My buddy usually gets a bottle of blue every time he goes on a cruise. He'll be going in a couple of months. What should I tell him to get instead?
I bought quite a few unusual rare, and expensive things and I was usually disappointed. You dont have to listen to Brittany, but a 1920s field tape of voodoo drumming may be going to the other extreme. Most of the things I have settled on are pretty common.
There is a huge difference in what juice goes into different years (smoked grain or not, kind of grain, best or mundane barrel selection) and how it is aged (Bourbon or wine casks and how many times they have been used) so the specific product matters.
All tried. Actually I tried maybe 5-6 times this, in scotch bars, wasting money on bottles, or a place you can get mini bottles from England (Master or Malt). Have = * Had a bottle myself = %
For plain sort of beer like scotches. %Clynelish 14, %Oban 14, *Bruichladdich 10, %Arran 14 is not quite as smooth but a touch pear like. Springbank 10 - is a little harsher but very artisanal and flavorful and a touch smokey. Talisker 18 a little orange peally - similar to Johnny Walker (because it has it blended). Glenmorangie 18 (honeylike - some dismiss it as too easy)
Sherry cask agad - winey but I think these generally need to be older. Macallan 18 (crazy expensive now and it is OK but cruising on an old reputation) Better I think is *Glendronach 15 (rare these days) or maybe 18. Aberlour *16 or 18. *Bunnahabhain 18. %Springbank 15. %Springbank 12 Cask Strength(again Springbanks are harsher but flavorful)
Smokey *Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength as the ultimate winter fireplace log to the face( Most Laphroaigs are OK and recommended actually - but they all have some kick) (very strong), *Kilchoman vintage(I have 2008), %Caol Ila 18(not in US now - good boat find), %Caol Ila 12. %Bruichladdich Octomore - Overpriced. Lagavulin 8 & *12(seasonal and strong). %Ardbeg 10 very ashy not a sweet and mossy as Laphroag.
Smoke and Sherry both. * Kilchoman Loch Gorm, %Lagavulin 16 (some think this is the perfect everything scotch - so much so that it is a little ordinary to me - ie stairway to heaven in the song analogy), %Laphroaig Triple Wood. %Ardbeg Uigaedail (strong). %Highland park 18 has a hint of smoke and is not the smoothest but a lot like it. Heathery.