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Any One for a Scotch? - Page 119

post #1771 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmywinks View Post

Am I the only one that doesn't really get whiskey? The only whiskey I can stand drinking on the rocks is Jameson (it is somewhat enjoyable to me). I have some Makers Mark (not scotch I know) but I need to put like 10 ice cubes in there and let it melt a fair amount before I can even begin to sip and taste the different flavors. Otherwise it just tastes like straight hard alcohol.

I used to be the same way. You may be doing what I was doing, and drinking it too fast. Take a small (small!) sip. Hold it on the tongue for, say, 10 seconds, before you even think about swallowing it. Taste the flavors bloom in your mouth.

If you drink it straight down, it definitely just tastes like alcohol.
post #1772 of 3221
Also, the more you "experience" (i.e. drink), the better you can handle it neat IME.
post #1773 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmywinks View Post

Am I the only one that doesn't really get whiskey? The only whiskey I can stand drinking on the rocks is Jameson (it is somewhat enjoyable to me). I have some Makers Mark (not scotch I know) but I need to put like 10 ice cubes in there and let it melt a fair amount before I can even begin to sip and taste the different flavors. Otherwise it just tastes like straight hard alcohol.

Irish whiskies can be...and to my palate usually are..fairly sweet, esp. in comparison to Island and Highland malts. But if you like the Jameson, you might like a Speyside--Glenlivit, The Macallen, etc.

I got a bottle of Glengoyne 17 for Christmas that is almost too sweet for me.

As for ice cubes...among many aficionados, ice is an absolute "don't'. It actual changes the chemical composition of the malt. How ice can do that, I don't know, but some respected authorities insist it does.

Adding a bit of distilled water to a dram will open up the flavours and the nose.

And because the heat from your mouth can also affect the flavour, having a little cool "water by" to cool and cleanse your palate occasionally can also be helpful.

Also, some people dislike the taste of raw spirits intensely. I'm one of those people. I taste rancid cardboard. And, as you've experienced, raw spirits also tend to dominate the flavour. If you stick to malts that are older...more than 12 years old...you can usually avoid that taste. Blends, having been "adulterated" with unmalted, grain spirits, tend to exhibit that character more readily. And don't get me wrong not all young whiskies have that raw note but many, maybe even most, do.
post #1774 of 3221
Maybe I'm in a bad mood, but this entire post rubbed me the wrong way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Irish whiskies can be...and to my palate usually are..fairly sweet, esp. in comparison to Island and Highland malts. But if you like the Jameson, you might like a Speyside--Glenlivit, The Macallen, etc.

Jameson is more akin to The Glenlivet or The Glenfiddich (mild, one note, non-offensive) than a Macallan (notable sherry influence).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

As for ice cubes...among many aficionados, ice is an absolute "don't'. It actual changes the chemical composition of the malt. How ice can do that, I don't know, but some respected authorities insist it does.

No. It's because ice acts as an anesthetic which will numb your tongue and ability to taste. Ice is fine but I wouldn't use it in any dram I'm actually trying to pick apart.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Adding a bit of distilled water to a dram will open up the flavours and the nose.

No. Use natural spring water. The lack of minerals in distilled water will affect the flavour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

And because the heat from your mouth can also affect the flavour, having a little cool "water by" to cool and cleanse your palate occasionally can also be helpful.

What? Your body's temperature isn't going to do anything nor would you want to cleanse your palate unless you were having multiple different drams.

UGH. lemmywinks, don't over-think it:
1. Pour yourself 1-2 fingers of whisk(e)y, preferably in a glass that tulips so you can channel the aroma and enjoy it (if you don't enjoy how whisk(e)y smells, you probably won't like how it tastes).
2. Give it a few minutes to breathe
3. Take a tiny sip neat and expect the alcohol to scorch your palate. Recover.
4. Take another. Should be able to taste more now.
5. Add room temp bottled or filtered water to taste in a controlled manner as you're enjoying the dram (eye dropper, straw to drip water, tiny spoon, etc).
post #1775 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by I<3Bacon View Post

Maybe I'm in a bad mood, but this entire post rubbed me the wrong way.
Jameson is more akin to The Glenlivet or The Glenfiddich (mild, one note, non-offensive) than a Macallan (notable sherry influence).
No. It's because ice acts as an anesthetic which will numb your tongue and ability to taste. Ice is fine but I wouldn't use it in any dram I'm actually trying to pick apart.
No. Use natural spring water. The lack of minerals in distilled water will affect the flavour.
What? Your body's temperature isn't going to do anything nor would you want to cleanse your palate unless you were having multiple different drams.

