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The Scotch Whisky Thread


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I was given a bottle of Talisker 10 by some friends, and it got me interested in Scotch. Also, since I'm in the wine business now, it's in my best interest to know as much about wine and spirits as possible.

I'm about as much of a Scotch noob as you can be, but it's a lot of fun learning about how it's made and the different regions. The Talisker 10 was very smoky to my palate. I recently purchased a Dalwhinnie 15 and I was stunned by how different it was. Much smoother, not nearly as smoky. I'm assuming this difference is primarily stylistic (Island/Skye vs. Highlands), secondarily age (10 vs. 15)? Where are these two on the continuum? Is Talisker 10 the smokiest? Medium smoky? The Dalwhinnie is clearly much less smoky. Is it the least?

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  • 2 months later...

Can't believe I missed this before. I loves me some whisky. I went to Scotland last year, and it happened to fall during "Whisky Week", which was a series of events throughout the country at various distilleries and restaurants, sponsored by Whisky Magazine. It so happened that we were in Speyside for the event there, which was at the Glenfiddich distillery, which was about a mile or two from where we were staying. It included a tour of the distillery, a tasting of a ton of different whiskys from various distilleries in the area, and a great 3 course meal with two whisky pairings with each course. It was quite possibly the greatest event ever conceived.

We also went to the Macallan and Strathisla distilleries while we were there. Besides the whisky, the area is absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend it if you ever have the chance to go.

On the topic of neat vs. water/ice, in Scotland, every time you order a whisky, they will bring a small pitcher (like a coffee creamer) of water. They advise using a few drops to open up the aroma and flavor of the whisky and to tame the alcohol a bit -- you'd use more for a cask strength whisky, since that can be 50-70% alcohol. It's really personal taste, and there's no set rule about how much water to add.

Now I'm thirsty.

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Lots of great recommendations here, and I'm about due for another bottle of something good soon. Anyone care to disclose what they drink when they want a scotch but don't want to break open the $100 bottles? Say in the $40-$60 range, generally 10-(maybe)15 year ranges.

I have yet to try any of the 18 year or better, started on the Highland scotches so far. I have also tried the Speyside, not as fond of those, honestly. I've been wanting to try the Islays lately, so that may be my next bottle.

Dalwhinnie 15 and Aberlour 12 both Speysides, are my two favorites under $60 (if you haven't tried either of those you haven't tried the right Speyside). For an Islay you can get Laphroaig under $60 and Highland Park 12 is a good buy at around $50 for Highland Scotch.

ETA: Balvenie 12 can be had under $60 also and I highly recommend that one also. The 14 year at around $90 is one of the best deals for under $100 I've ever found.

I really like the Balvenie 12 Double Wood, can be had for 33 bucks at Trader Joe's. It's as good or better than any others I've tried. Next two I try are the Bowmore 12 or Aberlour 12, whichever is on sale when this bottle runs out.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, the Balvenie 12 is IMHO the best scotch for the price (usually $39 for me). I also love teh Aberlour 12, but for just a few bucks more, I usually get the Balvenie.

I also don't know if there has been a discussion of blends in here, but I am not opposed to drinking a Dewars or Scoresby on the rocks. I'm pretty sure the two are made in the same distillery as I cannot tell the difference between the two, and the Scoresby can be had for almost half the price.

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I have a few drams left of a bottle of Talisker bought at the distillery. Blend of various ages from 10 to 25 and only available at the distillery. Fantastic stuff. I'll be sorely disappointed when it's gone.

Edited by Drifter
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I was given a bottle of Talisker 10 by some friends, and it got me interested in Scotch. Also, since I'm in the wine business now, it's in my best interest to know as much about wine and spirits as possible. I'm about as much of a Scotch noob as you can be, but it's a lot of fun learning about how it's made and the different regions. The Talisker 10 was very smoky to my palate. I recently purchased a Dalwhinnie 15 and I was stunned by how different it was. Much smoother, not nearly as smoky. I'm assuming this difference is primarily stylistic (Island/Skye vs. Highlands), secondarily age (10 vs. 15)? Where are these two on the continuum? Is Talisker 10 the smokiest? Medium smoky? The Dalwhinnie is clearly much less smoky. Is it the least?

