new to scotch any suggestions?


Hi group I am new to the group and am an Irish whiskey drinker.Of course we have a massive tradition of whiskey drinking and production in Ireland to rival the quality of, not the scale of, Scotch. Just wondering if anyone has any good suggestions of good affordable Scotch.? I have drank all the basic scotches such as Teachers, Johnny Walker, Black & White, Mackay etc but nothing hit me as standout. My favourite Irishes would be: Redbreast 12 yr old pot still Clontarf Black Label Powers Gold Label Connemara Cask Strength (bought yesterday) Bushmills 10 yr Malt Green Spot Thanks in advance
Reply to
greenspot

Welcome! There different kinds of scotch. First, there is grain scotch and malt scotch. Without going into technical detail, grain scotch is relatively flavorless compared to malts. The layman way to classify scotch is blend vs single malt. Most blends, such as the ones you mention above, use grain scotch, hence the unimpressive flavor. What flavor is there is intended to be well-rounded, not stand-out-ish. In other words, if you want the good stuff, you want single malt scotch.
Single malt scotch is very diverse, and is usually categorized by region. Someone else can fill in the details. In layman's terms, I would say there are three main types or flavors: (1) peated whisky (mostly from Islay), (2) sherried whiskies, and (3) regular scotch. You might start with regular, especially from the Highlands, and work toward the peaty Islays, which are more flavorful but not for everyone. I personally favor cask strenght Islays and sherried whiskys, and always have. The "regulars" are very different from each other.
Speaking in US dollars (USD), I can get 1 litre of Teachers for 20 USD. Good, but not extravagant, single malt run in the 35 - 50 USD range, and my favorites are around 60 - 80 USD. That's 2 - 5 times the cost of Teachers. Good scotch is expensive, moreso than Irish blends, moreso than scotch blends, way cheaper than good cognac, better than all.
For your first experience, either go to a pub that carries a good selection of scotch, so you can sample some (stay away from the popular Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, etc.--boring). Or, get a bottle of Highland Park 12 -- it's reasonably priced, and agreeable to most. You simply can't go wrong with HP 12, and if you don't like it, you probably won't like scotch. But if you like Irish whisk(e)y, I can't imagine you won't love HP 12.
Here are some that I really like, just off the top of my head:
Highland Park - honest, straightforward, regular Laphroaig Cask Strength (CS) - very potent, lots of peat, smells like iodine Aberlour A'bunadh (CS) - very potent, sherried Craggenmore - interesting regular Dalwhinnie - interesting regular Ardbeg Uigeadail (CS) - (peat) Man's best attempt at creating divinity Talisker - nothing like it -- peat, but not all peat Balvenie Doublewood - hard for me to explain Lagavulin - another peaty Islay, with more flavors than just peat
Enjoy, John
Reply to
John Derby

Walker,
Celtic Whisky Shop. They have a good selection of Irish (Of course) and Scottish whiskies. They have a website I won't advertise here. If you not a Dub.... get to your local off licence..
In Dublin, odd bins could also be a good bet.
I have to agree you can't go wrong with HP 12, also you could try some of the Bowmore, Darkest or Cask Strenght are quite nice.
Talisker is a good introduction to peat, Laphroaig and Ardbeg are with Caol Ila my 3 favorites but all heavily peated.
Aberlour A'bunah is a good SM, not peated, but excellent.
In short, lots to explore, and maybe you'll get to the Japanese stuff one day.....
Reply to
cherveto

"John Derby" skrev i melding news: snipped-for-privacy@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
In the sense that, as you say, it is "agreeable to most", and that "if you don't like it, you probably won't like scotch", I agree. But to say "You simply can't go wrong with HP 12"... Well, that depends on what you are looking for, doesn't it?
HP 12 will probably not put anyone off. But some feel that it doesn't stand out either, and it sounds to me that the original poster is looking for something that does. (Yes, I know, I've said it here before, but: To me HP 12 is a medoicre and often overrated malt).
I think statements like "You can't go wrong with HP 12" or "Laphroaig, you either love it or hate it" are way to general and carries little information. No offence though, it's just grumpy old me ;-)
Gunnar
Reply to
Gunnar Thormodsæter

