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unwisefool

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
6,470
BTW, unwisefool unwisefool : Is this the article you read about TJ's Finlaggan?

See: Trader oe's Scotch Whiskies

If so, it does sound interesting but I hate buying "mystery" bottles even if they are cheap; same applies to Costco's offerings.

The author thinks Finlaggan's is a bottling of Bowmore but I've got already a great bottle of Bowmore 15 on the shelf (as well as Caol Ila 12, which the author thinks it might be as well). Earlier versions may been from Lagavulin and, if that's still the case, I'd know for sure it if I smell/taste it because there's nothing subtle about Lagavulin.

I wouldn't normally bother trolling thru bottles of unknown origin just because they're cheap and supposedly good BUT (for you) I might take a flyer and buy a bottle of Finlaggan (if it really costs only $20) just to see what I think it is.

Will let you know if I do but frankly I'm more interested in the "secret
19 yr old Highland single malt for $49. LOL! ;)
Ha yes, my friend sent it to me earlier today.
 

unwisefool

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
6,470
Just found out the local liquor store recently started carrying it. Going to grab a bottle sometime soon.
 

ShannonSteelLabs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
3,430
Just got into Bourbon this year (mainly because of BF threads), and the compulsion took over. I spent the first few months searching every store I encountered, but soon realized that small shops seem to have some distain for "hunters" (which I can understand) and very few actually had any allocated items (unless hidden in the back - which is the case sometimes). The shops that did have a decent selection were charging crazy prices; again, I understand because "flippers" are constantly on the search and why should they make the extra over MSRP.

I finally came to the conclusion that you either pay the price when you find it at a small shop, or spend hours a week on the hunt. Nevertheless, I have been fortunate enough to amass a 50+ bottle collection of allocated/coveted bourbon. Many I found at MSRP out of pure luck (Old Forester 150th, Blanton's, Eagle Rare (regular and single barrel), Angel Envy Cask strength 2020, McKenna 10, EH Taylor Rye to name a few) and have paid over MSRP for just as many (Weller 12 and Antique, Stagg Jr., EH Taylor Single Barrel, Old Forester Birthday '20 to name a few more) without hesitation because I wanted them and could afford to overpay at the time. By pure chance, my neighborhood shop is one that has everything you want at a price - I have spent so much in the last 6 months that I now get the opportunity to be the first to overpay on all desirable bottles.

I have a definite problem with catching a "bug" for something and going all out to acquire as much as possible in the shortest time - not the right mind set if I was only looking to "flip", but I'm a drinker and collector (to drink in the future) so I grab what I can whenever and wherever I can.

Update: After posting, I decided to get out and sure enough I came home with more. I can add a Weller 12, Marker's Limited Release 2020 and Garrison Brothers Honeydew to the cabinet. I need help.
Angels envy cask strength.?!?! Woah thats a hell of a score!
I've always been interested in that. But have never seen it in the wild. Lol.
 

ShannonSteelLabs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
3,430
My most recent purchase was some
Balcones Texas Rye.
100 proof.

It is absolutely spectacular.
Huge chocolate notes. Some eucalyptus notes and typical rye spice notes. But for me its tons of chocolate, followed buy the eucalyptus.
Best part was it was 40 bucks. This may be my new favorite rye. Beats out whistle pig farmstead by just a bit.

In my search for it I found the balcones single malt, Rye cask finish. Which i am now in desperate need of. I love rum barrel finishes. So I'm fairly positive I will love it.

As for cocktails. It makes excellent Manhattan and old fashioneds. My wife even enjoys it!
(My diabolical plans to get her to like whiskey have been working)
 

hhmoore

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
8,635
Angels envy cask strength.?!?! Woah thats a hell of a score!
I've always been interested in that. But have never seen it in the wild. Lol.
I've got a couple bottles stashed away from the first release (2012?). One is signed by Lincoln Henderson (actually, they might both be...I don't remember)
 

l1ranger

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
924
Balcones is on the list, but I"ve never seen any in the wild.

I stopped in the local store saturday b/c I was in the area and why not.
grabbed a bottle of Elijah Craig Rye and Bulleit 10 year. both have been on my list to try, but first time I've found them.
passed on some michters rye, which seems to be more available now, but I'm pretty sure I have one open and a backup already in stock
 

sgt1372

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,357
Just found out the local liquor store recently started carrying it. Going to grab a bottle sometime soon.

Are you saying that you found a LLS near you that carries Finlaggan? If so and it's priced at $20, you should definitely buy it based on the tasting comparison that I just did today.