Talisker is on the Isle of Skye so is a Highlands Scotch. Isle of Skye wouldn't be considered different regionally from a Highlands scotch. Highlands Scotch is very peaty (smokey) by nature. Edited by Drifter
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Highlands Scotch is very peaty (smokey) by nature.

Not really -- highland malts are generally in the middle between the lighter, crisper Speyside malts and the peatier Islay malts. Some may have smoky note to them (mostly the Island malts, which I think is what you meant. Island should really have their own category, because they don't really fit in with a lot of the other Highland malts), but in general, Islay has the monopoly on peaty flavors. A Skye malt may be smokier, but that's probably because the soil there is very peaty -- if not run through a filter to remove it, the water has a brownish tinge to it. It's oddly enough considered a sign of purity if the color isn't removed -- the peat is a natural filter. Edited by Shooter McGavin
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  • 1 month later...

I also don't know if there has been a discussion of blends in here, but I am not opposed to drinking a Dewars or Scoresby on the rocks. I'm pretty sure the two are made in the same distillery as I cannot tell the difference between the two, and the Scoresby can be had for almost half the price.

Scoresby is the scotch I try to keep on hand just for casual drinking when I want a glass in the evening. When I was first looking for Scotches I ran into a guy in the liquor isle who seemed to really know his scotch (said he'd just come back from Scotland, actually, no reason to disbelieve him) and he recommended Scoresby as the best of the "cheap" blended scotches.I just recently bought a bottle of 12-year blended Dewars, and it's actually very good (in my limited experience.)
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I broke down and bought a bottle of sigh, Japanese, Scotch, the Yamazaki 12 year old. And quite frankly it was the best of the Scotches I've ever had. I think I only have Deanston rated higher. I felt like a race traitor (lots of Scots in my ancestry) but treason tasted really, really good.

eta: always wanted to try rye whiskey so I picked up a bottle for $14 (along with Scapa 16 and Glenrothes Select Reserve and my favorite new bourbon, Bulleit). That's some interesting whiskey there.

Edited by Arch Stanton
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  • 2 months later...

I don't hear many people talking about it, but I absolutely love Bowmore.

This is my next purchase.

Found this thread looking up Dr D's old posts. For those of you with iPhones, there is an iMalts app with a large inventory of Scotches, with more coming in the next update. It also classifies them in about 12 categories of taste so you can compare and find others you might like. Not perfect, but they promised the update will make it smoother to compare.

Anything online that does the same thing?
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Cardhu 12 year is back in the US.

My favorite 12 yo, but for the last 5 years or so you haven't been able to buy it in the States.

My wife took me to the Scotch "Spirits Class" at the Brandy Library in New York last night. It was a blast. Basically you sit around and drink scotch and eat food while their expert gives a history and walks you through the distilling process. We tasted 7 different flavors, many that I had never tried, and then had a choice of 2 special bottles for the final glass.

Flight One

1. Cardu 12 year - as DynOmite said, it has been absent from the states. Very nice, simple scotch. I could drink a lot of this.

2. Bruichladdich "Waves" Islay - the peatiest of the 7 tasters, but well below the level of a Laphroaig

3. Dalmore 12 year - This was my favorite of the first flight. I was unfamiliar with it but it has a slight sweetness that was unexpected. I drank mine and my wife's!

4. Glenmorangie Private Collection Sonnalta PX - I've had this before. It is good, but you can really taste the sherry in this one.

Flight Two

5. ???? - DID NOT LIKE. I didn't even write down the name Whatever it was is aged in rum barrels, and it tastes like it. I'll email the guy for the name but I wouldn't buy it.

6. Edradour 12 Year Old / Caledonia Selection - Very nutty. I liked it a lot but not as much as the next.

7. Highland Park 18 - This was my favorite of the night. Wow. I've heard of Highland Park but I'm not sure I've ever had it before. You know you are drinking scotch when you have this. My chest is still warm this morning. Very light peat, smokey but finishes sweet and it burns long!

