Scotch drinkers

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by jpeirpont, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Well, jpierpont, I understand that chocolate and scotch is an excellent combination, but that concoction is to overblown for good scotch -- scotch is a drink of elegance and subtlety. Of course, you may enjoy that combination, but use cheap scotch, Johnnie Walker Red or Dewar's or something like that.
    Otherwise, it would be like having a mimosa with Dom Perignon.

    The two primary divisions in scotch are the blended scotches (Johnnie Walker, Ballantine, Ambasssador, Cutty Sark) and Single Malts, which are a product of a single distillery. Now, Blended scotches have a high proportion of grain whiskey blended with the malt whiskey, which dilutes the character. Of the Blended whiskeys, I second Kalra's reccomendation of JW Black Label, and I'll explain the reasons why in a moment.

    As for single malts, they are the best because they are not diluted and they show the unique character of the ingrediants (especially the water), the house style, and the land in their flavours. The 80-odd Single malt distilleries are generally divided into certain regions, and of them, Highland, Speyside, Lowland, and ISlay are the most common.

    I drink scotches from all the regions, depending on mood -- their is a whiskey for nearly all moods -- but Highland and Speyside whiskeys are my usual drink. They are elegant and gentle. Available favs for me are Macallan (quite common in a decent bar), Cragganmore, and the aforementioned Dalwhinnie. The Islay scotches are the most distinctive of all, having their malt roasted over peat-fed fires, and believe me, the smoke really comes through. Bowmore is a good first if you want to try and Islay, and Laphroig (sp) is a seriously smoky scotch. I also like Talisker, which is a compromise between a Speyside and an Islay -- a little smokey, but has the nice caramelly notes of a Speyside.

    As for Glenfiddich, yes it is an approachable scotch. But I do find that of all the scotches, Glenfiddich has the most herbal notes -- by herbal I mean it has a nose and flavour of grassy, green things, and is unique in that manner. I personally prefer the richer caramel notes of other scotches.

    Back to JW Black -- that particular blend has a quite low proportion of diluting grain whiskey, and most of the malt whiskey in it is from Highland and Speyside, so it is my standard indulgence.

    Best way (generally agreed) to drink scotch is at ambient temp, or slightly chilled, with water added up to 20% the volume of the scotch. Some like soda, or scotch on the rocks. I do rocks sometimes, but most often just drop one in my scotch -- it cools it a little and dilutes it just right for me.

    Oh, and if you need a dessert-y scotch drink, do, do, do have a rusty nail as Kalra mentioned. it's 1:1 or 1:1.5 ration of scotch to Drambuie, Drambuie being a sweet scotch liquor. Oh, and Kalra, a 'dram' is a unit of measure...

    I've also heard that scotch, neat, with warm chocolate chip cookies has the above-mentioned effect. I don't need that assistance, so I haven't tried it. I might be impelled to try a square of Lindt bittersweet chocolate with scotch, but usually pair it with an assertive Cabernet or Port.

    Regards,
    Huntsman (can you tell that I like my scotch? ;-) )
     


  2. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    It has got to be every professional whiskey drinkers every day drink.

    By the way, Johnnie Walker also do Green Label, which is a single malt. It is a damm good whiskey too.
     


  3. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Agreed on the JWB.

    Have never had JW Green, Blue or Gold Labels, though -- I'm quite rural so I have to go out of my way to get scotch. They're on my list to try, though. Interestingly, though rural, I'm fortunate to have a local bar with 18 malts.

    They know me well.

    Regards,
    Huntsman
     


  4. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    By the way, my other favorite drinks are Champagne and Brandy (mostly only cognacs). I have found it to be the case that most Whiskey drinkers also enjoy these drinks aswell, is it true on this board?
     


  5. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    Gold is also very good, especially if you like black, a similar whiskey, but much much smoother (but also very different in some respects)

    Blue, you are missing out. One of the best blends. A little rough compared to the more modern blends, but still amazing, quite potent as well, when compared to Black.
     


  6. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    I combine the two ;-) as I am very fond of Grande Champagne cognacs, and occasionaly a Petite Champagne or Bois. Pierre Ferrand is the one I can generally get. I don't do those mostly-fluff affairs wrapped in velvet and cut crystal, or pretty much any blended Cognac -- no Remy, Hennesy or otherwise. Terroir is too important to me.

    Champagne I drink, but not often -- but I like them big, with Pinot noir in the blend, ala' those from the House Cliquot.

    I'm big on still wines, odd things, and drink vodkas (Chopin), various American and Canadian whiskys, and use all sorts of spirits and cordials in cooking (last night was peaches flambe with Southern Comfort and Countrieu -- I totally forgot how to spell that, sorry -- in crepes with vanilla ice cream)

    Well, nice chatting, but I must put dinner on...

    Regards,
    Huntsman

    p.s. will try those other JWs, thanks [the edit was to add the p.s.]
     


  7. arenn1

    arenn1 Well-Known Member

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    I am a huge fan of scotch. Let me suggest that the best "entry level" Scotch is Aberlour 10-year, which can generally be purchased for under $30 a bottle.

