Alternatives to Bunnahabhain 12...

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  • kroman
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    Joined: 16.04.2016Posts: 90Collectionkromans CollectionRatings: 16

    First of all, don't tell me the 18!!!

    I have a business friend who loves Bunnahabhain 12 and we are traveling g to Florida together. I wanted to bring an alternative that he would like as well as one I haven't had before. He hates smoke, and has only tried the Aberlour 12. He thought it was okay, but not as good as the Bunna. I'm guessing he wants more impact and alcohol. So my question is: do you know of a scotch that is similar to the bunnahabhain 12 year?

    I was thinking of the Edradour 12, Edradour 10 yr from signatory vintage (I've already had this, but it's sooooo good), Jura 16, Balvenie 17 doublewood (might be too expensive), or glanfarclas 15.

    Any other suggestions...?

  • Carlton Member Carlton Joined: 26.08.2016Posts: 198CollectionEmpty Bottle ClubRatings: 147
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    Here are a few that have some sherry influence, no smoke, and at least 46% abv:

    Glen Garioch 12 Year Old
    Tobermory 15 Year Old
    Isle of Arran 14 Year Old
    Balblair 1999 Vintage

    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
    Carbon111 liked that
  • SlàinteMhath Member SlàinteMhath Joined: 09.10.2016Posts: 94CollectionOslo Whisky ClubRatings: 59
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    Bunnahabhain 12 is a very decent Single Malt indeed. So you are looking for a non-peated whisky with some maritime notes?

    Here are some options:

    Arran 10/Arran 14 (46% ABV, lots of tropical fruits)
    Oban 14 (43% ABV, rather on the dry side)
    Dalwhinnie 15 (43% ABV, good value for money, rather complex honey malt but no coastal influence)
    Clynelish 14 (46% ABV, waxy, characterful Highlander)

    I'd probably pick Dalwhinnie 15. It's not identical to Bunnahabhain 12 but it's good value for money, without peat and a dram with character.
    There is no such thing as bad whisky - some are just better than others.” (W. Faulkner)

                                            >>> Whisky reviews by Slàinte Mhath <<<
  • hwchoy Member hwchoy Joined: 28.07.2015Posts: 210CollectionHeng Wah's CollectionRatings: 1
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    "SlàinteMhath" wrote:
    I'd probably pick Dalwhinnie 15. It's not identical to Bunnahabhain 12 but it's good value for money, without peat and a dram with character.



    I am into the last 20cl of my Dalwhinnie 15, and some how it seems to be getting spicier and more oaky in the finish compared to when the bottle was full.
  • kroman
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    Joined: 16.04.2016Posts: 90Collectionkromans CollectionRatings: 16
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    Thanks for the advice,

    Although I haven't had the Dalwhinnie 15 yr, I've actually heard conflicting information on it; it was a little too safe, easy and unintimidating. A friend told me that it's a scotch to introduce to women who don't like scotch! If anything, I'd try the distiller's edition.

    However, I had forgotten about Arran. I had their Sauternes finish and loved it, so I might investigate the 14 year further...

  • SlàinteMhath Member SlàinteMhath Joined: 09.10.2016Posts: 94CollectionOslo Whisky ClubRatings: 59
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    "hwchoy" wrote:
    I am into the last 20cl of my Dalwhinnie 15, and some how it seems to be getting spicier and more oaky in the finish compared to when the bottle was full.


    Well, oxidation could certainly play a role. But isn't that part of the journey - to see how a good dram evolves over time? If you want to avoid oxidation, use little sample bottles and store them in a cool, dark place.

    "kroman" wrote:
    A friend told me that it's a scotch to introduce to women who don't like scotch! If anything, I'd try the distiller's edition.


    The same is said about Lowland whiskies. It's nonsense! Or do you believe that men only drink heavily peated whiskies from Islay? Variety is what makes whisky so interesting, whether it be Scotch, Bourbon or international malts.

    And, I might add, never underestimate the quality of a standard bottling. One does not always need premium, ultra-deluxe expressions.

    However, Arran 14 is certainly a save choice!
    There is no such thing as bad whisky - some are just better than others.” (W. Faulkner)

                                            >>> Whisky reviews by Slàinte Mhath <<<
  • kroman
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    Joined: 16.04.2016Posts: 90Collectionkromans CollectionRatings: 16
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    "SlàinteMhath" wrote:
    The same is said about Lowland whiskies. It's nonsense! Or do you believe that men only drink heavily peated whiskies from Islay? Variety is what makes whisky so interesting, whether it be Scotch, Bourbon or international malts.


    I agree completely with what you are saying, particularly with scotch. The variety you can get is amazing, especially when you consider that the only ingredients are malt, yeast and water! However, this doesn't mean that everyone will like each and every variation you can get in scotch. Some people are very specific in what they want in a whisky, moreso if they are paying a lot of money for their bottle (compared to other kinds of alcohol). I guess the only point I was (poorly) trying to make was that the Dalwhinnie might be too mellow for my friends specific liking.

