The OCUK Whisky (and Whiskey) review thread

Soldato
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I have done several tastings of aberlour. I really don't like it. Everything is sickly, usually overly sherried. I've even been to their distillery and paid to try their more niche limited specials etc. Up the road you have knockando making better stuff for less, and in the other direction mortlach, and the rest of dufftown turning out better too. It's very popular in the French markets I'm told. They can keep it!
 
Associate
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Strong words! I've never had it but always thought the Aberlour was very well respected.

@Illgresi is right though, around £75 is probably a better price point. I recently bought a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail which is stunning. Any whisky fan would really appreciate that and it's just under £70 (and had £15 off the day after I bought from MoM :rolleyes: )
A'Bunadh has a lot of fans, I'm not among them. As far as the Uigeadail is concerned I'm always leery of recommending peated whiskies as gifts unless I know for certain the recipient likes that style. I know plenty of whisky lovers that really really dislike peated whiskies. Then there are a few people I know that like the taste but for some reason it gives them terrible heartburn, so they avoid them as well now. Which is why without more information I steer clear of recommending them.
 
Associate
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how can you put abunadh with those? It's really not equivalent IMO. Sickly horrible crap they would do better sending off to a whisky fudge manufacturer. Try it next to proper whiskys at a tasting and I challenge even a lover of sherry monsters not to find it inferior.

Admittedly, I haven't actually purchased a recent batch at that price. I would have no problem doing so if current/future batches are as good as some previous ones have been.

It may be a NAS, but it's still presented nicely at cask strength, and un-chill filtered. I'd hardly describe it a a newbie/occasional drinker malt.
 
Associate
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Anyone here bought a cask?

Myself and a few friends are considering this offer - https://www.arranwhisky.com/our-distillery/buy-a-whisky-cask

I do like the Arran Malts - been to the distillery three times for a visit/taster etc - Very tempting to own our own barrel. I know it's 10 years from now before we could enjoy the stuff but I like the idea.

Yes. I recently bought an Octave from whiskybroker and had previously considered the Arran offer. The big thing to consider is the costs at the end (VAT, duty and bottling) and try and work out the overall cost/cost per bottle. From seeing costs of barrels elsewhere via a broker £3k for a barrel of new make seems very expensive, when Lingdarroch (Bladnoch) is about £1k, a year old barrel of peated Bunnahabhain is ~£2k, or say a barrel of 10 year old Teaninich is ~£4k. There's also the consideration of what you're going to do with a few hundred bottles of whisky that's all the same.

There's a thread on Pistonheads about cask ownership that makes interesting reading.
 
Soldato
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Yes. I recently bought an Octave from whiskybroker and had previously considered the Arran offer. The big thing to consider is the costs at the end (VAT, duty and bottling) and try and work out the overall cost/cost per bottle. From seeing costs of barrels elsewhere via a broker £3k for a barrel of new make seems very expensive, when Lingdarroch (Bladnoch) is about £1k, a year old barrel of peated Bunnahabhain is ~£2k, or say a barrel of 10 year old Teaninich is ~£4k. There's also the consideration of what you're going to do with a few hundred bottles of whisky that's all the same.

There's a thread on Pistonheads about cask ownership that makes interesting reading.

spot on - thanks for that. Yeah the end costs are a little of a concern as that could be anything in 10 years time - it's unknown cost really.

Will look for the thread - cheers!
 
Soldato
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I'm gutted as I've been waiting for the new whiskies from Bimber only to go on their site and realise they've released them and they've all sold out already! :( The last one I had from them was really tasty and was a reasonable price too so I was looking forward to more.
 
Associate
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I'm gutted as I've been waiting for the new whiskies from Bimber only to go on their site and realise they've released them and they've all sold out already! :( The last one I had from them was really tasty and was a reasonable price too so I was looking forward to more.

I'm really excited about English whisky starting to gain traction. You can absolutely guarantee that nothing else is more likely to keep Scottish distilleries on top of their game than competition from England! :D
 
Soldato
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I'm really excited about English whisky starting to gain traction. You can absolutely guarantee that nothing else is more likely to keep Scottish distilleries on top of their game than competition from England! :D

Definitely! I've had a few from English distilleries now (Bimber, Cotswolds and Lakes Distillery) and I've been really impressed with all of them.
 
Man of Honour
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For anyone on the Waterford hype / collector train, this German website seems to have them in stock.

https://www.limited-whisky.de/epage...Path=/Shops/17961557/Categories/SpecialOffers

Edit - I'd get in quick, looks like they only have 2/3 of each left....! I ordered both.

I've been mashing refresh on master of malt since about 7am :o

edit - turns out it’s not being sold on MOM today so that was a few wasted hours :D
 
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Man of Honour
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Currently having a Talisker 10.

At first instance it tastes to me like whisky tasted to me as a child. Just generic... whisky tasting whisky. As in, if someone gave this to me to drink and said this is whiskey I’d probably think ‘meh’.

I imagine I’m on the fussier end in that I don’t really like having to hunt around for nuanced flavours or to look for absurd tasting notes like ‘pasta water’ or ‘pebbles’. I’m looking at tasting notes for the Talisker 10 and thinking... it’s just whisky tasting. I think my dwelling on the ultra-peaty drinks has probably offset my tasting balance.

Drinking my drink, I do like though that flavours do become more nuanced (and less THIS IS WHISKY and jarring) over time. That’s so pleasing with whisky, isn’t it? I can start my post thinking ‘this is meh’ and 5 minutes later say ‘aha‘.

