Some scotch education if you please

Discussion in 'The Speakeasy' started by Psychmike22, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Hello Gents,
    I have been interested in trying a new drink as of late. I am typically like a stiff gin and tonic (Hendricks), a Sauvignon Blanc, or Pino Noir. I have been reading about scotch and picked up a bottle of Glenlivet 12. I poured some over three ice cubes swirled and sipped... and almost gagged.

    Can someone wiser than I provide some help? How should I start?
  2. Mike, I am no where near a scotch expert but that was my first scotch try also. Try it neat (no ice) as I have read the chill messes the flavor up. Also I found it to be a bit harsh, but I left it in the glass for about ten minutes and it was much better.
  3. Mike,

    I'm no expert either BUT I have mine with a little room temperature water. This releases the flavours more and avoid the ice chill that, IMHO, detracts from the experience. It also seem to make it a little smoother.

    I'm talking a little water, probably 10 - 25% by volume, not diluting the drink! :lol:
  4. +1 , i usually add couple of dropps to release all the favours!
  5. i like a good G&T, a Pinot Noir, good quality 'hoppy' beers such as James Squires IPA (don't know any USA equivalents). recently decided to experiment with scotch whisky and it took some time before finding some that hit the spot.

    try skipping the ice mike and just add a 'splash' of water.
  6. Go to a bar and order a glenlivet 18 if they have it. Try that first............... although you may end up putting the 12 year on the side after a sip of the more expensive stuff.....
  7. I drink all my Scotch neat. Water has been already added to most Scotches and I'm not certain adding more "releases" any flavouring. However, some people prefer to do so and I've learned never tell a man how to water his Scotch. Scotches at cask strength are intended to be enjoyed at that strength. Ice in my book, it's a thing to avoid as you can will only dull the taste of the whisky, which is why you probably didn't enjoy the Glenlivet as much as you could have.

    Regardless, enjoy your whisky any way you want.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  8. It's OK *not* to like Scotch too.

    If you were turned off by the flavors of a somewhat subdued Scotch brand (especially when they were further muted by the ice), then it may not be your drink. And that's OK. I'm not sure of your age, but one thing I can say is that often people develop a taste for Scotch as they get older.

    As for recommendations.... most people do not put ice in single malts such as Glenlivet. Just a little water, if anything. I'm afraid that if you don't use ice, and hence release the full flavors, you may like it even less, but.... if you want to try another single malt, maybe try something with more of a sweeter, sherry note, like The Macallan. It doesn't sound like you want to go down the smokey road at this time. If you want the muted taste of Scotch over ice, try a good blended Scotch like Johnnie Walker.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  9. Yes and no. There are some whiskies that go down amazingly well at cask strength. Others are bottle for the niche market that demands cask strength but the delicate flavor is more than overwhelmed by the high alcohol content. In those cases you don't really taste much of anything except burn.
  10. Thanks as always for the information. I will try it neat next then with a little water. I will certainly try the 18 when I am out next. I know a few folks that owe me a drink.
  11. Yes, but what a sweet burn it is. :lol:
  12. Masochism in liquor appreciation would have to be it's own thread!:biggrin1:
  13. I usually order Scotch neat with a sidecar of ice water so that I can adjust the taste to my mood that evening.
  14. Or even it's own subforum. Just kidding of course. Everyone has a different approach for their drinking. :thumbup1:
  15. If you almost gagged at the taste, I don't think any amount of ice, water or lack thereof will make it taste any better for you, pal.

    Some people don't like whiskey in general. Whether it be bourbon, rye, irish or scotch. I happen to only like whiskeys, and I'll definitely say whiskey in general is an acquired taste. Many people find scotch far too smokey and they like it sweeter (like Bourbon or Canadian) A very YMMV kinda drink imho.
  16. Try a lowlander such as Auchentoshan. They have a lighter, grassy note. The sauvignon blanc of scotches, if you will.
  17. Make sure you fully experience the aroma first- take a few deep sniffs. This will prepare your tastebuds for what is coming. My $0.02...
  18. I'm going to suggest an opposite track . . . try something really distinctive, and sherry or port casked, like a Macallan 12 or a Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. The added sweetness and complexity will show you what a Scotch can be.

    Straight Scotch, even in its milder expressions, is much dryer on the palate than bourbon, Canadian whiskey, or the wines you like. But a good sherry casking may well "bridge the gap" while exposing you to a world of complex flavor. If you want a one of a kind experience of what casked Scotch can be, try the Aberlour a'bunadh. It's expensive, but worth it, and like nothing else on earth.


  19. Great advice I will try the sherry casked. A local steak joint has an extensive list of single malts, bourbons, and whiskeys. I did see some that were sherry casked.
  20. So...? How did subsequent taste tests go?

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