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  1. #11
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    There seems to be a wide spread notion that Scotch=Peat&Smoke. This may be because Scotch of that type is often mentioned the most. I used to also believe that was the case, until I had the good fortune of tasting several Scotch bottles (thanks to Doug ), which I think any open minded Bourbon drinker would enjoy. That being said, these bottles of which I speak are not widely available and considerably more expense than your average mid-shelf Bourbon. This may explain why so many Bourbon drinkers don't have the good fortune of enjoying a Scotch, which matches their flavor preference.

    If I may repeat what Doug explained to me at our last Study Group meeting, the spectrum of Scotch is far wider than Bourbon. If you took all the flavor varieties of Scotch and lined them up (I don't mean brands) they would be far wider than all the flavor varieties of Bourbon. This leads me to believe we won't see a large number of Scotch drinkers enter the Bourbon market.

    I do not mean to diminish all the great Bourbon we are blessed with. I'm only trying to point out to those who don't like Scotch that there very well may be a bottle out there you would enjoy.

    Both spirits have their place and both spirits should be respected and enjoyed.

  2. #12
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    There seems to be a wide spread notion that Scotch=Peat&Smoke...
    Both spirits have their place and both spirits should be respected and enjoyed.
    Very well said. As I said, scotch was my drink of choice, but bourbon is now my main drink. If I go to a bar, and my selection is Old Crow or Macallan, you could probably figure out which I'd go for. And as for the prices going up because we are in for, my opinion, a bourbon trend (look at how the press is handling it)well, yeah that's probably a given. But my most expensive bourbon in my collection is PVW 20 y.o, @$65.00. That's where most of the decent scotches start!

  3. #13
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    As I said in a recent post, I enjoy scotch, especially good scotch. I prefer bourbon, so I only have scotch a very few times a year. But I definitely don't turn my nose up at scotch.

    Tim

  4. #14
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    For me, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, a pour of bourbon is what I want, while other times, I reach for the Scotch, whether it's a sherried Speysider, a peaty Islay, or a middle-of-the road Highland.

    Sometimes I switch styles multiple times in one session.

    I can't say that one is "better" than the other, though. However, at least in the US, bourbon tends to offer more for the money - I can get a bottle of Stagg for about half of what I paid for my now-no-longer-available Ardbeg 1977 (which is going to stay unopened for a long while). I had a bottle of '77 early this year, and it was superb (provided you like peat in the first place, as I do). Fortunately, I managed to find another one before it disappeared for good, but it was still on the very top end of what I'd be willing to pay for a bottle of anything.
    I very much second all the points Crispy Critter makes. Most commonly nowadays, I start with a fine straight bourbon then have a single malt scotch and then maybe a straight rye or switch again to bourbon or another scotch style. I strongly agree about the value of bourbon relative to scotch of the same quality. For single malts, it is now routine to spend $4 - $5/year of aging for malts of modest ages while that is near the top end for the top bourbons, e.g., Pappy 20 here is $89.99, which is $4.5/year of aging. And I agree the Ardbeg 1977 is great: good I got one stashed! Ed V.

  5. #15
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    There seems to be a wide spread notion that Scotch=Peat&Smoke. This may be because Scotch of that type is often mentioned the most. ...(Big edit) ...I do not mean to diminish all the great Bourbon we are blessed with. I'm only trying to point out to those who don't like Scotch that there very well may be a bottle out there you would enjoy.

    Both spirits have their place and both spirits should be respected and enjoyed.
    Agree completely. And there also seems to be a notion that scotch is sherried if it is not peated. Nothing wrong with heavily sherried malts like Macallans prior to their Fine Oak series, but most single malts are peated at very low levels or not at all and very few malts are heavily sherried, e.g., Macallan, Aberlour, Glenfarclas and Glendronach are the main ones in this regard. Other distilleries release heavily sherried versions if they want to, but sherry is not their house style like it is the four I listed. There are many single malts that have negligible (or even zero) peatiness, no smoke whatsoever (smokiness is very rare: Lagavilun 16 is the only common example), and no sherry influence. Examples are Glenmorangie 15, Balvenie 15, Scapa 12, Royal Lochnagar 12, Glen Keith, Bruichladdich 10 and lots more. Ed V.

  6. #16

    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    I usually have several bourbons open (right now, it's 19 -- geesh, just a month or so ago I'd whittled it down to a half-dozen! ) -- and, even so, there are nights when I just can't decide what I want.
    Some of those nights, I decide instead to bide my time with one of the 5 or 6 Scotches I have open, most of the lightly-peated or Speyside variety.
    Bourbon's my easy favorite, with straight rye hindered only by the relative lack of choices.
    But, that said, I do drink some Scotch, and enjoy it.

  7. #17
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    If you took all the flavor varieties of Scotch and lined them up (I don't mean brands) they would be far wider than all the flavor varieties of Bourbon.
    But would it be much wider than the spectrum from a straight Rye Whiskey to a straight Wheat Whiskey (realizing that wheat whiskey is a new phenomenum)?

  8. #18
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    You might as well ask which is better blondes, brunettes or redheads. It is all a matter of personal preference. Being a Scotch and Bourbon drinker for over 30 years I can say that in my experience there are good and bad on both sides. The one thing that Scotch has is a greater variety. I have 120 bottles of 80 different distilleries while my bourbon collection of 40 bottles is made by perhaps 10 different distilleries if that.

  9. #19
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    That was not really my point with the question. Rather, there is a snobbery among some of the Scotch drinkers which holds that American whiskey is simply inferior. Period.

    At the end of the day it's like you say, of course: to each his own. But the case here is why not be more open-minded to other types of whisky and have a go at different types before dismissing the entire category.

    /Robert

  10. #20
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    Re: Scotch/bourbon, one better than the other?

    Rob, Interestingly, most of the replies (myself included)are from bourbon drinkers who enjoy Scotch. But to your point, how many Scotch drinkers would say they enjoy bourbon? I enjoy my bourbon neat, my scotch with a drop of water, I prefer red wine to white and my gin martinis (as a purist, I should not have to specify "gin") with blue cheese stuffed olives. But I enjoy them all. I should be able to say to my wine snobs, or the single malt afficianados "I love bourbon" with out a befuddled look of bedeviled bewilderment.But part of the appeal to some luxuries for a few people is the "look at me and how refined I am" attitude. Me, I just enjoy what the good Lord has blessed us with.

 

 

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