Final Drink

We had a choice between Yamasaki (I believe he said 5 year but I was already down 9 drinks by this point) and Kilchoman Summer 2010 for the peat lovers. I had the Kilchoman but got to taste the Yamasaki as that is what my wife ordered. The sommelier insisted that we were the first to have this Kilchoman in NY as it won't be on shelves until next week so that was kind of cool. VERY PEATY! I like peat, but this was a little much for me. I didn't care much for the Yamasaki but I'm not a big fan of the Japanese distilleries in general.

I will be adding a bottle of the Highland Park and Dalmore to my home bar. I highly recommend stopping by the Brandy Library if you are ever in New York. It is very cool. I will be going back for the Bourbon Class sometime in the near future.

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I broke down and bought a bottle of sigh, Japanese, Scotch Whisky, the Yamazaki 12 year old. And quite frankly it was the best of the Scotch Whiskies I've ever had. I think I only have Deanston rated higher. I felt like a race traitor (lots of Scots in my ancestry) but treason tasted really, really good.

eta: always wanted to try rye whiskey so I picked up a bottle for $14 (along with Scapa 16 and Glenrothes Select Reserve and my favorite new bourbon, Bulleit). That's some interesting whiskey there.

fixed
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  • 2 weeks later...

Going to get my first bottle today. I've read up on "beginner" scotches.....and I'm going to choose between Balvenie Doublewood and Aberlour.....I guess I'll flip a coin.I'm excited :thumbup:

Got a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label for my birthday last month. Beautiful. Also, what's better than a nice glass of Macallan 18 after dinner? Someone else buying it.
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Going to get my first bottle today. I've read up on "beginner" scotches.....and I'm going to choose between Balvenie Doublewood and Aberlour.....I guess I'll flip a coin.I'm excited ;)

Got a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label for my birthday last month. Beautiful. Also, what's better than a nice glass of Macallan 18 after dinner? Someone else buying it.
I love Macallan 18 but it's woefully overpriced these days at $150 plus.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Going to get my first bottle today. I've read up on "beginner" scotches.....and I'm going to choose between Balvenie Doublewood and Aberlour.....I guess I'll flip a coin.I'm excited :thumbup:

So what did you go with and how do you like it?
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7. Highland Park 18 - This was my favorite of the night. Wow. I've heard of Highland Park but I'm not sure I've ever had it before. You know you are drinking scotch when you have this. My chest is still warm this morning. Very light peat, smokey but finishes sweet and it burns long!

I got a bottle of the 12 year Highland Park and it came with a small bottle of the 18. I would definitely agree it was one of the better scotches I have tasted, although that isn't saying a whole lot. The 12 year was pretty good also.
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I broke down and bought a bottle of sigh, Japanese, Scotch Whisky, the Yamazaki 12 year old. And quite frankly it was the best of the Scotch Whiskies I've ever had. I think I only have Deanston rated higher. I felt like a race traitor (lots of Scots in my ancestry) but treason tasted really, really good.

eta: always wanted to try rye whiskey so I picked up a bottle for $14 (along with Scapa 16 and Glenrothes Select Reserve and my favorite new bourbon, Bulleit). That's some interesting whiskey there.

fixed
Thanks, I got clarification on this last weekend. It's in the Scotch section, it's in the Scotch app, for all intents and purposes of classification it's a Scotch but they call it just a 'single malt'. I wondered how they got away with calling it Scotch but the answer was simple, they don't. However, colloquially, I will simply refer to it as a Scotch.
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is macallan 12 a good scotch for a scotch beginner?i have a costco in my area and they sell johnny black, johnny red, glenlivet 12, macallan 12, chivas regal, dewars

Absolutely. It was the one that got me hooked. Double-edge sword if there ever was one...Me and my dad go through a couple of bottles a year, around this time. It's great, man. Enough of it, and you will see through the walls, read minds, and generally think of yourself as quite the specimen.
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I broke down and bought a bottle of sigh, Japanese, Scotch Whisky, the Yamazaki 12 year old. And quite frankly it was the best of the Scotch Whiskies I've ever had. I think I only have Deanston rated higher. I felt like a race traitor (lots of Scots in my ancestry) but treason tasted really, really good.

eta: always wanted to try rye whiskey so I picked up a bottle for $14 (along with Scapa 16 and Glenrothes Select Reserve and my favorite new bourbon, Bulleit). That's some interesting whiskey there.

fixed
Thanks, I got clarification on this last weekend. It's in the Scotch section, it's in the Scotch app, for all intents and purposes of classification it's a Scotch but they call it just a 'single malt'. I wondered how they got away with calling it Scotch but the answer was simple, they don't. However, colloquially, I will simply refer to it as a Scotch.
Yeah, I hate being that guy, but I had to learn the rules, so once I learned them, I started becoming that guy. Many of these are legally protected terms, some are not.

