Bear with me on this one for a minute. It might take some time but I'll get to the point--eventually.
I've been enjoying SMSW for about a year now. Honestly, it's about the only whisky I really enjoy. However, I sometimes get put off by some of the so-called snobs that demand you must drink it this or that and you can never touch a blend. So I went looking for something that had less mass appeal and, in turn, less self-proclaimed experts. I found Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Although it was cheaper, it was still delightful. Something I could casually sip and enjoy while in a lighter state of mind. I had decided that Irish whiskey would be my pinch hitter for single malt scotch.
Firm in my decision, I set out armed with my prior experiences with scotch whisky and attempted to apply that knowledge with Irish whiskey. Believing that a single malt was most generally of better quality than a blend, I purchased Bushmills 10 YO--mostlty because of the middle range price. I was greatly disappointed. Instead of the light vanilla and soft buttery finish I was expecting, I was greeted with wood and hazlenut. The mouthfeel was akin to biting into a tree that was wrapped in carpet. Which got me to thinking.
Canadian and Irish whiskies are predominantly blends (Yeah so are scotches but you can make that point later). In fact, some of the most highly regarded Irish whiskies are blended--Redbreast anyone? Bourbons are blended and even straight bourbons are distilled from a variety of grains. So my question is this: Does the single malt rule only apply to scotch while most other whiskies lend themselves quite readily to blending? Or is it that there is just a dearth of quality samples of other single malt whiskies that are readily available?
Before answering, I am aware that some fine examples of single malts do exist for Irish and Canadian whiskies. But the question more regards the quality of blends of other whiskies as opposed to scotch.
Okay, thanks for patronizing me