The OCUK Whisky (and Whiskey) review thread

Soldato
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I'm developing an interest in whisky. No real preferences in taste, just like trying different ones. Bought a Glenfarclas 10, which is lovely,,Tammavulin which is pretty good and just ordered a Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair.

I'm not really delving into more expensive bottles at the moment and I know taste is subjective, but can anyone recommend some interesting bottles at the lower end?
 
Soldato
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Glenfarclas 10 IIRC is a bit sherry-ish (and isn't it export only ie airports?) so you might like some of the other Speyside sherry ones like Aberlour 12, Dalmore 12 or Glenfiddich 15. Bunnahabhain is one of the lighter Islay malts and often only lightly peated, sometimes barely peated at all. Talisker and Jura would be good bridges from there. Tammavulin is a hole in my knowledge - can't comment on that one I'm afraid. Other interesting ones to try would be Old Pulteney and Glen Kinchie. Both affordable and interesting in their own ways (light and salty/waxy).
 
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Glenfarclas 10 IIRC is a bit sherry-ish (and isn't it export only ie airports?) so you might like some of the other Speyside sherry ones like Aberlour 12, Dalmore 12 or Glenfiddich 15. Bunnahabhain is one of the lighter Islay malts and often only lightly peated, sometimes barely peated at all. Talisker and Jura would be good bridges from there. Tammavulin is a hole in my knowledge - can't comment on that one I'm afraid. Other interesting ones to try would be Old Pulteney and Glen Kinchie. Both affordable and interesting in their own ways (light and salty/waxy).
Glenfarclas 10 is all sherry, it's just olorosso sherry casks they use for it, unless something has changed recently, and by the same token unless it has changed it's not an airport exclusive. Possibly there may be a 1l bottle that is exclusive to the airports? I've seen that before with others anyway.
With regards Bunna things like the 12 are completely unpeated, although they do have some peated ones in their range.
 
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I'm developing an interest in whisky. No real preferences in taste, just like trying different ones. Bought a Glenfarclas 10, which is lovely,,Tammavulin which is pretty good and just ordered a Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair.

I'm not really delving into more expensive bottles at the moment and I know taste is subjective, but can anyone recommend some interesting bottles at the lower end?

Try Clynelish 14, should run you about £40. Absolute best value malt money can buy imo.

Bowmore 12 is a good entry into peated whisky as it is lightly peated, but with some complexity, and you should get it < £30.

Laphroaig 10 is probably the most accessible of the heavily peated malts as it is light bodied.

Glenfarclas 10 IIRC is a bit sherry-ish (and isn't it export only ie airports?) so you might like some of the other Speyside sherry ones like Aberlour 12, Dalmore 12 or Glenfiddich 15. Bunnahabhain is one of the lighter Islay malts and often only lightly peated, sometimes barely peated at all. Talisker and Jura would be good bridges from there. Tammavulin is a hole in my knowledge - can't comment on that one I'm afraid. Other interesting ones to try would be Old Pulteney and Glen Kinchie. Both affordable and interesting in their own ways (light and salty/waxy).

Pedant alert: Dalmore is Highland, not Speyside. :p
 
Soldato
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Glenfarclas 10 is all sherry, it's just olorosso sherry casks they use for it, unless something has changed recently, and by the same token unless it has changed it's not an airport exclusive. Possibly there may be a 1l bottle that is exclusive to the airports? I've seen that before with others anyway.
With regards Bunna things like the 12 are completely unpeated, although they do have some peated ones in their range.

It's the blue bottle - the 12yo I was thinking of. That is the 1litre airport only one (though you can find them online).

I have a lovely bottle of Bunn. 23yo Signatory cask strength I bought for a work tasting group and got to keep the remainder of (I only charged them for half the bottle). Really nice stuff. I might dig that out later if I can find which box we packed it into. It's a good way to buy stuff you couldn't usually afford: get a group to chip in, and say you;ll only charge them pro-rata for what gets consumed.
 
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Try Clynelish 14, should run you about £40. Absolute best value malt money can buy imo.

Bowmore 12 is a good entry into peated whisky as it is lightly peated, but with some complexity, and you should get it < £30.

Laphroaig 10 is probably the most accessible of the heavily peated malts as it is light bodied.



Pedant alert: Dalmore is Highland, not Speyside. :p
I'm a huge Clynelish fan, but for value for money Bunnahabhain 12 for £30 has it beat for me.
 
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It's the blue bottle - the 12yo I was thinking of. That is the 1litre airport only one (though you can find them online).

I have a lovely bottle of Bunn. 23yo Signatory cask strength I bought for a work tasting group and got to keep the remainder of (I only charged them for half the bottle). Really nice stuff. I might dig that out later if I can find which box we packed it into. It's a good way to buy stuff you couldn't usually afford: get a group to chip in, and say you;ll only charge them pro-rata for what gets consumed.
That 23yo sounds great, enjoy it.
 
