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  • scotch whiskey

    My instructor has treated me to some scotch on a couple of occasions and I have actually started to appreciate the taste. (I thought that I had given up on hard liquor after that tequila incident in college). Anyway, he drinks a blended scotch (Mcintosh I think). I am looking to buy a bottle of scotch and would like some direction. Is single malt worth the extra cost? Or would a good blended be fine for a novice such as myself? What is a recommended scotch that doesn't cost a fortune?

  • #2
    Re: scotch whiskey

    Welcome to another science! I know this question isn't about pipes, but I couldn't help but poke my bass drone in on this one.

    Blend vs Singlemalt?
    A single malt is a whisky produced from a single distillery. A blend, is a bunch of singlemalts thrown into a bottle.
    Would you pour yourself half a glass of super sauvignon blanc and then top the glass up with a cheeky chardonnay?

    There are 86 distilleries in Scotland, and each whisky produced has different characteristics. The flavour profiles range from body; sweetness; smoky; medicinal; tobacco; honey; spicy; winey; nutty; malty; fruit and floral through to what I sometimes class as petroleum-byproducts.
    Remember: It's all to do with personal taste which you will develop when you taste different ones.

    Some of the heavier peaty whiskys include Laphroaig, Talisker, Lagavulin and Ardbeg, but I recommend you try some medium to lighter ones which are most enjoyable and highly popular being Highland Park, Old Fettercairn, Glengoyne or Aberlour.
    The single-malt considered by most as the Rolls Royce of malts is Macallan.

    Might I suggest, to get you moving, is to go to your off-license/liquor store and buy half a dozen minitures {quite often these come in gift packs from distillers or large companies which produce different single-malts. Then make notes of your tastings, if you wish, to help you find your style-preference. This also means you don't have to shell out a lot of pingers to find one which you'd like to buy a bottle of.
    Another good household hint, is to tell as many of your friends as possible that you collect single-malts, and thus bottles for birthdays/anniversaries and Christmas will suddenly arrive as gifts!

    The number one selling single-malt in the US is The Glenlivit, whereas the biggest selling malt in Italy happens to be Glen Grant.

    So, here are a few names to begin with, but happy to provide you with more.
    Cheers!!
    Slain t(h)e Bairn Bearing Woman with a Claymore

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: scotch whiskey

      Sorry to nit pick, but you have to watch your spelling! Irish stuff such as Bushmills or Jamesons is spelt "whiskey" with the "e", whereas the good old Scottish water of life is spelt "whisky" without the e. Difficult to recommend a malt to you as different whisky producing areas produce whisky of differing characteristics - eg a Speyside is different from an Islay etc etc. Recommend Macallan though.
      Glyn Morris
      www.scottishbagpipers.com
      Fife Police Pipe Band

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      • #4
        Re: scotch whiskey

        Glyn is absolutely correct.
        WHISKEY = Irish spelling; WHISKY = Scottish.

        An old man once said to me " Irish whiskey going down, tastes like Scottish whisky coming up ".

        But I wouldn't know what that's like, since I haven't had a sickie on single-malt.... yet.
        Slain t(h)e Bairn Bearing Woman with a Claymore

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        • #5
          Re: scotch whiskey

          Easy to remember which spelling is which: the "E" from Eire is in the Irish spelling.

          As for what to recommend, I wouldn't want to put you astray. I suggest that you buy one of each of the top 20 single malts, send them to me, I'll taste them all, and I'll let you know which one was best. I know; it's a wonderfully magnanimous gesture, but I'm just that kind of guy.

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          • #6
            Re: scotch whiskey

            Best Scotch I have ever tasted is 'Stag's Breath"
            goes down like honey, it is honey, brought back two bottles from Scotland last week. Can't buy it is the US.
            Cheers
            Gary Speed

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            • #7
              Re: scotch whiskey

              http://www.whiskyweb.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: scotch whiskey

                Given where I have been teaching the last while, I'm not supposed to have an opinion about whisky, but I can't resist adding a couple of comments.

