(There have been a lot of whisky queries on this board I have read them all as far back as 1/03 and done some web research, but Im by no means highly knowledgeable.)
Im looking for Scottish single malt, in the under $100 range, of a bottle of something that Im less likely to find in a bar. (Id rather go under $100- thats just my per-bottle cap.) I am partial to peatier malts- love Laphroaig, I have liked Ardbeg and Lagavulin. While I would like to get something on the peaty side, it doesnt have to be as intense as the Laphroaig. I was looking possibly at Caol Ila 18 yr and Bowmore. The advice on Bowmore seems to be to get an older one maybe 17 yr? Someone also recommended the claret finish, but Im not sure why. Can anyone talk more about these?
What are Ben Nevis and Port Ellen like? I know that Port Ellen closed- is it hard to find? Any in my price range? Someone on this board also highly recommended Clynelish- I dont know anything about them.
Whats the point of the finishes? Doublewood, portwood, claret, etc. How much of a difference do they make? Whats unchillfiltered?
If anyone has any other suggestions, please pass them along. (It doesnt have to be an Islay distillery, but you get an idea of my preferences.)