Whisky / Whiskey



  • I'm a lazy searcher, so I have started a new thread on whisky / whiskey.

    I've recently hit 40 and started watching Mad Men, so I felt obliged to invest in a couple of single malt Scotches. It's quite a complicated world, but booze is always rewarding.

    I have purchased a Glenlivet Founders Reserve and a Glenmorangie 10 year old, with the latter the standout of those two. Each has set me back less than $60, which is pretty much bottom dollar for a single malt. I'm not really willing to go too much higher pricewise yet, so does anyone have any suggestions on good scotch in the NZD 60-80 range or equivalent?

    I have tried a few Islay varieties and I am probably keen to develop my taste elsewhere for now.



  • At the Tauranga Food Festival (Biggest joke ever and would never attend again along with a lot of others I spoke with) and they had a NZ whiskey called Sheep Dip which was a blended whisky.

    It was beautiful and rather pricey (I think a couple of hundy for a bottle) but was one of the nicest I have ever tried.



  • Errr looking into it, it mauy not be made in NZ, I just assumed because of the name



  • my fave Whisky is above your price range, but is The Macallan 12yr, matured in Sherry Casks (they do upto 40yrs as well, but haven't been fortunate/rich enough to try these)

    Balvenie is another good drop, with a reasonable range that might sit at the top end of what you are looking at (I get my in-laws to get me a bottle of something when they come over from the UK - so am not always right with pricing)

    Bushmills whiskey is decent too and probably in your price range.

    Do you do bourbon?

    Makers Mark, Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbons are good.

    My goto is Drambuie though whereas is a bit of a risk spending a decent amount on one that turns out to be average.



  • I like Jura Origin - it is pretty light for Scotch, but I also like Glenmorangie, so it might be to your taste and it should be in your price range.



  • @Chris-B. I always notice JUra when I am looking (bottle shape) but have never grabbed it, might have to next time I get a bottle.



  • Like TR, I find The Macallan a decent drop and also like TR I've not tried the 40 year stuff. I also like Abelour 12 yr. Glenlivet I find is an easy drink too. If you like the peaty taste of the Islay malts Lagavulin is a good entry point, not as out and out peaty as Laphroaig.

    However no matter which malt you are drinking you should try it with just the merest splash of water, it opens it out beautifully. I was always a drink it neat bloke but after a visit to a whisky drinking club in Edinburgh I was convinced.



  • @Catogrande said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    Like TR, I find The Macallan a decent drop and also like TR I've not tried the 40 year stuff. I also like Abelour 12 yr. Glenlivet I find is an easy drink too. If you like the peaty taste of the Islay malts Lagavulin is a good entry point, not as out and out peaty as Laphroaig.

    However no matter which malt you are drinking you should try it with just the merest splash of water, it opens it out beautifully. I was always a drink it neat bloke but after a visit to a whisky drinking club in Edinburgh I was convinced.

    I was the same. It was after going to the Scottish Whisky Society in Leith back in the early 90s that I was taught. They used to have bottles of water from Loch Maree to splash in.
    It was also partly because most of the stuff they had was cask strength which is higher in alc. than your average bottle.
    If you like the Macallan Sherry Cask singles then hunt out some of the special wood finishes from Glendronach. Their Sherry Cask one used to be a favourite of mine but they dont do it any more. They have moved on to more specific things (I guess to be different) including a Marsala finish that sounds yummy.
    I'm a bit peeved that I only discovered this http://www.timeout.com/london/blog/make-your-own-whisky-at-chivas-regals-pop-up-bar-on-brick-lane-100316 by seeing it around the corner from work. Like everything good in London it sold out real quick. £15 for an hour of tasting singles then making your own blend to take home! Bargain!



  • @Tregaskis, another good point to work from to discover what you enjoy is Highland Park (Original).
    If I could only have 3 Whiskys to showcase they would be Highland Park then Macallan (Highland) and Laphroig (Islay) to show what it's like either side of that spectrum.