                Originally posted by single-malt wishart:
                A single malt is a whisky produced from a single distillery. A blend, is a bunch of singlemalts thrown into a bottle.
                Not many blended whiskys are well described by this. The vast majority of blends contain relatively little malt whisky, and consist of varying and often high percentages of grain alcohol. This is essentially tastless filler but it's cheap to make; the flavour comes from a small amount of much more expensive malt-derived whisky.

                That aside, you are missing both good flavour and value if you decide to be a single-malt snob. Lots of blends really are pretty ghastly but some are also very good indeed. I prefer single-malt whisky myself, but for casual tippling I try to have a couple of the better blends around.

                Try a bottle of Famous Grouse, for example, which I think is more than a match for some of the less-good single malts...

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                • #9
                  Re: scotch whiskey

                  My wife and I were fortunate enough to go to Scotland for our honeymoon and while we were there was treated to several different brands. The one I liked the most was Glengoyne. Smooth and very good. Glengoyne would be my pick.
                  PiperT

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                  • #10
                    Re: scotch whiskey

                    Lagavulin and Ardbeg are my personal favorites, very peaty Islay single malts. As I'm about to be laid off, I suppose that I'll have to economize with the less expensive Laphroaig.
                    Not everyone appreciates the peaty ones; Dalmore and Aberlour (which is relatively inexpensive) are good choices.
                    The other day I was treated to some Loch Dhu; smokey black whisky darker than expresso, and very good. I hear it's no longer available.

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                    • #11
                      Re: scotch whiskey

                      i love that someone brought this up.....i'd say if it were up to me i'd go with old fettercairn (my personal fav.), glen rothes and macallan (i have a bottle of this at work stashed away for those long nights). my cousin and i are experimenting with different brands as we go along, but i still maintain these as my favs.
                      childish name calling is fun! let's all try - i'll go first, poop head!

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                      • #12
                        Re: scotch whiskey

                        Here's an interesting site:

                        http://www.scotchwhisky.com/latest/m...sification.htm

                        If you're in the US, here's an interesting sounding club. Someday I may even join!

                        http://www.smwsa.com/
                        Regards, Chris

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                        • #13
                          Re: scotch whiskey

                          A very important note:

                          There are only TWO things should ever be added to good whisky;

                          1. a splash of water

                          2. more whisky
                          Rat Ba$tard

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: scotch whiskey

                            Originally posted by single-malt wishart:
                            A single malt is a whisky produced from a single distillery. A blend, is a bunch of singlemalts thrown into a bottle.
                            <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Not many blended whiskys are well described by this. The vast majority of blends contain relatively little malt whisky, and consist of varying and often high percentages of grain alcohol. This is essentially tastless filler but it's cheap to make; the flavour comes from a small amount of much more expensive malt-derived whisky.

                            That aside, you are missing both good flavour and value if you decide to be a single-malt snob. Lots of blends really are pretty ghastly but some are also very good indeed. I prefer single-malt whisky myself, but for casual tippling I try to have a couple of the better blends around.

                            Try a bottle of Famous Grouse, for example, which I think is more than a match for some of the less-good single malts...
                            </div></div>I'll stir the pot a bit more. What most people don't realize is that almost all "single malts" are in fact blended as well; however, the blend is, as originally described, almost exclusively from the product of a single distillery. The objective is to ensure that the output is consistent over time.

                            However, there is another class of whiskys that are single cask reserves, that for one reason or another have not been blended at all. These are often rare, singular whiskys that have a unique characteristic and are only available in limited quantities or special bottlings - and often for a reasonable price. As you explore the wonderful world of Scotch whisky, this branch should not be overlooked.
                            Long Beach Pipe Band
                            Long Beach, CA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: scotch whiskey

                              "There are only TWO things should ever be added to good whisky;

                              1. a splash of water

                              2. more whisky"


                              A friend assured us the other day that a splash of water would bring out some of the more subtle notes...as near as my companion and myself could tell, all it did was water down our whisky.
                              :humm:

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