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Speyside vs Islay vs Skye - Input Please.....


Bo1953
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Another quick question here...

 

Does anyone have a guess or know which brands/types of whisky are the most requested in Scotland which we are not paying attention to?

 

What would be your guess for Canada and the U.S. as well?

 

For example at one time Chivas was the 'Go To' sophisticated brand to order (due to lots of advertizing)... with the further segmentation of the market now, those of us who choose not to ask for the popular brand, with a few exceptions based on preferences.

 

Cheers and bon voyage

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Hi

I was sorting things out in my attic just for something to do during Covid-19 lockdown.

When I found this bottle.Ive never heard of it before,don’t even know where/when I got it.

Can’t even find it for sale in England,,,it’s drank now and very nice it was too.

 

8CB60CFA-ED8C-4DCE-B5BD-33982FD02C5C.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, JeanieC,Aston said:

Hi

I was sorting things out in my attic just for something to do during Covid-19 lockdown.

When I found this bottle.Ive never heard of it before,don’t even know where/when I got it.

Can’t even find it for sale in England,,,it’s drank now and very nice it was too.

 

8CB60CFA-ED8C-4DCE-B5BD-33982FD02C5C.jpeg

Google it, lots of information including sites for online ordering.

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I enjoy a Scotch but am often hesistant as it tends to give me a hangover. I can add little about the tastes etc. We drink Botanist gin from Islay by the bucket load🙂

 

My wife is Scottish. Her father drank Famous Grouse as it found it to be an acceptable blended whisky as he could not afford to drink Malts on a daily basis.

 

I served with the Gordon Highlander infantry regiment in the 1980s. Highland Park seemed to be the most popular whisky among the officers.

 

I ski in France every year with a bunch of guys who enjoy whisky. We all bring a bottle and a Aberdonian friend who is an aficiando talks us through them. Really pleasant with a full stomache and tired legs. Hangovers do not seem so bad at altitude. He rates Speyburn Single Malt as an economical high quality whiskey.

 

My mother is Irish. I took a bottle of Jamesons to the first family party I went to in Scotland. Recollect I drank most of it alone.. hic.

 

My brother in-law (who does not like Whisky) was the bottling plant manager at Grants distillery (Glenfiddich) in Speyside. I have WhatsApp'd him about the Trader Joe link. He now manages a biscuit factory!

 

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2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Google it, lots of information including sites for online ordering.

Hi

I have,,I can buy it online or auction.

Its part of the Diageo group,,says it’s popular in Mexico and Latin America.

On the label it says made in Escosse.and the Bar Code label mentioned Mexico.

 

It maybe like some Johnny Walker labels that are only made for export now.

Edited by JeanieC,Aston
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On 8/10/2020 at 6:39 AM, Bo1953 said:

Will some of the Scotch drinkers provide your input on these differing regional products?

 

If you would provide your personal tasting notes and brands that are not widely and those which are widely available, that would be great.

 

Then those which have been seen, at least once, on in any bar on X, rather they still are available or not.

 

Cheers and bon voyage

 

My personal goal regarding Scotch (and other whiskey's too) is to TRY THEM ALL!  And I'm making great progress. I do wish there was more variety on the ships to help me reach my goal.  Unfortunately I find that I typically have to buy the bottle when trying the more unusual stuff. I find most Scotch to my liking.  Not a big fan of the Islay stuff though.  On rare occasions I get the urge to pour a dram of Laphroig or Lagavulin but I just usually avoid the peaty, smokey stuff.  I probably have 20-30 bottles in the bar right now which only leaves me about 10000000 to go😂.

 

On the ships I generally stick to Macallan, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet or more recently Monkey Shoulder.  For a blend Monkey Shoulder is quite good.

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Since we're discussing Scotch, I was wondering if anyone else had this experience on their most recent cruise.
 

We were in the Retreat on Eclipse last October. I asked for a glass of The Macallan. What I received tasted different from any Macallan I'd been served on previous X cruises. The bartender assured me it was The Macallan and showed me the bottle which looked like the picture below. The flavor was different, and not to my liking. Several days later at the CC Happy Hour, I asked for a glass of Macallan and showed my Seapass card to the server (which noted I had the Premium beverage package.) He brought me a glass of The Macallan, which was very good, and was not from the Quest collection.

