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The Six Classic Malts of Scotland: Lagavulin, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchie & Cragganmore

ClassicMalts The Six Classic Malts of Scotland: Lagavulin, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchie & CragganmoreBy Matt Goldstein

  • Dalwhinnie  – Highland

  • Talisker – Isle of Skye

  • Cragganmore – Speyside

  • Oban – West Highland

  • Lagavulin – Islay

  • Glenkinchie – Lowland

Lagavulin is the official classic malt from the Islay region. The recipe for Lagavulin possibly dates back to 1742.  The malted barley used to distil Lagavulin has a strong peat scent and twenty times as much exposure to peat smoke as a typical Speyside Scotch.  Fermentation of the barley is a slow process, too. Between 55 and 75 hours are taken for the full peat-rich flavour of the locally-malted barley to come through. Lagavulin has the slowest distillation process of any Islay malt.  The standard availability of Lagavulin is their 16 years aged single malt available for around $60.    


classic malts logo The Six Classic Malts of Scotland: Lagavulin, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchie & CragganmoreOban 14 Year West Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made in small stills and is a full, rich, malty, medium body single malt with a touch of peat.  Light and smooth with a nice burn, the Oban 14 Year is a classic malt.  Sweet with a touch of sea salt, the finish is sweet and smooth.  Named after the caves used by the first settlers of Scotland in 5,000 B.C., called “An Ob,” Oban is distilled in the Oban, capital city of the West Highlands. 

Glenkinchie, also known as the Edinburgh malt, is the classic malt of the Lowland region.  The malt is also used in blends such as Haig, Johnny Walker Red Label, Johnny Walker Black Label, Buchanan and Dimple.  Glenkinchie is available in the 10 year, 12 year and 14 year sherry cask edition.   

Cragganmore Single Malt is the most complex Speyside Malt but is limited in supply because of the small distillery.  According to Discovering Distillery’s, the Cragganmore’s unique flat topped spirit stills and slowly condensed in traditional wooden worm-tubs, promotes Cragganmore’s complexity, available in the 12 year and 15 year. 

dalwhinnie 15 year old malt whisky 30 p 271x300 The Six Classic Malts of Scotland: Lagavulin, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchie & CragganmoreDalwhinnie 15 year single malt scotch is a subtle, yet distinct scotch from the Highland region.  Founded in 1897, Dalwhinnie also has a 20 year old, 29 year old and 36 year old single malt, but the 15 year is much more widely available.  The Dalwhinnie 15 year has a light nose and tastes of floral, caramel, honey, with a touch of smoke.  There is a little biscuit, light bite, and the finish is very smooth.  Dalwhinnie had a beautiful yet subtle warmth.  What a classic scotch!  The Dalwhinnie 15 year is a perfect scotch and can be sipped straight, with water or with 1-2 cubes.  We would not recommend using more that 2 cubes as this would destroy the complexity of the single malt.  The Dalwhinnie 15 year might be our favorite single malt scotch.        

Talisker was founded in 1830 and is made Loch Harport near Cullin range on the Isle of Skye.  There is a strong scent of peat as soon the bottle is opened.  The whiskey glass nose is a solid peat; less than the Laphroaig 18 but much more than the Macallan 10 and Highland Park 12.  The color is a gold, maybe a light red-ish yellow.  The taste is a light medium peat, thin malt with a thin dry finish and slow, long burn.  The flavor is also delicately sweet, and after being opened up with a few drops of water gets very smooth.  Still dry, the finish is easy, complex and warming.  The Talisker has a slight peaty flavor but it’s not overdone.  It also has some nice undertones including pepper.  This is one of Eric’s top 3 single malts along with Lagavulin and Oban, but for the price $50 you can’t go wrong when it feels sooo right.  It’s got a lot of flavor but the smokiness is subtle; the scotch whisky makes the statement.  The Talisker 10 is an Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky produced on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Talisker has an above average Peat content and is used in part of Jonnie Walker’s blended Scotch whisky.  The Talisker 10 is an excellent single malt, definitely in our top 10 single malts, possibly top 5.      

Source: Discovering Distilleries.



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7 comments to The Six Classic Malts of Scotland: Lagavulin, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchie & Cragganmore

  • Tomico

    Comment et a quel prix acheter les 6 bouteilles


  • Jason

    Don’t know if thread has closed, and I know some has asked (if anyone knows where these samplers are sold), but I want to reopen the question and add that I don’t want buy full bottles, as it would be a first time trying half of them, and I’d like to sample before committing to 750ml.

    Thanks In Advance


  • @ Ted Roman
    You can make all alcohol cloud, depends on the lipides in the alcohol, the amount of water you add and the temperature… so most likely what you managed to do was a bad combination of the above.

    Read more here ::


  • Dawn Murton

    Hi – I’ve been asked to buy on of these sets for a client.. can you advise where I can get it?


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    All of these single malts should be available at almost any liquor store… Definitely Talisker, Dalwhinnie, Oban and Lagavulin.


  • Ted Roman

    I would like to take a minute to tell you how bad Dalwhinnie is. I have never haad a single malt scotch that is this “rough”!! When I added a little water to it, it clouded up. I have never seem a scotch that clouded up!!
    Take care, Ted


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    I will have to completely disagree here. I think the Dalwhinnie is phenominal and exceptionally smooth. Try taking smaller sips and try drinking it after you eat. Maybe it was a bad bottle, it happens. Also, many drinks need a 2nd, 3rd and 4th try before their true character can appear.


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