hey, if there's anyone willing to add input, i'd love to hear from you. so far, i feel sure that i'm going to buy lagavulin 16 (for about $45/4500 yen) and caol ila 12 (for a hair over $30/3000 yen). i'm also inclined to buy highland park 12 (less than $25/2500 for 75 cl @43%abv)--although i've had some thoughts on bunnahabhain 12. with an idea that i should make my theme "50 years of scotch" for my 50th b-day, i was thinking of rounding out the collection with laphroaig 10 y.o. cask strength, but i'm finding that the only option left on rakuten online is close to $90 (there were bottles going for about half that!). as a result, i'm thinking of backups. the ones i'm considering most seriously are springbank 10 (uncolored, non-chill filtered!); glenfarclas 105 (bang for your buck, and a bit of a contrast with the other selections); bowmore tempest (or maybe the "regular" 10 y.o. cask strength); and dark horse yoichi 10.
the fact is, substituting the bunnahabhain for the highland park and going with bowmore would allow for an all-islay variety pack from the distillers about whom i know the least (i'm a big laphroaig fan and have sample a number of ardbeg expressions). on the other hand, this might be a nice chance to try to branch out and learn a bit more about what the non-islays have to offer. also, i'll be sharing a small celebration with a few (japanese) neighbors, and i think that the highkand park might be a lot more approachable for them, as well as a decent choice as we head into summer...
any thoughts? i plan to pull the trigger by 5/20 or so. i'm also thinking of going with 5 bottles instead of 4 (adding up to 60 years: admittedly a stray from my original theme, but... well, do i really need a reason? lol)...
thanks in advance for your advice!