It's sad to think that X was cost cutting in the Retreat, when their customers are paying a pretty penny for their fares which happen to include the Premium beverage package.

image.thumb.jpeg.cef55027b8289b4afd04006f07540321.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, C-Dragons said:

Since we're discussing Scotch, I was wondering if anyone else had this experience on their most recent cruise.
 

We were in the Retreat on Eclipse last October. I asked for a glass of The Macallan. What I received tasted different from any Macallan I'd been served on previous X cruises. The bartender assured me it was The Macallan and showed me the bottle which looked like the picture below. The flavor was different, and not to my liking. Several days later at the CC Happy Hour, I asked for a glass of Macallan and showed my Seapass card to the server (which noted I had the Premium beverage package.) He brought me a glass of The Macallan, which was very good, and was not from the Quest collection.

It's sad to think that X was cost cutting in the Retreat, when their customers are paying a pretty penny for their fares which happen to include the Premium beverage package.

c - perchance, do you or anyone else know where in the hierarchy Quest fits into the Macallan line?

 

Cheers and bon voyage

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17 minutes ago, C-Dragons said:

Since we're discussing Scotch, I was wondering if anyone else had this experience on their most recent cruise.
 

We were in the Retreat on Eclipse last October. I asked for a glass of The Macallan. What I received tasted different from any Macallan I'd been served on previous X cruises. The bartender assured me it was The Macallan and showed me the bottle which looked like the picture below. The flavor was different, and not to my liking. Several days later at the CC Happy Hour, I asked for a glass of Macallan and showed my Seapass card to the server (which noted I had the Premium beverage package.) He brought me a glass of The Macallan, which was very good, and was not from the Quest collection.

It's sad to think that X was cost cutting in the Retreat, when their customers are paying a pretty penny for their fares which happen to include the Premium beverage package.

Found it.... it is the first offering on the site....

 

Cheers and bon voyage

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1 hour ago, C-Dragons said:

Since we're discussing Scotch, I was wondering if anyone else had this experience on their most recent cruise.
 

We were in the Retreat on Eclipse last October. I asked for a glass of The Macallan. What I received tasted different from any Macallan I'd been served on previous X cruises. The bartender assured me it was The Macallan and showed me the bottle which looked like the picture below. The flavor was different, and not to my liking. Several days later at the CC Happy Hour, I asked for a glass of Macallan and showed my Seapass card to the server (which noted I had the Premium beverage package.) He brought me a glass of The Macallan, which was very good, and was not from the Quest collection.

It's sad to think that X was cost cutting in the Retreat, when their customers are paying a pretty penny for their fares which happen to include the Premium beverage package.

 

 

This is where I sort of back off of an earlier statement on age. But I can't really blame this on "no age statement", as this is pure marketing on MacAllan's part.

 

The Quest series appears to be a "Global Travel Retail" series of whiskies. They describe the palate as "Apple mixed with ginger and dried fruits. Nutmeg and cinnamon soften and fade.". Compare that to the 12 year old Doublewood "Deliciously honeyed, wood spices and citrus, balanced with raisins and caramel.", which sounds a lot more like a Speyside Single Malt. The Quest is an entry level whisky, and frankly sounds a lot like Dewars or the like! I used to be a fan of MacAllan, but this kind of crap drives me insane! If I want a glass of The MacAllan, I'm thinking a 12 year old whisky with some character, and that does not match the description of Quest...

 

I wouldn't have been happy either! Honestly, this is a big reason why I drink Balvenie and Glenmorangie...

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35 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

This is where I sort of back off of an earlier statement on age. But I can't really blame this on "no age statement", as this is pure marketing on MacAllan's part.

 

The Quest series appears to be a "Global Travel Retail" series of whiskies. They describe the palate as "Apple mixed with ginger and dried fruits. Nutmeg and cinnamon soften and fade.". Compare that to the 12 year old Doublewood "Deliciously honeyed, wood spices and citrus, balanced with raisins and caramel.", which sounds a lot more like a Speyside Single Malt. The Quest is an entry level whisky, and frankly sounds a lot like Dewars or the like! I used to be a fan of MacAllan, but this kind of crap drives me insane! If I want a glass of The MacAllan, I'm thinking a 12 year old whisky with some character, and that does not match the description of Quest...