    @Catogrande funny thing is that Laphroig and Lagavulin are made to the same recipe using the same ingredients and equipment. Back in the day Lagavulin built next to Laphroig, headhunted their main distiller, copied the notes regarding the stills (these include every dent etc) and set up in direct competition. I think the only difference is a water source from a slightly different place.
    The iodine like tang you get from these two (and not so much from other Islay whiskies) is due to the casks being stored outside and exposed to the salty sea spray)



  • @Crucial That sounds brilliant but Christ knows what my blend would have been like after an hour of tasting single malts!

    I didn't know the history between Lagavulin and Laphraoig but given that history you'd think they would be more alike. I have to say I find Lagavulin the more approachable.



  • Yeah, they are certainly different and it shows how much something like slightly different water (bear in mind their springs are probably side by side as well) can make.
    Lagavulin used to be a favourite of mine but sadly I trained my brain to reject peaty whiskies a few years ago by absolutely hammering a bottle of Talsiker the missus brought back duty free on a birthday. The hangover was so wicked I found that afterward I really struggled with anything from the West Coast.
    The good news is that I have been on a long term rebuilding programme using Highland Park to get my strength back. 😉



  • @Crucial Good man. No-one likes a quitter.



  • @Crucial ah I wondered why I hadn't spied the macallan I liked for a long time.

    Might try the other you recommend.

    Not a fan of the 2 Islay ones you mention, too peaty for my taste.



  • One word. Laphroig.

    Also remember Whisky - Scottish....Whiskey - everywhere else.



  • So only Scotland has it wrong? Idiots.............



  • No Ardbeg fans?

    I tend to buy Laphroaig or one of the Ardbeg variations



  • @Hooroo its cos the Scottish are cheap cnuts and it was gonna cost more to have that extra 'E' on their label



  • @taniwharugby said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    @Chris-B. I always notice JUra when I am looking (bottle shape) but have never grabbed it, might have to next time I get a bottle.

    Certainly worth a try - I think they describe it as "light and delicate" and as far as Scotches go, that's a good description. I daresay hardcore Scotch drinkers might think it's insipid.

    Actually if you're a fan of Drambuie, you'd probably like Jura Origin.

    It's really nothing like Drambuie, but it's probably closer than any other Scotch I've tried - if that makes sense.



  • @MN5 said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    One word. Laphroig.

    Also remember Whisky - Scottish....Whiskey - everywhere else.

    Lecture people on spelling.. fuck up the spelling of Laphroaig..



  • @Duluth well he is a faux Scotsman that doesn't really like the Scottish nectar! 🙂 🥃



  • @Duluth said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    @MN5 said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    One word. Laphroig.

    Also remember Whisky - Scottish....Whiskey - everywhere else.

    Lecture people on spelling.. fuck up the spelling of Laphroaig..

    it was my phone's fault. My spelling is immaculate.



  • Awesome idea for a thread. Have a bit to add.

    I spent years drinking the standard stuff - Glenmorangie, Glenfiddich etc etc. But then over the last couple of years, have started to diversify a bit. Have had some cracking stuff. Have generally found that it's a case of the more you spend, the better it is. Given that I probably average around 3-5 glasses per month, theres no longer a case for the cheap stuff. Best I have found:

    Kilchoman Cask Strength - peaty as fuck, but unbelievably smooth and complex
    Cadenhead 27 year Small Batch - easily the best whisky I've had. Tastes change from front to back, everybody who calls themself a whisky drinker, needs to try this.

    Slightly different story - was out to dinner with some friends a couple of months back, and some of their friends turned up. One of the guys was a bit of a loudmouth American from Nashville. Think Seth Rogen lookalike, 6ft 5, 250-270 pounds type. Massive, loud, and had a few drinks, so a bit obnoxious. Anyway, we were having a cheeky apertif and this bloke says "I know whisky, it's my drink I bet I can tell you what it is". So, I'm sitting there thinking whatever cockhead, just shut the f up and chill out. Anyway, he picks up the glass, smells it and says his estimate of area. Then tastes it swirls and then guesses the brand, and then age, and says it's special edition, not the standard.

