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Limegoldconvertible68

Help Me Understand Scotch

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Limegoldconvertible68

I got into Bourbon just two short yrs ago and while I’m by no means an expert I have a very good understanding of all things that are Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I hate craft bourbon and I dislike the trend of simply calling something limited just so they can jack the price up. I made some expensive mistakes early on and I’m hoping to learn about Scotch before I do a lot of buying. I’m hoping some of you will pass on words of wisdom about what makes certain bottles of Scotch special and worth buying and especially drinking. With Bourbon I learned that things like Weller Antique 107 and Weller 12 are fantastic buys for the price point.  I learned that Wild Turkey LE are readily available because they tend to be overpriced whereas Pappy or Old Forester Birthday Bourbon are highly desirable but impossible to obtain.  Im looking forward to my new journey into Scotch and will appreciate any and all advice. Thanks in advance. 

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$helby

A good place to start would be to decide if you like Peat or not.  Try a bottle of Lagavulin (Peaty)from Islay vs a Highlands Scotch (less Peaty).  Being a Bourbon drinker, I like the Islay peat on the occasional nights I feel like trying something other than Bourbon.  A two once pour of a great Islay Scotch can last for a hour or more.    Just MHO.  

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fishnbowljoe

You're on your own brother.  Even though I've been into bourbon for 10 + years now, I'm still learning. :wacko: 

 

Biba! Joe

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kevinbrink
2 hours ago, Limegoldconvertible68 said:

I got into Bourbon just two short yrs ago and while I’m by no means an expert I have a very good understanding of all things that are Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I hate craft bourbon and I dislike the trend of simply calling something limited just so they can jack the price up. I made some expensive mistakes early on and I’m hoping to learn about Scotch before I do a lot of buying. I’m hoping some of you will pass on words of wisdom about what makes certain bottles of Scotch special and worth buying and especially drinking. With Bourbon I learned that things like Weller Antique 107 and Weller 12 are fantastic buys for the price point.  I learned that Wild Turkey LE are readily available because they tend to be overpriced whereas Pappy or Old Forester Birthday Bourbon are highly desirable but impossible to obtain.  Im looking forward to my new journey into Scotch and will appreciate any and all advice. Thanks in advance. 

It all comes down to preference, just like some of your statements above, while there might be hype around Birthday Bourbon, it tastes like a solid $40-$50 bourbon to me whereas I tend to like the Wild Turkey LE's. My favorite Scotch's tend to be around 10-12 years, higher proof and heavily peated, but that might not be something you like. I recommend buying some 50ml's and tasting at bar's if you want to explore scotch and figure out what your comfort zone is, Peated/Unpeated, what type of casks aging you like Various Sherry, Bourbon, Port etc. And don't think any one scotch is indicative of what Scotch is.  You can always lurk in the Scotch Forum here to see what the regulars here drink.

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jvd99

On a similar note, I suggest buying a bunch of minis (airplane bottles) at your local liquor stores.  Then sample them side by side and figure out what you like before buying full bottles.  Also research the various scotch producing regions so you know what you're drinking and why it tastes different than the others.  There's tons of info online and on SB, just look through the older topics on this Foreign Whisky board, you're not the first person to ask this question and there are tons of informative answers in other threads.  A website I like for reviews of mostly affordable bottles is Ralfy's at http://whiskyreviews.blogspot.com Lastly, when buying full bottles, buy in the 12 years and younger range until you know what you like.  Scotch is an expensive game and, for example, you don't want to waste your money on $100+ bottles of Islay scotch before you know whether or not not you like big peat.  Have fun.

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Marekv8

Master of Malt has a 30mL "Drinks by the Dram" series that would allow you to cover quite a bit of ground without getting too deep into it from a financial standpoint.

 

https://www.masterofmalt.com/samples/whisky-samples/scotch/single-malt-whisky/

 

I second the Ralfy recommendation-- he provides quite the entertaining and educational experience. It's a good listen while driving or at the gym, since the visual component is really unnecessary.

 

5a689a000aaf3_Screenshot2018-01-24at8_34_11AM.thumb.png.46ea652557ca5c7c986eaaa01d89037e.png

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jvd99

Agreed on Master of Malt samples, you can branch out from the typical airplane bottles available here.  You could also see if they have any of the basic advent calendars left which gives you 24 5 cl drams.  

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GaryT

While it may seem expensive up front, the advent calendar idea is a great one.  To ship to Georgia, it'd cost me $230 all in, but considering you're getting 24 drams (size seems to vary - the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar is 3 cl, or basically 1 oz) - that's under $10 a throw.  And you don't have to spend time trying to acquire that many minis.  And - many of those included aren't available as minis (and a taste at a bar would be over $10).  If I were just starting out, I'd invest that and do a series of three way, blind-tastings of a half oz each - making notes about what I liked/didn't like on each.  Then I'd find what I liked the most, and group those (thinking along the lines of a playoff scheme - although only enough for 2 rounds).  Discovering what the drams have in common that you liked (particular distillery? region? style? cask?) would allow you to sort out what is similar.  Besides being a lot of fun!

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kevinbrink
10 hours ago, Marekv8 said:

Master of Malt has a 30mL "Drinks by the Dram" series that would allow you to cover quite a bit of ground without getting too deep into it from a financial standpoint.

 

https://www.masterofmalt.com/samples/whisky-samples/scotch/single-malt-whisky/

 

I second the Ralfy recommendation-- he provides quite the entertaining and educational experience. It's a good listen while driving or at the gym, since the visual component is really unnecessary.

 

5a689a000aaf3_Screenshot2018-01-24at8_34_11AM.thumb.png.46ea652557ca5c7c986eaaa01d89037e.png

Ralfy without the video then you wouldn't see his brand new scorecards, or his tiny water spoon, blasphemy!

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Auracom

drink ardbeg, laphroaig, and lagavulin. if you don't like them, just keep drinking them until you've no choice but to become a peat-head.

 

life will be better. trust me.

 

 

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NDN98

As mentioned above, I would recommend getting samples or doing flights at a whisky bar.  Count me in the category of people that does not care for most Islay Scotch.  I generally prefer Highland or Speyside Scotch.

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Kane

I may be weird but I just can't stand "slightly peated" whisky. No Highland Park for me. I love Islay, and I love peat-free fruity creamy Speysides. Goes to show that there are all sorts of people and palates...

 

In any case, ethanol-based drinks are scientifically shown to be an acquired taste. If you drink enough of it, you'll probably come to like it :) The trick is to make that process fun, and I personally found that fun in trying as many different options as I can. Eventually, it all fell into place with a flight of Japanese whisky (Yamazaki 12, Hakushu 12, Hibiki 12) after a sushi dinner, and I found myself with a Scotch collection much bigger than my bourbons.

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