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How to begin drinking scotch?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kjamesuvic, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. kjamesuvic

    kjamesuvic Well-Known Member

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    I'm a pretty young guy, 21 to be exact, but I find myself to be a little more refined and mature than other men my age. My grandfather, rest his soul, drank scotch and I always admired the way he sat on the couch with a glass in his hand. Given that, I feel it's time to carry my tastes into manhood. I'm unsure of where to start, and need some help with direction. What kind of scotch should I buy, Single malt or blended? Should I start drinking it with soda or water and then slowly move towards drinking it straight? Neat or on the rocks? Should I eat before/after/during drinking? One more thing, I am a student so I can't really afford anything over $50. All comments and recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thanks gentlemen.
     
  2. Pat

    Pat Senior member

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    there are a ton of scotch threads if you do a search.

    glenlivet 12 and johnny walker black label are good choices to start. the glenivet is a single malt and the black label is a blend. both can be found for about $30 a bottle.

    definitely do not mix with soda. ice is debatable, and is more of a personal preference. i personally do not ever use ice. i would try it with just a few drops of water to start with.
     
  3. binge

    binge Senior member

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    What kind did your grandfather drink?
     
  4. HgaleK

    HgaleK Senior member

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    You're gonna look like a douche if you bring it up around anyone. To start drinking scotch you need to kill your tastebuds first. Drink shitty whiskey from the bottle at room temperature for a week first. About 5 ounces a night should do it for you. Move on to an okay whiskey from there, same gig. Eventually you won't gag, and then you can start trying $50 bottles.
     
  5. Davaeoran

    Davaeoran Member

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    drink blended first... you gotta work your way up to single malt...

    it is acceptable to mix scotch with mineral water if u can't drink it straight

    if you do use ice, use just one cube or two
     
  6. SField

    SField Senior member

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    If you start with single malts, I'd recommend beginning with Speysides; Macallan, then Cragganmore. Then when you want to move to higher end stuff, I'd recommend Oban. I'd stay away from Islay unless it's maybe Bruichladdich Rocks or Caol Ila... definitely not Lag/Laph or Bowmore yet.
     
  7. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Cheaper but decent is the way to go if you've never drunk spirits straight, which I'm guessing is the situation with you. Start by sipping something like Evan Williams (bourbon, not scotch, but still whiskey, so similar enough), which is cheap but still decent, and when you stop noticing the burn and start picking up flavors, start trying out the nicer stuff.
     
  8. rdaws

    rdaws Senior member

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    Drink a Johnny Walker Black on the rocks first... move into drinking it neat. There's nothing better for under $40. if you want to experiment, get an Ardbeg 10 year to get acquainted with the smoky side of Whisky.
     
  9. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    I'm a pretty young guy, 21 to be exact, but I find myself to be a little more refined and mature than other men my age. My grandfather, rest his soul, drank scotch and I always admired the way he sat on the couch with a glass in his hand. Given that, I feel it's time to carry my tastes into manhood. I'm unsure of where to start, and need some help with direction. What kind of scotch should I buy, Single malt or blended? Should I start drinking it with soda or water and then slowly move towards drinking it straight? Neat or on the rocks? Should I eat before/after/during drinking? One more thing, I am a student so I can't really afford anything over $50. All comments and recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thanks gentlemen.
    Scotch is my spirit of choice. Whenever I recommend a 'starter' scotch I usually rec Cragganmore (<$40) as it is a fine example of a Speyside whisky (that is a whisky from one of the most renown areas) but it is a mild-er scotch than the peat-monster Islays that scotch snobs feel are the only whiskys worth drinking. Cragganmore has one of the most eloquent noses of any whisky I've ever had, however and is in no way lame. But it doesn't have any of the 'extras' that some scotches these days have, like Macallan's heavy sheery notes -- things that cloud the experience of a Scots whisky when you are just starting out. Nor does it have as much peat as a blend like JW Black (which was my first schotch). If you wanted a little bit heavier of a whisky, I think Highland Park 12 is within your budget, and it has a little bit more peat, and is a little fuller than Crag. Not necessarily better (though many would say that) just different -- I like to think that there is a whisky for every mood. I would start tasting straight, but then add some water (most don't go beyond like 10% the volume of the whisky) and see how you like it. I admit I did statt with a lone ice cube, and still do so. Try different things to find what you like!. Enjoy, H
     
  10. pruppert

    pruppert Senior member

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    Does anyone truly enjoy scotch the first time they have it straight? I always though it was a learn to love it kind of thing. Maybe that's just me.

    Some good advice here.
     
  11. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    My first scotch was JW Black with a sprinkle of water, and I enjoyed it by about the third sip or so. So here's one.
     
