03-22-2017, 06:02 PM
#1
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What is everyone else currently enjoying?

Right now on my scotch/whiskey shelf I have:

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey
Balvenie Carribean Cask
The Dalmore 18
Lagavulin 16

I'm typically a Highland guy, 99% of the time strictly single malt. The Lagavulin I thought would be too peaty/smoky but I am growing to really enjoy it. The Nikka Coffey Grain might end up being given to my younger brother, I have tried enjoying on several evenings and it may be a tad too sweet for my tastes.

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 03-22-2017, 07:24 PM
#2
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(03-22-2017, 06:02 PM)GarGuy Wrote: What is everyone else currently enjoying?

Right now on my scotch/whiskey shelf I have:

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey
Balvenie Carribean Cask
The Dalmore 18
Lagavulin 16

I'm typically a Highland guy, 99% of the time strictly single malt. The Lagavulin I thought would be too peaty/smoky but I am growing to really enjoy it. The Nikka Coffey Grain might end up being given to my younger brother, I have tried enjoying on several evenings and it may be a tad too sweet for my tastes.

I felt the same way about a bottle of Laphroig Quarter Cask I had a few years ago, thought it would be too peaty based on my taste for Highlands. By the end of the bottle I found myself totally reevaluating what I thought I wanted in a whisky. Now I'm without any scotch and working in a bottle of Willet Family Reserve 3 Year Rye.

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 03-22-2017, 07:27 PM
#3
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Lagavulin 16.  I love it!!

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 03-29-2017, 07:53 AM
#4
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I was recently on a search for a new scotch and what I found wasn't just one, but many that I can live with. They're all blended. I tested them with a side by side taste test. FWIW, obviously this was based on my taste buds and what I like. My winners might be your losers and my losers your winners; that's OK.

Too, since the state controls what we can buy for liquor the list is abbreviated. The bottom 3 winners had to be special ordered for me.

The keepers in no particular order:
Ballantines - Just an all around decent scotch
Teachers- smokey
Monkey Shoulders - peaty- since ordering this I found it at the supermarket
White Horse - pretty decent and sells for a good price - because of the the side by side taste test this almost didn't make it into this list, but on it's own it'll do

The losers:
Cutty Sark - Almost made the list above and I wouldn't turn my nose up at it if offered a wee dram, but a bit too sweet for me. Maybe it should be in the above list. I'm still testing it.
John Begg
McGregor
The Famous Grouse

For a treat a few times a year I'll buy a single malt or a blend (Chivas Regal) with some additional years on it.

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 03-29-2017, 06:59 PM
#5
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I've heard good things about Minkey Shoulder.

I picked up a bottle of Bruichladdich Octomore 07.3 this week, it's an amazingly good single malt, but at 126 proof it's a bit hot!

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 03-29-2017, 07:12 PM
#6
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Hey guys-

Interesting read.  Any recommendations on a "beginner" scotch.  Something easy to get started with?  I suspect I would like something on the sweeter side, light smoke, and not too "hot"?  I am a complete newbie when it comes to scotch.  My spirit of choice is usually gin.

Thanks in advance.

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 03-29-2017, 07:58 PM
#7
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Try Cutty Sark (sweetish) or any of the scotches that didn't make my keepers list. They're fairly mild on the palate and that's why they didn't make my list. But I'd go to a bar and see what they have. That'll be less expensive for a taste. Or visit a friend who drinks scotch to see if you like it. It's an acquired taste. No scotch that I've ever tasted is truly sweet; you need to know that going in.

Taste it straight first. Then add a bit of water and the taste will change. If you have a shot in the glass don't add more than a shot of water and it shouldn't be chlorinated or fluoridated. Lots of bartenders don't understand that, about quantity that is. That's why I taste scotch at home with my pure well water. Maybe bring a bottle of water to the bar? I never use ice. That just kills the taste and randomly dilutes the scotch as it melts; phooey on that.

Smoother scotches have more years on them, but anything over 16 years is just for show and has little to do with smoothness. IMO, years over 12 give diminishing returns, but there is still a noticeable difference between 12 and 16 year old scotches. Is it worth the additional (steep) price? That's for you to decide.

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 03-29-2017, 08:08 PM
#8
  • SCOV
  • Member
  • Minnesota
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Beginner Scotch:  Try going advanced with single malts over blends.  Oban is favorite lighter scotch - $65 or so.  Balvenie 12 yr old  Double Wood excellent and often on sale.  Every bar has Glenlivet or Glenfiddich to sample (also often on sale).  Monkey Shoulders (?) is a blend of single malts and not bad for price.  Best bet is find liquor store with "whisky guy" for advice and ideas.

Current stock:
Lagavulin 200 year anniversary release (8 years old)
Jura Brooklyn
Edradour
Oban
Kilchoman
Springbank

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 03-29-2017, 08:09 PM
#9
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(03-29-2017, 07:12 PM)wreck | fish Wrote: Interesting read.  Any recommendations on a "beginner" scotch.  Something easy to get started with?  I suspect I would like something on the sweeter side, light smoke, and not too "hot"?  I am a complete newbie when it comes to scotch.  My spirit of choice is usually gin.

My bride and I, for close to four decades, both had a glass of Scotch before supper every night that we were home.  Our “standard” — though we infrequently purchased it, it was the one against we judged others — was Teacher’s.  A few years back, our tastes came to a fork in the road, and these days, my spirit of choice is Rittenhouse Rye, while hers is The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, a relatively new (21st century) and innovative Irish whiskey produced by industry newcomers Bernard and Rosemary Walsh.  I mention this because, while neither Rittenhouse Rye nor The Irishman is a Scotch, The Irishman has the very characteristics that you seem to be seeking in a “beginner” Scotch, and it is attractively priced.  http://walshwhiskey.com/our-brands/founders-reserve/

On the other hand, if you are willing to take a chance on the word of a poster on a shaving forum (-moi-), for roughly triple the price (at BevMo Oakland) of my favorite Rittenhouse Rye, you cannot go wrong with Dalwhinnie, which could well become your “forever” Scotch after your first sampling of it as your “beginner” Scotch.

