Prior Post Update

In the comments to my last post, a couple of you mentioned that I need not fear the big Islays.  And truthfully, I don’t.  I figure that loving Highland Park 12 and liking Talisker 10 puts me in a position where I can at least tolerate some of the “dark, peaty side,” as they say.

This evening, I just so happened to find myself in front of the same selection of single malts described below.  I thought to myself, “I do it all for my readers,” and gamely ordered the Lagavulin 16.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my notebook with me to write down my impressions, although if I did, they would look something like this:

Nose – Mmmmm … aaahhh … hey …. mmmmm.

Taste – Ohhhh … whoah … yes, please … homina homina homina … need … more … Lagavulin…. *sounds of me trying to lick the bottom of the glass*

Finish – *sigh* I’ll have anoth– wait, it costs WHAT?

So maybe it was a little pricy for regular ordering, but a bottle of that juice will be making its way into my cabinet, and soon.  I think LBB will get the message that it just may be a good “birthday bottle,” if you know what I mean.


Not unrelated to the above, I’m thinking my next bottle purchase will be a nice peaty plunge.  What say you, dear readers, in terms of a favorite of the three big, peaty intro-Islays (as I see them): Ardbeg 10, Caol Ila 12 and Laphroaig 10 (or maybe Quarter Cask)?  Favorites?


12 comments on “Prior Post Update

  1. Ryan says:

    Welcome to the “Dark Side!” Now, you shall be known as … Darth Whiskeywriter!

    My personal advice, if you’re going for a full bottle, is Caol Ila. It is the most Lagavulin-like in peat delivery and overall flavor profile (they are the two Diageo-owned Islay distilleries, so similarities in malt and aging would be expected). Ardbeg and Laphroaig are a whole different ballgame. There are people who enjoy Lagavulin but find those two too much.

    Incidentally, I find both Caol Ila and Lagavulin to be rather boring, and much prefer Ardbeg and Laphroaig. However, I am an oddball in not enjoying the Caol Ila and Lagavulin, and I do recognize why people like them. So, even though it wouldn’t be my first choice, I stand by my recommendation of Caol Ila for you based on your love of Lagavulin.

    FYI: You can order miniatures of Ardbeg and Laphroaig from Loch Fyne Whisky shop in Scotland. Including shipping, you should be able to get two miniatures for $20-25 total, which is comparable to what you’re paying at the bar. I’ve ordered from them before and shipments arrive in a timely fashion. The only other overseas retailer with reasonable shipping rates for minis is The Whisky Exchange. I’ve never looked at domestic retailers because I live in the socialist whiskey state of Pennsylvania.

    • Thanks, Ryan. Your comment makes me think to maybe go for the Ardbeg/Laphroaig just to make sure I’ve seen the far end of the spectrum.

      And thanks for the miniatures tip! I’m sure I will give that a try at some point. If, in fact, I walked into Time restaurant in Philadelphia and asked for an Ardbeg and a Laphroaig, the bartender will ask me for $27 (plus tip). If I do the same at Village Whiskey, it’ll run me $38 (!!). So if I could get samples for $25, it would be worth it. I might make a big list of wanted whiskies and try some minis.

  2. If you want to try Caol Ila 12 and Lagavulin 16 without buying whole bottles, might I suggest the Islands Classic Malts pack?

    • For 200 ml bottles, that really isn’t such a bad deal at all…

      • Yeah, it’s a great way to get whiskies for reviewing purposes. Diageo actually puts out a whole bunch of those 3×200 mL packs, both across different distilleries or vertical sets from within one distillery. Sadly that’s the only one I’ve ever seen sold here in the U.S., though they do pop up on eBay from time to time.

  3. Florin says:

    WW, you’re moving quickly, congratulations! You’ll need to get that Lagavulin bottle, since you’ve imprinted on it. As for the rest, my vote goes to Caol Ila 12 and Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength. I so happened to sip on one while I read your post, and it’s delicious! But as a general rule, they don’t make bad whisky in Islay. The Islands Classic Malts pack sounds like a great option, a total embarrassment of riches!

  4. G-LO says:

    You’re in Jersey right? If so, I will tell you that just about any liquor store will place an order for you. I went to Wine Legend in Cherry Hill one time (a couple years ago) looking for Talisker 18. They couldn’t get me a 750ML, but they were able to get me some 200ML bottles. If they sell it in NJ, then they can order it. The only question is whether they can buy just one bottle.

  5. G-LO says:

    The Ardbeg 10 and Laphroiag 10 are fantastic by the way! Definite powerhouses.

  6. Bits says:

    You got a bionic dog for your birthday.

  7. EricH says:

    How much is a bottle of Lagavulin 16 where you live (if you don’t mind my asking)? Here in California, I can get a bottle for about $65 which is quite affordable when the Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength is over $90 (limited edition prices are annoying).

    • Locally, the best price for Lagavulin 16 is about $72 or so. I’m sure I’ll be picking some up in the coming months.

      As a little p.s. on this post, I did pick up a bottle of Laphroaig 10. Certainly very unique (in my experience), and not necessarily “too peaty,” though not necessarily my thing. Review coming one of these months.

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