Single Malt
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22-03-2017, 12:28 PM
RE: Single Malt
So, I usually buy my whiskey at the local grocery store, which has a pretty good selection and the lowest prices in town. Occasionally I bop on over to Steve's Liquor (three locations in town -- I've been to two of them) -- higher prices, but a better and deeper selection. I see stuff there that I've never seen at the grocery store. And I just found out the other day that one Steve's location will have stuff that another one doesn't.

Anyway, a few months back, I bought a bottle of Lagavulin 16YO, which is their "flagship" expression, I believe. That's the only Lagavulin the grocery store had at the time. Recently I saw two new ones there, both "limited editions": an 8YO, which was significantly cheaper than the 16YO (as you would expect) and a "Distillers Edition", which was priced about the same as the 16YO (which also makes sense, since it too is 16 years old -- just aged in a different selection of barrels). What's got me baffled is that on my recent trip to Steve's, I saw a Lagavulin 12YO that is about $30 more expensive than the standard 16YO. Why is that? Is it super rare or something?
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22-03-2017, 12:48 PM
RE: Single Malt
The Balvenie is a good taste. "Caribbean Cask" if you can find it.
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22-03-2017, 01:57 PM
RE: Single Malt
(22-03-2017 12:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  So, I usually buy my whiskey at the local grocery store,
That always boggles me a bit when I see it.

I grew up in NYS, where even wine had to be purchased in a licensed liquor store, and my best buddy in engineering school was from Connecticut, where not only wine, but also beer had to be purchased in a "package store" -- and you couldn't buy any after 8pm.

When I moved to Oregon I about fell over when I walked into a supermarket and encountered two full aisles of wine. Eventually I got used to that, but the concept of being able to buy whiskey at Safeway still feels a bit like believing in Santa Claus. Yes

Quote: Anyway, a few months back, I bought a bottle of Lagavulin 16YO, which is their "flagship" expression, I believe. That's the only Lagavulin the grocery store had at the time. Recently I saw two new ones there, both "limited editions": an 8YO, which was significantly cheaper than the 16YO (as you would expect) and a "Distillers Edition", which was priced about the same as the 16YO (which also makes sense, since it too is 16 years old -- just aged in a different selection of barrels). What's got me baffled is that on my recent trip to Steve's, I saw a Lagavulin 12YO that is about $30 more expensive than the standard 16YO. Why is that? Is it super rare or something?
The 12yo was a special, supposedly limited release in 2015. It kind of illustrates what I was saying about the recent proliferation of "special editions". Like you, for years the only Lagavulin that I ever saw was the 16yo -- on either side of the country. Then suddenly two new editions show up, within months of each other.

The 8yo, BTW, is their 200 year anniversary edition, and around here it costs almost as much as the 16yo.


-----
On another item:
My fruitless search for more Laphroaig 18yo got me thinking about replenishing my stock of some of the older whiskies, while I still can -- and I came up empty-handed in a search for Caol Ila 18yo. Anybody seen this one on the shelves lately?

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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22-03-2017, 02:40 PM
RE: Single Malt
(22-03-2017 01:57 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(22-03-2017 12:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  So, I usually buy my whiskey at the local grocery store,
That always boggles me a bit when I see it.

I grew up in NYS, where even wine had to be purchased in a licensed liquor store, and my best buddy in engineering school was from Connecticut, where not only wine, but also beer had to be purchased in a "package store" -- and you couldn't buy any after 8pm.

I probably should have qualified it a bit. The "grocery store" that I mentioned is Woodman's, which has a grocery store and a liquor store, in the same building but separated by glass doors. You can't go from either one to the other with anything that you haven't already paid for. The grocery section is open 24 hours a day, the liquor store only from 8 AM to 9 PM or something like that. The local convenient stores (PDQ, Speedway, Kwik Mart, etc.) have beer, but they can only sell it between 8 AM and 9 PM. So we have restrictions similar to what you described for Connecticut. I just think of Woodman's Liquor as "the grocery store" because it's in the same building and has the same owners.

I'm also a bit embarrassed that I used the term "whiskey". All my recent purchases have been Scotch, so of course it's "whisky".

Quote:-----
On another item:
My fruitless search for more Laphroaig 18yo got me thinking about replenishing my stock of some of the older whiskies, while I still can -- and I came up empty-handed in a search for Caol Ila 18yo. Anybody seen this one on the shelves lately?

I haven't seen that, but it would probably be separated from the regular stock (due to price) if anyone here had it. What I have seen just recently is 15YO cask strength (61.5%) unpeated. I just bought a bottle of that, in fact. But I don't recall seeing anything other than that and the regular 12YO. I'll look again next time I get to Steve's. They had a pretty good selection of older whiskies from the other Islay distilleries (but no Laphroaig 18YO).
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22-03-2017, 03:12 PM
RE: Single Malt
One other funny thing I noticed about the "grocery store" liquor store (Woodman's). A number of their bottles of whisk(e)y -- including the Macallan 18YO behind the glass -- are stored lying down. I guess nobody ever told them that that's OK for wine, but not for whisk(e)y. Another reason to go to Steve's instead.
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03-05-2017, 03:22 PM
RE: Single Malt
Attention Dr H: Laphroaig 18YO may not be totally dead in the water yet. Scroll down to the bottom in the following link:

https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/whisky-n...deas-2017/

"Douglas Laing Consortium of Cards
Independent bottler Douglas Laing also announced a Laphroaig, an 18 Year Old nicknamed ‘Queen of Hebrides’, as part of its new Consortium of Cards series. This series will be themed around a deck of playing cards, with four releases each year and ultimately a full house of 15 single malt and 5 single grain releases. One for collectors."

