Originally Posted by romafan
The majority of blends are not accessible as many malts? Interesting - I'd always been under the impression that blended whiskys were created as a smoother or, for lack of a better word, more generic alternative to the distinctive malts. As I said, I'm no Scotch expert - my main point was to suggest that the OP try a blend if he found the single malts not to his liking...
That's true -- blends are kind of averaged out whisky. But when you are including the potent Islays and complex Speysides in the average, it can still be a pretty scotchy scotch. At least in the States there are more Malts availalbe than blends (unless you're talking really cheap stuff), so that's why you can find more mild malts -- the three lowland distilleries, IIRC most of Campeltown, and most of the Highland malts are very easy drinking. Mind, I haven't had them all, but the regions do have a certain style, and I've had alot, to boot.
I think your point would definitely be correct depending on the malt and the blend in question -- if the OP tried Laphroaig's single to start, a blend like JW Black would be way more accessible, and perhaps be a better indicator of the general tone of scotch than Laphroaig's extreme. But perhaps it wouldn't work as well if the malt was Dalwhinnie, and the blend was still JW Black.
There's no way to capture the range of scotch in one bottle, but I think JW Gold comes closest. If I had to do it with two blends, I'd get JW Black and Chivas. If I had to do it with two malts (no, I can't actually), I'd get Lagavulin 16, Macallan 12, and Dalwhinne 15. If I could only use one scotch to try and introduce someone to the world of malt whiskys, it would be Cragganmore 12. If I was stuck on a desert island, I'd want a case of Macallan 18.