I just happened to be in the area again and and bought a bottle of Finlaggan at TJ's for $20.

They wanted $60 for the TJ branded 19 yr Highland which is more that I wanted to spend on it because I can get some excellent aged scotches of well known origin for just as much. So, it's a hard pass for me.

I opened and compared the Finlaggan w/6 other Islays:

1) Lagavulin 16
2) Bowmore 15
3) Caol Ila 12
4) Ardbeg 10
5) Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10
6) Laphroig 10

It is closest in color to the Lagavulin and Bowmore but it is closest in both aroma and taste to Lagavulin.

There's a very strong aroma of smoke w/the scent of peat, oak and spice. It is easy to drink neat w/o adding any water at 80 proof (only 6 less than Lagavulin) and offers a long lasting finish that tastes of slightly sweet caramel w/some spicy overtones.

None of the other Islays was in any way similar in aroma and taste to the Finlaggan which was IMO just as delicious as Lagavulin 16 (for about 75-80% less in price).

If you want to play games w/your friends, you could refill an empty bottle of Lagavulin 16 w/Finlaggan and I doubt they'd recognize any differences, which are very subtle even when they are compared side by side (which I did).

I still prefer to buy the "real thing" but, in a pinch, I don't think you can go wrong w/a bottle of Finlaggan instead.

Note: Photos to follow when I have more time and energy to post them.
 
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unwisefool

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
6,470
Are you saying that you found a LLS near you that carries Finlaggan? If so and it's priced at $20, you should definitely buy it based on the tasting comparison that I did today.

I just happened to be in the area again and and bought a bottle of Finlaggan at Tj's for $20.

They wanted $60 for the TJ branded 19 yr Highland which is more that I wanted to spend on it because I can get some excellent aged scotches of well known origin for just as much. So, it's a hard pass for me.

I opened and compared the Finlaggan w/6 other Islays:

1) Lagavulin 16
2) Bowmore 15
3) Caol Ila 12
4) Ardbeg 10
5) Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10
6) Laphroig 10

It is closest in color to the Lagavulin and Bowmore but it is closest in both aroma and taste to Lagavulin.

There's a very strong aroma of smoke over peat and oak and it is easy to drink neat w/o adding any water and offers a long lasting finish that tastes of slightly sweet caramel.

None of the other Islays was in any way similar in aroma and taste to the Finlaggan which was IMO just as delicious as Lagavulin 16 and, if you want to play games w/your friends, you could refill an empty bottle of Lagavulin 16 w/Finlaggan and I doubt they'd recognize and differences, which are very subtle even when they are compared side by side (which I did).

I still prefer to buy the "real thing" but, in a pinch, I don't think you can go wrong w/a bottle of Finlaggan instead.

Note: Photos to follow when I have more time and energy to post them.
Awesome, thanks for the review! Yes my local liquor store has it for $25 out the door, I'm grabbing one (or two) tomorrow.
 

ShannonSteelLabs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
3,430
Are you saying that you found a LLS near you that carries Finlaggan? If so and it's priced at $20, you should definitely buy it based on the tasting comparison that I just did today.

I just happened to be in the area again and and bought a bottle of Finlaggan at Tj's for $20.

They wanted $60 for the TJ branded 19 yr Highland which is more that I wanted to spend on it because I can get some excellent aged scotches of well known origin for just as much. So, it's a hard pass for me.

I opened and compared the Finlaggan w/6 other Islays:
-------
It is closest in color to the Lagavulin and Bowmore but it is closest in both aroma and taste to Lagavulin.
---
There's a very strong aroma of smoke w/the scent of peat, oak and spice. It is easy to drink neat w/o adding any water at 80 proof (only 6 less than Lagavulin) and offers a long lasting finish that tastes of slightly sweet caramel w/some spicy overtones.

None of the other Islays was in any way similar in aroma and taste to the Finlaggan which was IMO just as delicious as Lagavulin 16 (for about 75-80% less).


Note: Photos to follow when I have more time and energy to post them.
I'm typically not crazy about scotch . But that flavor profile sounds great.

But to be fair I've only had a handful of different scotches. I had a blend a couple months ago that was Pretty great. (Peat monster/peat beast/ something like that)
 

sgt1372

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,357
I'm typically not crazy about scotch . But that flavor profile sounds great.

But to be fair I've only had a handful of different scotches. I had a blend a couple months ago that was Pretty great. (Peat monster/peat beast/ something like that)

That would be Peat Monster by Compass Box. It's a really smooth and enticing smoky blend of Islay and Highland peated scotches.

