they basically pour all the leftovers into a massive jug and share it out!  I'd guess this is going to be quite a privilege I enjoy because most tasting nights will cost a lot more.  To be fair, they have a raffle and I always buy at least £10 worth of tickets and occasionally bring a prize along, which helps with the funding.

Of course, you could scrap all of the above advice and just buy a bottle of Bell's and live the rest of your life thinking that that's "whisky" which couldn't be further from the truth.  I wouldn't put it in my mince pies.  Maybe use it for hot toddies if I was desperate.

Just one more note.  There's a lot of controversy surrounding HOW you drink a whisky.  To bust one myth, ice-cubes are NOT the way to drink it.  Cold dulls flavour, warmth accentuates it, so do not put ice in your whisky if you want to enjoy it to its fullest.  It's generally accepted that you add a little room-temperature water to a whisky, which will range from just a tiny drop up to a bit of a dribble depending on the dram.  Most whiskies will be "normalised" to 40% abv by, quite simply, watering them down.  A lot of unusual ones will be a lot stronger, up to the mid 50s.  So you just have to suck it and see, start with a couple of drops and work up from there.

Adding water brings out the flavour, reduces the harshness with a particularly strong one, and can help you enjoy the finer points of the nose, palate and finish.  You just have to have a bit of an experiment, take a bit of guidance maybe, and you'll be on the right path.

Slan-ge-var! 🥃

Where’s the like button?!

Great post.

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@Jim Neal Have to agree with @hod that's a great post. Particularly agree with keeping an eye on supermarkets for the likes of Tamnavulin, Keith, Elgin and so on.

All I would add to that is my preference is not to use tap water straight from the tap, leave it 24 hours or so for any chlorine taste to disperse or use bottled.

Had to smile at your post with the samples too there's my favourite distilleries in a little bunch, Bunnahabhains and Highland Park, good tastings from them too 👍

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On 11/02/2021 at 23:57, Jim Neal said:

so I reckon they're exactly the same stuff wherever you buy them. 

I am not sure that all the supermarkets’ own-brand labels are all the same. My friend’s father owns Glasgow Whisky Ltd and supplies Lidl with their own brand. We He has it overproof in stoppered bottles in his house when you stay with him from “tasting” or something. Puts hairs on your chest staying with a Scottish distillery owner for a few days 🤣 

We go up on route to the highlands each year to stay a few days with them. He’s genuinely the nicest man I’ve ever met and a very good story teller. 

Edited by WalkedUp
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On 07/02/2021 at 16:47, miki said:

As mentioned Auchentoshan is (like Irish Whiskey) triple distilled, the Three Wood is very good, much better (IMO) than the American Oak.

 

I'm on the American oak at the moment,  it's very nice 😁 a nice easy drinking whisky,  I'll keep an eye out for the three wood.

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5 hours ago, JTaylor91 said:

I’ve always fancied the idea of enjoying a whisky but every time I have been given one it’s been like creosote. Maybe I will give that whisky-me a whirl for a few months.

If your lasting impression is creosote then you've been dragged past the splash pool and got chucked straight in at the deep end!  Most likely an Islay whisky such as a Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardbeg or Ardmore.  Not beginner stuff.  Give it another go with something a bit lighter on the palate, the peaty/smoky stuff will grow on you as you get more of a taste for whisky.

2 hours ago, WalkedUp said:

I am not sure that all the supermarkets’ own-brand labels are all the same.

Only a theory, as I said, and obviously if you know this chap and have some inside info I'd be prepared to accept that's the case!  It's just that all of them emerged at around the same time... seem to taste/smell the same and all seem to be price-matched against each other no matter which shop you go in.  I definitely think Tesco and Asda have the same stuff in differently packaged bottles.

2 hours ago, malmick said:

All I would add to that is my preference is not to use tap water straight from the tap, leave it 24 hours or so for any chlorine taste to disperse or use bottled.

Absolutely, I didn't mention that due to already waffling on too much in my previous lengthy post.  At home, I use a drop of already boiled water from the kettle.  Elsewhere, a small bottle of mineral water.

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7 hours ago, WalkedUp said:

I am not sure that all the supermarkets’ own-brand labels are all the same

Certainly, the Aldi and Lidl offerings seem to be and even have 'similar' labels/label colouring.

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5 hours ago, JohnfromUK said:

Certainly, the Aldi and Lidl offerings seem to be and even have 'similar' labels/label colouring.

Because they are trying to copy established whisky's.

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