A trick with Scotch Whisky

OK.....it's the Holidays so let's lighten things up a bit.

When I listen to music I often like to garnish the experience with a good glass of Scotch or American single barrel whisky.

One of my favorite Scotch whisky's is Lagavulin 16 year old. It is very good Scotch with a pungent smoky flavor. That's the good part. The bad part is it costs about $65 to $80 a bottle. Recently, on a lark I tried to get the basic flavor of Lagavulin by altering a much cheaper Scotch whisky. The results were suprisingly good. I got about %75 percent of the flavor of Lagavulin for about %30 of the cost.

Furthermore all audiophiles have two things in common; they like to experiment and love to change things. So in the spirit of experimentation I offer the following "ersatz Lagavulin" recipe.

2 - "level" teaspoons of "Colgin Liquid Smoke, natural hickory orginal recipe.

1 - 750ml bottle of Aberlour 10 year old Scotch.

Blend them both together and be careful to only add two level teaspoons of the liquid smoke. Pour into your favorite whisky glass. Enjoy.

That's It! The "ersatz Lagavulin" has a smoky taste with hickory overtones and a smooth sweet finish. My friends and I drink this more than the real thing now.

I welcome any and all similiar experiments (for any liquor) or recipes for a favorite drink.

Cheers and Happy Holidays Audiogoners.

I've been making a drink recently that's a modified version of an Old Fashioned, but instead of Bourbon you use a nice strong Islay (a single malt from Islay, for the uninitiated) and some fresh rosemary. I've named it: Old Smokey. I find the Orange and the Rosemary are great together, especially with the heat and smoke of the Islay. I do it with brown sugar for the ladies ;)


BTW, the liquid smoke thing sounds interesting, and I may try it with some bruichladdich 10 someone gifted me with. Not that I think the Bruchlladich needs any help mind you, but it's the cheapest thing laying around that's not blended.
You've committed a sin for which there is no redemption. The peat bogs weep their sad lament. Heresy!
I Love a good glass of cod liver oil with my Coca cola, Pepsi, or even 7up. Come to think of it, I just love COD LIVER OIL ON THE ROCKS.
You guys better not let anyone at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (www.smwsa.com) hear about these ideas for "improving" the "whisky of life". They have a squad of "highland enforcers" to prevent the sort of desecration mentioned here...
Yep, the mention of Liquid Smoke could get you killed.
Thanks for the warning Sd & G m c! I'll be sure to hide out in the bushes when I drink the stuff.
I no longer drink Boone's Farm or Annie Greenspring but can recommend Mike's Hard Lemonaide.Of course all of these drinks pale in comparison with a robust cup of coffee enhanced with a shot of Nocello or Franjelica and some Wa-Wa French Vanilla Cream.
Only kidding(but I really do drink that stuff).Unfortunately a fraternity drinking incident(circa 1975)has left me permanently scarred and unable to drink whikey of any sort.Can't get it past my nose.

I'll skip that trick as I don't like my scotchs t be too smokey..

I have taken a liking to the Abelour 15, and bought their upper level scotch, but haven't had a chance to open it yet as I'
m waiting for the kitchen to be done to 'celebrate'
I'll stick to my Johnnie Red, unadulterated.
"ecently, on a lark I tried to get the basic flavor of Lagavulin by altering a much cheaper Scotch whisky. The results were suprisingly good. I got about %75 percent of the flavor of Lagavulin for about %30 of the cost."

Cough, splutter!!!! Sacriledge!!! Mind you, I'm lucky - I live in Scotland, home of the finest spirit in the world, and I can get it for £20/bottle (~$35). What you might be interested in doing is going to this site:

www.smws.co.uk - The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Let me put it to you this way - a dram of Whisky Soc. cask strength whisky is the finest money can buy. A far better upgrade to any system than any cable!

If anyone is interested in joining from overseas, please email me - I'll happily talk whisky and advise!

John (drooling over this month's 40 year old Glenfarclas cask strength (70cl) - £150 per bottle. That's a bargain for any 40 year old whisky.)
Now that's an interesting trick. I think I'll try it with a bottle of Glenfiddich, and see if I can come close to the taste of a young Ardbeg. If it doesn't work out, hey, it was only Glenfiddich to start with...
Bah. I still like my microbrews. Much more affordable.
Wow, you have a great sound system, drink 15 year old scotch and have a new kitchen. Life is good! I too enjoy the Aberlour 15, it's much better than the 10, which I also like. And no, I certainly would not add smoke to Aberlour 15. Good luck with your kitchen and AV system.
...in the tradition of the scotch concoction from "Mr. Roberts". Doc would be proud.
I'm a BIG fan of several types of whiskey, and while I agree that putting liquid smoke into scotch whiskey to give it a peteier taste is odd, I've heard crazier things. I consider myself somewhat knowledgable, and have taken vacations based around whisky (so something of an alcoholic too) When I enjoy my spirits, they're almost always served pure and neat, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to experiment every once in a while. I mean, if you can't have fun with booze, what can you have fun with (and "the wife" doesn't count here).
I'm still laughing out loud from many of the comments. Good stuff from all. Perhaps it's time to go hide in the bushes and take another drink!
No experimenting with things that I don't understand. I do far enough of that with HiFi! Dalwhinnie is my Highland single malted favorite. As Ivor Tiefenbrun of Linn recommends a wee dram of scotch to set the mind right. Happy Listening and Cheers!
Hank, funny to see you here in the bushes!