Having whined at my wife that I just don’t have enough whisky variety in my cupboard, and that my Waterfords are going to be locked away for 40 years so we can become millionaires, I’ve been given the green light to purchase some drinks to balance my absurdly peaty selection.

Open to suggestions, fire away!
 
Soldato
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well it's not massively peaty but the talisker distillers are a big improvement on the 10yo IMO.

Peaty well it's kind of the islay set isn't it?
Caol Ila
Lagavullin
Port Ellen
Port Charlotte (originals, not the Bruichladdich rebranding)
Ardberg
Laphroaig

However every now and then you find an indy bottling of a usually non-or lightly peated that has been peated up. Bunnahabhain did one a few years back via Gordon & MacPhail and it was only 8yo but really rather excellent considering its then price tag of just £35.

edit sorry you said to balance it....
mid peat: Oban, Highland Park, Ardmore
coastal and light: Clynelish and Old Pultney
Lowlands: Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan
Highlands: Tomatin
Dufftown: Mortlach
Speyside: Dalwhinnie, Knockando, Glen Moray
Sherried: I'd look for a Dalmore, sherried Glenfiddich 18yo (though I've had good and bad ones so ymmv), or one of the more affordable Macallans

specials - check out Fire and Cane Glenfiddich, not too pricey, rum and smoke edge to it, not bad I think. Nicer than their Vintage (peated) offering IMO.
 
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Soldato
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Open to suggestions, fire away

I'm not sure I would stick to Scotland. Go further afield like South Africa or India as there is some amazing stuff out there.

I tried one of Midletons Method and Madness bottlings, Single Pot Still I think. Was aged in Chestnut casks and it was very good. You can't do that in Scotland so well worth trying.
 
Soldato
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Peaty well it's kind of the islay set isn't it?
Try Longrow. Peated Springbank. Very nice indeed. Possibly one of my faves.

Bunnahabhain did one a few years back via Gordon & MacPhail and it was only 8yo but really rather excellent considering its then price tag of just £35.
Speaking of my faves I bought a bottle of the G&M 10yo Bunnahabhain a couple of months ago. It's stunning. Will definitely investigate any more indie/peated Bunnahabhains.

Also, heads up for bourbon fans.. Woodford Reserve is £20 on Amazon right now.
 
Associate
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Currently having a Talisker 10.

At first instance it tastes to me like whisky tasted to me as a child. Just generic... whisky tasting whisky. As in, if someone gave this to me to drink and said this is whiskey I’d probably think ‘meh’.

I imagine I’m on the fussier end in that I don’t really like having to hunt around for nuanced flavours or to look for absurd tasting notes like ‘pasta water’ or ‘pebbles’. I’m looking at tasting notes for the Talisker 10 and thinking... it’s just whisky tasting. I think my dwelling on the ultra-peaty drinks has probably offset my tasting balance.

Drinking my drink, I do like though that flavours do become more nuanced (and less THIS IS WHISKY and jarring) over time. That’s so pleasing with whisky, isn’t it? I can start my post thinking ‘this is meh’ and 5 minutes later say ‘aha‘.

Having whined at my wife that I just don’t have enough whisky variety in my cupboard, and that my Waterfords are going to be locked away for 40 years so we can become millionaires, I’ve been given the green light to purchase some drinks to balance my absurdly peaty selection.

Open to suggestions, fire away!

I suppose it really depends on your overall budget, but some suggestions below are generally in the £50-£75 a bottle range, which is where the best value lies mostly. FWIW I would try Talisker 18 or 57° North. I love everything they release though tbf.

Highland:

Balblair 15, Clynelish 14, Oban 14, Tomatin 14 Port Finish, Glen Garioch Cask Strength

Speyside:


Mortlach 16 'Distiller's Dram', Dailuaine 16, Longmorn (look at independent bottlings or auctions atm as the 'Distiller's Choice' doesn't do the distillery justice), Glenfarclas 15, anCnoc (haven't tried the 18 yet but if it's half as good as the old 22...)

Island:

Tobermory 12, Ledaig 10

Lowland:

Glenkinchie 12, Glengoyne 18

Islay:

Bunnahabhain 12


One thing that really helped me appreciate whisky more was when I started visiting distilleries. Believe me, you'll appreciate Talisker a whole lot more if you've ever had a dram in the distillery on a cold wet day. Every time I have a sip it takes me right back there.
 
Soldato
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some other ones worth a look. Blair Athol. Not a huge range, and a lot of it goes into blends, but their single malts are a nice dram for a speyside-style Whisky (although I think it's a highland distillery IIRC the location is not that far from Pitlochry) Edradour 10yo is also a nice bottle to have around, and not too expensive either.
 
Man of Honour
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So I ended up going for....

Glengoyne 18 year old. Seemed a well respected sherry casked drink - thanks for the tip @Illgresi
Redbreast (pot still) 12 year old cask strength - supposed to be great.
Redbreast (pot still) 21 year old. Had this in Dublin and liked it. I can't help but enjoy comparing so will be interesting to see my thoughts between this and the 12 cask strength, as I gather most people prefer these from their range.

Thanks for the input. That's my whisky buying done for some time!
 
Man of Honour
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Tonight’s drink is a real back of the cupboard job. A Tamnavulin double cask - a £20 job from ASDA well over a year ago, before my whisky adventure started (spurred on by Jura Journey *shudder*).

It’s decidedly ordinary but otherwise completely inoffensive. It’s a whisky but that’s about it. It suggests to me that I’m a sucker for big bold noob flavours, maybe.
 
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