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Scotch, where to start?

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.
I agree with your post 100%.
 
OK, folks, I might be straying from this thread.
But, up until recently, my scotch of choice has been a single malt, Balvenie 14 yr.
However, I had a largely unused bottle of Cutty Sark sitting around and decided to use it instead of the Balvenie one evening.
Holy cow, it was so close to the Balvenie!
The caramel and vanilla were there.
Smooth, but not quite as smooth as the single malt.
However, one-fourth of the cost (on a size-to-size comparison)!!
Needless to say, I'm impressed!

IMG_0645.JPG
 
I would definitely start with Speyside Whiskies as they are much sweeter than others, having fruity, vanilla flavours. It might be an idea to avoid peaty ones like Laphroaig, as it's like sticking your face into a bonfire and a very acquired taste. It's a very polarising taste - plenty love it, but if you don't it might put you off for life.
 
I haven't tried Scotch yet. I like rye a lot (George Dickel/Old Overholt). I don't mind the bourbons I've tried, but then again, I wouldn't go out of my way for one. What would you guys recommend?
 
OK, folks, I might be straying from this thread.
But, up until recently, my scotch of choice has been a single malt, Balvenie 14 yr.
However, I had a largely unused bottle of Cutty Sark sitting around and decided to use it instead of the Balvenie one evening.
Holy cow, it was so close to the Balvenie!
The caramel and vanilla were there.
Smooth, but not quite as smooth as the single malt.
However, one-fourth of the cost (on a size-to-size comparison)!!
Needless to say, I'm impressed!

View attachment 1339389
I too have been enjoying Cutty Sark.
Try the Naked Grouse, its another very affordable option that is aged in sherry casks though.
 
Aerstone.

land cask if you like smoky/peaty.

sea cask if ya like the lighter side.

good stuff for the $$$$

camo
 
When I came back to Scotch some 35 years after the horrible stuff in college I started with Pinch 15 year. The blending of malt and other whiskeys made it smooth and light and intriguing enough to try some single malts.

The first single malt for me was Old Pultney, a reasonably priced 12 year. Glemmorangie is a safe decent and relatively inexpensive choice as well. I then sampled a number of different single malts and discovered that I most enjoyed Islay scotches. I like the smoky, peaty and flavorful variety that for me also has a chewy mouth feel if that makes any sense. I will never say no to a Lagavulin 16 but the Ardbeg pictured is my go to and regular scotch.

I would also recommend Glencairn glasses to drink the scotch in.

1636859896835.jpeg
 
When I came back to Scotch some 35 years after the horrible stuff in college I started with Pinch 15 year. The blending of malt and other whiskeys made it smooth and light and intriguing enough to try some single malts.

The first single malt for me was Old Pultney, a reasonably priced 12 year. Glemmorangie is a safe decent and relatively inexpensive choice as well. I then sampled a number of different single malts and discovered that I most enjoyed Islay scotches. I like the smoky, peaty and flavorful variety that for me also has a chewy mouth feel if that makes any sense. I will never say no to a Lagavulin 16 but the Ardbeg pictured is my go to and regular scotch.

I would also recommend Glencairn glasses to drink the scotch in.

View attachment 1362454
My favorite scotch at the moment.
 
While not a 100% accurate, I’ll usually introduce people to Scotch by first asking them how they like to take their coffee. (I’ve known a few outliers), I find those that like their coffee black tend to take to Islay and Peat, while those who prefer more cream and sugar are more open to a nice refreshing Speyside. I use this as a useful reference point when introducing people to Scotch. Again, not foul-proof because at end of the day it all comes down to our individual ideas of taste and smell which are tied very strongly to our subconscious associations and expectations. Some people like their booze sweet and their coffee bitter. Others are the opposite. Hell you could be a black coffee drinker 99% of the time but the day you are going to try a new scotch you just happened to have a hankering for a latte with sugar that morning. It is going to subconsciously impact what you think of that Islay/Speyside if your body is demanding sugary or bitter flavors that day and has not built up any association yet with that Islay/Speyside flavor.

I think at the end of the day it’s about having as open of a mind as possible and trying to check any expectations at the door when trying new things. If you are looking for something whether conscious or subconscious, (bitter note, sweet note, etc) and then you don’t find it in that new experience, you will be disappointed.
 
While not a 100% accurate, I’ll usually introduce people to Scotch by first asking them how they like to take their coffee. (I’ve known a few outliers), I find those that like their coffee black tend to take to Islay and Peat, while those who prefer more cream and sugar are more open to a nice refreshing Speyside. I use this as a useful reference point when introducing people to Scotch. Again, not foul-proof because at end of the day it all comes down to our individual ideas of taste and smell which are tied very strongly to our subconscious associations and expectations. Some people like their booze sweet and their coffee bitter. Others are the opposite. Hell you could be a black coffee drinker 99% of the time but the day you are going to try a new scotch you just happened to have a hankering for a latte with sugar that morning. It is going to subconsciously impact what you think of that Islay/Speyside if your body is demanding sugary or bitter flavors that day and has not built up any association yet with that Islay/Speyside flavor.

I think at the end of the day it’s about having as open of a mind as possible and trying to check any expectations at the door when trying new things. If you are looking for something whether conscious or subconscious, (bitter note, sweet note, etc) and then you don’t find it in that new experience, you will be disappointed.
I drink my coffee black and prefer Islay

if I am a good indicator, you are spot on.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
I find those that like their coffee black tend to take to Islay and Peat, while those who prefer more cream and sugar are more open to a nice refreshing Speyside.

That's probably a good measuring stick, at least as a rough guide when working with limited information.
 
For single malts, I love Aberlour, Highland Park, Balvenie and Glenmorangie. Islays are fine, might be too peaty for a new pallet.

Blends, Sheep Dip and good old Johnnie Walker Black.

On the wagon starting today while I do 75 Hard. Had 2 JWB's last night watching football and the world really seemed right.
 
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