    He absolutely FUCKING NAILED IT. I was blown away. We had a long chat afterwards and he talked about the classes he'd done, what he looks out for and why he's so passionate about it. Really interesting stuff and now a pretty good mate.



  • @MajorRage said in Whisky / Whiskey:
    .

    Slightly different story - was out to dinner with some friends a couple of months back, and some of their friends turned up. One of the guys was a bit of a loudmouth American from Nashville. Think Seth Rogen lookalike, 6ft 5, 250-270 pounds type. Massive, loud, and had a few drinks, so a bit obnoxious. Anyway, we were having a cheeky apertif and this bloke says "I know whisky, it's my drink I bet I can tell you what it is". So, I'm sitting there thinking whatever cockhead, just shut the f up and chill out. Anyway, he picks up the glass, smells it and says his estimate of area. Then tastes it swirls and then guesses the brand, and then age, and says it's special edition, not the standard.

    He absolutely FUCKING NAILED IT. I was blown away. We had a long chat afterwards and he talked about the classes he'd done, what he looks out for and why he's so passionate about it. Really interesting stuff and now a pretty good mate.

    That's a great story!! I was waiting for the end of how you showed him up, but no.



  • @MajorRage so went from douche to champ in the space of a shot of Scotch 🙂

    Awesome...I'll never be in that league, and those you mentioned sound out of my price range, I just likes me a drop, not a shitty one, but something decent and my wife wont kill me if she finds out how much it cost!



  • because i am a pretentious piston wristed gibbon, i really want to be a scotch drinker. I want to be that guy that comes home and pours a single malt, and really enjoys it. It looks sophisticated and cool, and i so want to be sophisticated and cool.

    But, i really fucking can't stand the taste. To me, all straight liquor tastes like shitty Johnny Walker blended crap, my throat tries to close, and i make this retarded o-face as i try to keep it down.

    I keep thinking it is something you grow in to, but i seem to be getting further from it. My father in law smashes the stuff, and he's constantly trying to get me to join him, but i just can't do it.

    I know a large Welsh guy in Sydney who is a whisky ambassador. His job is to teach people to drink the stuff. His collection is impressive to say the least. I got in to them one night, but i certainly didn't enjoy the experience. I am honestly envious of you blokes who can put it away.



  • @mariner4life said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    because i am a pretentious piston wristed gibbon, i really want to be a scotch drinker. I want to be that guy that comes home and pours a single malt, and really enjoys it. It looks sophisticated and cool, and i so want to be sophisticated and cool.

    But, i really fucking can't stand the taste. To me, all straight liquor tastes like shitty Johnny Walker blended crap, my throat tries to close, and i make this retarded o-face as i try to keep it down.

    I keep thinking it is something you grow in to, but i seem to be getting further from it. My father in law smashes the stuff, and he's constantly trying to get me to join him, but i just can't do it.

    I know a large Welsh guy in Sydney who is a whisky ambassador. His job is to teach people to drink the stuff. His collection is impressive to say the least. I got in to them one night, but i certainly didn't enjoy the experience. I am honestly envious of you blokes who can put it away.

    I used to hate the stuff but have slowly acquired the taste.

    Kepp at it mate, you'll get there! You'll have a red veiny nose in no time!!!



  • @mariner4life I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an acquired taste for me. I used to hate the stuff, but my Dad loves it and my Mum told me he gets really excited about having a whisky with me. So I pushed on through and now I love it.

    Although, I guess like pot smokers, what I really love about it is the feeling of utter relaxation I get about 1 minute after the first sip as the alcohol kicks in.



  • @mariner4life I'm the opposite I used to be into straight spirits and new my whiskeys and cognacs but as I've got older I find I don't enjoy them at all.



  • @mariner4life said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    because i am a pretentious piston wristed gibbon,

    Seperately, your posts on every subject make much more sense when you start with these 6 words.