    The best "premium" scotch I know is not a scotch at all, but an Irish whisky called Midleton Very Rare. It's the flagship brand of the Jameson distiller.
     


  8. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    I must disagree;

    Aberlour is a nice whiskey, but the notes in it are far too subtle, and you get more of a harsh taste, now do not get me wrong, you are getting a bloody good whiskey for the price, and it has a lovely long finish, but then again when you can get Cardhu, Lagavulin, Chivas Regal or Black Label for that, and they are all much better.

    I have never liked Irish whiskey (or American for that matter), so my comments on that are likely to be irrelivant and stupid.
     


  9. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There are very few actual distilleries that produce Bourbon -- probably fewer than 10. There are a lot of different brands and bottlings, but virtually everything on the market will be single-distillery.

    In order to be called Bourbon, a spirit must be made with a mash not less than 51% corn, must be distilled to no more than 160 proof, must be aged at no more than 125 proof for not less than two years in new charred oak barrels. Addition of neutral spirits or whiskeys in such quantity to reduce the percentage of corn in the net mash bill to less than 51% would render the resulting whiskey something other than Bourbon.

    Most of my Scotch is actually 86 proof. My Bourbon is all over the map -- anywhere from 80 proof to 114 proof.

    All Bourbons currently produced contain barley and either wheat or rye as secondary grains. Single malt Scotch is made from a mash that's 100% malted barley, although I don't know what the mash restrictions are for blended Scotch.

    Whisky vs. Whiskey is mostly British spelling vs. American spelling, although there are Bourbons that spell it "whisky" (Maker's Mark, for example).
     


  10. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Wow, this has been a very informative thread. Thanks for the tips, I'll have to try some of the Whisk[e]ys you suggest.

    At the moment, I am sipping a B&B (Benedictine and Cognac) on the rocks. One of my favorite after dinner drinks.
     


  11. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Aberlour is entry-level, true, but he's already drinking Glenfiddich, which is similar in character, so I'd suggest at least a change. Again, I'm compelled to agree with Kalra, it's notes are very subtle.

    The reason you like both Aberlour and find that your favorite UK whisky is an Irish is this: Aberlour is very, very low in the peat department. Irish whiskys have no peat whatever. So they are similar, but less typical of a standard scotch, especially a single malt.

    Regards,
    Huntsman
     


  12. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    Macallan is always excellent - I usually drink it in lieu of cognac or armagnac after dinner. But I must say I lean towards Islay (pronounced Eye-lah, for the un-initiated) myself. Its one of the pleasures of living in the Bay Area that Bowmore and Laphroaig are both available at Trader Joe's - as well as Talisker and Macallan.

    I have mixed coffee ( Yemen Mocha Sanani) and dark chocolate with the after dinner snifter, but only for the rare indulgence. Never tried the cigar, myself.
     


  13. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    (Huntsman @ 21 July 2004, 3:05) I drink scotches from all the regions, depending on mood -- their is a whiskey for nearly all moods -- but Highland and Speyside whiskeys are my usual drink. They are elegant and gentle. Available favs for me are Macallan (quite common in a decent bar), Cragganmore, and the aforementioned Dalwhinnie. The Islay scotches are the most distinctive of all, having their malt roasted over peat-fed fires, and believe me, the smoke really comes through. Bowmore is a good first if you want to try and Islay, and Laphroig (sp) is a seriously smoky scotch. I also like Talisker, which is a compromise between a Speyside and an Islay -- a little smokey, but has the nice caramelly notes of a Speyside.
    Macallan is  always excellent - I usually drink it in lieu of cognac or armagnac after dinner. But I must say I lean towards Islay (pronounced Eye-lah, for the un-initiated) myself. Its one of the pleasures of living in the Bay Area that Bowmore and Laphroaig are both available at Trader Joe's - as well as Talisker and Macallan. I have mixed coffee ( Yemen Mocha Sanani) and dark chocolate with the after dinner snifter, but only for the rare indulgence. Never tried the cigar, myself.
    Yes, I like Macallan a lot aswell (all of them)
     


  14. gaz.thomas

    gaz.thomas Member

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    I'm by no means a connoisseur but I do like a wee dram from time to time...my tipples of choice are Cardhu (but make sure you get the single malt - I believe the distillery got into a little hot water recently for mis-labeling a blend) Laphroiag, Talisker and Glenmorange. Of course my budget doesn't run to that of our resident billionaire so I make do with the lower end stuff - but I'm happy with it all the same. All the better with a few good buddies and a couple of nice cigars [​IMG] Gaz -x- Ohh and If you're talking about Scotch I think it's customary to drop the 'e' - that's for Irish (and I suppose that stuff you yanks make [​IMG] )
     


  15. jjrobi

    jjrobi Member

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    Thanks for the clarifications Jcusey. I would like to add that yes, Macallan is a great whiskey, as is Talisker. Why did I look at this thread so early in the morning? My next drink of Scotch is 10 hours away [​IMG]
     


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