Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steffen's Short Guide Scottish Distilleries

There's whisky from around 100 scottish distilleries available, so this guide is actually very long

Here is my recommendations!!
This is a guide to entry levels whiskies!!
The fact that a whisky gets labeled "Don't bother", doesn't mean a distillery doesn't bottle or make good whisky. They just haven't given me anything that lifted my eyebrows (yet!). Quite often they will have a marketing strategy aiming their malt for different people than me. That is they chillfilter their whisky, then add too much water and caramel E150.
Sometimes a distillery is very good but doesn't get any attention from their parent company as single malt. It will be hard to get anything on this list then-
Allmost all malts will be available from Independent Bottlers (IB). I only point to an Independent Bottler if they have been able to and are still bottling consecutively good bottlings from the distillery. Otherwise this is about OB's and bottlings general availble. So no single cask OB's as well, unless they have been rolling them out on general basis-
Most distilleries do exclusive limited bottlings, but this list is mainly a guide cheaper level whiskies, so no Penderyn Port Wood single casks or Diageo Manager's Choice here.

Remember, this is my personal list, your list will differ (I haven't tasted everything out there - but almost), so don't kill me if I didn't list your favourite. Here we go :

Aberfeldy
Don't bother

Aberlour
A'bunadh
12yo


Abhainn Dearg
Don't bother

Allt-a-Bhainne
Don't bother

Ardbeg
Everything but the Blasda :
10yo
Uigedail
Corryvreckan
Supernova, Rollercoaster, Alligator etc.
Nam Beist

PING 1


Ardmore
Don't bother
(I really like this distillery from IB's)

Arran
I don't like their finishes or earlier bottlings
Some great single casks and the icons series, especially Peacock and Golden Eagle
Arran 14yo


Arran Peacock and Arran Rowan Tree

Auchentoshan
Three Wood

Auchroisk
Don't bother

Aultmore
Don't bother

Balblair
89
97

Balmenach
Deerstalker 18yo (IB)

Balvenie
15yo single casks
Tun 1401

Ben Nevis
Don't bother - I didn't like most of what I tasted from them

BenRiach
I like almost all of their stuff. Beware of weird finishes thou. A constant flow of good single casks bottlings so far
12yo
Authenticus
20yo
25yo


Plowed BenRiach

Benrinnes
Stronachie (IB)


Benromach
Organic


Bladnoch
8yo 55%


Blair Athol
Don't Bother

Bowmore
Tempest

Braeval
Don't bother

Bruichladdich
3D
10yo


Bunnahabhain
Many great IB's around, especially older stuff
12yo


Caol Ila
Quoting Mark Watt : "I never had a bad Caol Ila"
I agree

Caperdonich
Look out for old stuff, especially Duncan Taylor's

Caperdonich by Limburg

Cardhu
Don't bother

Clynelish
14yo

Cragganmore
12yo

Craigellachie
Don't bother

Dailuaine
FF 16yo

Dalmore
Don't bother

Dalmore is a great place for kids.

Dalwhinnie
Don't bother

Deanston
12yo (new version @46.3%)

Dufftown
Don't bother

Edradour
Don't bother


That was a colourful tasting

Fettercairn
The 10yo is horrible, really horrible
anything else I tried was really good thou

Glenallachie
Cask Strength Edition

Glenburgie
Cask Strength Edition
10yo by Gordon and macPhail

Glencadam
14yo
15yo

Glendronach
15yo

Glendullan
Don't bother

Glen Elgin
Don't bother

Glenfarclas
15yo

Glenfiddich
Rich Oak
15yo

Glenglassaugh
Revival, it'a young but not a waste of time
They just reopened after being mothballed for 23 years
Good stuff, but rare

Glenglassaugh old floor maltings


Glen Garioch
1990 Vintage

Glengoyne
I need to catch up on this one, but I liked the
12yo cask strength

Glen Grant
The Major's Reserve
25yo by Gordon and MacPhail

Glengyle (Kilkerran)
Don't bother (yet)

Glen Keith
Getting rare. I had a great deal of older IB's I really enjoyed

Glenkinchie
Don't bother - new 12yo better than the old 10yo thou

Glenlivet
Nadurra

Glenlossie
Don't bother

Glenmorangie
Anything that comes from ex-bourbon casks exclusively!

Glen Moray
Mountain Oak

Glen Ord
Don't bother

Glenrothes
1985
1991

Glen Scotia
Don't bother - be suspicious

Glen Spey
Don't Bother

Glentaucher's
Don't bother

Glenturret
Don't bother

Highland Park
18yo

Imperial
I tried quite a few excellent bottlings from Duncan Taylor labels aged 8-13

Inchgower
Don't bother

Jura
I don't like the 10yo
Superstition

Kilchoman
Don't bother (yet)

Knockando
Don't bother

Knockdhu (AnCnoc)
A new approx 13yo Vintage released every year

Lagavulin
12yo Cask Strength
16yo

Lagavulin 2001

Laphroaig
10yo Cask Strength

Linkwood
Don't bother

Loch Lomond
Don't bother - run away
(that goes for any of their malts)

Longmorn
Cask Strength Edition

Macallan
10yo cask strength

Mannochmore
Don't bother

Macduff
Don't bother

Miltonduff
Cask Strength Edition

Mortlach
15yo bottled by Gordon and Macphail

Oban
Don't bother

Pulteney
Great OB rabge in general
12yo
WK499

Bottle your own 15yo'ish cask strength at Old Pulteney

Royal Brackla
Don't bother

Royal Lochnagar
Don't bother

Scapa
Don't bother

Speyburn
10yo

Speyside
Don't bother

Springbank
100 proof
10yo
15yo
Longrow 10yo
Hazelburn 12yo

Strathisla
Cask Strength Edition

Strathisla

Strathmill
Don't bother

Talisker
10yo

Tamdhu
Don't bother 

Tamnavulin
Don't bother

Teaninich
Don't bother

Tobermory
Don't bother

Tomatin
15yo
18yo

Tomintoul
Somehow I forgot all other Tomintoul's than this one :


Tormore
Don't bother

Tullibardine
John Black selection

I omitted many long time closed distilleries. Brora, St. Magdelene, Port Ellen, Lochside, Banff, Coleburn, Convalmore, Dallas Dhu, Glen Esk, Glen Mhor, Glen Albyn, Glenury Royal, Lochside, Millburn, North Port and Ladyburn have all given me some good drams : Happy hunting for those

A new distillery like Daftmill isn't mentioned, cause the bloody owner sits on his casks and won't release anything :-)
Ah well, he is a very nice fellow, his whisky is marvelous and I guess we just have to wait or visit the distillery

Daftmill

















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