  12. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Scotch is my spirit of choice. Whenever I recommend a 'starter' scotch I usually rec Cragganmore (<$40) as it is a fine example of a Speyside whisky (that is a whisky from one of the most renown areas) but it is a mild-er scotch than the peat-monster Islays that scotch snobs feel are the only whiskys worth drinking. Cragganmore has one of the most eloquent noses of any whisky I've ever had, however and is in no way lame.

    But it doesn't have any of the 'extras' that some scotches these days have, like Macallan's heavy sheery notes -- things that cloud the experience of a Scots whisky when you are just starting out. Nor does it have as much peat as a blend like JW Black (which was my first schotch). If you wanted a little bit heavier of a whisky, I think Highland Park 12 is within your budget, and it has a little bit more peat, and is a little fuller than Crag. Not necessarily better (though many would say that) just different -- I like to think that there is a whisky for every mood.

    I would start tasting straight, but then add some water (most don't go beyond like 10% the volume of the whisky) and see how you like it. I admit I did statt with a lone ice cube, and still do so. Try different things to find what you like!.

    Enjoy,
    H


    I think Cragg is wonderful. Wine drinkers often appreciate it a lot. Scotch doesn't have to be an assault on your palate (which Islays will be to someone who hasn't been drinking for a few years.)

    Cragg has very attractive qualities and it should never be ignored.
     
  13. scourage

    scourage Senior member

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    you could also just start by drinking bourbon. solid bourbon can be had for $30 a bottle. woodford would be a good choice. If you don't actually have a taste for the scotch yet, why spend the money?
     
  14. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    woodford reserve sooo good
     
  15. SField

    SField Senior member

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    you could also just start by drinking bourbon. solid bourbon can be had for $30 a bottle. woodford would be a good choice. If you don't actually have a taste for the scotch yet, why spend the money?

    Bourbon is a bit stronger (for me), than scotch. I don't know if that would be the best idea.
     
  16. Warren G.

    Warren G. Senior member

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    Does anyone truly enjoy scotch the first time they have it straight? I always though it was a learn to love it kind of thing. Maybe that's just me. Some good advice here.
    yup...at least for me. My first single malt was HP12. But my very first scotch was the Black Label. I was telling myself since I got a bottle, I gotta finish it at least. So every Friday and Sunday evening, I would pour myself a dram. Eventually, I was looking forward to that Thursday and Sunday evening. After I finally finish my bottle of BL, I got myself a bottle of HP 12. Then I discover one of my cousin is a huge single malt guy. So I was fortunate enough to drink some great single malt from his stash. I basically got the chance to try everything under the sun from him. I'm hook and glad I bought some Glencairn glass also. My cousin recently gift me HP 18. I got finals coming up, so I'm looking forward to crack it open.
     
  17. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    The first bottle of scotch I ever purchased was Glenlivet 12, at a Duty Free shop when I was 18. I was gonna give it to somebody as a gift but ended up drinking it myself. I understood the terms 'single malt' and 'blended' but it didn't really kick in for until much later, I drank beer most of the time in college and after, and have taken up drinking scotch again when I was buying my dad some bottles for his birthday and was at bars checking out the different brands I wanted to buy for him, and got really into it. I like wine as well, but I find scotch tasting to be a lot easier for my palate to pick apart and figure out what I'm tasting as opposed to wine.
     
  18. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    You guys are fancy lads. First scotch black label? Well la-di-da.

    First scotch I ever had was Cluny, but I quickly moved up to J&B. For years I drank J&B and water. It's cheap, it drinks real easy, and it's what Studs Terkel drank.

    In my opinion, the only way to truly appreciate good booze is to know what the swill tastes like.

    And don't limit yourself to scotch. There are some very fine small batch bourbons and ryes out there for half the price of most single malts. And that's without mentioning the nice tequilas, mexcals, rums and gins that are great with a couple ice cubes, and will give you that sense of "manhood" you seek.

    Avoid vodka at all costs.
     
  19. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    You guys are fancy lads. First scotch black label? Well la-di-da.
    I bummed it off guy I know here at school who's a trust fund baby, if that counts for anything. He's a bit of a dick, but he's been known to have nice liquor around. I don't really go for scotch much on my own dime, it's too pricey for my budget right now. Perhaps I'll just go without books next semester to afford nicer liquors...
     
  20. changy

    changy Senior member

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    People drink scotch different ways, neat, with water, on rocks. Although on rocks is frowned upon by traditionalist.

    Drink it in a tapered sniffer (just dont stick your whole nose in it like wine, scotland smells different from southern france)

    i say the glenlivet is an easy scotch to start with. or you can be a man and go with a laphroig quarter cask. (I kid, dont get the quater cask)
     

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