HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
What have you made lately? Tell us about it

Peaty Scotch for my dad's birthday

silverd4 Oct 19, 2012 08:36 AM

My dad's birthday is coming up and I want to get him a nice bottle of scotch. He doesn't usually like spirits but he was recently gifted a bottle of Laphroaig quarter cask and absolutely loves it. I've been looking at some of the more heavy handed scotches out there and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I've been thinking about either Compass Box's Peat Monster, Coal Ila, and Lagavulin 12 year old but am open other ideas.


  1. Tripeler Oct 23, 2012 11:03 PM

    Talisker is easily my favorite for a smokey taste.

    1. j
      jnwall Oct 23, 2012 02:26 PM

      I am devoted to Islay single malt.

      Caol Ila is my summer dram. Bowmore is fine, too.

      But when the nights are long and the winds cold, its the Laphroaig or the Ardbeg I reach for.

      Since your dad liked Quarter Cask (which is my favorite Laphroaig), he might appreciate a bottle of the Full Cask Strength,although the standard 10-year Laphroaig is fine, as is the standard Ardbeg

      Ardbeg Corryvreckan is also first-class. I personally like it better than the Uigeadail.

      If you are paying more than $75 a bottle for any of these, you need to find another shop.

      Islay itself is a bit out of the way, but a small part of heaven on earth, and very much worth the trip. At the Ardbeg distillery, there is a restaurant open for lunch and tea that has excellent food.

      All the distilleries put on really nice tours and tastings. Give your dad a week on Islay; let him make up his own mind.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jnwall
        aser Oct 23, 2012 11:00 PM

        Unfortunately in Ontario, the gov'nt has a monopoly on liquor sales. We're stuck paying $100 for a bottle of Ardbeg 10 yr. Yes that is not a typo, $100.

        1. re: aser
          jnwall Oct 24, 2012 05:32 AM

          That is a bit high, although prices do vary from place to place. Here are prices at State Line Liquors in Delaware:

          ARDBEG UIGEADAIL 108 PROOF $74.99

          Unfortunately, they do not ship, though other dealers in the USA do ship. But maybe not to Canada.

          On the other hand, as my father used to say about a totally unrelated item, whatever the cost, the product was "worth every damn cent of it."

      2. dotspotter Oct 23, 2012 11:31 AM

        Lagavulin 16 year is my personal favorite, very nice peat profile but not super overbearing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dotspotter
          The Big Crunch Oct 23, 2012 11:44 AM

          Another one for Lagavulin, however, I've only had the 12.

        2. t
          The Big Crunch Oct 23, 2012 11:27 AM

          If you want a good value, lots of peaty smoke, and don't mind gifting a blend, Black Bottle is pretty damn good stuff.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Big Crunch
            kagemusha49 Oct 23, 2012 02:03 PM

            I agree for $16 the clear pure peat of Black Bottle is hard to beat. Now if you want some seaweed then you have to move on to Bowmore or something like that.

          2. Notorious P.I.G. Oct 22, 2012 11:02 PM

            The Uigeadail is $74 at Astor Wines and Spirits, I will buy it there for myself.

            1. n
              nickls Oct 22, 2012 07:01 AM

              Had some Caol Ila Distiller's Edition this weekend and it was lovely. Talisker 10 was another one I really liked. I am also a big fan of Ardbeg Uigeadail, but the pricing is much better here.

              3 Replies
              1. re: nickls
                ncyankee101 Oct 22, 2012 12:59 PM

                I've seen a wide range of pricing on the Uigeadail, usually $60-70 but I have seen it over $100 in the US. I have yet to try it though I have heard great things about it, I got a bottle for a friend's wedding present but he has yet to open it.

                I like the Ardbeg 10 yr a little better than the Laphroaig 10 though I love both.

                1. re: ncyankee101
                  nickls Oct 23, 2012 11:14 AM

                  I was having a discussion with some friends over which is "better" Ardbeg Uigeadail or Corryvreckan. We tasted them back to back, and the opinions were quite different. I personally prefer the Uigeadail, as I find the taste fuller, probably due to the sherry influence. I love the interplay of smoke and sweetness, almost like smoked meat at a BBQ. Most of my friends preferred the Corryvreckan, saying there was more layers of flavor. Hard to go wrong with either one, though. Two very nice bottles for a peat fan.