FWIW, the “experts” of Scotch whisky (whiskey drops the e in Scotland) all are jumping on the bandwagon of Japanese whiskies these days.   Suntory and Nikka both make very wide ranges of Scotch-style whisky, and the best of the Japanese lines are, arguably, the best “Scotch” whiskies in the world.  

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 03-29-2017, 08:20 PM
#10
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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Aberlour 18 yr.
Johnnie Walker Green Label
The Glenlivet 18 yr.
Chivas Regal 25 yr.

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 03-30-2017, 08:14 AM
#11
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(03-29-2017, 07:12 PM)wreck | fish Wrote: Hey guys-

Interesting read.  Any recommendations on a "beginner" scotch.  Something easy to get started with?  I suspect I would like something on the sweeter side, light smoke, and not too "hot"?  I am a complete newbie when it comes to scotch.  My spirit of choice is usually gin.

Thanks in advance.

Macallan 12 year, my tastes are a bit jaded as I am a single malt fan. But you definitely want a Highland scotch

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 03-30-2017, 09:29 AM
#12
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Thanks for all the input gentleman.  I'll focus on these suggestions and look for some opportunities to try them.  Thanks again.

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 03-30-2017, 09:36 AM
#13
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I'd say Macallan 12 as the best beginner scotch.  Classic and fairly neutral.  Oban would be good as well.  

These days I'm liking Ardbeg.  I don't currently have the income to indulge my love of single malts but hopefully that will change this year.

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 04-02-2017, 11:56 AM
#14
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(03-22-2017, 06:02 PM)GarGuy Wrote: What is everyone else currently enjoying?

Right now on my scotch/whiskey shelf I have:

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey
Balvenie Carribean Cask
The Dalmore 18
Lagavulin 16

I'm typically a Highland guy, 99% of the time strictly single malt. The Lagavulin I thought would be too peaty/smoky but I am growing to really enjoy it. The Nikka Coffey Grain might end up being given to my younger brother, I have tried enjoying on several evenings and it may be a tad too sweet for my tastes.

I have the opportunity to try some Balvenie Carribean Cask -- will report back after the tasting.  Will keep my eye out for the other recommendations.

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 04-02-2017, 01:34 PM
#15
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Tom tasting is part of the enjoyment, especially tasting a lot. Just have a designated driver who didn't taste if you know what I mean. :-)

Have fun!

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 04-02-2017, 08:38 PM
#16
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Something wonderful about a snifter. 

Have a Guernsey at the Sullivan's Cove from our Apple Isle (Tasmania) if you come across it. 

I've been a fan of Glenfiddich IPA and AnCnoc 22 for a while, but the Sullivan's Cove is no slouch. Bruichladdich 15 Year Old is also terrific. 


I also agree that Lagavulin and Chivas make great whisky.

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 04-02-2017, 08:43 PM
#17
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Dalwhinnie is a good recommendation for a single malt whisky to start out with!

Big +1!

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 04-03-2017, 01:57 AM
#18
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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(04-02-2017, 11:56 AM)wreck | fish Wrote:
(03-22-2017, 06:02 PM)GarGuy Wrote: What is everyone else currently enjoying?

Right now on my scotch/whiskey shelf I have:

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey
Balvenie Carribean Cask
The Dalmore 18
Lagavulin 16

I'm typically a Highland guy, 99% of the time strictly single malt. The Lagavulin I thought would be too peaty/smoky but I am growing to really enjoy it. The Nikka Coffey Grain might end up being given to my younger brother, I have tried enjoying on several evenings and it may be a tad too sweet for my tastes.

I have the opportunity to try some Balvenie Carribean Cask -- will report back after the tasting.  Will keep my eye out for the other recommendations.

Balvenie Caribbean Cask goes wonderfully well with a cigar... just saying.  Cool

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 04-03-2017, 01:17 PM
#19
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(04-02-2017, 11:56 AM)wreck | fish Wrote: I have the opportunity to try some Balvenie Carribean Cask -- will report back after the tasting.  Will keep my eye out for the other recommendations.

Gave the Carribean Cask a try last night.  Great scent (?) -- can really pick up the rum, caramel, vanilla in the scotch.  I tried with increasing amounts of filtered water, a drop at a time.  For my first try, I think it was ok, but couldn't pick up the same flavors as I smelled.  I think I prefer a higher water/scotch ratio so will try .25/100 tonite.

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 04-03-2017, 02:07 PM
#20
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(04-03-2017, 01:17 PM)wreck | fish Wrote:
(04-02-2017, 11:56 AM)wreck | fish Wrote: I have the opportunity to try some Balvenie Carribean Cask -- will report back after the tasting.  Will keep my eye out for the other recommendations.

Gave the Carribean Cask a try last night.  Great scent (?) -- can really pick up the rum, caramel, vanilla in the scotch.  I tried with increasing amounts of filtered water, a drop at a time.  For my first try, I think it was ok, but couldn't pick up the same flavors as I smelled.  I think I prefer a higher water/scotch ratio so will try .25/100 tonite.

Is that 1:400 (4000?) ? No kidding you added drops! I wouldn't be able to notice a difference. Why bother with the water at all? Just drink it straight and be done with it.

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