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  1. #21
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    To me, they are apples/oranges. There are bourbons I love, and those I wouldn't waste the calories on. Same with Scotch. The first Scotch I fell in love with was Laphroaig, which to me isn't anything like bourbon (but that's what I liked about it - nothing else on the planet like an Islay pour!) I don't look for Scotch that reminds me of bourbon or the other way around. Celebrate their differences :-) And if you don't like a genre (I haven't met an Irish whiskey that I really loved yet) don't sweat it!
    Gary
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  2. #22
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Devil's advocate, but...it's largely a true statement, or at least a statement motivated by the facts. The US government definition of "bourbon" and specifically "straight bourbon" is a double edged sword that establishes a very high level of consistent quality, but not much variation relative to other spirits. There's certainly no two straight bourbons you could point to and arrive at a dissimilarity as significant as, say Caol Ila 12 year and Balvenie 12 year. Or Glenfiddich 18 and Talisker 18. Or Lagavulin 16 and Longmorn 16. And on and on.

    But before everyone gets their panties twisted up in a bunch, remember that there's also no scottish equivalent to the value and absolute quality of even the most modestly priced straight bourbons. You want a Scotch whisky equivalent to HH6 and EW BIB? VOB BIB? Hell, even Elmer T Lee, Rare Breed, etc. etc.? It's just not there.
    Great post! You bailed out a SB brother and affirmed exactly why I do (and will) continue to contribute to my local economy only!

  3. #23
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    Scotch is one of the reasons I'd like to see US distillers try to release some used cooperage whiskies (other than Early Times ...). Could be an entire new category of whiskey for the US market - the character of the distillate would come through and perhaps differentiate the products even more. I think new charred oak barrels can "homogenize" bourbon a bit at least to the uninitiated; or at least it takes more experience to taste what is behind those barrel characteristics. That said, as was stated above bourbons are incredible value in comparison and at younger ages that Scotch can rarely touch.

    Where Scotch shines is that longer aging in used cooperage can take that spirity edge off the whisky that younger bourbons can have and you have a wider window before the barrel characteristics assert themselves. Scotch also seems to carry a broader range of flavors at lower proofs. While many would like to see Scotch at 46% abv minimum, you don't hear nearly as many complaints about Scotch at these (and lower) proofs as you do about sub-90 proof or sub-100 proof bourbon/ryes, which I've always found interesting. Laphroaig 10 std bottling is a favorite of many and yet is only 86 proof.
    Mark

  4. #24
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    First I'll echo what Darryl said - apples and oranges comparison and within each there are flavors I love and those I hate. No two brands are alike.

    Next I have to say I cannot mix the two. If I am drinking scotch I won't switch to bourbon and vice-versa. They are just too different and don't mix well in my stomach.

    Having said all this I usually prefer bourbon over scotch and hi-rye varieties (I think) such as Eagle Rare & Old Scout are my favorites. My favorite scotch is Macallan 12 which is closest in the sweetness that I like so much in bourbon.

  5. #25
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    That's pretty much it. Scotch whisky doesn't have much more in common with bourbon than oak aged tequila or rum. They're different and you may not like them all. If you don't, you're not "missing" anything.
    This is correct. You like what you like and don't what you don't. However, if you're looking for an easier transition I think that something like Glendronach or Aberlour might work well. They're sherried and have no peat or smoke. And they're delicious.

    For me, tequila is my first love, but for the sake of variety I like to try other options. Right now, I think that I prefer scotch to bourbon, but that changes based on mood, food, time of year, etc.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
    ...

    Right now, I think that I prefer scotch to bourbon, but that changes based on mood, food, time of year, etc.
    That's the truth! I can't ever seem to make up my mind.

  7. #27
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnDew View Post
    The idea that a wheater and rye bourbon taste alike is pretty funny.
    Do a double blind tasting of a range of bourbons/ryes in various styles and you will learn just how unfunny this really is.
    "A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end-- In the meantime it is good to drink whiskey."
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  8. #28
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    Re: Transitioning from Bourbon to Scotch?

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronWF View Post
    Do a double blind tasting of a range of bourbons/ryes in various styles and you will learn just how unfunny this really is.
    I have, at least I have tasted pours at distilleries without knowing what they were and could tell a difference. The most recent time they did this was at HH when they poured me EW, EW SB, EC18, and a PHC (I don't know which one but this was last fall). The lady running the tasting was asking all of us what we could taste and I could name the main flavors she was looking for in each and they were different. I'll admit I've never done a blind test with straight rye vs rye mashbill vs wheat mashbill but I can always taste the rye vs the wheat influence when drinking a bourbon.

    All that being said, I'm not going to tell you there are not huge similarities among bourbons, much more so than with scotch. They have a similar theme but the differences are still very easily discernible, at least when your talking about the main "categories" of bourbon. Now, give me 5 different rye mashbill bourbons and I would struggle to tell the difference unless there was a huge age/proof gap among them.

 

 

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