Another peat blend by Compass Box is Great King Street - Glasglow Blend which is also very smooth but w/a bit less smoke and some sweetness from a sherry cask finish.

Both are great neat or w/just a little water added.
 

ShannonSteelLabs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
3,430
That would be Peat Monster by Compass Box. It's a really smooth and enticing smoky blend of Islay and Highland peated scotches.

Another peat blend by Compass Box is Great King Street - Glasglow Blend which is also very smooth but w/a bit less smoke and some sweetness from a sherry cask finish.

Both are great neat or w/just a little water added.
I'll have to try that out again.
And try the other one.

I do know that compass box is supposed to make excellent blends.
 

sgt1372

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,357
Awesome, thanks for the review! Yes my local liquor store has it for $25 out the door, I'm grabbing one (or two) tomorrow.

I should add that I have been reading a variety of reviews (after the fact) on Finlaggan Old Reserve which is what I bought and the color, aroma and taste characteristics are NOT always the same.

So, my guess is that they CHANGE which distillery that they use from time to time. In a 2011 review in the Scotch Noob, the reviewer described the color as very pale in color and guesses that it's a young Ardbeg. Another earlier review also described the color as "sunlight" and guessed that it was a young Laphroig with a very short finish.

Neither of these description applies to the Finlaggan that I just tasted which is just as dark in color and has a very long lingering finish like Lagavulin and is robust and full bodied in a way that only comes with age.

So, after you taste it, if you really like this version of Finlaggan, I suggest that you buy up as much of it as you can but chances are that it may be entirely different when they open the next casks in line for bottling.

Also I don't know if it makes a difference but just as what's in the bottle seems to change over time, so does the label.

Look for the bottle that looks like the following w/the words "Old Reserve" in bracketed small red lettering near the middle and in the center of the label and the words "Small Batch" in even smaller gold lettering below the ABV at the lower right corner of the label.

malts_fin6.jpg


This is the one I bought and, since they are so cheap, I am thinking about buying another 6 of them to stock up. Thinking of doing the same w/Eagle 10 bourbon which are also becoming extremely hard to find. ;)

OBTW, there are 5 other versions of Finlaggan currently marketed by the company, including: Eilen Mor 46% ABV (the same as Lagavulin), Cask Strength at 58% ABV and 3 other 46% ABVs finished in sherry, port and red wine casks.

See: Finlaggan's Line of Vintage Malt Whisky
 
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Joined
Nov 5, 2001
Messages
8,651
Are you saying that you found a LLS near you that carries Finlaggan? If so and it's priced at $20, you should definitely buy it based on the tasting comparison that I just did today.

I just happened to be in the area again and and bought a bottle of Finlaggan at TJ's for $20.

They wanted $60 for the TJ branded 19 yr Highland which is more that I wanted to spend on it because I can get some excellent aged scotches of well known origin for just as much. So, it's a hard pass for me.

I opened and compared the Finlaggan w/6 other Islays:

1) Lagavulin 16
2) Bowmore 15
3) Caol Ila 12
4) Ardbeg 10
5) Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10
6) Laphroig 10

It is closest in color to the Lagavulin and Bowmore but it is closest in both aroma and taste to Lagavulin.

There's a very strong aroma of smoke w/the scent of peat, oak and spice. It is easy to drink neat w/o adding any water at 80 proof (only 6 less than Lagavulin) and offers a long lasting finish that tastes of slightly sweet caramel w/some spicy overtones.

None of the other Islays was in any way similar in aroma and taste to the Finlaggan which was IMO just as delicious as Lagavulin 16 (for about 75-80% less in price).

If you want to play games w/your friends, you could refill an empty bottle of Lagavulin 16 w/Finlaggan and I doubt they'd recognize any differences, which are very subtle even when they are compared side by side (which I did).

I still prefer to buy the "real thing" but, in a pinch, I don't think you can go wrong w/a bottle of Finlaggan instead.

Note: Photos to follow when I have more time and energy to post them.
Oh Boy....
I'm gonna have to disagree mightily with you here. I was GIVEN a bottle of Finnelagan by a Scottish neighbor of mine (who, if there was drinking in the Olympics... he's at least on the medal stand). I have Four of the six you posted above, and all are heads and shoulders above the Finn any and every day. I managed to choke it down because I'm a cheap-a$$, I would not buy it again. Lag 16 is fantastic... and I could definitely tell the difference between those two.
 