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I'm a huge Clynelish fan, but for value for money Bunnahabhain 12 for £30 has it beat for me.

Clynelish is currently down to £36 on Amazon and Bunnahabhain 12 is currently £30 in Waitrose.

I've had an expensive day as I've also bought an Octave, 56.5l to be precise, of new make produced at Bladnoch.
 
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Clynelish is currently down to £36 on Amazon and Bunnahabhain 12 is currently £30 in Waitrose.

I've had an expensive day as I've also bought an Octave, 56.5l to be precise, of new make produced at Bladnoch.
Admittedly with Clynelish at £36 then it's a much tougher call.

Are they storing the Bladnoch to mature for you? If so how long do you plan to keep it before bottling it? Or is it as an investment to sell on, or back to them?
 
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Admittedly with Clynelish at £36 then it's a much tougher call.

Are they storing the Bladnoch to mature for you? If so how long do you plan to keep it before bottling it? Or is it as an investment to sell on, or back to them?

They've been selling new make to the trade so I've bought it from whiskybroker who call it lingdarroch and it's being stored in their warehouse. I've gone halves with a mate on it and the plan is to try a sample each year and bottle it when it's ready, probably 5 years or so. Taking into account evaporation we should end up with roughly 25 bottles each which feels workable and the finished cost should be less than £15 a bottle.
 
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They've been selling new make to the trade so I've bought it from whiskybroker who call it lingdarroch and it's being stored in their warehouse. I've gone halves with a mate on it and the plan is to try a sample each year and bottle it when it's ready, probably 5 years or so. Taking into account evaporation we should end up with roughly 25 bottles each which feels workable and the finished cost should be less than £15 a bottle.
That's surprisingly cheap. The times I have looked into doing something similar the price, when all the bottling costs, duty and tax etc. had been factored in, was much much higher than that. Looks like you got a good deal.
 
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That's surprisingly cheap. The times I have looked into doing something similar the price, when all the bottling costs, duty and tax etc. had been factored in, was much much higher than that. Looks like you got a good deal.

That's by far the biggest cost. The spirit is only £6.50 per litre of alcohol.
 
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So the Octomore taste-off has began! A serious amount of alcohol is out for consumption...

lh9m0Gv.jpg
... yeah, apparently so serious I retired to bed, rolled around being a pest and then fell asleep with my t-shirt on like a slob, forgetting to post any review. The below is from glasses over multiple tastings.

6.1 - This and the .1s seem to be the default ‘Octomore’ taste. Ultra smokey, gives a warming glow as I mentioned. ‘Falling face first into a bonfire with your mouth open’ - that sort of thing. Has burn because of the strength but not at all harsh. I really like it. Exbourbon barrels I think. The .2s have a wine cask finish I believe. I’ve tried the 8.2 before and it was very similar in terms of general impression.

6.3 - the .3s have been the Islay barley variants with different cask finishes from time to time. Also tend to me more heavily peated (on paper). Is it actually discernibly more smokey? No. It does have more burn though at 64% which is just mental. Beyond the burn, the whiskey itself is more rounded and.... creamier? It is absolutely delightful. Worth the price differential over the .1? Not sure. If you were on a budget and had to get just one, the .1 series is probably the way to go. The 7.3 and 6.3 are well regarded not sure about the subsequently released .3s seem to have mixed reviews - haven’t tried them so can’t vouch, probably internet hype exaggerating the differences.

7.4 - This is the virgin oak cast variant. My initial thought was that it’s rubbish. Two very distinct flavours - a sweet smoke (huge as always) and wood. That’s it. Otherwise bland and very drying with the finish, like licking an unvarnished piece of wood. Definitely less rounded than the others on an initial taste. After a while its complexities became more apparent but I really don’t want to spend time hunting for flavours, I’d rather just enjoy the ****ing drink. So yeah, skip this one and stick with the .1s.

Overall thoughts, still love the ‘more - I’d stick with the .1 series if you’re going to opt to try any of them. Interesting effect from the virgin oak barrels, I’m going to be more alert to that going forwards.
 
Man of Honour
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I'm developing an interest in whisky. No real preferences in taste, just like trying different ones. Bought a Glenfarclas 10, which is lovely,,Tammavulin which is pretty good and just ordered a Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair.

I'm not really delving into more expensive bottles at the moment and I know taste is subjective, but can anyone recommend some interesting bottles at the lower end?
Missed this post. Glad you like what you bought! ^

Not..... ‘interesting’, but two commonly available supermarket whiskies that I like are:

Glenmorangie - just a super easy, well balanced, tasty whisky.

Laphroig 10 - this is mid-peated, a little ‘seaweed’y and has a slightly medicinal note (think TPC / antiseptic) which is a little jarring at first but it is a pretty pleasing drink!

Both very different but would happily have either in my cabinet!
 
Soldato
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shame is it's not a patch on what it used to be though - the newer 12 releases just aren't as good :(
 
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