                  1. re: nickls
                    ncyankee101 Oct 23, 2012 01:40 PM

                    Most opinions I have seen favor the uigeadail, I could have gotten the Corryvrecken for $10 more and would have if not for the reviews I had read.

              2. k
                kagemusha49 Oct 21, 2012 11:05 AM

                You have many choices and some are very expensive. Bowmore and Ardbeg have some reasonably priced offerings and they certainly are not rubbish. If you got him a bottle of Bowmore and a bottle of Black Bottle (an extremely cheap but good Islay blend at $16) he would know that his son(?) had good taste and a sense of value.

                1. d
                  DavidT Oct 21, 2012 09:38 AM

                  Here is a NY Times article from last December on a tasting of Islay single-malts:


                  1. n
                    ncyankee101 Oct 20, 2012 12:05 PM

                    Talisker would be an interesting one to try ,not sure how available it is in Canada. it has some Islay characteristics but not nearly as intense as Laprhoaig or Lagavulin, it has more balance as well as some fruit and pepper to it that make it very interesting. The Laphroaig quarter cask and Lagavulin 16 yr are my favorite Scotches, and Talisker is not far behind.

                    1. Notorious P.I.G. Oct 19, 2012 09:12 AM

                      Ardbeg Uigeadail if you want to splurge a bit.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                        silverd4 Oct 19, 2012 10:11 AM

                        I've heard good things about that one but $160 is a little rich for my blood. Have you tried their ten year old?

                        1. re: silverd4
                          aser Oct 19, 2012 10:51 AM

                          10 yr old is a classic, fits the peaty requirement. Although lcbo prices are a ripoff compared to the US for Ardbeg and Lagavulin. You're paying almost 2x as much.

                          peat monster is a big pass.

                          1. re: aser
                            Pantz Oct 19, 2012 01:25 PM

                            I agree on the Ardbeg 10 year old. It's one of the greats and should be tried by anyone who likes Islay single malts.

                            The LCBO is stocking a few interesting Bowmore bottlings with various finishes that look promising. This one - Bowmore Laimrig 15 Years Old - appears to be a single malt aimed at bourbon drinkers.

                            The original 10 year old Laphroaig is kicking around town again. I prefer it to the Quarter Cask, which mutes that classic iodine, peaty profile.

                            1. re: Pantz
                              obstructionist Oct 19, 2012 01:38 PM

                              The real problem with Laphroig is that their best bottling is the 15yo, which was unavailable in Ontario for many years, and now has apparently been discontinued.

                              The LCBO also fails to import many superior blends, like White Horse and Haig. :(

                              1. re: obstructionist
                                Pantz Oct 19, 2012 02:01 PM

                                I'm going to give them credit for the Black Bull 12 Year Old they are currently stocking! But, yes, I'm constantly amazed at what the LCBO doesn't choose to list.

                                The nice thing about this time of year is that they bring in a lot of interesting items for the holiday season.

                                1. re: obstructionist
                                  aser Oct 19, 2012 02:07 PM

                                  I still have about 1/5th of a bottle left of the 15 yr old that I've been rationing. It is alas discontinued and can only be procured on the resellers market.

                                  The 18 yr old, a replacement for the 15th in their lineup, is just not as good.

                            2. re: silverd4
                              Notorious P.I.G. Oct 19, 2012 01:43 PM

                              Yeah, I have a bottle but what aser's saying is right, it is kind of a rip at the LCBO at more than double the price for the Uigeadail. The 10 year old is still a great bet and maybe your best as an alternative to the above mentioned.

                          2. h
                            Herne Oct 19, 2012 09:03 AM

                            I received a bottle of Laphroaig for Christmas a few years ago. Certainly cut down on my Scotch consumption. You might consider Connemara 12 Year.

                            1. o
                              obstructionist Oct 19, 2012 08:39 AM

                              Almost anything from Islay would work - Lagavulin, Bruichladdich, Ardbeg, or Bowmore.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: obstructionist
                                The Big Crunch Oct 23, 2012 11:25 AM

                                Actually, Bruichladdich is fairly sweet and light, and not really peaty at all; it could easily be confused with a sherried Speysiders.

                                1. re: The Big Crunch
                                  sku Oct 26, 2012 04:26 PM

                                  Well, to be fair, there is a Bruichladdich for everyone, sherried, non-sherried and, yes, heavily peated (under the Port Charlotte and Octomore labels),

                              Show Hidden Posts