Only you could get double wood over a budget announcement @Mark1966.
Tonight I finished the Aberlour A'bunadh sample I had, and decided I probably wouldn't spring for a bottle. Neat, at 60.4% it's way too hot and alcoholic, but when adding hand teaspoon of water at a time I was never able to find that happy medium where the drink could express itself properly.
I've found other sherry bombs I prefer already.
Decided to go back to taste the cheaper blended whisky's tonight to see how my palate is developing, and am amazed how different I now find them. Going back a few weeks I remember sensing a little sweetness to the Ballantynes 12 , and a little honey/smoke from the teachers
The Ballantyne 12 definitely has a heavy sherry influence on the flavour, but I can now sense an almost bbq smokiness that I couldn't before. It's very different from the ashy smoke of the Teachers.
If I drink either of these alone, I don't mind them at all, however they both pale against the better single makes I have tried so far of I drink one of those on the same night.
My wallet isn't as deep as some of yours, so I doubt I will find myself with a collection of 50 single malts anytime soon to appease my taste buds, but I think for the time being I can allow myself the odd nice whisky every so often while exploring the blends a little more.
Next blends on my to buy list will be monkey shoulder, naked grouse (if i can find any) and maybe a dewars 12.
My parents are flying over from the UK later in the month, so am hopeful of something nice in the single malt front then.
I've requested an Ardeg Uigaedal as the reviews sound intriguing but we shall see what they get, as I know neither of them are big on smoke. To tell the truth I won't mind at all if they get a nice sherry whisky as I'm thoroughly enjoying those so far.
So to @Drubbing and others who told me that the jump up to a $100+ whisky would be night and day, you are very right. However I have also really valued the learning experience with the cheaper blends which have taught me how to appreciate the more expensive single makes.
I doubt I'll be a high end drinker, I like drinking too often for that.
My Scottish friend recommended the 12yo Glen Moray, and said they've really upped things recently. For $50, (even though their no age was completely meh at $10 less), I gave it a shot.
I liked it a lot. Like other low end speyside singles, it's light and not that complex, but if you like what it does, it does it really well. A really nice honey and vanilla style whiskey. Going back to Jonny black, it's quite hard getting used to the smoke and spice again.
I've extended my collection somewhat.
My parents flew over for a visit and brought bottles of Glenlivet Nadura, and Bunnahabin Eirighe Na Greine in duty free.
I also went to a whisky tasting at the local Vintage Cellars on Friday, and must have tried around 20 or so different whiskeys.
I was really looking forward to trying the Ardbeg Oigadel (however you spell it) and had budgeted to but a bottle. While I preferred it to the other Ardbegs they had (Coryvekyan, and An Oa) I think I've decided heavy peat is not for me, for a while at least. They just taste too ashy for me.
I ended up going home with two bottles. Monkey shoulder which was at $42 for the night was a great deal I couldn't look past as the naked grouse I had planned on buying wasn't available, and an Oban 14.
The Oban 14 want what I had planned on buying either. I thought I was going to go home with a Glen Scotia 15 but found the salty briny flavour of the Oban really intrigued me, and at $60 odd it was just over half the price of the Glen Scotia.
Have since tasted all the new additions and an very happy with them. After tasting all the Islay whiskies at the bottleshop I was worried that the Bunna was going to be a similar peat hit, but if it has any peat, it's very slight and a very nice drop for $52 / litre.