From Robertson page on whisky (this fellow lives in and amongst authentic Scotch distilleries...ie. Scotland...and visits and talks to more distillers in one season than any of us do in our entire lives, and is a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, for whatever that's worth).

Quote:
6- Rinse your glass and mouth with water between each whisky...a biscuit (cracker) is good now and then too.... (I usually fill my glass with water- then pour it into my mouth and wash my mouth.. then drink the water...)

7- never add ice to malt... it actually changes the molecular structure... and kills the flavours...

8- malt is best at a cool room temperature... beware of warming your glass too much with your hand... I also frequently 'cool off' my mouth with cool water between sips of malt... our mouth temp is 98.6F... which is too warm for malt....

Perhaps you can offer a citation for some of your contrary opinions...I'd be interested.
post #1776 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by I<3Bacon View Post

5. Add room temp bottled or filtered water to taste in a controlled manner as you're enjoying the dram (eye dropper, straw to drip water, tiny spoon, etc).
.

what is the meaning of this word "dram" ? thanks.
post #1777 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

citation

This is laughable. Also, your citation is another man's opinion.

lemmywinks, my opinion is that you should take everything you read and hear with a grain of salt (but do listen to what experienced folk have to say), have your own experiences, then formulate your own opinion rather than latch onto what supposed experts have to say (the supposed experts also disagree frequently).

And who knows? Maybe after giving whisk(e)y more than a fair chance, you'll decide it's not for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by poena View Post

what is the meaning of this word "dram" ? thanks.

A frequently used yet arbitrary "measurement" for a pour of spirit like whisk(e)y.
post #1778 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by I<3Bacon View Post

This is laughable. Also, your citation is another man's opinion.
.

I would suggest that in the absence of a citation and more importantly in the absence of a similar history and experience set, everything that is written here is opinion and even more laughable.

Your opinion is no better...and maybe more suspect for objectivity...than anyone else's. Certainly no better than Robertson's, and until I see different maybe not as good...IMO.

PS...you want to add spring water because it has minerals in it? Fine, you do that....but it's worth noting that goat's piss has minerals in it too.
post #1779 of 3221
You missed my point entirely. Robertson's opinions (for the most part) are fine... but I wouldn't get too caught up on what industry folk have to say. Many distillery workers in Scotland don't even drink whisky. The fact that you used a citation is laughable (read: I'm laughing at you, not Robertson)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

PS...you want to add spring water because it has minerals in it? Fine, you do that....but it's worth noting that goat's piss has minerals in it too.

This was an unnecessary and childish statement. Most distillery workers in Scotland use the local water source to water down their drams (when they do). It is often loch water (the same water they use to create the mash that later gets distilled).
post #1780 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I would suggest that in the absence of a citation and more importantly in the absence of a similar history and experience set, everything that is written here is opinion and even more laughable.

Your opinion is no better...and maybe more suspect for objectivity...than anyone else's. Certainly no better than Robertson's, and until I see different maybe not as good...IMO.

I'm a chemist and I find it highly unlikely that ice would "alter the molecular structure" of anything in whisky. Might seem like it "alters the chemistry" because you're lowering the temperature, depressing the amount of alcohol vapor that collects over the liquid, and changing the perceived flavor profile and nose. Going to change the color a bit from dilution. But as far as the actual chemicals present? You're not going to do anything to them.

I wouldn't want to drink distilled water by itself, the lack of minerals does make it taste very "flat." That may translate over into a whisky as well. Spring or filtered water would likely be safer.


There are a lot of myths with drinking that have little reflection in reality. "Bruising" gin by shaking it, for example. Consequence of a group of people who do/see a lot of chemistry but don't really understand any of it. There's been a lot of effort recently within the industry to really start understanding booze chemistry; it's pretty interesting to me.
post #1781 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by I<3Bacon View Post

You missed my point entirely. Robertson's opinions (for the most part) are fine... but I wouldn't get too caught up on what industry folk have to say. Many distillery workers in Scotland don't even drink whisky. The fact that you used a citation is laughable (read: I'm laughing at you, not Robertson)
This was an unnecessary and childish statement. Most distillery workers in Scotland use the local water source to water down their drams (when they do). It is often loch water (the same water they use to create the mash that later gets distilled).

Listen...I responded to the original question...offering my opinion, and graciously at that.

You chose to offer contradictory opinions not to the OP but by quoting what I said.

I responded to that by citing Robertson's writings...and I think my response was even toned and objective. You may not like Robertson or even agree with him but I suspect he's got a lot more experience and objective information than all of the jedi in this thread. I wouldn't call him "industry folk" but he's not merely a fanboy either.

