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The Scotch Whisky Thread


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I've been getting into Boulevardier Cocktails.

Equal parts of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It's surprisingly refreshing and good. There's a twist on it where you use two parts rye and one part of the others, but I actually like the original better.

It doesn't replace my Bookers/rocks, but it's a nice change of pace.

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Well, like I said I'm jumping in feet first here.

I am having a few friends over on Friday mostly as an excuse to try several different brands. It's a scotch tasting and I need advice on some aspects of the event.

Here's what I know we will have (in my planned order of sampling):

Glenlivet 12

Johnnie Walker Gold

Highland Park 12

Laphroaig 10

Lagavulin 16

We may have more but I won't know what they are likely to be until we convene on Friday.

Questions for the FFA experts:

[*]Is this the correct order for tasting?

[*]I was thinking 1 finger for each with water on the side for each round. Add water to taste for each participant. Does that sound good?

[*]How should I clean the glasses between rounds (assuming I don't have enough rocks glasses for everyone to get a fresh one on each tasting - which I don't)?

[*]What is the proper way to taste? How many times to sniff (before & after adding water), how long in mouth? Swish or chew? Inhale or exhale after swallowing? This is serious business and I need solid advice here :D

[*]What should I have on hand to cleanse the palate between sampling? Crackers of some sort? Something else?

[*]I'm thinking each round of sampling should last 20 - 35 minutes, start to finish. Too short? Too long?

Thanks for the help, gents.

Edited by Psychopav
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Well, like I said I'm jumping in feet first here.

I am having a few friends over on Friday mostly as an excuse to try several different brands. It's a scotch tasting and I need advice on some aspects of the event.

Here's what I know we will have (in my planned order of sampling):

Glenlivet 12

Johnnie Walker Gold

Highland Park 12

Laphroaig 10

Lagavulin 16

We may have more but I won't know what they are likely to be until we convene on Friday.

Questions for the FFA experts:

[*]Is this the correct order for tasting?

[*]I was thinking 1 finger for each with water on the side for each round. Add water to taste for each participant. Does that sound good?

[*]How should I clean the glasses between rounds (assuming I don't have enough rocks glasses for everyone to get a fresh one on each tasting - which I don't)?

[*]What is the proper way to taste? How many times to sniff (before & after adding water), how long in mouth? Swish or chew? Inhale or exhale after swallowing? This is serious business and I need solid advice here :D

[*]What should I have on hand to cleanse the palate between sampling? Crackers of some sort? Something else?

[*]I'm thinking each round of sampling should last 20 - 35 minutes, start to finish. Too short? Too long?

Thanks for the help, gents.

Glenlivet 12 - the McDonald's of Single Malt Scotches

Johnnie Walker Gold - pretty good, but still a blend.. lacks something

Highland Park 12 - have not had

Laphroaig 10 - decent islay, but just not enough flavor burst for me... needs more smoke, more peat

Lagavulin 16 - this is really good

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Glenlivet 12 - the McDonald's of Single Malt ScotchesJohnnie Walker Gold - pretty good, but still a blend.. lacks somethingHighland Park 12 - have not hadLaphroaig 10 - decent islay, but just not enough flavor burst for me... needs more smoke, more peatLagavulin 16 - this is really good

Now see, I thought the Glenlivet was more the Chick Fil-A, and that Glenfiddich was the McDonald's. :kicksrock:
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I've been getting into Boulevardier Cocktails.Equal parts of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It's surprisingly refreshing and good. There's a twist on it where you use two parts rye and one part of the others, but I actually like the original better.It doesn't replace my Bookers/rocks, but it's a nice change of pace.

We need a rye thread. Cocktails that I generally found too cloying with bourbon rock when made with rye as God intended.The Boulevardier sounds interesting. I'm usually doing some Manhattan or variant. My standard recipe is 3 parts rye to 1 part Carpana Antica formula Vermouth with 2 dashes of Fee Brothers barrel aged Vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist if I'm feeling austere and a Luxardo cherry if I'm feeling like a pansy.Lately, I've been making more "Perfect" Manhattans where I replace half the Carpana with Dolin dry vermouth. And if I'm feeling the need for something sweeter, I do a McKinley's Delight, which is the classic 3:1 rye to vermouth ratio with a half teaspoon of cherry licquor (I use Heering) and an absinthe rinse in the glass.
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Well, like I said I'm jumping in feet first here.