    "SlàinteMhath" wrote:
    And, I might add, never underestimate the quality of a standard bottling. One does not always need premium, ultra-deluxe expressions.


    Again, I agree! I'd take a Glenmorangie 10 yr Original over some bottles that are twice the price and "complexity". I sampled about five different expressions of Kilchoman last week and found their standard bottle (Machir Bay) to be my favorite out of all of them. It's just from some reviews I've read and things I've been told about the Dalwhinnie, I don't want to spend 55 dollors on a bottle that I may or may not like, when there are so many other alternatives. I'd much rather buy a glass at a bar and try it out first before determining whether I'd buy the bottle or not

    I didn't mean to sound like a snob or speak poorly against Dalwhinnie, especially seeing how I haven't even tried it yet. The friend who made that remark (as well as myself) is in the military, so sometimes we can be a little...harsh in our language. Didn't mean to offend, malt mate! :wink:
  • Carlton Member Carlton Joined: 26.08.2016Posts: 198CollectionEmpty Bottle ClubRatings: 147
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    "SlàinteMhath" wrote:
    The same is said about Lowland whiskies. It's nonsense! Or do you believe that men only drink heavily peated whiskies from Islay? Variety is what makes whisky so interesting, whether it be Scotch, Bourbon or international malts.


    "kroman" wrote:
    I agree completely with what you are saying, particularly with scotch. The variety you can get is amazing, especially when you consider that the only ingredients are malt, yeast and water! However, this doesn't mean that everyone will like each and every variation you can get in scotch. Some people are very specific in what they want in a whisky, moreso if they are paying a lot of money for their bottle (compared to other kinds of alcohol). I guess the only point I was (poorly) trying to make was that the Dalwhinnie might be too mellow for my friends specific liking.


    It all boils down to personal preference and drinking habits. Dalwhinnie is a solid dram, but it is pretty easy access. That can be a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective. I really like it, but someone who usually drinks more assertive whiskies might not enjoy it because it doesn't give them what they have come to expect from a whisky.

    "SlàinteMhath" wrote:
    And, I might add, never underestimate the quality of a standard bottling. One does not always need premium, ultra-deluxe expressions.


    "kroman" wrote:
    Again, I agree! I'd take a Glenmorangie 10 yr Original over some bottles that are twice the price and "complexity". I sampled about five different expressions of Kilchoman last week and found their standard bottle (Machir Bay) to be my favorite out of all of them. It's just from some reviews I've read and things I've been told about the Dalwhinnie, I don't want to spend 55 dollors on a bottle that I may or may not like, when there are so many other alternatives. I'd much rather buy a glass at a bar and try it out first before determining whether I'd buy the bottle or not


    That reminds me of an interview I heard with Sandy Hyslop, Director of Blending at Chivas Brothers, in which he was discussing blending casks for batches of Glenlivet 12 year old. He indicated that many drinkers out there know the Glenlivet 12 as well as he does, and, if quality slips, most will simply switch to something else. I've also heard Bill Lumsden say that he spends more effort on checking batches of the Glenmorangie 10 year old than the rest of their products put together. The core, "entry-level" malts are the backbone of a distillery and are responsible for most of the revenue. They expend a lot of effort to be sure that they get everything correct. These "entry-level" malts might not get much attention or hit the sweet spot for everyone, but they are usually the most consistent products in the range.
    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
  • SlàinteMhath Member SlàinteMhath Joined: 09.10.2016Posts: 94CollectionOslo Whisky ClubRatings: 59
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    "kroman" wrote:
    Didn't mean to offend, malt mate! :wink:


    Not offended at all! I completely understand what you're saying and hope you'll find the best bottle for your purpose!

    I agree with Carlton that Dalwhinnie 15 is an easy access malt which can be good or bad, depending on the situation.

    My main point to suggest it, was the good price value. As said, it's decent, got a 15-year age statement and I find it rather interesting due to the distillery's high altitude location ('cask breathing'). The bottling strength could be slightly higher though.
    There is no such thing as bad whisky - some are just better than others.” (W. Faulkner)

                                            >>> Whisky reviews by Slàinte Mhath <<<
  • Absorber Member Joined: 11.11.2015Posts: 12Ratings: 0
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    @kroman
    I'd go for Old Pulteney 12YO is you want something affordable or Scapa16 which is more expensive and already a bit rare (it was discontinued last year), but really delicious.
  • bedlamborn Member bedlamborn Joined: 18.09.2016Posts: 112Collectionbedlamborns CollectionRatings: 12
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    Balblair 1999 vintage would be a good choice.
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