No idea what this would cost, though.
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04-05-2017, 04:37 PM
RE: Single Malt
(03-05-2017 03:22 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Attention Dr H: Laphroaig 18YO may not be totally dead in the water yet. Scroll down to the bottom in the following link:

https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/whisky-n...deas-2017/

"Douglas Laing Consortium of Cards
Independent bottler Douglas Laing also announced a Laphroaig, an 18 Year Old nicknamed ‘Queen of Hebrides’, as part of its new Consortium of Cards series. This series will be themed around a deck of playing cards, with four releases each year and ultimately a full house of 15 single malt and 5 single grain releases. One for collectors."

No idea what this would cost, though.
Thanks for the heads-up.

From what I've been able to find out, this is actually a different 18yo expression than the one that replaced the 15yo for most of a decade. For one thing, it's supposedly going to be offered at cask strength; the other 18yo was, like the 15yo, 43%.

I'll probably try it, since I'm a big fan of Laphroaig -- unless they're charging something obscene for a bottle.

All this experimentation Laphroaig has been doing in the past few years has me worried. For decades they got by with just the 10yo and the 15yo, and the rare, occasional "special" release to commemorate some holiday or anniversary. But just over the last 8 or 9 years they've developed a range of 15 expressions, including an annual special, and more on the way. It's all about marketing, I suppose, but I hope they don't over-extend themselves. It's happened to others.

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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05-05-2017, 01:51 PM
RE: Single Malt
(04-05-2017 04:37 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(03-05-2017 03:22 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Attention Dr H: Laphroaig 18YO may not be totally dead in the water yet. Scroll down to the bottom in the following link:

https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/whisky-n...deas-2017/

"Douglas Laing Consortium of Cards
Independent bottler Douglas Laing also announced a Laphroaig, an 18 Year Old nicknamed ‘Queen of Hebrides’, as part of its new Consortium of Cards series. This series will be themed around a deck of playing cards, with four releases each year and ultimately a full house of 15 single malt and 5 single grain releases. One for collectors."

No idea what this would cost, though.
Thanks for the heads-up.

From what I've been able to find out, this is actually a different 18yo expression than the one that replaced the 15yo for most of a decade. For one thing, it's supposedly going to be offered at cask strength; the other 18yo was, like the 15yo, 43%.

I'll probably try it, since I'm a big fan of Laphroaig -- unless they're charging something obscene for a bottle.

All this experimentation Laphroaig has been doing in the past few years has me worried. For decades they got by with just the 10yo and the 15yo, and the rare, occasional "special" release to commemorate some holiday or anniversary. But just over the last 8 or 9 years they've developed a range of 15 expressions, including an annual special, and more on the way. It's all about marketing, I suppose, but I hope they don't over-extend themselves. It's happened to others.

Looks like it's hard to get anyway. I did a quick online search, and apparently they only made 665 bottles, it was released in February, and several of the online sources are already sold out. I suspect this is long gone unless you want to pay big bucks on ebay.

No big deal to me -- I've got a whole cupboard full of Islay single malt Scotch, including 10 bottles of various Laphroaig expressions, so I won't really miss this one.
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05-05-2017, 04:38 PM
RE: Single Malt
(05-05-2017 01:51 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Looks like it's hard to get anyway. I did a quick online search, and apparently they only made 665 bottles, it was released in February, and several of the online sources are already sold out. I suspect this is long gone unless you want to pay big bucks on ebay.

No big deal to me -- I've got a whole cupboard full of Islay single malt Scotch, including 10 bottles of various Laphroaig expressions, so I won't really miss this one.

Seen any Caol Ila 18, lately?

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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06-05-2017, 03:45 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2017 03:51 PM by Grasshopper.)
RE: Single Malt
(05-05-2017 04:38 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 01:51 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Looks like it's hard to get anyway. I did a quick online search, and apparently they only made 665 bottles, it was released in February, and several of the online sources are already sold out. I suspect this is long gone unless you want to pay big bucks on ebay.

No big deal to me -- I've got a whole cupboard full of Islay single malt Scotch, including 10 bottles of various Laphroaig expressions, so I won't really miss this one.

Seen any Caol Ila 18, lately?

No, but I haven't had a chance to look for it, either. The "grocery store" liquor store that I get to regularly definitely doesn't have it (they carry only the 12YO and a 15YO cask strength unpeated), but I will check Steve's Liquor (a better store with a wider selection) next time I get there.

ETA: I just checked the "wine-searcher" website, and according to them, the closest place to Wisconsin that has Caol Ila 18YO is in Washington, D.C., and they want $300 for one bottle. Nope. Not that interested. I will still check Steve's next time I'm there, but I don't expect to see any of that.
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