I am having a few friends over on Friday mostly as an excuse to try several different brands. It's a scotch tasting and I need advice on some aspects of the event.

Here's what I know we will have (in my planned order of sampling):

Glenlivet 12

Johnnie Walker Gold

Highland Park 12

Laphroaig 10

Lagavulin 16

We may have more but I won't know what they are likely to be until we convene on Friday.

Questions for the FFA experts:

[*]Is this the correct order for tasting?

[*]I was thinking 1 finger for each with water on the side for each round. Add water to taste for each participant. Does that sound good?

[*]How should I clean the glasses between rounds (assuming I don't have enough rocks glasses for everyone to get a fresh one on each tasting - which I don't)?

[*]What is the proper way to taste? How many times to sniff (before & after adding water), how long in mouth? Swish or chew? Inhale or exhale after swallowing? This is serious business and I need solid advice here :D

[*]What should I have on hand to cleanse the palate between sampling? Crackers of some sort? Something else?

[*]I'm thinking each round of sampling should last 20 - 35 minutes, start to finish. Too short? Too long?

Thanks for the help, gents.

Turns out we won't have the Laphroaig after all, but instead will have a Glenrothes and s blended called Dimple Pinch.

In reading through the thread, it sounds like Glenrothes is a Speyside and would probably fit next to the Glenlivet. Any suggestions on which would be preferable to start with?

Also, has anyone tried the Dimple Pinch? Suggestions on where to place that one in the line?

Still shuked on what to do in between brands to cleanse the palates. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, you may remember several years ago hearing about how Bruichladdich was reviving the recipe for the "Perilous Water of Life." A quadruple-distilled whisky that was so strong two spoonfuls could make you go blind. Some buddies and I went in together on a case. The whisky has arrived and I'm trying to figure out if I should open it or try to sell it. Any opinions?

This is the spirit in question. From what I've read, this can't be called whisky because it wasn't aged. There's another batch that was aged for 3 years before bottling, and it's called X4+3. I thought that was what we were getting but my buddy just confirmed that what we have is the X4. The distillery is also aging another batch for 10+ years. I wish that was what we would have gotten.

I've only got one bottle. I wish I'd ordered two, because I'd like to open one and sell the other. There were only 5,000 cases made so it's fairly rare.

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I've been getting into Boulevardier Cocktails.Equal parts of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It's surprisingly refreshing and good. There's a twist on it where you use two parts rye and one part of the others, but I actually like the original better.It doesn't replace my Bookers/rocks, but it's a nice change of pace.

We need a rye thread. Cocktails that I generally found too cloying with bourbon rock when made with rye as God intended.The Boulevardier sounds interesting. I'm usually doing some Manhattan or variant. My standard recipe is 3 parts rye to 1 part Carpana Antica formula Vermouth with 2 dashes of Fee Brothers barrel aged Vermouth. Garnish with a lemon twist if I'm feeling austere and a Luxardo cherry if I'm feeling like a pansy.Lately, I've been making more "Perfect" Manhattans where I replace half the Carpana with Dolin dry vermouth. And if I'm feeling the need for something sweeter, I do a McKinley's Delight, which is the classic 3:1 rye to vermouth ratio with a half teaspoon of cherry licquor (I use Heering) and an absinthe rinse in the glass.
We do need a rye thread. I've been making old fashioned's with Bulleit rye that are pretty tasty. What rye are you using?
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  • 1 month later...

