A Whiskey Recommendation

Not surprising. It says on the bottle that it’s Bowmore’s no. 1 malt.


With the sudden drop in temperatures, I thought it was time to revisit my old friend Ardbeg 10. It’s as intense as I remember. Almost went for a lighter peated whisky. This was the right choice. I feel as if “10” is a reference to the complexity or number of flavors. Excellent dram. At 46% abv, a dash of water is acceptable and encouraged.


Anyone know how much Kavalan ex fino sherry is going for in Taiwan these days? I brought back a bottle from duty free last year and it was pretty awesome. Looked into buying a replacement bottle locally (u.s.) and it was $460!!!

Should only be around $6500 here in Taiwan.


Kirkland is one of the old Speyside whisky names, isn’t it?

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Allow me to introduce one of my favorites…

Hazelburn 10 year old (Springbank distillery). 46% - non chill-filtered, not colored, triple-distilled.

Notes of pear, honey, floral, vanilla, oily, full-bodied, slight maritime brine, creamy, sweet and smooth. Hazelburn is Springbank’s unpeated expression, but I definitely detect slight peat-like smoke (Maybe from cask char? Maybe because the distillery’s other two expressions are peated and there’s some residue in the equipment?). It is a thing of beauty on the palate. Very different from the ‘typical’ triple-distilled whisky/whiskey.

Springbank distillery actually produces three different single malts: Springbank, Longrow, and Hazelburn. Only 10% of production volume at Springbank goes into Hazelburn. In my humble opinion, at around just $1400, for such an exclusive whisky, it is massively underpriced.

Springbank is the only distillery in Scotland which malts, distills, matures, and bottles everything on-site. It has also been under the ownership of the same family since 1828! Lots of tradition and history here then! The distillery maintains a lot of traditional equipment and processes. For example, boatskin larch washbacks are still used (some believe that because traditional wooden washbacks harbor more micro fauna than modern stainless steel ones, the resulting wash is sweeter with a more interesting flavor.) Springbank allows extra long fermentation - 100+ hours! (longer fermentation allows more and different ester development and can lead to a more interesting flavor profile, in my opinion).

Some interesting history trivia regarding the name - The original Hazelburn distillery, which was the largest distillery in Campbeltown in the late 1800s, was bought by Mitchell & Co. (Springbank), but was mothballed around 1925. It was one of the three distilleries at which Masataka Taketsuru, “the father of Japanese whisky” apprenticed during his time in Scotland, and he, along with his Scottish wife, Rita Cowan, “the mother of Japanese whisky”, spent a bit of time in Campbeltown.

In the 1800s, Campbeltown claimed to be the “whisky capital of the world”, and with around 20-30 distilleries – (along with a lot of illicit production), it may very well have deserved that title. Now only 3 distilleries remain – Springbank, Glen Scotia, and Glengyle/Kilkerran.

And speaking of Campbeltown, I’m reminded of a certain song…. :slight_smile:



I love the write-up. I almost got a Springbank whisky yesterday. A no age statement, lightly peated whisky. The name escapes me now. I feel a bit more motivated to try their whiskies now.

Interesting. I thought triple distilling was something only done with Irish whiskeys (different spelling here to show off).

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Triple distillation is a hallmark of Irish whiskey, that’s true… but there are no regulations that forbid double distillation in Ireland, or triple distillation in Scotland. Connemara and Pearse Lyons are a couple of Irish Whiskeys that are double distilled, and I’m sure there are more, especially with the boom in new distilleries (up from just 4 distilleries in 2010 to 32 by the end of 2019!). I think I read somewhere a while back that even Jameson was toying with the idea of a double distilled expression.
In the Scottish whisky world, double distillation is certainly the norm, but there are a few triple distilled offerings, too. Auchentoshan is probably the most famous (their three wood is very good when you feel like something sherry-finished). Benriach and Benromach experimented with triple distillation and released a few expressions. Rosebank (difficult to find, and into silly money territory) is also triple distilled. I think Benrinnes does (or did) triple distillation, too.
Remember, just to make things even more interesting, that there’s the possibility to distill somewhere in the middle. For example, Springbank is distilled 2.5 times, and Mortlach is famous for their 2.81 distillation process. (Going through the processes and math for some of those in the middle, and trying to understand how they arrived at their figures is a good way to get a headache!)

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I have been informed by a good Scots friend who grew up in the 1930s basically next door to Bowmores on Islay that the basic 10-years old Springbank is very popular amongst actual distillery workers from across Scotland. Owners and maltfloor workers and coopers alike.

It’s not very well known but they’d prefer it that way so you don’t push the price up.


It’s popular among me too.


Been driving all day on Japanese expressways doing 120 plus. Covered a lot of ground. Need a quick decompress.

This is a convenience store find. Koshu pure malt from Nirasaki distillery. 40abv which is above the basement 37abv you normally find for cheaper whiskies here.

Probably only 2-3 years old, bit sharp. Nice delicate nose. Taste of peaches predominantly and some chocolate and apple on the after taste. Not very complex, zero peat but some smoke on the way down.

180 ml was 690 yen. Not too bad but that’s my first and last time.


Talisker 10. Very unmistakable peat but it’s only one of some many different flavors. Fruity/citrusy and spiciness are also a part of this whisky.

Marketed as “The only distillery in the Isle of Skye.” 45.8% abv. No information about the casks used, but there is some sweetness that comes through probably from whatever this whisky was aged in.

Highly recommended but I’m still trying to figure things out with this complex single malt.

Check out where Skye is north of Islay. But I see other distilleries there on this map.


Tobermory distillery.Their peated whisky. They gave it a totally different name, which seems not so uncommon. The only distillery in the Isle of Mull, which is north of Islay.

Very highly recommended but it may not be an easy find.

900 nt at my9.


Hello malt mates. Great wisdom here from Ralfy.

Nice review, and decent price. (Maybe less in Super I guess)

That wouldn’t even be whisky under UK/EU laws.