All three were samples. My pockets aren't deep, and it takes a little time to set aside funds for my scotch journey. My lone venture above the $75 mark to date is a bottle of Balvenie Portwood 21, which I thoroughly enjoy. The Corryvreckan sample is one that I enjoyed very much and would like to have a bottle at my house. Soon.
You said you were interested in my views, so here goes:
The Lagavulin was a bit too much for my novice palate. I couldn't get past the smoke enough to sort out the other flavors. I spent about 1 1/2 hours with it and I found it interesting enough that I will probably try it again as my palate gains experience. I did that a long time ago with a beer called Aventinus (a robust wheat beer). The spice notes were too dominant when I first tried it, but I went back to it a year later after I had gone through a few milder hefeweisens, and now Aventinus is one of my all time favorites. I'm thinking it will be the same with Lagavulin.
The Bunnahabhain 12 was good, but left me wanting a little bit more. Everything about it was a little too subtle. Having said that, it would be a nice scotch to have around for those times when you may want something soft and subtle. It may also be a good entry point for someone interested in Islay whisky, but doesn't want to be overwhelmed.
Around here, Lagavulin is $97, Corryvreckan is about 90, and Bunnahabhain 12 is around $60.
Last edited by john_b; 07-17-2013 at 02:16 PM.