favourite islay malts


Recommended Posts

  • 3 weeks later...

My go to is usually Laphroaig Cask Strength or Lagavulin 16.  Ardbeg Uigeadail is also a solid choice.

If you like Islay scotch, I recommend Longrow Tokaji, which is from Campbeltown. It has the smokiness of an Islay scotch, but some sweet notes that make it different. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I can't  smoke a cigar I just sip Lagavulin 16 - it's like drinking liquid smoke.  For a nice somewhat less intense and more fruity islay, you might try Bunnahabhain 18 year  

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, treberty said:

Caol Ila 12... I grab a bottle when available - which is quite rare. What a great dram!

SAQ just sold out of their last 2016 limited edition "unpeated style" 15 yr old cask strength...hope you got yourself a bottle. Its incredible

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/24/2017 at 6:37 AM, shlomo said:

SAQ just sold out of their last 2016 limited edition "unpeated style" 15 yr old cask strength...hope you got yourself a bottle. Its incredible

Thanks for the tip!  I love Caol Ila, but I never heard about a limited edition cask strength version. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

As for the main topic "favorite Islay malts", my response is ALL OF THEM!  While I'm fairly new to Islay single malts I dove head first into the deep end as soon as I realized how much I loved heavily peated scotch.  Of the base offerings that I've tried, Ardbeg 10 is at the top of the list, followed by Caol Ila 12 and Laphroaig 10.  Lagavulin 16 is also excellent, but it's a little sweeter than I prefer.  Bunnahabhain and Bowmore are still on the "need to try" list.    

Edit: Went back for another dram of the Lagavulin 16 last night and the sweetness was more subdued.  Still present, but in much better balance with the salt and the smoke.  The bottle's been open for several weeks and the whisky has benefitted.   

 

On 12/24/2017 at 9:37 AM, shlomo said:

SAQ just sold out of their last 2016 limited edition "unpeated style" 15 yr old cask strength...hope you got yourself a bottle. Its incredible

The Caol Ila 15 year "unpeated style" is still available from a few online retailers.  Is it totally unpeated?  How would you describe the flavor profile compared to the standard 12 year?  Thanks!   

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MahDooRow said:

As for the main topic "favorite Islay malts", my response is ALL OF THEM!  While I'm fairly new to Islay single malts I dove head first into the deep end as soon as I realized how much I loved heavily peated scotch.  Of the base offerings that I've tried, Ardbeg 10 is at the top of the list, followed by Caol Ila 12 and Laphroaig 10.  Lagavulin 16 is also excellent, but it's a little sweeter than I prefer.  Bunnahabhain and Bowmore are still on the "need to try" list.      

 

The Caol Ila 15 year "unpeated style" is still available from a few online retailers.  Is it totally unpeated?  How would you describe the flavor profile compared to the standard 12 year?  Thanks!   

Strangely enough,  I've never tried the 12, or at least don't remember...it is similar to JW GREEN with a bit of bitter/green apple flavour. Yes, I find it completely unpeated. Or perhaps very very little.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I go through cycles, on and off, sometimes I love Islay and then I crave Speyside. One Speyside operation that recently made a comeback is producing a lovely malt with peat smoke, and it really works beautifully, so much so it is a 2017 award winner. It’s called Benromach 10, absolutely delicious, permanent staple in my rotation. Benromach also have a heavier peated malt. Haven’t tried that yet.

I recently had Laphroaig Select, which is somewhat lighter than the 10 yo, with a tinge of green apple and mint. Not bad, almost like an aperitif.

Aside from that, when my taste buds crave Islay Ardbeg is a staple, and Lagavulin 16 is right behind it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Philc2001 said:

One Speyside operation that recently made a comeback is producing a lovely malt with peat smoke, and it really works beautifully, so much so it is a 2017 award winner. It’s called Benromach 10, absolutely delicious, permanent staple in my rotation. Benromach also have a heavier peated malt. Haven’t tried that yet.

+1 for Benromach.  So far I've only tried the 10 year Imperial Proof, but it is indeed delicious!  It offers lovely sweet fruity qualities with a healthy level of peat smoke.  More peat than I was expecting and that is definitely s good thing.    

