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Old 09-17-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
Gabe215
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Default Question about scotch

I recently tried Ardbeg and it smelled horrid and tasted like that as well. I thought maybe it was an old spoiled bottle. I was at my buddy's house and he never had it before and said he bought it in the beginning of summer. Is it just I'm not used to peated Scotch? Are all Islay Scotches taste like this? Is there a better beginner peated Scotch for me to start with? I've had Connemara (which I LOVED) and High West Campfire (strongly disliked) and neither of them were overwhelmed with the peat. Any and all input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Hi Gabe
Islay scotches are not usually the best place to start to get into single malts. If you're used to blended whiskies, you'll be overwhelmed by a peaty Islay. Speysides and some Highlands are usually the most "accessible" scotches. Lowland scotches like an Auchentoshan also not a bad start.

I would suggest try a Glenfiddich, aberfeldy or Glenmornagie as gentler starting points. Glenmornagie in particular has lovely perfumes and a real floral, sometime sherried aroma. Put the tiniest drop of water in (dew on the rose), but no ice, or the volatile esters will die a miserable death in your glass.

To me the joy of scotches is their distinctive differences, and confess to being a "smoke head" - but some Islays are definitely an acquired taste, especially my beloved Laffie (Laphroiag) and the awesome Arbeg Corrywrecken!
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Glengoyne is another choice if you don't care for the smoky peat.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question about scotch

So far Glenmorangie and Balvanie are the two best of my VERY little experience with Scotch, no I'm not a blend drinker just started drinking Scotch and started with Single Malt Scotch. I've had JW and Dewars before and never liked it, then someone gave me a good single malt and I could tell there was a difference and am starting to dabble, what an expensive hobby!
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question about scotch

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Originally Posted by nutcracker View Post
Hi Gabe
Islay scotches are not usually the best place to start to get into single malts. If you're used to blended whiskies, you'll be overwhelmed by a peaty Islay. Speysides and some Highlands are usually the most "accessible" scotches. Lowland scotches like an Auchentoshan also not a bad start.

I would suggest try a Glenfiddich, aberfeldy or Glenmornagie as gentler starting points. Glenmornagie in particular has lovely perfumes and a real floral, sometime sherried aroma. Put the tiniest drop of water in (dew on the rose), but no ice, or the volatile esters will die a miserable death in your glass.

To me the joy of scotches is their distinctive differences, and confess to being a "smoke head" - but some Islays are definitely an acquired taste, especially my beloved Laffie (Laphroiag) and the awesome Arbeg Corrywrecken!
I'm not into peaty scotches, either and my favorite is Oban, which I believe is a Speyside. It has a lovely note of the sea, which now that I think of it should pair nicely with a Sancho Panza NP.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question about scotch

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Originally Posted by Subvet642 View Post
I'm not into peaty scotches, either and my favorite is Oban, which I believe is a Speyside. It has a lovely note of the sea, which now that I think of it should pair nicely with a Sancho Panza NP.

Oban is a highland distillery. Great dram bit of smoke, Complex.

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Old 09-18-2014, 01:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Macallan is a very smooth scotch, floral aromas and a hint of oak. They are casked in Sherry oak I believe. Another easy drinker is Glenlivet, very basic scotch. The most peaty and smoky one I've had is Laphroig, very aquired taste, but good if you like it.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question about scotch

My brother thinks Peat is poison but I love Peat these days. Go for the Highland Scotches or Irish Whiskies to start and hold off on the Islay Scotches for a bit. The easiest Islay is Lavagulin IMHO but don't get me wrong, Lavagulin is my favorite Scotch so I am very biased.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Actually Bunnahabhain usually produces unpeated scotches, so would be the exception for Islay. Lagavulin in quite approachable as peat goes.

I usually suggest to those getting into scotch to graduate from the basic (as people have mentioned above) to a little heather and smoke - Highland Park being a brilliant and complex malt.

There are litterally hundreds to try. The way to keep the expense down is to visit scotch bars and tastings before investing in scotch.
the great thing about them is that you can open them and they don't really spoil. I have no compunction about opening anyof my collection to try. The same is not true for wine.

It's a lot of fun, and yes can be expensive. Very expensive.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Thanks to all all!! One question to Neil, doesn't scotch start to go tannic after 6months or so specifically when the bottle is 3/4 to half empty? As you mentioned I am drinking singleLt irish whisky and started to dabble with single malt scotch
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Hi Gabe

Scotch will change a bit once opened - not a whole lot, and not quickly - there is some evaporation of alcohol and esters (the congeners that lend complexity to scotch) but it takes a long time to occur. Storage in a cool area will reduce is a bit. Some oxidation might also occur, so in short your scotch may lose some complexity over time.

There is very little tannin in scotch, as the barrels don't give much off - they're usually re-used from the bourbon or sherry industry.

Aside from OCDC collectors like myself (who have a lot of open bottles) most people won't allow a decent scotch to be open that long (a coupled years really)

I like to enjoy what I buy and don't believe in investment bottles or cigars. (I have an opened battle of Port Ellen for example - you now have to kill to find them, and my friends are mortified)

Why have it if you don't intend to drink or smoke it for that matter.

Slante.

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Old 09-21-2014, 12:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: Question about scotch

BTW if you fancy Irish whisky, a nice transition is Auchentoshan. It is unusual in that it is triple distilled (like Irish). This tends to favor drawing on the more floral and delicate esters as many of the heavy cogeners are stripped out. For traditional Bourbon drinkers the "virgin oak" version of Auchie will bring you some of the sweet vanilla tones you are used to.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Thank you!!
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Question about scotch

My gateway scotch was Balvenie Doublewood. My go-to these days is Monkey Shoulder. LOVE that stuff.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Monkey Shoulder is great and cheap too. Just picked up a bottle of Oban yesterday.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:02 AM   #16
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Aberfeldy is my favorite especially for the price
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:15 AM   #17
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Just bought another bottle of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, but the guy at the store who knows his stuff suggested a bottle of Monkey Shoulder for a cheap but great blended, plus u guys suggest it too!!- that's now on top of my radar and also Tullamore Dew Phoenix. Keep the comments/suggestions/opinions coming, love this place!
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe215 View Post
So far Glenmorangie and Balvanie are the two best of my VERY little experience with Scotch, no I'm not a blend drinker just started drinking Scotch and started with Single Malt Scotch. I've had JW and Dewars before and never liked it, then someone gave me a good single malt and I could tell there was a difference and am starting to dabble, what an expensive hobby!
Mmmm Balvanie DW 17 is sooo good. I also love the Glenlivet 21 and the Nadurra is good for the price. I haven't been drinking scotch very long but so far the Balvenie has the top spot for me, being amazingly smooth.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Question about scotch

My first and only experience with scotch was a super fancy vintage bottle of laphroig that was so peaty it made me want to die.
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: Question about scotch

Shane I hear you either I do not care for peat or I'm "not there yet", try Glenmorangie, The Macallan or Balvenie
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