For an Ardbeg drinker, you're floored too easily
A visit to this page will show my points: http://www.masterofmalt.com/distille...ky-distillery/
10yr 46% and $54
Oogy 54% and $80
Corry 57% and $95
There you go.
And about Lagavulin... I'm not saying Laga is a substitute for Laph or vice versa. What I'm saying is they're more similar to each other than Ardbeg is to either.
Apparently the idea isn't new:
"In the 19th century, several legal battles ensued with their neighbour Laphroaig, brought about after the distiller at Lagavulin, Sir Peter Mackie, leased the Laphroaig distillery. It is said that Mackie attempted to copy Laphroaig's style."
Additionally, the OP said to avoid Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Ballantines. I can see the similarities with those brands. One isn't a substitue for another, but they're enough similar that they can be placed in a grouping and labeled "please avoid". I find a similar comparability with Laph and Laga.
Would he like Laga? Yes, almost certainly. Will he switch from Laph to Laga? No, I would bet not. Will he buy another bottle of Laga after his gifted bottle is finished? Probably not. Why pay twice the price of Laph when you could just have some more Laph? I mean, unless you just like to collect various whiskies like Ralfy.
Would he like Corry? Probably so. Possibly not. If he does like it, would he switch from Laph to Corry? No, I would bet not. Will he buy another bottle of Corry to have in addition to Laph? If he would own anything in addition to Laph on a regular and continuous basis, I think Corry would be the best bet... and it could all begin as a graduation present.
Of course, this is just my opinion. But I feel justified in stating my opinion and possibly affecting someone's choice in a very important decision because I feel I can relate to the husband. My friend, who also can find no other drink in preference to Laph, most certainly can relate. Its our opinion that if you like Laph, nothing else is going to be as good as Laph.... and its a pointless endeavor to seek a replacement. Therefore Ardbeg seems like the logical choice, but if it turns out to be the wrong choice, at least it was a logical decision and not a "close your eyes and pick one" choice. One thing is for certain, which isn't an opinion, but is fact... when you try Corry, love it or hate it, you won't forget it. What better way to mark a momentous occasion? With that line of thinking, she could surprise everyone and pick up a bottle of Octomore 5.1 at 60% ABV and 169ppm phenol content which, I can only imagine, would make Ardbeg seem like watered-down ice tea. One of these days I'm going to try that stuff! Can too much ever be enough?
As for me trying Laga and Laph again... I think I will happily accept that suggestion and do that now