Guys thanks alot for all the advice - do really appreciate it Have decided to keep an eye out for the HP12- well recommended here and by Ml Jackson and maybe the Ardbeg 10yr. But still I have loads of Irish whiskey at home and alot are blended- Jameson , Clontarf, Powers etc. these are very well respected brands in Ireland , just wondering is the blend apathy more of a Scotch thing? Saying that there are some fantastic Irish malts - Connemara, Bushmills 10yr, Tyrconell,and pot stills - Redbreast 12 yr (my absolute favourite whiskey) try this guys if you haven't already , I usen't like whiskey till I tasted this one.
Reply to
greenspot

True, true, not necessarily true. The OP was looking to find out what scotch is really like, rather than the bland blends. Did you see the Irish that the OP mentioned? Based on all of his criteria, I recommended HP as the safe choice, and I think I got it right. (Anecdotally, my first scotch was Laphroiag, a decision I based on what a number of experienced scotch-o-files indicated as among their favorites. I loved it. So you make a good point.)
It offers affective, consensual information, which may be more useful to a novice than esoteric, individual accounts. To illustrate, I suggest that a novice looking for general information might on scotch might be better served by "You can't go wrong with HP," than "sublime: the peat is almost sprinkled on by hand in exact measures, the honey and vague molasses guaranteeing controlled sweetness, salt, old leather and apples in there, too."
One might suggest that no information also carries little information ;-)
Reply to
John Derby

Point taken. But there are other alternatives to "You simply can't go wrong..." than sublime notes. For instance "HP 12 is a very enjoyable scotch that isn't extreme in any way" or whatever. Well well, maybe I should get myself a T-shirt with "I went wrong with HP 12!" printet on it ;-)
Gunnar
"John Derby" skrev i melding
True, true, not necessarily true. The OP was looking to find out what scotch is really like, rather than the bland blends. Did you see the Irish that the OP mentioned? Based on all of his criteria, I recommended HP as the safe choice, and I think I got it right. (Anecdotally, my first scotch was Laphroiag, a decision I based on what a number of experienced scotch-o-files indicated as among their favorites. I loved it. So you make a good point.)
It offers affective, consensual information, which may be more useful to a novice than esoteric, individual accounts. To illustrate, I suggest that a novice looking for general information might on scotch might be better served by "You can't go wrong with HP," than "sublime: the peat is almost sprinkled on by hand in exact measures, the honey and vague molasses guaranteeing controlled sweetness, salt, old leather and apples in there, too."
One might suggest that no information also carries little information ;-)
Reply to
Gunnar Thormodsæter

I say, "Ya can't go wrong with Jameson!!!" ;-)
__---------__ / \ / \ | JAMESON- | __| fikken grand! L__ (_____________________)
John (Derby)
Reply to
John Derby

Balvenie Doublewood is a great first dram. A bit sweet with great vanilla aftertones. A slightly complex but very friendly SMS.
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Reply to
Wayne Crannell

Actually I think I'd go for the Founders 10yo first then, if that finds favour, try the Doublewood.
Jim
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Reply to
Jim

To be a bit more constructive than I have been above:
I've just tried Macleod's 8 yo Islay Single Malt. Quite a good one IMO, and fairly priced. Not overwhelmingly peaty and slightly on the sweet side, so maybe a good introduction to peated Islays. Based on the medicinal character of the phenols, my guess is it's a Laphroaig.
I see that Macleod's has a range of 8 year olds from different regions. They also come as a set of miniatures called Macleod's Scotch Whisky Trail. I haven't tried the Whisky Trail, but perhaps it would be a good starting point for someone new to Scotch Singles?
Gunnar
Reply to
Gunnar Thormodsæter

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