Whisky is distilled alcohol made from a fermented grain mash. Lots of different grains can be used - barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, corn, wheat - and storage in oak is common though not necessary. Whisky=Whiskey technically, though one is the Scotch spelling one is the English. Whiskey is made all over the world; Whisky usually refers to Scotch (or Canadian). If you call Whiskey Whisky, it's unlikely to cause a stink. But if you refer to Whisky as Whiskey...look out.

All Scotch is whisky, though in order to be legally called Scotch, the whisky must have been produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added). There are many other legal requirements that govern where the mashing take place and how it's aged, but to be called Scotch, it must be made wholly in Scotland.

Single Malt Scotch refers to a Scotch Whisky produced from only water and malted barley at a single distillery by batch distillation in pot stills.

If other grains are also used in making the Scotch, it's called a Single Grain Scotch Whisky.

Blended Scotches can be either vatted or blends. Vatted blends are blends of multiple single malts of various ages. Vatted blends are rare, though Johnnie Walker Green is vatted. Most blends are simple blends - a combination of malted and grain whisky.

All Bourbon is whiskey, though in order to be legally called Bourbon, the whiskey must come from the US, be made from at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels. There are some other requirements, but those are the biggies. Note that it does NOT have to come from Kentucky. You can make Bourbon anywhere in the US you want so long as you follow the rules.

Straight bourbon is bourbon that has been aged for at least 2 years, usually longer.

Tennessee Whiskey is also a legally protected name, though less formally so than Scotch or Bourbon. It's made in essentially identical fashion to Bourbon, only it's put through an additional purification process called the Lincoln County Process. This involves purifying the final product through a series of homemade sugar maple charcoal bricks. There's debate about whether or not it could technically be called a Bourbon even after the Lincoln Co. Process, but since nobody is interested in that labeling, it's merely an esoteric point in an already esoteric discussion.

Personally, I'm at the point in developing my palate where I greatly prefer blended Scotches whiskeys. I appreciate the extremes that can be found in many single malts, but it's currently too much for me. I prefer smoothness of blends or a single malt like Macallan to the peaty bite of a Laphroaig or Lagavulin.

Also, I'm genuinely jealous of you lucky basterds who can buy booze at Costco.

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I broke down and bought a bottle of sigh, Japanese, Scotch Whisky, the Yamazaki 12 year old. And quite frankly it was the best of the Scotch Whiskies I've ever had. I think I only have Deanston rated higher. I felt like a race traitor (lots of Scots in my ancestry) but treason tasted really, really good.

eta: always wanted to try rye whiskey so I picked up a bottle for $14 (along with Scapa 16 and Glenrothes Select Reserve and my favorite new bourbon, Bulleit). That's some interesting whiskey there.

fixed
Thanks, I got clarification on this last weekend. It's in the Scotch section, it's in the Scotch app, for all intents and purposes of classification it's a Scotch but they call it just a 'single malt'. I wondered how they got away with calling it Scotch but the answer was simple, they don't. However, colloquially, I will simply refer to it as a Scotch.
Yeah, I hate being that guy, but I had to learn the rules, so once I learned them, I started becoming that guy. Many of these are legally protected terms, some are not.

Whisky is distilled alcohol made from a fermented grain mash. Lots of different grains can be used - barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, corn, wheat - and storage in oak is common though not necessary. Whisky=Whiskey technically, though one is the Scotch spelling one is the English. Whiskey is made all over the world; Whisky usually refers to Scotch (or Canadian). If you call Whiskey Whisky, it's unlikely to cause a stink. But if you refer to Whisky as Whiskey...look out.

