Anyone tried these scotches?
They hit decent price points at my local lousy liquor store, and wondered if there's anything good to say about any of them. I like both peaty and non-peaty scotches.
Aberfeldy 12 -- Dewer's single-malt product.
Dewar's 12 -- their blend in a 12-y-o expression, I suppose. I liked the White Label OK for a blend; is this better?
Had the Dewars and the Cragganmore. The Dewars is fine, smooth, easy to take, no great shakes. The Cragganmore is interesting. I tasted it at a Whisky show fairly early in the night and I've had it once since to reaffirm my initial thoughts. It does nothing wrong. It is well balanced, smooth, has a nice blend of flavours. I didn't have a great chance to nose it the first time because we were tasting out of shot glasses, but what I could get was very pleasant. The thing is, it is not very exciting stuff. There are no faults, but there are no great pluses either other than great balance. I would never turn it down, but I don't think that I would spend major money on it. However, if I could get this at a good price I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a bottle. It would make a wonderful starter Scotch for someone new to malts.
I've had them all and I think that Aberfeldy is one of the best values out there for Scotch right now. It's very drinkable but i wouldn't call it "light" it has its own flavor. The Glenkinchie is the only one i'd avoid as it is "light" and doesn't satisfy when you're looking for a glass of scotch. The Craggenmore is one of the best balanced scotches being mass produced. So if you're looking for a consistent single malt and like balance, some smoke, some malt, and a mellow burn, then it's a good pick.
Thanks to everyone for all the comments. They are very enlightening.
To go off on a bit of a tangent, I am trying to answer, in my own mind, what I expect attributes of light, medium, heavy to mean. (I sort of know what I like, but need to get better at expressing it.) My go-to is Glenrothes Select Reserve, which I'd call medium-bodied but complex and spicy, and a great value. A few scotches I've tried actually disagree with me, those that have a heavy, almost viscous body..a'bunadh is one, and a certain blend I tried recently. They hit my stomach the wrong way, I guess, but perhaps it's just me, or maybe they're just not balanced. Then too, there are some I consider too light. I really do relate to the ideal of balance, as the posters above mentioned.
Other scotches I've liked (that come to mind) are Oban 14, Dalwhinnie 15, Balvenie 10 & 12, Lagavulin, and the three versions of Talisker I tried (boxed set)..
If you are a fan of the Glenrothes, then you would probably like the Aberfeldy. I think they're pretty close in mouth feel- the Glenrothes is a bit more malty. You're preferrences are a bit perplexing. Oban, Dalwhinnie, and to some extent Balvenie are pretty straightforward single malts, lighter in mouth feel- that is they don't feel "heavy." But Lagavulin and Talisker are much more assertive in flavor and, the Talisker especially, has a much more oily texture. Not to the extent of a Clyenlish (sp?) but more so than Oban and Dalwhinnie.
I've had them all except the Aberfeldy. The ones I have had are all farily light, non-peaty Scotches.
I'm not overly excited about any of them, (I tend to go for big, rugged flavors) but of the three I've had, I prefer Cragganmore, which is a solid and very drinkable Speysider with some good fruit and floral notes. Glenkinchie is a fairly non-distinct lowlander; it's quite light. Dewar's 12, as you say, is a blend. It's not bad, but not very impressive either.