Happy Listening & Drinking!

And I thought it was bad when some other A'goners talked in another thread about putting ice in your whisky!

I used to only drink my scotch neat, until my first visit to Cadenhead's in London...

The younger son laughed at me for trying the 62.8% (yes percent, not proof!) single cask neat and told me "aye, you're in a place where we know how to drink our liquor, let me put a little water in that, besides what you just drank is 125 Proof". I did let him, and wasn’t disappointed, though usually drank it neat anyway, if for no other reason than I never had something that high a proof that was pleasantly sippable! Hell, would have gotten to enjoy more of it had I not brought it to a barbecue that a good friend (currently the sommelier @ Bern’s steak house in Tampa, FL (yes Brad! YOU!)) was at and left it in his reach…..

Well, I bought the bottle, and some others, and have been back every trip to London since, and though I will still ONLY drink my best scotches (Mac 25 etc..) Neat with a water back, I often do put a couple cubes in a glass (OK, I am a scotch snob, it’s crystal) and add a touch of H2O...


As for Ivor’s comment…. I know now why my Linn system sounds so good so often!!!!

I hope the new HT does even better!

I'll certainly put a bit of spring water in cask strength malt... Otherwise its really too "hot"--I thought most of the cask strength bottles I had were actually more like 90% alcohol. Most "single malts" are actually watered down from cask strength to get to 82 proof.

But, ice is to be avoided because it dulls the taste buds.

Incidentally, the Macallan 15 year old cask strength is actually my present "buy" of choice for that precise reason--it is very price comparable to the 12 year old--but much nicer tasting--when you consider you are getting a bottle that can be cut with good water.

This whole conversation is making me wish I'd bought more than three bottles of an Adephia private label bottling I found about 10 years ago--32 year old Springbank at cask strength for $180 a fifth. Sadly, it is now all a thing of the past.

I think I had the very springbank you mentioned, and my dear god was it good. I recently was given a bottle of the spring bank bourbon finish, but I'm not much on cask finishes myself. I have to say that I was impressed with the cask strength Arran when I was last drinking it. This is just a personal gripe, but I think Glen Rothes is a bit of nonesense. Sure, it's packaged nicely, but it's mighty thin, IMO.
I've never been a huge fan of the bourbon finishes--think Macallan intro'd some of those as well. The goal seems to be to convert bourbonites into whiskyites. But, like Transnova, I had one of those bad experiences that leaves me unable to appreciate the finer points of bourbon. Or any other points of bourbon, for that matter.

On the other hand, I'm a big fan of aging whisky in old Madeira casks from Spain, the way Macallan does it. Seems to smooth things out very nicely--Springbank is aged in sherry casks as well. If I were to experiment with altering scotch, in fact, it would probably be to add a small dose of sherry to it... (I like lagavulin on occasion as something different, but the islays are too iodine-y for me. Hence adding liquid smoke doesn't do much for me, even if it was a perfect solution.)
If you like the madeira finish, look for the Isle of Arran port finish. It was a little flavored for my taste in terms of every day drinking, but it was impeccable after a rich meal.
I'm leaving the flavor to the fine folks in Scotland. Lagavulin 16 is my favorite. What I do, is keep a lighter "house scotch" around at less than half the price--currently have the Balvenie--and that's for general consumption. That way we don't drink up the Lagavulin too quickly. Plan to add the Macallan and a couple others that don't break the bank as I can afford it. Maybe even Laphroaig should I crave smoke and peat--though Laph honestly isn't totally my cup of tea.

That way there will still be something left when I just *have* to take out the fire but leave in the warmth *drools*
Put a jigger of Port wine into a bottle of cheap whisky, (like 4 Roses) and it tastes like good stuff. You need to try it to believe it.
Perhaps instead of liquid smoke you might try blending your own. I personally don't care for Laphroaig. I don't know if it's true, but, I've been told it's favored in many blends. Perhaps something like that and a less expensive malt might be a better albeit more expensive compromise.
i got hammered after drinking a fifth of jim beam whiskey years back while we were bbq-ing & i poured a bunch of that liquid smoke all over my t bone.

im not sure weather it was the rot gut or the smoke that did it but i was sick like a maniac for days now i cant even sniff liquid smoke without gagging.

Dirtyragamuffin, you still diss'in the exquisite Laphroaig ;-) I don't think I would add liquid smoke to a Scotch since they distill it the way it is supposed to taste. But since I 'Que or smoke the different tastes that you can get from smoking are interesting. In response to the staement about bourbon whiskies I will say some of the smaller distilleries are great in the differences between distillers in the taste as well as the sour mash people. There are many wonderful whiskies out there if your willing to try them. This coming from a Wisconsinite who should really know his brandy.