I just received a bottle of Lagavulin 16 from my staff, I've never had it before. Thoughts? I'm typically a Balvenie guy

its awesome... will be more smokey that the balvenie.i'm not sure how you'll feel about it, i think the balvenie is horrible... so maybe you'll think the lagavulin is swill
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I just received a bottle of Lagavulin 16 from my staff, I've never had it before. Thoughts? I'm typically a Balvenie guy

Just talked about this and tasted it with another sommelier at Scotch dinner. We are both huge Islay fansThe nose is iodine and Lapsang tea. Big powerful citrus, smoke, and wood in your mouth and will finish with vanilla and a touch of honey, wood, and dates.Get some smoked salmon and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on top and then take a bite and then a sip of LagavulinWe also had a 1987 Lagavulin finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry CasksGood lord...that and a dark chocolate truffle. Out of this world! Edited by Jules Winnfield
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I just received a bottle of Lagavulin 16 from my staff, I've never had it before. Thoughts? I'm typically a Balvenie guy

its awesome... will be more smokey that the balvenie.i'm not sure how you'll feel about it, i think the balvenie is horrible... so maybe you'll think the lagavulin is swill
I'm going to crack it open around 3:30 in the office so I will have to say I like it as I will be in front of my staff. Figured it was going to be more smokey.
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I just received a bottle of Lagavulin 16 from my staff, I've never had it before. Thoughts? I'm typically a Balvenie guy

its awesome... will be more smokey that the balvenie.i'm not sure how you'll feel about it, i think the balvenie is horrible... so maybe you'll think the lagavulin is swill
Had my first glass yesterday and enjoyed it a great deal, as you said it was more smokey than the Balvenie. Really a smooth drinking scotch, I'm a fan.
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I just received a bottle of Lagavulin 16 from my staff, I've never had it before. Thoughts? I'm typically a Balvenie guy

its awesome... will be more smokey that the balvenie.i'm not sure how you'll feel about it, i think the balvenie is horrible... so maybe you'll think the lagavulin is swill
What Balvanie have you had that you think is swill. Personal preferences I guess, but I have always said their Portwood is straight up nectar of the gods.
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I just received a bottle of Lagavulin 16 from my staff, I've never had it before. Thoughts? I'm typically a Balvenie guy

its awesome... will be more smokey that the balvenie.i'm not sure how you'll feel about it, i think the balvenie is horrible... so maybe you'll think the lagavulin is swill
What Balvanie have you had that you think is swill. Personal preferences I guess, but I have always said their Portwood is straight up nectar of the gods.
Portwood is amazing
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I have found that I prefer the Scotch's that are a bit sweeter and I still like the Quinta Ruban the best of anything I've tried.

Just picked up a bottle of this last week and am having a nip right now. Still my favorite, haven't had it since I moved back to the states four years ago.
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Cracked open the Lagavulin. Holy ####, this is liquid velvet. I might have made juice.

The Islays are just phenomenal on a winter's day, was made to drink during cold weather IMO. Lagavulian the prince of the Islays, great bouquet.
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Lagavulin 16 and Highland Park 12 are both going to be permanent fixtures in my cabinet. I ran out of the Lagavulin a week or so ago and repurchased within a day. Not to drink, but to have for next time. First time I've ever had anything that I considered essential to have on hand.

Still looking for number 3. I haven't tried Macallin 15 or 18 yet, or the Talisker, but I'm still searching for one that I can only describe as stiff leather finish. Need help on this if anyone has any ideas.

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Lagavulin 16 and Highland Park 12 are both going to be permanent fixtures in my cabinet. I ran out of the Lagavulin a week or so ago and repurchased within a day. Not to drink, but to have for next time. First time I've ever had anything that I considered essential to have on hand.Still looking for number 3. I haven't tried Macallin 15 or 18 yet, or the Talisker, but I'm still searching for one that I can only describe as stiff leather finish. Need help on this if anyone has any ideas.

I would suggest adding a Speyside to that collection for the variety. Balvenie is the best for the money, Cragganmore, Aberlour or the Macallans all fit the bill.
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Lagavulin 16 and Highland Park 12 are both going to be permanent fixtures in my cabinet. I ran out of the Lagavulin a week or so ago and repurchased within a day. Not to drink, but to have for next time. First time I've ever had anything that I considered essential to have on hand.Still looking for number 3. I haven't tried Macallin 15 or 18 yet, or the Talisker, but I'm still searching for one that I can only describe as stiff leather finish. Need help on this if anyone has any ideas.

Talisker 18. It's very different from other Taliskers, and very, very good.
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Do you guys mostly drink them neat?

