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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    I've been thinking about the bourbon I could share with a Scotch-drinking friend that would best open up his eyes to the qualities of bourbon. It should be a pleasant transition, not jarring, and should have a mixture of familiar elements and unexpected new experiences.

    For added fun, what would be a good example of Scotch that would be a "bridge" to malts that could cause a Bourbonite to stray across the pond?

    I have a couple of bourbon thoughts, but will hold back for now.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    Roger, you have posed a very thought provoking set of questions...I suggest the following:

    Bourdon Bridge:

    Short list:

    *Old Taylor, BIB pre 1980
    Old Forester, BIB pre 1980
    Old Grand-Dad, BIB pre 1980
    Van Winkle, anything
    Eagle Rare, 101 10yo (Old Prentice)
    Wild Turkey, RR (101)

    Longer list;

    Wild Turkey, 12yo
    Eagle Rare, 17yo
    Anything, Van Winkle
    And if you’re doing it blind, get sneaky, slip in some Sazerac Rye

    Scotch bridge:

    Short list:

    Clynelish, 14yo
    Balvenie, 12yo double wood
    Knocando, 12yo, 18yo or 21 yo
    Springbank,12yo black label
    Glenmorangie, 18yo

    Longer list:

    Strathisla, 12yo paper label
    Dalmore, 12yo
    Glenfarclas, 21yo
    Royal Lochnagar, select reserve
    Linkwood 12yo, John McEwan edition
    Anything, Mortlach

    Best regards, dougdog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Moscow Mills, MO

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    I may be wrong, but I think maybe throwing an Irish whiskey in between might help to bridge the gap. To me they're not as sweet as bourbon and not as smoky as scotch.

    Doug, you have a lot of good bourbons on your list but not everyone has access to all the older bourbons you find on your hunting trips. I certainly can't find any of the older ones around here. Believe me, I've looked! But then again it was Roger who asked and he might have a few of those that I don't.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    I thought I'd give this a try, though individual tastes vary, I think this is the approach I'd take.

    Bourbon Bridge: by region
    Highland- Blanton's, Russel's Reserve 101
    Lowland- Maker's, Basil Hayden
    Islay- Old Grand Dad 14, Noah's Mill
    Highland Park- Baker's, George Dickel Special Barrel Reserve 10yr...(I know Highland Park isn't a region, but it holds a special place in my mind, so....)

    Scotch Bridge: (by typical bourbons)
    Makers- Glenkinchie, Glen Moray
    Tennessee- Bunnahabhain
    Wild Turkey- Springbank
    Van Winkle 12- Macallan 18
    Beam Black- Bowmore Legend

    There we go, not THE definitive list, I'm sure but maybe enough to make someone try something new, or revist something with a different point of view.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Mentor, Ohio, USA

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    For me, the premise is flawed. The things I like in Scotch are completely NOT the things I like in Bourbon. For me, this question is like asking which Pizzia to recommend to a friend who enjoys pasta.... I like both and there are elements of commonality (tomato sauce etc) but I would never define one in 'terms' of the other. Rather I would pick my favorite expressions of each and present them independantly.

    If you look at my personal favorites:

    Bourbon: Bookers, Ridgement Reserve
    Scotch: Lagavulin 16, Lapgroaig 10

    Even the elements of commonality are pretty different.

    There is so much variety within the range of Scotch, I find them as (if not more) different from each other as from other whiskys. To say you enjoy Bourbon or Rye says something a lot more specific than to say you enjoy Scotch. The former is 'I like Lasagna', the latter is 'I like Italian' (so many analagies, so little time

    Anyway, just my opinion.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Japan, (American)

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    One bourbon that I haven't seen mentioned that I belive is highly regarded by many scotch drinkers is Elijah Craig 12 year old.

  7. #7
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    As a scotch drinker, I wonder how well you could bridge an Islay to any bourbon. There's is so much peat. There were some interesting pairings; I wonder though if just one pairing would simplify things (and make a convert). How about a Glenmorangie Port Wood finish (maybe their sweetest)and a EWSB Vintage '95? It would also come in at almost half the price as the Glenmorangie, another consideration.
    Then move on to the sweeter expressions, such as Pappy Van Winkle 12yr Lot B or ORVW 10yr. If they are into cask strength scotch, then maybe an OGD 114, or one of our higher proof (but readily available) bottlings. But this is the musings of a relative newcomer to bourbon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Pelham, AL

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    I used to really enjoy simple scotches (JW Red, Cutty, Black & White, etc). Then around '76 a friend introduced me to The Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet single-malts. Definitely nice, but too expensive for my budget, at the time. I pretty much became a rum and gin drinker. I always enjoyed JW Black, though.

    Then a few years ago, after I had started my bourbon tasting adventure (which continues), I was in a well-stocked bar in Atlanta. For reasons unknown to me, I asked for a glass of The Balvenie 15-year old single barrel. It was gorgeous, absolutely delicious. It did not remind me of any scotch I had ever tried and I loved it.

    Alas, when I got home and found it in the ABC store, it was way more than I could afford. I don't remember exactly what it was. $80? $90. Something like that.

    So far, the most expensive bourbon I have bought (Rock Hill Farms) was $52. I am totally unprepared for the $100 per bottle range.

    But, The Balvenie is good stuff to this confirmed bourbon lover.


  9. #9

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    I'll limit myself to just one each way:

    For Scotch drinkers new to bourbon -- Eagle Rare Single Barrel;
    For bourbon drinkers new to Scotch -- Glen Moray 12yo (if I allowed myself a second choice here, it would probably be The Dalmore 12yo). Price would also be in line with what premium bourbon drinkers spend -- $20-$30.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Chicago SW 'burbs

    Re: Best \"Bridge Whiskies\"

    Aberlour 10yo is a good "bridge" from bourbon to Scotch (at least Speyside).

    If you like stronger-flavored, high-proof bourbons like Stagg, you could go with a sherry monster like Aberlour A'Bunadh.

    If you're interested in Islays, a lightly-peated Bunnahabhain, or Bruichladdich would be a good place to start. Bowmore, also, but be aware that it is very subject to batch variation - some bottlings are infamous for an overpowering floral note, the infamous FWP.

    If you're more adventurous regarding peat, Ardbeg 10yo is usually reasonably-priced, and packs a powerful, peaty punch. Laphroaig Quarter Cask is also superb, as is Lagavulin 16yo. The Laga is the most expensive of the three.

    Highland Park is a nice middle-of-the-road between the sherried Speysiders and the peaty Islays.

    Going the other way, Stagg, OGD 114, or any Van Winkle are good choices. If you prefer something lighter, maybe Maker's Mark or Old Fitzgerald BIB. Buffalo Trace would be a good middle-of-the-road choice.

    Ryes like Rittenhouse, or Canadians such as Wiser's or Forty Creek, would be a good bridge in either direction.



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