  • I used to drink whiskey/whisky when I was younger, the cheap nasty shit just to get trashed, couldn't handle it neat or on the rocks.

    When I was in Dublin I did the Jameson's tour, and of the group they pick 4 people to become 'whiskey tasters' and I was one.

    So they sit you down, give you the most rancid-fire-breathing-arse-burning scotch you could ever hope to find, 3 mint as Irish whiskies and a decent bourbon...part of the exercise is that you have no choice but to say the Irish is better than the Scotch, but what it revealed to me is that whiskey/whisky, like wine has subtle and complicated flavours, but they only become more noticeable with the quality drops.

    I even have a certificate somewhere to prove I am an 'Official Jamesons Whiskey Taster' 🥃

    I tried brandy and cognac but wasn't particularly taken with either, but again, probably a quality thing



  • @MajorRage being a pretentious piston wristed gibbon is something to strive for. I'm not even a little bit sorry!

    Climate has a bit to do with it these days as well. It's getting hot here already, so the only thing that feels good to drink is a beer just above freezing temp. Red wine is even off the menu (until i get my wine fridge in my new house).

    I guess I'll stick at it, maybe one day something will click



  • @mariner4life bro its just about looking cool and fitting in, shouldn't matter if you don't like something 🙄



  • @taniwharugby said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    @mariner4life bro its just about looking cool and fitting in, shouldn't matter if you don't like something 🙄

    you're right, I'm off to buy cigarettes



  • Speaking of pretentious.

    When working in Auckland I was staying at The Langham and was having a congnac after we had all been out to dinner.

    There was only a few of us left who wanted a nightcap so we all ordered what we felt like. It jsut got delivered and I was having a snort and in walked Nine inch Nails and Queens of the Stone age and sat opposite us. I was the only one who recognised them and I was gutted that I wasn't having a beer or something a bit less vank!! Stopped me from saying hi as I felt like a knob



  • @Hooroo Internet, won.



  • @mariner4life ha, I have a mate that has always been a social smoker and we have always given him grief, he now lives in an Eastern European country and he has taken up smoking properly now, his reason, it's too cheap not to! oh how we took the piss out of him for that!

    @Hooroo I was in a hotel in Glasgow and both Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age in the bar, they seemed more taken with the hot birds that were hanging about them



  • @Hooroo said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    Speaking of pretentious.

    When working in Auckland I was staying at The Langham and was having a congnac after we had all been out to dinner.

    There was only a few of us left who wanted a nightcap so we all ordered what we felt like. It jsut got delivered and I was having a snort and in walked Nine inch Nails and Queens of the Stone age and sat opposite us. I was the only one who recognised them and I was gutted that I wasn't having a beer or something a bit less vank!! Stopped me from saying hi as I felt like a knob

    I bet Trent Reznor fucking loves cognac, it probably would have been a better convo starter than a fucking Waikato.

    Plus drinking cognac and liking NIN makes you look like a man of multiple facets



  • @mariner4life said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    @Hooroo said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    Speaking of pretentious.

    When working in Auckland I was staying at The Langham and was having a congnac after we had all been out to dinner.

    There was only a few of us left who wanted a nightcap so we all ordered what we felt like. It jsut got delivered and I was having a snort and in walked Nine inch Nails and Queens of the Stone age and sat opposite us. I was the only one who recognised them and I was gutted that I wasn't having a beer or something a bit less vank!! Stopped me from saying hi as I felt like a knob

    I bet Trent Reznor fucking loves cognac, it probably would have been a better convo starter than a fucking Waikato.

    Plus drinking cognac and liking NIN makes you look like a man of multiple facets

    They were so rock and roll too! Josh Homme had his GF (Who is a lead singing of another band I think) on his knee drinking whatever and Trent Reznor was just a little stood back looking.

    I really had my fan boy wide on going!



  • This thread is rapidly making its way up the best threads ever list.



  • @mariner4life said in Whisky / Whiskey:

    i make this retarded o-face as i try to keep it down.

    Are you still talking about alcohol?


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