You guys have been making me quite thirsty this week. I'm going to BevMo this weekend to pick up a few of the recommended spirits. If there is something in the price range of Lagavulin 16, my personal favorite, that you think is better I've gotta get me some.
You might try a 'small barrel' Springbank 10 which was just released...they mature faster in smaller barrels so apparently smoother (i am going over to get one this weekend), and the cost is maybe 10% more than Lagavulin 16...but supposedly very, very close to the Springbank 21...which ranks in my personal top 5 of all time and i keep record (as per my ranking list above) quite carefully.
this may help some
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I have only recently started drinking Scotch. I find my preference is the bottom right (or #2) quadrant but I've sampled from the others. I do like Macallan's fine oak series - the 15 and 17 year are very smooth. Also Glendronach 12 and Balvenie Double Wood 12. For those willing to sample blended Scotch, Compass Box is producing some compelling blends, some malt only, some with grain whisky. Spice Tree is very nice, complex blended malt. I am looking to try Hedonism and Oak Cross next. Asyla is a very smooth, easy to drink blend at a fair price. For higher profile blends, I am really liking Dewar's Signature. Johnnie Walker Blue is good but pricey.
My next single malt Scotch purchase will probably be Highland Park and I'd like to try a Benriach and an Ardbeg. I have a Glenlivet 16 Nadurra and a Glenfiddich 18 yr that I have yet to open.
#1 - Talisker Distiller Edition - incredibly complex, notice new flavors in every sip, amazing!
#2 - Laphroaig - love the sea salt/seaweed aroma's, like im sitting on a scottish beach next to a campfire
#3 - Glenfiddich 18 - easy to drink, cinnamon apple
looking forward to winter when I tend to enjoy the beverage the most!
Weiss Medea+ / DartZeel NHB 18NS - 108 / TAD CR1
I like the Dalmore and Glenmorangie Artein.
System link WBF