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How to begin drinking scotch? - Page 8

post #106 of 134
I've turned a lot of people on to SMS via Islays, almost always Laphoraig. The generic taste of scotch is actually kinda toxic, and if you get something with no character, there's nothing to appreciate. Islays are very in-your-face with their character, so it's easy to 'get it'.
post #107 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duff_Man View Post
I've turned a lot of people on to SMS via Islays, almost always Laphoraig. The generic taste of scotch is actually kinda toxic, and if you get something with no character, there's nothing to appreciate. Islays are very in-your-face with their character, so it's easy to 'get it'.
My first serious appreciation of SMS was with Talisker and Lagavullin. So I think there is something to that...for some people. Others will be turned off forever to all SMS. I've seen that as well. But you also make a good point about "character" and I suspect that some blended Scotches which have a low percentage of malt in the blend are only good for making the transistion from alco-pops to real liquor. Coming to terms with the taste of alcohol rather than the taste of sugar. If you've got a blend that contains only 2% malt there's not much by way of "Scotch" character.
post #108 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
For god sake no, Talisker is not smooth. It's got a big edge and is quite peppery, to my taste. It's one of the more sophisticated affordable single malts.

Smooth is in this context the opposite of harsh. As in, I drink it and I appreciate the tastes not impeded by alcohol induced throat constriction.

That's just my opinion (and Merriam Webster's).

So things can be smooth and have a lot of taste.
post #109 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDFS View Post
Smooth is in this context the opposite of harsh. As in, I drink it and I appreciate the tastes not impeded by alcohol induced throat constriction.
+100 I like it.
post #110 of 134
In a way, I find that smoky character can actually smooth out the finish sometimes, especially diluted.
post #111 of 134
Clan MacGregor. That shit will make you wanna toss a caber.
post #112 of 134
Imbibe it orally.

I think that you needn't 'study' it or anything if you're young and enjoy to party. I myself only started to get interested in 'Scotch', esp. single malt, when I was about 29 years old. Before that I drank this and that but at first mainly to get drunk and have fun.

At 29 I bought a whiskey book by Michael Jackson and also a few widely available single malts, like Laphroaig and Lagavulin that sounded nice, that I already knew or that had a high score in that work. Some of them I didn't like as well as their 'scores' would have indicated [e.g. the younger Bowmore- much too salty for me], but that impression is also influenced by the occasion and my mood. You have to find out about your taste, about what you like and school it- just try out anything you want but if it is in any way boring or tedious to you, then don't...

Here's a youtube channel that I found the other day with some whiskey-tasting-notes and reviews: http://www.youtube.com/user/ralfystuff
post #113 of 134
Great contribution from all. Thanks.

For the new guys, can't stress the importance of enjoying the scotch (all the subtle flavors/differnet notes) don't force it down if you don't like it. Stick with the blended (JW, Chivas etc) to start with - it's easier on the palate. Go to tastings and chat up bartenders - they may offer you samples, a good way to taste the rainbow.

Also, savor the experience/the company, when you're drinking. The sips really force you to focus on what is at hand and slow things down. I enjoy deep thought/reflecting with a scotch.

-pollo (dos centavos)
post #114 of 134
Another perspective I can't resist adding. (From a big drinker of scotch, bourbon, rye.) I guess for beginners, blends are ok -- Johnny Black, Jameson is all right too as an introduction. These should be palatable for non-whisky drinkers. But they're not ideal because they don't have any of the complexity that makes malts interesting to drink. So I'd recommend starting with a more sherried single malt; Macallan 12 is my suggestion for something easy to drink, easily findable, and not too expensive. If you end up buying a bottle, you can start drinking it with ice. But as soon as you're comfortable with that, switch to a splash of soft spring water. The French bottled waters are the most suitable ones available in the US -- e.g. Volvic, Evian.
post #115 of 134
Thread Starter 
I've taken some of this advice to heart. Went out to the liquor store yesterday and got a couple of those 50ml bottles. One Glenfiddich 12 and the other some random one that looks like shit to be honest. Poored a tiny amount of the Glenfiddich into a glass, and added 2 parts water. It wasn't the most amazing tasting beverage I've ever had but it wasn't that bad. I will be heading home from university for the holidays and might sit down with the old man to try out a few other types.

I greatly appreciate all the replies and advice from the gents who chimed in. I tip my glass to you.
post #116 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamesuvic View Post
I've taken some of this advice to heart. Went out to the liquor store yesterday and got a couple of those 50ml bottles. One Glenfiddich 12 and the other some random one that looks like shit to be honest. Poored a tiny amount of the Glenfiddich into a glass, and added 2 parts water. It wasn't the most amazing tasting beverage I've ever had but it wasn't that bad. I will be heading home from university for the holidays and might sit down with the old man to try out a few other types.

I greatly appreciate all the replies and advice from the gents who chimed in. I tip my glass to you.

The way you say it makes it sound like you added more water than scotch into the glass, that's not the way to do it. You want maybe... 1-2mL of water per ounce of Scotch, no more. Literally "a few drops" is all you add. I'd suggest trying again unless you've simply typed out what you were trying to say incorrectly.

@Duffman, I agree with this idea. I was at the brewpub with some friends a little bit ago and decided I'd grab a scotch so I had a Laphroaig, some people at my table had never tasted scotch so I gave them a try. I don't think any of them really liked it, but they did consider it an "experience" and understood the draw. A lot of people wouldn't understand the draw if you give them something easy in flavour that ends up just being a burning sensation to the first timer.

Time for a little crag.
post #117 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmm54 View Post
I guess for beginners, blends are ok -- Johnny Black, Jameson is all right too as an introduction. These should be palatable for non-whisky drinkers. But they're not ideal because they don't have any of the complexity that makes malts interesting to drink.
I think this advice is spot on. And when you consider that most blended Scotch contains a fair percentage of grain alcohol (similar to Everclear or vodka) you have wonder what the point is...why drink Scotch (instead of Vodka) if you are not getting the flavor profile that is so characteristic of malt. Some popular blends contain less than 5% malt. I might add that adding ice to Scotch is frowned upon not just for decorum's sake but because it "...actually changes the molecular structure... and kills the flavours..."
post #118 of 134
This thread got me thirsty and it's only 10:42 am. I haven't had a dram in days...
post #119 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
My first serious appreciation of SMS was with Talisker and Lagavullin. So I think there is something to that...for some people. Others will be turned off forever to all SMS. I've seen that as well.


Agreed. I started trying to get into scotch when I lived at home after college by having some of my dads J Walker BLack. I didn't get it. It was ok nothing special (of course it's a blend so that's a given). But then I tried a Laphroaig 10yr and it was incredible. I've really only ever drank peated scotches since then. I've read on scotch forums that you either start out on the peated side and slowly work your way to the "delicate" (ie "smooth") side or you start on the delicate side and work your way up to peated. Either way, drink what you like...and please no ice unless its a blend.
post #120 of 134
There is no wrong way to start liking single malt scotch, as long as you start
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