All Scotch is whisky, though in order to be legally called Scotch, the whisky must have been produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added). There are many other legal requirements that govern where the mashing take place and how it's aged, but to be called Scotch, it must be made wholly in Scotland.

Single Malt Scotch refers to a Scotch Whisky produced from only water and malted barley at a single distillery by batch distillation in pot stills.

If other grains are also used in making the Scotch, it's called a Single Grain Scotch Whisky.

Blended Scotches can be either vatted or blends. Vatted blends are blends of multiple single malts of various ages. Vatted blends are rare, though Johnnie Walker Green is vatted. Most blends are simple blends - a combination of malted and grain whisky.

All Bourbon is whiskey, though in order to be legally called Bourbon, the whiskey must come from the US, be made from at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels. There are some other requirements, but those are the biggies. Note that it does NOT have to come from Kentucky. You can make Bourbon anywhere in the US you want so long as you follow the rules.

Straight bourbon is bourbon that has been aged for at least 2 years, usually longer.

Tennessee Whiskey is also a legally protected name, though less formally so than Scotch or Bourbon. It's made in essentially identical fashion to Bourbon, only it's put through an additional purification process called the Lincoln County Process. This involves purifying the final product through a series of homemade sugar maple charcoal bricks. There's debate about whether or not it could technically be called a Bourbon even after the Lincoln Co. Process, but since nobody is interested in that labeling, it's merely an esoteric point in an already esoteric discussion.

Personally, I'm at the point in developing my palate where I greatly prefer blended Scotches whiskeys. I appreciate the extremes that can be found in many single malts, but it's currently too much for me. I prefer smoothness of blends or a single malt like Macallan to the peaty bite of a Laphroaig or Lagavulin.

Also, I'm genuinely jealous of you lucky basterds who can buy booze at Costco.

That's probably the same article that made me wonder why Yamazaki was able to be called Scotch.

Cosco has Macallan I think but it's nothing special to me. It's close enough to the Balveniw DW for me, I just buy the B. The rest of the Cosco Scotches don't float my boat so I never buy it there, my bottle of Cladhu (I think) is still half full from six months ago. Fortunately there's a small, independant, semi warehouse liquor store that does so much volume that their prices are pretty much Cosco prices. Plus they have tons of small distillery whiskies of all types so there's always a lot of choices and experimentation and the guys are very helpful without being 'corporate retail scripted' nice.

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Any suggestions for a something really nice in the $100-$150 range? My company had a really good year, and our incentive payments were pretty outstanding, so I'm looking for a nice single malt for a little celebratory purchase.

I just mentioned my preference for blends right now, so for that kind of money, my choices would be JW Green, Gold, or Blue depending on where in that range you want to be. For the Green, you'd have enough left over to get something else, and likely the same with the Gold. Get Green and Gold and compare them. Blue is stupidly expensive, but if the money doesn't matter, it's spectacularly good IMHO. If you're intent on getting a single malt and aren't a regular Scotch drinker, I'd stay away from the peatier brands and stay more middle of the road like Macallan or Glenlivet and get the aged as long as you can afford. Macallan 18, like JW Blue, is overpriced, but again, if the money doesn't matter, it drinks beautifully to me. With Glenlivet, you can probably go out to 21 and still be well in that price range.
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Also, I've been looking for a resource that I've been unable to find, so I'm thinking of making one on my own and thought maybe one of you long time Scotch drinkers may be interested in helping. I want a "Peat Continuum" for single malts. My first bottle of single malt Scotch ever was a gift - Talisker 10, which is peaty. It is less peaty that Lagavulin or Laphroaig, but it's far more peaty than Macallan or Glenlivet. I did not know that when I first tried it, and if I hadn't known about other styles, I'd have never tried anything else, I'd have just thought I didn't like Scotch. This is not meant to be a definitive resource, and I realize other factors such as aging will have an impact, but I thought it would be helpful, especially for neophyte Scotch/whiskey drinkers. I'd have loved to have been able to look at some resource after I tried my Talisker that said "Hey, that was too peaty? If so, try Glenlivet, Macallan, or Dalwhinnie. Not peaty enough? Try Laphroaig or Lagavulin".

