Transtional / Starter Islay Scotch

Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,372
I've been playing around in the Speyside realm of Scotches for the last 18 months and would like to try an Islay. I see Laphroaig and Lagavulin mentioned a lot, but wondered was there one I should try before trying others.

Thanks. :thumbs:
 

khari

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
3,636
Good question. There are others more qualified to answer this than I am, but my opinion is to start off with one that has a peaty taste that is not a "peat monster" to borrow Compass Box's term.

Perhaps Bowmore 10 or Bruichladdich?

Bunnahabhain was also pretty good and won't knock your socks off, IIRC.
 

Devil Doc

When Death smiles, Corpsmen smile back
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Messages
11,594
Don't dick around. Buy some Laphroaig, drink it 'til it tastes good. Repeat the next day and the next until the first glass tastes good.. You'll be fine.

Doc.
 

khari

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
3,636
There's also Doc's approach. :laugh:

My first Islay was Laproaig 10 CS. That was nearly 4 years ago and I still have most of the bottle left. I stay far away from that stuff.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,372
Don't dick around. Buy some Laphroaig, drink it 'til it tastes good. Repeat the next day and the next until the first glass tastes good.. You'll be fine.

Doc.
Lol. Says the man who suggests a chisel maddy for breakfast.
 

Macion Grey

the Libertine
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
1,374
Doc has the right perscription in my opinion. That stuff is good. Drink it until you love it. Shouldn't take long.
 

Mr Peat

Rich Perelman, "Loren you have a Godlike Presence.
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
4,512
You can't go wrong with any of these 3 Islay Scotches. Laphroaig 15 yo, Lagavulin 16 yo and Caol Ila 12 yo. Whats fun is you can get the Laphroaig and Caol Ila in the Signature series which isn't to expensive. These would be the 3 I would highly recommend having if you are wanting to take the jump into the Islay Scotches. Ray can give you different options as well. :thumbs:
 

Greggj77

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
971
To be honest, I agree with Doc. My first Islay was Laph QC. Then Lagavulin 16 and Laph 10yo Cask strength. From the first sip of Laph QC I was hooked on the Peaty Islay goodness... and the CS is one of my favorites for any price point.

If you are looking for something smooth to introduce yourself, get the lagavulin 16 or an Ardbeg, if you want to go right to the ragged edge of Islay get yourself some Laphroaig QC or CS (my Fav). :thumbs:
 

AVB

Jesus of Cool, I'm bad, I'm nationwide
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
22,420
I'd suggest a different tact if you have the time. Buy some Ardmore Traditional Cask to see if you even like the peat flavor. This is not the smokey peat that you'll find in the Lags or Frogs because they treat the water and not the grain. If you like that then you can go to a Bowmore, or Bunny or even a Black Bottle blend for a somewhat milder smokey peaty flavor. After that comes the big guns, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Talisker Ardbeg etc etc..
 

Greggj77

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
971
I'd suggest a different tact if you have the time. Buy some Ardmore Traditional Cask to see if you even like the peat flavor. This is not the smokey peat that you'll find in the Lags or Frogs because they treat the water and not the grain. If you like that then you can go to a Bowmore, or Bunny or even a Black Bottle blend for a somewhat milder smokey peaty flavor. After that comes the big guns, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Talisker Ardbeg etc etc..

Sound advice from Ray. I guess this boils down to the old dip in your toes Vs. the flying cannonball approach. I guess I am just a cannonball type of guy. :D

Either way I hope you enjoy your introduction to Islay, they have a lot to offer.
 

Devil Doc

When Death smiles, Corpsmen smile back
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Messages
11,594
I'd suggest a different tact if you have the time. Buy some Ardmore Traditional Cask to see if you even like the peat flavor. This is not the smokey peat that you'll find in the Lags or Frogs because they treat the water and not the grain. If you like that then you can go to a Bowmore, or Bunny or even a Black Bottle blend for a somewhat milder smokey peaty flavor. After that comes the big guns, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Talisker Ardbeg etc etc..

Sound advice from Ray. I guess this boils down to the old dip in your toes Vs. the flying cannonball approach. I guess I am just a cannonball type of guy. :D

Either way I hope you enjoy your introduction to Islay, they have a lot to offer.
Oh, I suspect he used to be a cannonball kind of guy. He's gotten soft in his old age.:p The man needs to get re-introduced to his roots.

Doc.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,372
I ended up stepping into the kiddie pool, rather than do a cannonball. I was actually looking for Ardmore, but the only place that I found it marked up everything by $30. (Stagg was $100 and EC12 was pushing $35). Ended up with a bottle of Bowmore 8. It's actually not bad at all. :thumbs:

Thanks for the suggestions and damn all of you for showing me another slope to fall down. :p
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,297
There's also Doc's approach. :laugh:

My first Islay was Laproaig 10 CS. That was nearly 4 years ago and I still have most of the bottle left. I stay far away from that stuff.
I've got half a bottle of Lagavulin sitting here. The heavy peat is not for me.

I'll drink The Dalmore any/every day. Guess I never embraced Doc's "drink it until you like it" philosophy when it came to peaty scotches. :whistling:

bigmanfromou: If you find yourself in my area, plan on taking the half bottle of Lagavulin home with you.
 

kona1000

Buy Bitcoin
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
2,123
Lagavulin is the tastiest stuff I've had in a while.

Usually aroung 10 am my mouth starts to water thinking about having a glass when I get home.

This could become problematic. I look at the clock on non-work days and wonder, "Is it okay to have a glass of scotch now?"

I've got to agree with Doc, after the second glass one really starts to notice alot of the flavor underneath and the top petey flavor is damn tasty.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,372
Tried the Laphroaig today. I honestly really liked it. I guess that transition wasn't as bad as I imagined. :thumbs:
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
4,817
The Islays are not my favorites---I'm a big fan of sherry and port caskings---but I do like them. Especially Laphroiag, but it's the kind of bottle that lasts on my bar shelf a whole lot longer than, say, Dalmore 12 or Aberlour a'bunadh or my beloved Glendronach and Benriach malts.

I do have to admit, I've really, really been eyeballing the re-released Laphroiag Cask Strength. That's gotta be some serious damn Scotch. :D

~Boar
 

dav1041

Andy Sipowicz
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
544
Don't dick around. Buy some Laphroaig, drink it 'til it tastes good. Repeat the next day and the next until the first glass tastes good.. You'll be fine.

Doc.

Yes, this works!!! :thumbs: I jumped into Islay with a bottle of Laphroaig 10, a couple weeks ago. The first glass was unbelievable, I'd never tried anything besides the typical speysides. This was something completely different, it made me go WOW! The peat was almost all I tasted and smelled. But, by the end of the week, my mouth would begin to water thinking about a glass. Now, I hardly even notice the peat, its very strange. The other day I followed the Laphroaig with a Balvenie Doublewood and the Balvenie tasted almost too sweet.

Well, needless to say the Laphroaig is almost gone. So I just ordered a Lagavulin 16, Highland Park 15, a replacement bottle of doublewood, and a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 ($23 was just too cheap to pass up).

Dave
 
Top