ShannonSteelLabs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
3,430
If anyone sees
Traverse City straight rye Barrel proof.
Let me know.
I've been looking for it but haven't had any luck.
 

sgt1372

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,357
I'm really proud of myself today! :thumbsup:

Showed amazing restraint by NOT buying a can of Stillhouse for $16 (50%/$16 off) and a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 Original for $30 (33%/$15 off) at my local Raley's.

I like Stillhouse but am currently trying to empty the can I have because I want to make room for and move on to others and, while the Glenmorangie was offered at a good price, there are other varieites that I am actually more interested in buying.

So, just came home w/a dozen eggs and 2 large bulbs of garlic for $2.98 instead.

LOL! ;)

Update:

Looks like I spoke too soon.

BevMo emailed me a 1 day only $10 off coupon and I just remembered that I saw some Pinhook Bourbon War - Vertical Series 4 on the shelf at my local BevMo. So, I decided to head over there to buy it.

Looks like they "found" some new "old stock" because there were 12 of them on the shelf and they weren't even logged into inventory yet.

I only bought 1 for $50 to go w/the Bourbon War - Vertical Series 5 that I bought previously. Am just going to "collect" these bottles for awhile and open them all when they get to Vertical Series 10 (the Series ends at 12).

Apparently, unlike scotch, bourbon does not hold up well in-cask too long; 10-12 yrs is the longest most "experts" recommend before the bourbon starts to get too "oaked."

I also picked up a bottle of Willet Distillery's Rowan's Creek (for another $50) to pair w/the Noah's Mill that I already have. Will open/taste it later.

Also picked up some Agnostura bitters (for $10) to use in making an "Old Fashioned" with some bourbon's that I just want to get rid of; not because they're not "good" but mainly to make room for others.

So, I'm sipping on an Old Fashioned that I made w/some Old Tub. Not sure if it's "good" or not. I added the orange twist but no marashino cherries available here.

However, I did try it w/some brandied cherries that I made before but they obviously don't have the sweetness that the marashinos would provide. So, definitely NOT the same.

Will have to order some Old Fashioneds at some restaurants that serve drinks w/meals outdoors so that I can make a proper comparison w/one made "professionally."
 
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sgt1372

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,357
Oh Boy....
I'm gonna have to disagree mightily with you here. I was GIVEN a bottle of Finnelagan by a Scottish neighbor of mine (who, if there was drinking in the Olympics... he's at least on the medal stand). I have Four of the six you posted above, and all are heads and shoulders above the Finn any and every day. I managed to choke it down because I'm a cheap-a$$, I would not buy it again. Lag 16 is fantastic... and I could definitely tell the difference between those two.

Fair enough but, as mentioned, they seem to change what they put in the bottle and we may not be talking about the same thing.

After I eliminated the "others" as NOT being anything like what was in my bottle of Finlaggan, I took a long time comparing the taste of it w/Lagavulin 16 and I really had to focus on what I thought the major differences were.

Granted, I'm not a "professional" tester but I can discern obviously differences between similar spirits (scotch and bourbon) and I know w/o a doubt if something is really BAD (or at least not to my taste), like the bottle of Glen Scotia that I was given as a gift and that I literally poured the entire bottle down the drain, even though it probably cost about $100. I've done this with expensive but IMO "bad" wine too.

I did not consider the Finlaggan any near as bad as the Glen Scotia that I threw away. So, it'll be interesting to see what the unwisefool unwisefool [/USER] thinks after he buys/tastes some too.
 

sgt1372

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,357
Ok picked up 8 bottles for me and my friends, thanks again sgt1372 sgt1372 for such a detailed review!

Well, if you bought THAT may bottles, I really hope that you and your friends like it or you'll never believe anything that I say again. ;)

There's also a "dissenting" opinion about Finlaggan (see above) which I think may be due to the tasting of different versions of the dram. So, I'll be very interested to hear what you think of the bottle that I opened/tasted.
 

unwisefool

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
6,470
Well, if you bought THAT may bottles, I really hope that you and your friends like it or you'll never believe anything that I say again. ;)

There's also a "dissenting" opinion about Finlaggan (see above) which I think may be due to the tasting of different versions of the dram. So, I'll be very interested to hear what you think of the bottle that I opened/tasted.
Going to try it tomorrow, got home too late tonight. It's only $25, so if it's not great I'll just use it to make some cocktails. I did give my friends your email address just in case they would like to vent their disappointment if it's no good :p
 
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