The original Kakubin is a decent buy when you can get it for $40, but keep in mind it's pretty much Japan's Johnnie Walker Red. I don't mind having a bottle around to share liberally when I've got friends over. Kakubin 43 is absolutely shocking though. There's a huge number of great Japanese whiskies out there but they are generally massively over-priced. Prominent, well-known brands are Hibiki, Yamazaki and Hakushu and they're all good whiskies but if you spend the equivalent amount on a Scotch you'll be able to get something much better. Rather than spending $110-130 on Hibiki Harmony or Hakushu/Yamazaki Distillers Reserve I'd recommend picking up something like Kilchoman Machir Bay, Balvenie 14yr or Arbeg Uigaedail which are all amazing whiskies worth every cent.
Yeah that Fiddich wasnt really a great deal in hindsight, but its nice enough. I paid $125 for it, and Dan Murphys has it for $145 online. High end liquor usually isnt discounted much in duty free because taxes are based on alcohol content rather than overall price. So a strong scotch like Abelour Abanudh (or however you spell it) will be discounted more than a 40% speyside.
I went and bought another bottle of Benromach 10, its probably my favourite out of the four I've recently had (Fiddich 18, Hibiki Masters Select, Ardbeg 10 and Benromach 10). I'm new to all of this really, but I think my pallet is starting to develop a bit. All four are quite good whiskeys, but the Benromach 10 just seems so much smoother than the others, but without being 'weak' in flavour.
I can see why people get addicted to not just drinking, but collecting scotch. Its like a hobby. But a hobby where you can get drunk on delicious liquor.
Today I was at lunch and after we had eaten I ordered 3 glasses of Blantons for our table (nice bourbon and good value). Anyhow, waitress brings 3 glasses and I think I hear her say 'here's the Spreysides'. Thought I must be hearing things and didn't query. I sniff the whiskey and think, smells more like Scotch whisky to me. CBF querying as I am easily pleased and take a mouthful. What a sensational drop. The waitress then arrives with a bottle and says 'thought you might want to admire the bottle while you have your drink'. Benrinnes 21 year old cask strength. $80 a glass. **** me. Enjoyed it though.
Not a bad blend and won't turn my nose up though a completely different style to Ardbeg. Ballantine's 17 year old is my favourite blend at around that price point, though I have not sampled it since the alcohol reduction.
I recently moved to Toronto and am sad to say that the whisky scene is pretty ordinary over here. Lots of cheap, but bland Canadian whiskies around and Scotch is about 25% more expensive than in Australia. However good Bourbon and Irish whisky are both significantly cheaper. Can pick up a bottle of Knob Creek for less than $50 and Jameson Caskmates for under $40.
I made the mistake of buying a whisky called Alberta Premium Dark Horse because it's got damn cool packaging. What I didn't realise until I looked up reviews to find out what is wrong with this 'whisky' is that they have actually added sherry to the whisky instead of aging it in sherry barrels, because according to the distillery that yields the same result....it tastes like someone spiked some cough syrup with nail polish.
When it comes to wine I'm a big red guy. With the beer it's an IPA all the way. Whisky I have tried many types and varieties but turns out my favourite is Jameson's. I was a bit disappointed in myself for a while for not liking a big peaty style like I thought I should then I thought **** it you like what you like.
Kudos to everyone for mixing it up.
No doubt this is the ramblings of a successful Sunday session