 

I wouldn't have been happy either! Honestly, this is a big reason why I drink Balvenie and Glenmorangie...

 My thought was that Quest was manufactured for the Hospitality industry. 

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16 hours ago, hawkesbaynz said:

 

 

My brother in-law (who does not like Whisky) was the bottling plant manager at Grants distillery (Glenfiddich) in Speyside. I have WhatsApp'd him about the Trader Joe link. He now manages a biscuit factory!

 

He has never heard of Trader Joes Whisky.Caveat he only worked there for a couple of years about 2012

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Thanks Bo! Now this is a thread I can excited about since no ships are sailing.

 

As with many others who have already posted, the Islay whiskys are typically too much for me unless having a cigar. Really the only Islay I can drink on it’s own is Lagavulin. Laphroaig is far too smoky and phenolic (band aid flavor) for me to even remotely enjoy.

 

From the Speyside region my favorite is Balvenie. The 12 yo Doublewood is a great everyday whisky that is tasty and smooth. The 14 yo Caribbean cask is something unique with a hint of the rum cask but it’s a bit sweeter than most. My favorite is their regular lineup is the 17 yo Doublewood which is in my top 5 whiskys. I know several here have mentioned the 21 yo Portwood finished but it wasn’t to my liking. I love port wine but for some reason this just didn’t work for me, which is ok because at that price there are plenty of other scotch whiskys for me to try and enjoy.

 

Aberlour makes some decent offerings. And if if it age statement Macallan it is likely pretty decent if it was finished in Sherry casks. Some of the oak only varieties and the new quest/lumina bottlings don’t stand up to the rest of their older products. I currently have a Macallan 21 but prefer the 18 yo. For the rice though I find Macallan to have gone too far and other whiskys can still be had that IMO are significantly better.

 

My favorite whisky comes from Orkney which have to be from the Island region (not Islay). The Island whiskys Cary greatly admires most are from unique islands that lend very different flavors to the whisky. Highland Park makes most of my favorite whiskys and up until 1-2 years ago the prices were reasonable for the quality. They have as with all Scotch whiskys gone up considerably the last few years. Currently in my collection I have HP 30, HP 25,

HP 18, HP 12, and a cask strength that has been out production for some time but is called the Texas (Lone Star state edition). I haven’t checked recently to see if they still make it since HP has also followed many other distilleries in moving towards non age based bottlings but the HP 15 was a great dram at reasonable price. HP is a great example of there being a sweet spot for length of aging. The HP 30 is a wonderful whisky but the 25 is an exceptional whisky and is the clear winner at half the price of the 30. The 12, 15, and 18 all have unique characteristics and I enjoy them all but would like to do a side by side of these 3 someday.
 

I know that leaves the Highlands, Lowlands, and Campbeltown regions unmentioned but I am happy to sip from the list of whiskys above without venturing too far out from my favorites.

 

Also, another thanks to the poster who mentioned using CellarTracker for spirits. I use it to keep tabs on my wine cellar but will now add the spirits to it! It is a very helpful tool.

 

Ill leave Irish whiskey (note the spelling difference?) alone for now but they make some very good products and usually at a much lower price than their Scotch counterparts. 

 

 

 

 

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Bringing this back to cruising.  The best Scotch to my liking on a Celebrity ship under the premium beverage package (no extra charge) is typically Macallan. 12 year but sometimes 15 year. I have no problem drinking this for 7 nights (or longer)😄.  Sometimes in Michael's Club/Retreat when I sail a suite there are more premium selections.

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Although I do not drink Glenlivet, as suggested in my previous post #19, I did indeed decide to purchase a bottle of Glenlivet's new Caribbean rum-cask scotch. There is no age statement but no doubt it's a youngin. You almost expect to find a binkie instead of the typical bottle top when opening.

 

It's light fruit with a whisper of floral and a hint of vanilla. I did not taste the toffee influence but I am sure I will eventually. As advertised it is sweeter. It is delicate and smooth but with enough flare to let you know it's there. I liken it somewhat to The Glenmorangie Original. No ice and no splash of water needed.

 

A pleasant dram, but it had me wanting more vigor and a knee-high touch of smoke. Perhaps I should try the Balvenie 14 year Caribbean rum-cask. A more robust pour, I am sure.