Anyone interested?

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Also, I've been looking for a resource that I've been unable to find, so I'm thinking of making one on my own and thought maybe one of you long time Scotch drinkers may be interested in helping. I want a "Peat Continuum" for single malts. My first bottle of single malt Scotch ever was a gift - Talisker 10, which is peaty. It is less peaty that Lagavulin or Laphroaig, but it's far more peaty than Macallan or Glenlivet. I did not know that when I first tried it, and if I hadn't known about other styles, I'd have never tried anything else, I'd have just thought I didn't like Scotch. This is not meant to be a definitive resource, and I realize other factors such as aging will have an impact, but I thought it would be helpful, especially for neophyte Scotch/whiskey drinkers. I'd have loved to have been able to look at some resource after I tried my Talisker that said "Hey, that was too peaty? If so, try Glenlivet, Macallan, or Dalwhinnie. Not peaty enough? Try Laphroaig or Lagavulin".

Anyone interested?

This may be helpful:

http://whisky.scotsman.com/flavourmap.aspx

I saw a grid like that with a lot more whiskies at a couple of different places when I was in Scotland last year, but I can't find it on the interweb.

I just mentioned my preference for blends right now, so for that kind of money, my choices would be JW Green, Gold, or Blue depending on where in that range you want to be. For the Green, you'd have enough left over to get something else, and likely the same with the Gold. Get Green and Gold and compare them. Blue is stupidly expensive, but if the money doesn't matter, it's spectacularly good IMHO.

If you're intent on getting a single malt and aren't a regular Scotch drinker, I'd stay away from the peatier brands and stay more middle of the road like Macallan or Glenlivet and get the aged as long as you can afford. Macallan 18, like JW Blue, is overpriced, but again, if the money doesn't matter, it drinks beautifully to me. With Glenlivet, you can probably go out to 21 and still be well in that price range.

I'm looking for a single malt. I don't turn up my nose at blends, and I actually just had a chance to have a dram of Blue last weekend (really good, but not $200/bottle good, IMO), but I'm looking for something I haven't tried before. I saw an 18-year Glenmorangie for $100 (Glenmorangie is my favorite "everyday" whisky), that I was thinking about getting, but I'm interested in any other ideas. Macallan 18 is always a consideration, but again, I'm looking for something I haven't tried before.

I'm a pretty seasoned whisky drinker, but I prefer the Speyside and Highland malts over the Islay for the most part, though a peaty whisky can be a nice change of pace occasionally.

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Also, I've been looking for a resource that I've been unable to find, so I'm thinking of making one on my own and thought maybe one of you long time Scotch drinkers may be interested in helping. I want a "Peat Continuum" for single malts. My first bottle of single malt Scotch ever was a gift - Talisker 10, which is peaty. It is less peaty that Lagavulin or Laphroaig, but it's far more peaty than Macallan or Glenlivet. I did not know that when I first tried it, and if I hadn't known about other styles, I'd have never tried anything else, I'd have just thought I didn't like Scotch. This is not meant to be a definitive resource, and I realize other factors such as aging will have an impact, but I thought it would be helpful, especially for neophyte Scotch/whiskey drinkers. I'd have loved to have been able to look at some resource after I tried my Talisker that said "Hey, that was too peaty? If so, try Glenlivet, Macallan, or Dalwhinnie. Not peaty enough? Try Laphroaig or Lagavulin".

Anyone interested?

This may be helpful:

http://whisky.scotsman.com/flavourmap.aspx

I saw a grid like that with a lot more whiskies at a couple of different places when I was in Scotland last year, but I can't find it on the interweb.

I just mentioned my preference for blends right now, so for that kind of money, my choices would be JW Green, Gold, or Blue depending on where in that range you want to be. For the Green, you'd have enough left over to get something else, and likely the same with the Gold. Get Green and Gold and compare them. Blue is stupidly expensive, but if the money doesn't matter, it's spectacularly good IMHO.

