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Old 09-29-2010, 11:39 PM   #41

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Originally Posted by nostalgia View Post
I haven't read all the replies so apologies if any of this is a duplicate. These are all my opinions along with information I have learned from professional tasters and distillers at the various tastings I've attended. I hope this isn't tl;dr but I'm pretty passionate about whisky


Good on ya for getting started. Scotch tasting (and whisky/whiskey in general) is a wonderful path to do down. There are so many flavors it always blows my mind.


I don't know the price, but look into The Macallan 12. It's a very nice single malt that's easy drinking. Caol Ila is also lovely. Something with a little more oompf would be a Talisker or Laphroaig, but they're also a bit more pricey.

Another thing to mention is that a bottle of whisky will last you quite a while and does not spoil even after opening. So take that into account when budgeting.


There is no rule. I would recommend always starting neat and going from there. A smallish brandy snifter is nice, or rocks glasses work.

Nose the whisky but don't swirl it - that just releases alcohol aromas that assault your nose. Keep your nose in the glass and breathe in the aroma. You'll get past the initial alcohol hit and start to smell the whisky itself.

Take a sip and let it hang out in your mouth for a while. The Laphroaig taster I met said one second for every year the whisky is old.

Swallow and enjoy the lingering aftertastes.

Re: ice and water. Water does not ruin, mask, hurt, offend, defile or anger your whisky. In fact water can reveal a lot of flavors that you don't get neat. When tasting at the distillery to blend barrels (yes, "single" malt is still blended from different barrels) the tasters cut the whisky with up to 50% water.

I will often add one ice cube to a glass and enjoy tasting how the whisky changes as it melts. Even just a few drops can make a big difference in some whiskys.

Here is a nice link with some more information. From that site:



So taste first. Think about it. Make notes. Then add a few drops of water and taste again. It's all part of the fun. Don't let anyone tell you how you "should" enjoy your whisky. You drink it however you like it.



I've been hosting a yearly tasting at my house. It's a lot of fun and encourages everyone to try new things. Here was the selection at the '08 event:



-Joe
I love that image. I hope some of the other tasters brought in some of those bottles. That's a lot of money in whiskey!

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:32 AM   #42
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in my experience, scotch is definitely an acquired taste. i mean, if you absolutely hate it at first, it's probably not for you. if you can experience it similar to beer, tasting all the inputs, you can really grow to love it. i agree with a lot of the brands mentioned above, but i love the islay styles of scotch (lagavulin, laphroaig). seeing you live in denver, you can often find the laphroaig for < $30 on sale at argonaut fairly often. the bowmores are good also, as mentioned before. i prefer it neat, but my scottish pal likes it with a drop or two of water just to smooth things out a bit. just start experimenting with some and see what you like.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:19 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostalgia View Post
*Snip.*
Great idea. I'd love being able to taste several at once. I'd love to eventually try all of the scotches I can get my hands on, but a few dozen brands X a ton of products = thousands and thousands of dollars.

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:31 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by dataz722 View Post
And your point? That gives you an excuse to be arrogant and condescending?

Saying something like that is like telling someone that wants to get into good beer to go drink iipas and RIS's. If they don't like them then though **** and they shouldn't drink any beer.
WTF is wrong with you? Guy asked what the "proper" way to get into Scotch was and was looking for advice about these very specific questions. I gave him my OPINION.

I didn't judge the way anyone else chooses to enjoy their own drinks, but if he is asking how to fully enjoy a drink, I am going to firmly stand by my statement that diluting it or cooling it to cover up the full character of the drink is not the way to do so.

EAC or not, being a jag is still just being a jag.

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:09 PM   #45

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Originally Posted by Randar View Post
WTF is wrong with you? Guy asked what the "proper" way to get into Scotch was and was looking for advice about these very specific questions. I gave him my OPINION.

I didn't judge the way anyone else chooses to enjoy their own drinks, but if he is asking how to fully enjoy a drink, I am going to firmly stand by my statement that diluting it or cooling it to cover up the full character of the drink is not the way to do so.

EAC or not, being a jag is still just being a jag.
People are very sensitive nowadays. I think we're trying to be too politically correct. Everyone wants others to walk on egg shells around them. I don't get it. But what the hell, I'll just have another beer.

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:47 PM   #46
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Scotch is just trial and error. You can buy tiny 1.5oz bottles of a lot of different kinds. Each region of Scotland produces very different styles of scotch so it is in your best interest to find out what you like. For example if you like your scotch to have a lot of peat. I just recently attended Whisky Fest Chicago this year and boy did that open up a world for me. My current favorite Scotch's are Glenmorangie Astar, Glenmorangie Quitna Ruban and The Balvenie Double Wood 12 year.

 
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:13 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar View Post
WTF is wrong with you? Guy asked what the "proper" way to get into Scotch was and was looking for advice about these very specific questions. I gave him my OPINION.

I didn't judge the way anyone else chooses to enjoy their own drinks, but if he is asking how to fully enjoy a drink, I am going to firmly stand by my statement that diluting it or cooling it to cover up the full character of the drink is not the way to do so.

EAC or not, being a jag is still just being a jag.
Well thank you. That is the second new insult that I have been introduced to in as many days. I appreciate it.
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Sorry, I am sworn as a mod to disagree with the above statement. But as a rational person, I do agree.
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I was wrong

 
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:24 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Randar View Post
I am going to firmly stand by my statement that diluting it or cooling it to cover up the full character of the drink is not the way to do so.
Adding an apropriate amount of water does not cover anything but the negative effects of the alcohol. Millions of Scots can't be wrong.

 
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:51 AM   #49
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Indeed, adding water to whisky is the proper way to taste a single malt. Most malts already have water added, unless you buy cask-strength malts. And then, increasingly adding a few drops of water will open up the bouquet and taste of the dram.

Never ice, though. That's an excuse for the bartender to give you cheap whisky (which also, naturally, has its place...)
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #50
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Follow in this precise order.

Chew on some peated moss.
Lick some granite slabs.
Swallow some iodine non diluted, non iced otherwise you're a pansy.

I like Walker's green btw.
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