I'm a rocks guy usually. I know it goes against everything the scotch nerds believe in, but it works for me. Occasionally I enjoy neat. One thing I like about rocks is the way the experience changes over the drink as it dilutes. Starting with something heavy like a macallan cask strength makes for a great winding road.
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Do you guys mostly drink them neat?

no, I'm either small spash of cool (not cold) water, or single ice cubedepends somewhat on the strength and flavor profile of the scotch.if it's a standard 80 proof i don't add much... if it's a higher proof add a tad more to mellow it out
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Is it appropriate to make a cocktail contaning Scotch? Or is that best left to Canadian or Bourbon Whiskey?

no it's ok if you're using a blend like Dewars or johnny red or something.but not the single malt type of stuff that most of us are discussing in this threadhaving said that i can't think of a scotch cocktail i'd even want other than scotch and club soda or something.Canadian whisky and bourbon do a much better job blending with other flavor profiles
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Do you guys mostly drink them neat?

Neat, in a Glencairn glass. They're perfect. Got my groomsmen some when I got married. Good for engraving, as well.
these are the glasses i use as well.

perfect size for a single ice cube if you want it.

i do neat about 25%, small splash of water 50%, single ice cube 25% (mainly with my bourbon/canadian whisky/rum)

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Do you guys mostly drink them neat?

One small ice cube to open it up and also get it cold, which I prefer.

Is it appropriate to make a cocktail contaning Scotch? Or is that best left to Canadian or Bourbon Whiskey?

no it's ok if you're using a blend like Dewars or johnny red or something.but not the single malt type of stuff that most of us are discussing in this thread
:goodposting: :goodposting: :goodposting: I'll mix JWR at a bar sometimes but you might as well just buy some Wild Turkey if you want to mix. The whole point of having single malt Scotch is as a stand-alone beverage. Edited by Doctor Detroit
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Is it appropriate to make a cocktail contaning Scotch? Or is that best left to Canadian or Bourbon Whiskey?

Just mixing it with Coke or sour mix is a waste, but Scotch can be a great addition to a finely crafted cocktail. I went to a place once that did a wash of the ice cubes with a peaty single malt then added poured the other booze and mixers from the shaker. It was awesome.
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Do you guys mostly drink them neat?

About 20% of the time. Mostly use a single over sized ice ball. About the size of a golf ball. Maybe a touch bigger. Doesnt melt as quickly as cubes. One of those balls lasts me about 3 rounds. Like Otis, I like the way the experience changes as ice melts a little bit. With my ice ball the 3rd or 4th round is basically neat depending on how fast I'm drinking.

ETA: Ice Balls

Mine wasn't a set of ten, so these may be smaller than the ones I have. Looks like there are a few different brands out there now. A few years ago these were impossible to find.

Edited by Sebowski
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Is it appropriate to make a cocktail contaning Scotch? Or is that best left to Canadian or Bourbon Whiskey?

Just mixing it with Coke or sour mix is a waste, but Scotch can be a great addition to a finely crafted cocktail. I went to a place once that did a wash of the ice cubes with a peaty single malt then added poured the other booze and mixers from the shaker. It was awesome.

Are you missing some words in this part?
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Is it appropriate to make a cocktail contaning Scotch? Or is that best left to Canadian or Bourbon Whiskey?

Just mixing it with Coke or sour mix is a waste, but Scotch can be a great addition to a finely crafted cocktail. I went to a place once that did a wash of the ice cubes with a peaty single malt then added poured the other booze and mixers from the shaker. It was awesome.

Are you missing some words in this part?
I don't think so.....

Bartneder has the cocktail made in the shaker, puts some scotch over the ice cubes, drains the scotch out, pours cocktail on top. Added a great subtle smokiness to the cocktail.

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Is it appropriate to make a cocktail contaning Scotch? Or is that best left to Canadian or Bourbon Whiskey?

no it's ok if you're using a blend like Dewars or johnny red or something.but not the single malt type of stuff that most of us are discussing in this threadhaving said that i can't think of a scotch cocktail i'd even want other than scotch and club soda or something.Canadian whisky and bourbon do a much better job blending with other flavor profiles
Both the Blood and Sand and the Rob Roy are excellent cocktails. The Rob Roy is just a Manhattan with scotch instead of rye.
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