If you're intent on getting a single malt and aren't a regular Scotch drinker, I'd stay away from the peatier brands and stay more middle of the road like Macallan or Glenlivet and get the aged as long as you can afford. Macallan 18, like JW Blue, is overpriced, but again, if the money doesn't matter, it drinks beautifully to me. With Glenlivet, you can probably go out to 21 and still be well in that price range.

I'm looking for a single malt. I don't turn up my nose at blends, and I actually just had a chance to have a dram of Blue last weekend (really good, but not $200/bottle good, IMO), but I'm looking for something I haven't tried before. I saw an 18-year Glenmorangie for $100 (Glenmorangie is my favorite "everyday" whisky), that I was thinking about getting, but I'm interested in any other ideas. Macallan 18 is always a consideration, but again, I'm looking for something I haven't tried before.

I'm a pretty seasoned whisky drinker, but I prefer the Speyside and Highland malts over the Islay for the most part, though a peaty whisky can be a nice change of pace occasionally.

Awesome. That's exactly what I was looking for.
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Shooter, have you had anything from Balvennie? I'm not familiar enough with their catalog to know if they have one in your price range, but I like their $35-$50 bottles a lot when I am looking for a less peaty alternative to my typical Islay scotches.

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Shooter, have you had anything from Balvennie? I'm not familiar enough with their catalog to know if they have one in your price range, but I like their $35-$50 bottles a lot when I am looking for a less peaty alternative to my typical Islay scotches.

I kind of "grew up" on Balvenie -- it was one of the first single malts I tried, and it's a really good option in the price range you mentioned. I can't say that I've seen anything from them in the price range that I'm looking at, but it would definitely be a consideration if I saw one.
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This is good stuff. I'm a neophyte.

Just bought my first bottle of Aberlour 12. Based on this graph I might go with a Highland Park 12 or Bowmore 12 as my next purchase to sample from the other end of the scale.

I highly recommend Oban.
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I'm loving the flavour map. Wish I'd asked about it previously...I'd looked forever, but I was thinking about it more linearly, so I never found anything like what I was looking for.

Anyone familiar with the Mortlach? Everything I've read about it sounds fascinating.

Also, my FIL wants to go to Scotland. We're planning the trip for some time in the next year or so. We will be visiting a distillery or 5. Looking very forward to it.

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I'm loving the flavour map. Wish I'd asked about it previously...I'd looked forever, but I was thinking about it more linearly, so I never found anything like what I was looking for.

I wish I could find the really detailed one I saw in Scotland. We might have gotten a paper copy of it somewhere during one of the distillery visits or the Whisky Week event we went to in Speyside. I'll try to dig through the stuff I saved from the trip.

http://www.homecomingscotland2009.com/what...-week-4745.html

This happened to correspond to when we were in Scotland, and it was awesome. At the Glenfiddich distillery, it started with a tour, followed by a tasting of about 20 different whiskies from various distilleries in the area (including Macallan Glenlivet, Glenrothes, etc.), followed by a great dinner with two whisky pairings with each course. What a great night.

Also, my FIL wants to go to Scotland. We're planning the trip for some time in the next year or so. We will be visiting a distillery or 5. Looking very forward to it.

When you go, distillery visits are cool, and it's a good way to try various types from distillers you like, including some varieties you might not be able to get elsewhere, but if you want to do some serious sampling, I'd recommend going to a bar where they specialize in whisky. In particular, I'd recommend this one.

Highlander Inn

Check out their whisky menu. You may faint from its beauty. As a bonus, it's a decent hotel with really friendly owners, so you can try as many as you want, and not need to worry about driving.

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I'm loving the flavour map. Wish I'd asked about it previously...I'd looked forever, but I was thinking about it more linearly, so I never found anything like what I was looking for.

I wish I could find the really detailed one I saw in Scotland. We might have gotten a paper copy of it somewhere during one of the distillery visits or the Whisky Week event we went to in Speyside. I'll try to dig through the stuff I saved from the trip.

http://www.homecomingscotland2009.com/what...-week-4745.html

This happened to correspond to when we were in Scotland, and it was awesome. At the Glenfiddich distillery, it started with a tour, followed by a tasting of about 20 different whiskies from various distilleries in the area (including Macallan Glenlivet, Glenrothes, etc.), followed by a great dinner with two whisky pairings with each course. What a great night.

