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Scotch, where to start?

From another bourbon drinker, this is very good advice. I don’t care too much for the strong smoke and peat flavors. So I enjoy Scotch like Glenmorangie a lot. This is my favorite at only $39/bottle

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This bottle is always my starter recommendation. Try it neat or slowly add ~1/4 teaspoon of water to taste. Nothing wrong with Glenfiddich/livet. For a little more complexity, Glenfarclas or Glengoyne 12 are delicious.


Fussy Evil Genius
It's not a Scotch, but a good place for a bourbon drinker to start might be Stranahan's. I finally got around to trying it last night, and it struck me that way. Single malt, so that flavor is clear and a good way to start to appreciate that flavor. However, it's also aged like bourbon in new, charred, oak barrels, so that's a familiar flavor hook for a bourbon drinker.

Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
Might be a good time to find a bar with a good selection, and spend a few midafternoons down there quietly trying a couple each time and taking some notes.

Scotch is like slant razors. Opinions differ widely.

It turns out I like quite strong-flavoured whiskies. In Scotch a Laphroaig 15 will get my attention; Lagavulin 16 is, I believe, bottled just inside the Heavenly Gates. :)

I generally drink a 100 per cent rye these days -- another strong flavour that I particularly enjoy. But I know where the Lagavulin is cached...

I recommend staying off the Islay single malts when starting out, unless you prefer smoky and peaty whiskys. There are a lot of great whiskys on the midler side in the other "districts", and I've personally found most of my favourites from the Highlands.

My favourite "stock" single malt is Dalwhinnie 15yo. Other recommendations, in no perticular order: Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Highland Park, Glenmorangie, Singleton, Aberfeldy and Dalmore.


The Lather Maestro
Some really good recommendations in this thread.

I recommend staying off the Islay single malts when starting out, unless you prefer smoky and peaty whiskys.

I would have thought this, too, but I have noticed over the years, that contrary to what I would have thought a lot of novice Scotch drinkers, including me, seem to have an early preference for those very strongly flavored Islays and similar island whiskies. It does seem counterintuitive.
As of late, I have begun to explore distilled spirits and have found two or three bourbons that I've really taken a shine to. My preferred serving is "on the rocks". I would like to venture into the world of scotch but don't know where to start. My budget won't allow me to partake of Pappy Vanwinkle's bourbon and the same financial limitations apply to scotch. Where to start?
A trip to Scotland (countryside) might be a thing to consider... and while at it, you can visit the Harris island and get some of the best Harris Tweed merchandise dirt cheap (compared to what's available online).
I have an un opened bottle of the caribbean cask . $75 where I’m at. I need to add to my Balvinie collection. The holidays are approaching so a proactive stocking of the good stuff is needed.
I saw both for $75 at the local Winn-Dixie with a rewards card yesterday. It can be had for <$80!


Fussy Evil Genius
I disagree with staying away from Islay whiskies or any other sort like that. There's no "levelling up" or anything like that, and I don't like the idea that these are difficult whiskies to enjoy. Try them. You might think you died and went to heaven, especially if no one has set your mind otherwise.

There's the same problem with those who say "I don't like dark beer." Someone told them that they wouldn't like it, so now they don't. When I hear that, I ask them if they like coffee. Many do. Then, it clicks.

When it comes to smoky whisky, I ask if they like barbecue. Click.

There are other ways to open a closed mind, but that's a good one.

That said, I don't know that I'd go buy a bottle of one of those or anything else. Best to try. See if you can get a flight or into a tasting.

Now, for the exception that proves the rule. Stay away from bottom shelf whisky. If you're looking for something "unapproachable" that will ruin your idea of Scotch and set you against it forever, bottom shelf stuff will do it.

For anyone that really does want to jump in by buying a bottle, I'll never stop recommending Glenmorangie 10.
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