 

You lovers of fire and brimstone, peat bogs and the briny blue, this whiskey is not for you. Unless of course your palate enjoys the entire taste spectrum. It is, however, a very nice intro into the scotch whiskey world. I am sure that Celebrity will ad this to its Glenlivet family.    

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1 hour ago, RICCruisers said:

Having tried Macallan Quest on a past cruise, all I can say is if Macallan is trying to ruin their brand, they should continue making this drink. I think the age of this scotch was last Tuesday.  

Since it was produced for the Hospitality industry, including the Cruise lines, Quest can be offered for a lower price point. X is purchasing/serving it as a cost saving measure. I don’t think Macallan is trying to hurt their brand.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Always ask the server or bartender to show you the bottle first. 😉

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18 hours ago, Spif Barwunkel said:

Although I do not drink Glenlivet, as suggested in my previous post #19, I did indeed decide to purchase a bottle of Glenlivet's new Caribbean rum-cask scotch. There is no age statement but no doubt it's a youngin. You almost expect to find a binkie instead of the typical bottle top when opening.

 

It's light fruit with a whisper of floral and a hint of vanilla. I did not taste the toffee influence but I am sure I will eventually. As advertised it is sweeter. It is delicate and smooth but with enough flare to let you know it's there. I liken it somewhat to The Glenmorangie Original. No ice and no splash of water needed.

 

A pleasant dram, but it had me wanting more vigor and a knee-high touch of smoke. Perhaps I should try the Balvenie 14 year Caribbean rum-cask. A more robust pour, I am sure.

 

You lovers of fire and brimstone, peat bogs and the briny blue, this whiskey is not for you. Unless of course your palate enjoys the entire taste spectrum. It is, however, a very nice intro into the scotch whiskey world. I am sure that Celebrity will ad this to its Glenlivet family.    

Spif I am with you on this.  I really do not enjoy highly smokey and peaty scotch.  Not a big fan of Islay whiskies in general but my son loves them- in fact so much that he flew there and took a distillery tour.  I am definitely more Speyside.

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This topic speaks my language (Scotch) since I followed my Dad into the world of scotch lovers.  I think that those folks who enjoy whiskeys such as Bourbon can easily adapt to most scotches with the exception of the ones from Isley.  Perhaps it is an understatement to say that one must acquire a taste for Isley Scotches.  The peaty booze made on Isley are quite special and folks who get hooked on this uniquely tasting scotch have trouble going back to other scotches and whiskeys.   If one wants to try a typical Isley whiskey I would suggest Laguvulin.   One issue I have had with most cruise lines is that their selection of single malts leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Hank

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On 8/14/2020 at 6:14 PM, C-Dragons said:

Since it was produced for the Hospitality industry, including the Cruise lines, Quest can be offered for a lower price point. X is purchasing/serving it as a cost saving measure. I don’t think Macallan is trying to hurt their brand.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Always ask the server or bartender to show you the bottle first. 😉

For you and me and experienced scotch drinkers, it may not hurt their brand. For a newcomer to drinking scotch, if this is their first time trying Macallan, they may be turned off to the brand. Quest is likely helping Macallan’s bottom line with this “bottom of the barrel “ offering. 

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1 hour ago, RICCruisers said:

For you and me and experienced scotch drinkers, it may not hurt their brand. For a newcomer to drinking scotch, if this is their first time trying Macallan, they may be turned off to the brand. Quest is likely helping Macallan’s bottom line with this “bottom of the barrel “ offering. 

 

It's a little bit interesting to me how something like Quest plays. I don't know many new whisky drinkers these days, so I don't know how they'd approach something that tastes the way Quest is described. And maybe Macallan is better off selling (probably)  young, inoffensive whisky and not worrying about whether their customers move on to something with more character and flavor. It's an interesting question, but a sale is a sale...

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1 hour ago, RICCruisers said:

For you and me and experienced scotch drinkers, it may not hurt their brand. For a newcomer to drinking scotch, if this is their first time trying Macallan, they may be turned off to the brand. Quest is likely helping Macallan’s bottom line with this “bottom of the barrel “ offering. 

Perhaps, but Quest must appeal to some people’s tastes, otherwise Macallan wouldn’t be able to sell it.

Not everyone has a discriminating  palate.

Edited by C-Dragons
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