You upped the ante/antagonism again by making the "laughable" comment..

The comment about goat's piss was me realizing that you were gonna be a dick about this no matter what I said. But at the same time it does bear on the subject..

The whole issue of adding spring water for the mineral flavour is as bogus as it gets, in my opinion. If you want to taste the flavour of a malt why in the world would you want to adulterate it with flavours that aren't native to it? That's called adulteration.

More than that I don't think you've thought it through...whatever water is used in any particular malt goes through the distillation process. Distillation is essentially boiling the mash until the liquid becomes steam...am I right? I'm sure I am. And in the process most if not all of those minerals that are in the water are left behind. You can verify this by boiling a pot of your favourite spring water until nothing is left behind. Good luck cleaning the pot.

Even if some traces of mineral are transported by the steam...which I doubt...when you subsequently add water that is from a different source than the water that is used in the malt, you're adding minerals that weren't there to begin with. Again that's polluting the original flavours.

When you add distilled water you are adding little or nothing to change the flavour of the whisky you just paid good money for. You might as well be adding goat's piss.

I am not an expert on whisky but I'm not a newbie either. I don't criticize or contradict anyone's subjective opinions about what they like. I didn't do that in this discussion.

On the other hand, I'm here and I'm not going to be steamrolled by anyone...no matter how much I otherwise respect their opinion.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/10/13 at 12:14pm
post #1782 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

I'm a chemist and I find it highly unlikely that ice would "alter the molecular structure" of anything in whisky. Might seem like it "alters the chemistry" because you're lowering the temperature, depressing the amount of alcohol vapor that collects over the liquid, and changing the perceived flavor profile and nose. Going to change the color a bit from dilution. But as far as the actual chemicals present? You're not going to do anything to them.

I wouldn't want to drink distilled water by itself, the lack of minerals does make it taste very "flat." That may translate over into a whisky as well. Spring or filtered water would likely be safer.

I'm not a chemist. Nor do I pretend to be an expert on single malts. I said in my response to the question that I didn't know how ice could change the chemistry either. But that some experts say it does. Robertson's remarks don't sit there in a vacuum. I've run across that assertion from other sources.

Filtered water might be the best but as I speculated in the previous post I doubt that spring water would be a benefit especially if, as suggested, you're adding it for the flavour.
post #1783 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I'm not a chemist. Nor do I pretend to be an expert on single malts. I said in my response to the question that I didn't know how ice could change the chemistry either. But that some experts say it does. Robertson's remarks don't sit there in a vacuum. I've run across that assertion from other sources.
Given the unscientific nature of commentary within a community such a the whisky community, I'd take such assertions with an extremely large grain of salt, "expert" opinion or no.

Point remains, of course, that ice will significantly alter the flavor. Which is really the important part.
Quote:
Filtered water might be the best but as I speculated in the previous post I doubt that spring water would be a benefit especially if, as suggested, you're adding it for the flavour.

Depends on the spring water, obviously. If it's clean tasting, should be good. Really no difference between that and filtered water, which would also have minerals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Even if some traces of mineral are transported by the steam...which I doubt...when you subsequently add water that is from a different source than the water that is used in the malt, you're adding minerals that weren't there to begin with. Again that's polluting the original flavours.

When you add distilled water you are adding little or nothing to change the flavour of the whisky you just paid good money for. You might as well be adding goat's piss.
--

Going to get a lot of minerals from the wood too.

The distilled water is going to alter the mineral profile as well; by adding mineral-free water you're lowering the concentrations of all of them. Obviously the ideal would be spring water from the original source, but in the likely event you wouldn't have access to that water, a clean tasting spring or filtered water would be least likely to significant alter the taste.
Edited by Gibonius - 1/10/13 at 12:38pm
post #1784 of 3221
I'm going to Honeymoon in scotland, looking forward to trying as many scotches as possible.
post #1785 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Filtered water might be the best but as I speculated in the previous post I doubt that spring water would be a benefit especially if, as suggested, you're adding it for the flavour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by I<3Bacon View Post

Most distillery workers in Scotland use the local water source to water down their drams (when they do). It is often loch water (the same water they use to create the mash that later gets distilled).

^ This is accurate. In fact, you can even buy these now to get an even more authentic experience whilst sitting on your couch at home: http://www.uisgesource.com

There is also this article which is interesting: http://www.whisky.de/archiv/beginner/mineral.htm

Distilled water ranks behind Evian and Scottish water.
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