Heya bossman, it's a fine single malt but as far the smokies my palate sure loves Lagavulin.

I don't know the first thing about Brandy, lived in the Sconny all my life. Did I miss that memo? I was prolly half retarded on Lagavulin.
Great Tip,

You can also turn budget beer into a strong inport with a toutch of ISO-HOPS,instant green bottle.
Some how I think for those who don't consume it neat, I should bridge this thread with the "FINDING PURE WATER FOR RECORD CLEANING" thread. Because if Type-1 grade DI-RO water is good enough for cleaning our vinyl it should certainly taste good enough for our Scotch. Cheers!

You probably already know this one but you can take cheap vodka and pass it through a Brita water filter jug about 5 times to make it taste like the more expensive stuff.
Jlambrick -never heard of that one, must try it as I just dont like the stuff and feel guilty for it, as I like all other alchohol.

Currently I am in to a bottle of Greenall's Dry Gin. I really, really, really like gin. Neat or with just a splash of tonic. Never tried this one before, it's really quite nice, great finish.
As far as scotch, I recently finished a bottle of Glenmorangie Burgundy Wood Finish. Nice, but I have nothing to compare it to, as I've never tried any other Glenmorangie.

O.K. Here it is. My special elixir. Take some of your favorite frozen concentrated orange juice (or whatever) and rather than dilute it with water and actually waste it making juice, dilute it with tequila or gin. I actually just take a tall glass, fill about 1/3 or 1/4 with frozen orange juice, slowly add tequila and mix untill a thick paste, and then fill the rest of the glass. You'll be surprised how good this is. Your unsuspecting guests will be surprised that it's already next week.
If anyone tries this I'd be curious as to what you think. Now back to my gin and Mahler....
fostis, when i was a kid we used to take 190 proof grain alcohol & mix it the same way you described & the outcome was bad,real bad.

i can grape juice concentrate plus 2 cans everclear = a whole lotta drunk.

I've looked at your system, and think we've drank together before, but after seeing your stereo, you can't tell me you can't afford good scotch! (If BTW you can't, I could arrange to bring some by for a listen and coctails....)


Hope the server is still going well, mine is as good as ever.

As for the Mac 15.... skip it and go to the 18. I haven't tried the 21, but feel it to be a cop out to cover the upsurge in scotch demand that led to the unacceptable shortage of Mac 25 (which I am still holding a bottle of for the Xmas open house this year should the kitchen project actually be done by then...Oh and the ridiculous increase in price!)

I do go with a cube or so though.... When the scotch is REALLY GOOD like the Mac 25 I am holding, YES! It will be drank neat, with a water back.

I typically keep the 18yo around, but with the way Macallan prices have gone up the last 5 years, I'll switch to something else for the second glass. The reason I like the 15yo is that its significantly better than the 12yo, and the marginal price difference over the 12 isn't hardly anything--not like the 18--when you factor in that its cask strength...

Scotch must be a rough business. Trying to predict your demand 18 or 25 years in advance... Ouch.
I read somewhere that Scotland has more money invested in Scotch that is maturing in barrels than it does in gold reserves.
My stomach did a backflip when I read this post. This could be an argument for blind comparisons, if I knew what I was drinking, I couldn't ever get it down.
Just got back from London and brought the following goodies back with me:

Lagavulin Double Matured Select 16 year
Cao Isla 18 (could be a 15 though, can't remember)
Talisker 15

Bring on the cold weather!
Had a bottle of 25 Talisker. UNBELIEVABLE!. Unfortunately, it's all gone. Read: Sad Lament!
As for the original post: I find the thought of liquid smoke extremely distasteful and nasty. You should be ashamed of yourself. Now go stand in the corner with your kilt over your head!

Try the Abelour 15, ~$45 a bottle, and for the money one of the closest Scothc's to the Mac 18.....

I am just about done with the kitchen, appliances went in today so I am down to paint and trim and the other crap.... The bottle of 25 Mac comes out soon for the grand opening!

If you are in the neighborhood, let me know and come by! You could help me switch out the HT to the new system as the dedicated lines will be done as well!

Oddly, the Abelour 15 is the other standard fare in my cabinet. I also liked their cask strength offering--A'bundah (sp?)--but it seems to have disappeared from my retailers' shelves...

That's te bottle I couldn't remember! It's hiding in the box in the back bedroom waiting on the kitchen, which is just some minor trim away from completion!!!!!!!!


This of course also means my new dedicated lines, on their own panel, will be done by this weekend!!!!!!!!!!
I can see it now the audiophile home distilery. The upgrades can be very costly and the tweaks can really make the differance. 10, 12, and 15 years from now we can all gather together to see how we did.

At that point the forums take off, somebody is selling thier home grown as a high priced audio upgrade. And grannies white lightning is sold as a magic all in one snake oil remedy.