The Lagavulin 16yo is a regular for me. Its probably the smokiest whisky ive had and thats why I love it.
Ive heard people say its a a bit too peaty for them but a drip of water opens it up nicely. I prefer it without water though.
If youre a fan of Islay's i can highly recommend it.
It tastes like an angel is taking a piss in your pie hole.
Its a bit sweet. With subtle little fruit explosions in your mouth.
Honey comes to mind and the oak and sherry are very noticable.
the viscosity is a bit higher and more oily (is that a word?)which adds to the flavor.
The different flavors make it complex and you can still taste it an hour after you drank it.
Without a doubt the best whisky Ive ever had, I can definitly se why its that much more expensive then a "normal" bottle of single malt. But in my case with allmost three times as much as a bottle of the "Macallan" 12yo Fine Oak, Im gonna save it for special occasions and maybe buy the Yamazaki 12yo so I wont feel as guilty if I just wanna relax a bit on a quiet evening at home.
The Laphroaig 18 is a bit intense, so you may get along better with the 10 or perhaps the Quarter Cask. For Ardbeg, I really like the Uigeadail and Corryvreckan, but those are cask strength (powerful, possibly overwhelming if it's not your cup of tea).
Sounds like you are a Speyside/Highland whisky lover, so why not stick with that? Aberlour 10 and Glenfarclas 10 are nice and inexpensive. If you like intense sweetness and complexity, try the Aberlour A'bunadh or Glenfarclas 105, both cask strengh and aged in sherry casks. Oh and I can't recommend Japanese whisky enough. Take a look at Yamazaki 12, good stuff.
Not 18yo, but my latest edition...
Single Cask 2002
The 18yo Yamazaki is still my favorite whisky ever. I might buy myself another bottle before the end of the year but I usually get something cheaper.
Have you tried the Nikka From the barrel yet? If not, I suggest you go out and buy a bottle right now!
Teh Costco had Basil Hayden, so I picked up a bottle. We usually leave out a bottle of an Islay of some sort on Christmas eve with the cookies, but Santa has been into Sezaracs this year so I bought a nice Bourbon instead. Never had it before, but I approve.
I have noticed vast differences between bottles of the Aberlour A'bunadh. First one was absolutely amazing, second one was so-so. I'm wondering if there is a huge disparity among the casks?
The two that are always on my shelf however, are the Glenlivet 15yo and the Aberlour 16yo. I've tried the years on either side of these two (I am still happily in the experimenting stage) and have found these two years are my favourites.
Definitly not the same cup of tea as an Islay, but i wouldnt recomend an Islay whisky to an aspiring whisky drinker.
Ive kind of walked away from Islays and have gotten more into the Spey side sweetnes lately.
I bought a nice bottle for xmass that was best of both worlds. A Benriach Solstice 17.
Bit more expensive but it combined port and smokey in a way i had never tasted before.