Anyway, a lot of single malt whiskies are very good indeed. A bit expensive perhaps, but sometimes you just have to pay a high price for quality. What is all the fuss about? Is it just a yuppie fad? Well, no. Single malts are much more individual than blended whiskies. Often very powerfully flavoured. Sometimes rather one-dimensional in flavour. Blending rounds out any defects in flavour, tones down anything over-powerful, fills in missing features. A good blended whisky will be well-rounded, but will lack the individual character of a single malt. If you want individuality and character, try some single malts. If you want a finely crafted perfect taste, stick to good blends that you like. (Many cheap blends are another story, often made from whisky too flawed to bottle without corective blending.)
Here are the first single malts that we tried, a trio regarded by many as among the best of single malts. I thought that Laphroaig was outstanding, notably better than the others. The extreme robustness of its flavour might put some off though.
750 ml bottle
A 10 year old single Islay malt Scotch whisky, this is considered by many to be one of the finest of all Scotch whiskies. Certainly, it is one of the most powerful. It's smooth with a rich pungent flavour dominated by a peat smoke aftertaste that lingers for hours. It's good and it's got character, and plenty of it. Far too strongly flavoured for many. Bottled at 43% alcohol. Glen prefers the gentle blandness of Johnnie Walker. Graeme - "It has a certain horrific ascination."
T ***** G *
700 ml bottle
A 10 year old single malt Scotch whisky, the only one made on Skye. This is bottled at 45.8% alcohol. It has a warm smokey aroma, and a bright and peppery, almost floral, minty taste, leaving a gentle lingering of peat smoke. Very approachable compared to some of the heavy-weight malts out there.