Also, my FIL wants to go to Scotland. We're planning the trip for some time in the next year or so. We will be visiting a distillery or 5. Looking very forward to it.

When you go, distillery visits are cool, and it's a good way to try various types from distillers you like, including some varieties you might not be able to get elsewhere, but if you want to do some serious sampling, I'd recommend going to a bar where they specialize in whisky. In particular, I'd recommend this one.

Highlander Inn

Check out their whisky menu. You may faint from its beauty. As a bonus, it's a decent hotel with really friendly owners, so you can try as many as you want, and not need to worry about driving.

That's awesome. Reminds me of the first time I saw an 80 page wine list. Can't wait until I understand/appreciate a little more of it than I do now.
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why does everyone get all gentlemanly and semi-formal in their posts when talking about scotch?is anyone else noticing this?

Don’t think poorly of yourself if you can’t appreciate The Balvenie. It’s a rare breed who can savor its Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla. If you can, we respect your refined taste. If not, we wish you all the best in your humble endeavors.

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Also, I've been looking for a resource that I've been unable to find, so I'm thinking of making one on my own and thought maybe one of you long time Scotch drinkers may be interested in helping. I want a "Peat Continuum" for single malts. My first bottle of single malt Scotch ever was a gift - Talisker 10, which is peaty. It is less peaty that Lagavulin or Laphroaig, but it's far more peaty than Macallan or Glenlivet. I did not know that when I first tried it, and if I hadn't known about other styles, I'd have never tried anything else, I'd have just thought I didn't like Scotch. This is not meant to be a definitive resource, and I realize other factors such as aging will have an impact, but I thought it would be helpful, especially for neophyte Scotch/whiskey drinkers. I'd have loved to have been able to look at some resource after I tried my Talisker that said "Hey, that was too peaty? If so, try Glenlivet, Macallan, or Dalwhinnie. Not peaty enough? Try Laphroaig or Lagavulin". Anyone interested?

The iMalts app is excellent. It has taste categories so u can find similar brands to what you like.
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why does everyone get all gentlemanly and semi-formal in their posts when talking about scotch?is anyone else noticing this?

Don’t think poorly of yourself if you can’t appreciate The Balvenie. It’s a rare breed who can savor its Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla. If you can, we respect your refined taste. If not, we wish you all the best in your humble endeavors.

Its the scotch. It brings out the best in people. ;)
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Sipping a couple of fingers of JW Blue, and as much as I like it, I can understand the opinion that it's too smooth and not enough bite. Especially considering the price, but this is a bottle someone else gave me. I genuinely love the subtlety and smoothness right now, but I can see a time in the future when I want something more robust. For the time being though, ymmmmmmmmmm.

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why does everyone get all gentlemanly and semi-formal in their posts when talking about scotch?is anyone else noticing this?

Don’t think poorly of yourself if you can’t appreciate The Balvenie. It’s a rare breed who can savor its Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla. If you can, we respect your refined taste. If not, we wish you all the best in your humble endeavors.

Its the scotch. It brings out the best in people. ;)
:lol: The bourbon thread is similar. Something about good whiskey.
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This may be a dumb question, but does anyone know if you can buy a scotch sampler pack? My brother likes it, but I'd like to be able to give him a sampler as something different....and broaden his horizons so to speak.

Some places will sell smaller bottles. But it's usually not the choicest stuff (I have seen smaller bottles of Glen 12, but that's about it. Usually the smaller bottles are Johnny Walker / Dewars / etc). Maybe somebody else has seen what you are asking for.A better idea might be to see if a local place does tastings, and go with him. You'll enjoy it.
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This may be a dumb question, but does anyone know if you can buy a scotch sampler pack? My brother likes it, but I'd like to be able to give him a sampler as something different....and broaden his horizons so to speak.

Some places will sell smaller bottles. But it's usually not the choicest stuff (I have seen smaller bottles of Glen 12, but that's about it. Usually the smaller bottles are Johnny Walker / Dewars / etc). Maybe somebody else has seen what you are asking for.A better idea might be to see if a local place does tastings, and go with him. You'll enjoy it.
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