In my youth I used to be a Jim Beam fan, but I'd not actually
tried any of that particular beverage for some 30 years...
until last night, when I made the mistake of paying $10 for
a small plastic bottle of it. Smells and tastes like
drain cleaner. Thoroughly unappealing. So much so that
I'm wondering whether this bottle is defective (or even
fraudulently labeled), or whether Jim Beam has always been
that way. It's by far the worst whiskey experience I've had,
ever. Waste of $10.
By comparison, here's the whiskeys I've tried the last 2 months:
Laphroaig 10 ($40/750ml): Briney, peaty, phenolic. A bit overpowering,
but at least it's not bland. If I drink more than an ounce,
though, the phenol makes my mouth numb, my stomach nauseous,
and gives a weird, long-lasting metallic minty aftertaste,
much like Chloraseptic. (Actually, now that I think about it,
it has almost as much phenol as Chloraseptic, so I shouldn't be
surprised.) I think I'll lay off the Islay stuff for a while,
getting burnt out on that.
"57 South" ($6/750ml): I think it's a cheap American attempt at
emulating Scotch whiskey. A bit on the bland side, but nice flavor:
caramel, toasted oak, a touch of sweetness, a hint of roasted barley
malt. Sort of like MacCallan mixed with vodka. Not bad for a $6 fake
Jim Beam $10/325ml): Horrible. Like industrial solvent. Undrinkable.
(Defective bottle? Or just a bad product?)
Query: I know next to nothing about blended Scotch. What are some
of the better blended Scotches out there? I'm interested in
decent flavor at affordable prices here, being somewhat short
on cash, so mostly looking for stuff under $40/750ml.
In article ,
You might give Johnnie Walker Black a try. Costs more than most blends,
but significantly less than most single malts. There is a little bit of
Islay in the blend, but not enough to set off most smoke-peat-phenol
alarms. Quite tasty but smooth. JW Red is cheaper, but somewhat rougher.
Two of the more popular blends that I also happen to like are Cutty Sark and the Famous Grouse family (incl. Black Grouse and the recent Naked Grouse).
Cutty Sark is known for soft fruit flavors complemented with a bit of vanilla and oakiness skilfully blended in.
Famous Grouse has flavors of malt, honey, fruit, nuts, and sometimes a hint of something like heather flowers. Black Grouse is a little spicier and smokier, whereas Naked Grouse has a heavy sherry component.
For something a little different, you might also try Sheep Dip, a vatted malt that I find has a very complex and fascinating flavor profile--quite spicy, with sherry and vanilla sweetness but hints of iodine and peat that let you know there's a little bit of Islay in the blend.
* Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Years - production is discontinued,
so try to get a bottle as long as you have the chance
* Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve - the successor
* Black Bull 12 Years - very fine blend from independent bottler
* The Naked Grouse - the "high end version" from Famous Grouse,
a blend of Macallan and Highland Park with a lot of sherry, sweet
I wouldn't go below this price range unless you want to gulp it
down with a lot of ice or mix it with cola.
But as it is with the mots blends, you can get a better single
malt or bourbon for less money.
Thanks for the tips, I may try those in the future.
I'm intrigued with the name "Sheep Dip" as a Scotch whisky brand.
What an odd name. I'd think it would turn people off. I wonder
what possessed them to use that name?
Marko Renner recommends:
Thanks for the tips.
Waste of a good cola. I tried that with Jim Beam, had to pour
the cola down the garbage disposal.
Besides, if I wanted to mix Scotch with something, I think I might
try making "Scotch Coffee". Hmmm... one of the milder, creamier
single malts like Glen Morangie or MacCallan, perhaps...
Put 1.5oz MacCallan 12yo and 1.5oz half-n-half in a 12oz mug,
pour in 8oz of hot arabica coffee, stir in 1tsp sugar, and
top with whipped cream. I think I'll try that some day.
Around my area, single malt scotch tends to go for $40-$80
a bottle. So unless you're comparing, say, this "Johnnie
Walker Blue" I saw on the net for $120/bottle to an Ardbeg
at $50/bottle, mostly the single malts are about twice as
expensive as the blends.
Also try the Double Black - has a little stronger peat flavor, but
don't remember what it costs. Also Pinch (AKA Dimple) is another good
blend that's usually less than $40.
>Regarding my blended-Scotch query, Bill Van recommended:
>> You might give Johnnie Walker Black a try. Costs more than most blends,
>> but significantly less than most single malts. There is a little bit of
>> Islay in the blend, but not enough to set off most smoke-peat-phenol
>> alarms. Quite tasty but smooth. JW Red is cheaper, but somewhat rougher. >
>Thanks, I think I'll try the Black. On googling, I see that a store
>near me is selling it in various sizes, the best value being 750ml for $25.
the Famous Grouse family (incl. Black Grouse and the recent Naked Grouse).
You might like to try Snow Grouse.
and oakiness skilfully blended in.
something like heather flowers. Black Grouse is a little spicier and smokier,
whereas Naked Grouse has a heavy sherry component.
that I find has a very complex and fascinating flavor profile--quite spicy, with
sherry and vanilla sweetness but hints of iodine and peat that let you know
there's a little bit of Islay in the blend.
Jim Beam tastes like it was aged for about an hour. Horrible, overpriced stuff. I was fortunate to find a bottle of Beam from 1968 so I can confirm that the swill they sell today is nothing at all like it used to be. It was okay in 1968.