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm A Speyside man. Only ever had one islay style malt and I hated it, Talisker 10... yukk! I thought it had a very odd taste, nothing enjoyable. I'm not even really sure if Talisker is technically considered an "Islay" malt. I think its called an "island" malt but it gets associated with islay. Maybe I would like some of the Islay stuff if I were to try them. Lagavulin 16 is on my list of scotches to try. I know it has a very dedicated cult following.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
I go through cycles, on and off, sometimes I love Islay and then I crave Speyside. One Speyside operation that recently made a comeback is producing a lovely malt with peat smoke, and it really works beautifully, so much so it is a 2017 award winner. It’s called Benromach 10, absolutely delicious, permanent staple in my rotation.


I recently bought a bottle of the Benromach 10 on a suggestion from my local store after I told him I had tried some Glenmorangie and Bowmore Sherry casks and wasn’t a fan of the overpowering sweetness. Wow, what a great bottle, it is perfectly balanced and definitely changed my mind on sherry finished casks.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm A Speyside man. Only ever had one islay style malt and I hated it, Talisker 10... yukk! I thought it had a very odd taste, nothing enjoyable. I'm not even really sure if Talisker is technically considered an "Islay" malt. I think its called an "island" malt but it gets associated with islay. Maybe I would like some of the Islay stuff if I were to try them. Lagavulin 16 is on my list of scotches to try. I know it has a very dedicated cult following.
An Islay malt comes from Islay. There are no technicalities other than that.
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/02/2018 at 6:25 AM, Baccy said:

I'm A Speyside man. Only ever had one islay style malt and I hated it, Talisker 10... yukk! I thought it had a very odd taste, nothing enjoyable. I'm not even really sure if Talisker is technically considered an "Islay" malt. I think its called an "island" malt but it gets associated with islay. Maybe I would like some of the Islay stuff if I were to try them. Lagavulin 16 is on my list of scotches to try. I know it has a very dedicated cult following.

Talisker is from Skye (an island further north, and one of the most beautiful parts of our country), so it’s not an Islay whisky, but it is an island whisky. The best Taliskers are, to my tastebuds at least, superb whiskies.

They have more in common with Islay than Speyside, but could be seen as a happy medium between the purity of Speyside and the peatiness of Islay.

Stick to the stuff with an age statement on the bottle. ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Lagavulin in any form.

Bowmore 25 is next.

Laphroaig quarter cask when it's cold weather.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it hard to top the Ardbeg 10. While I really enjoy Lagavulin and Laphroaig, I find myself coming back to the 10 each time. I haven't tried many of the 'special'/named Ardbeg releases, but I am on the lookout for a bottle of An Oa after I was given a taster recently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of them. It’s amazing the differences in flavor profiles for distilleries that are often walking distance from one another.  

I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited all of the distilleries on Islay. The legal ones at least :buddies:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Islay malts are my favorite whiskies - I've found that once you start enjoying these, most other whiskies just pale in comparison. For me, a bit like Cuban cigars and everything else.

Lagavulin and Ardbeg are probably my favorites, but Laphroaig also comes out with brilliant malts and, perhaps to a lesser extent, so does Bowmore. Kilchoman is a newer distillery, but their releases, albeit young, are showing a lot of potential IMO.

Oh, and the #1 in the OP's link, Lagavulin 12YO, is simply superb. Even better then the 16YO, which really came as a surprise the first time I drank it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/28/2018 at 12:25 AM, Baccy said:

I'm A Speyside man. Only ever had one islay style malt and I hated it, Talisker 10... yukk! I thought it had a very odd taste, nothing enjoyable. I'm not even really sure if Talisker is technically considered an "Islay" malt. I think its called an "island" malt but it gets associated with islay. Maybe I would like some of the Islay stuff if I were to try them. Lagavulin 16 is on my list of scotches to try. I know it has a very dedicated cult following.

As stated by @ayepatz Talisker is from Skye, but there is some overlap in its flavor profile with Islay whisky.  In my limited experience with Talisker 10, it is a solid, quality malt.  I like it, but I don't love it.

If I want that smokey, maritime flavor profile I head for Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig.  I absolutely love all three and have a hard time choosing a favorite.  As of late I've been gravitating more towards Lagavulin 16 and Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength.  Despite the high ABV of the Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength it doesn't need much water to open up, and it will quickly fall apart if you add too much water.  If you've been on the fence about trying the Cask Strength because of the high ABV, have no fear.  It's a must try if you enjoy the regular Laphroaig 10.      

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.