Originally Posted by lawyerdad
I tried it [Johnnie Walker Blue Label] a couple of times and was seriously underwhelmed. YMMV, obviously.
I had the same reaction: I thought it lacked depth and that much of the character had been aged out of the components.
Huntsman's description of JW Gold was nearly on the money. I'd add only that it doesn't give you much peat, but it's wonderfully smooth and almost creamy. The problem, though, is that it costs 2/3-3/4 more than Black, but I wouldn't call it 2/3-3/4 better.
Another good blend that I don't see much of anymore is Haig & Haig's Pinch. I think of it as a more round version of JW Black
For those just starting in scotch: steer clear of Islay single malts, at least in the beginning, unless you're a bourbon drinker who really likes Booker's or really spicy ryes. If you want to start with malts, first try MacAllan or Balvenie (age doesn't much matter at first). If you want to start with blends, try JW Gold or Black, or Pinch. If you don't like any of those, you probably won't like most scotch.