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Discussion in 'The Speakeasy' started by bman40, Mar 20, 2008.
Can I get some tips on a good 'starter' scotch - not too pricey and easy drinking?
This queston comes up a lot. Definitely make your first Scotch Glenlivet 12.
I've reviewed it here.
+1. You can go any direction from Glenlivet 12, but if you don't like it at all, you should probably declare a distaste for Scotch and give up.
how about a blend? my wife (ex-bartender) thought that a blend might be more approachable???
Glenlivet is definitely what you want to go with, if you want a single malt. For blends, I would suggest Dewars, Famous Grouse or even J&B to start. Cutty Sark fits the easy drinking requirement, and it is a favorite of mine during warmer weather. I find it very refreshing.
I'd recommend the Johnnie Walker Black, Cutty Sark, or J&B for blended scotch (though keep in mind I haven't been at this long).
I got some Johnny Walker Red, and it's not too bad. Granted, I'm not a scotch conessuer, (I know it's spelled wrong) so I don't really know all that much. If you can afford it, Johnny walker black is probably better than the red, but listen to other people, not me.
I'm a serious Scotch drinker and collector and I disagree, blends contain grain alcohol which is often much harsher, more inconsistent, and doesn't deliver the high quality of a Single Malt. There are some good blends out there don't get me wrong, but they are few and far between and the good ones aren't cheap. Trust me, if you want to start out on the right foot (and save a little money), get a bottle of Glenlivet 12.
I drink Talisker mainly, but a Glenlivet is a nice whiskey. Next thing I must try is one of the bruichladdich bottles
I'll disagree with Timmy's disagreement. Like him, I've been drinking it for a long time and would not go back to blends at this point. But I remember that when I started drinking Scotch, after a long love affair with Bourbon, the taste "concept" of Scotch, for lack of a better word, seemed strange. Dewars and J&B got me through the conversion, without which I would not be the happy single malt drinker I am today. YMMV.
I'm also a "serious Scotch drinker" and I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. One of the major purposes of blended scotch is a more consistent flavor from bottle to bottle, year to year. Not all blends are good, but for that matter not all single malts are good either. It really just depends on your own personal taste. I find that quality blends round out some of the rougher edges that can be found in some single malts if they are done well. Personally, I prefer single malts too but I also recognize what a blend can offer and don't dismiss it out of hand. There are some outstanding blends in the sub $50 category but you probably should stay away from most stuff under $25. If you can find blends by Compass Box, they are pretty exceptional. In the more readily available categories, JW black isn't bad and neither is Dewar's 12 year old.
I'd also caution against thumbing your nose of grain scotch whisky. If you can find it and have the financial means, a bottle of Hedonism vatted grain scotch whisky definately change your mind.
I'll also say (and then get off my soap box) that I've found that there are some unique flavor profiles available in blended scotches that can't be found in the world of single malts simply because the artist (master blender) has a wider palate of colors (flavors) to work with.
The point I'm just trying to get across is that I've seen a lot of people thumb their nose at blends because of a more perceived than actual quality or flavor inferiority. As with everything, your results may very but I encourage everyone to keep an open mind.
I'd go with one of the McClelland's-- a single malt at a blend price.
I agree here, although I can get Glenlivet 12 for less than $25 and I feel it is pretty easy to approach. The Compass Box offerings run from $45 to $100, which is a bit steep for someone not having any idea what they are getting into.
I have heard great things about Hedonism. While this would be a great example of what grain whisky can be, I would hate for someone to get the wrong impression and think this is what grain whisky usually is. I think your point was just keeping an open mind though, so that is fair.
As for the original question, not a bad idea to try different things at bars when out as well. Mini bottles would work too, rather than investing in a whole bottle. Irks me though when a drink is $10 and I can get the whole bottle for $30.
The question is, which one? They do produce some tasty Whisky!
once bottle is in hand, what is the best way to start drinking it?
turn the bottle up and go, bluto style?
Very small sips. You can add a dash of water or ice if you wish. Ice does dull the flavors a bit. Try it all ways and see what you like best.
For starting out I would go with JW Black Label or Dimple Pinch. I have not tried the Glenlevit 12 myself but friends of mine enjoy it.
On the rocks always seems to work for me!