I'd like to try scotch...

Thu May 05, 2011 4:37 am

...but I have no idea what kind to get, what to look for, or even the correct way of drinking it. I heard Doc on the Session talking about it one night, and I got sort of the basics from that, but I didn't hear any recommendations for a good Scotch for beginners. I asked another friend and got a good four paragraphs on different kinds of scotch, which made a little more sense, but not much more. So I figured I would ask the Army and see what you guys thought, I know there has to be some scotch drinkers out there, along with others like me who'd like to try but don't know enough.

So yeah, there ya go. Good brands for beginners, links or drinking how-tos are all appreciated. I'm eager to see what you guys recommend.
User avatar
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Thu May 05, 2011 6:25 am

There are many styles of scotch like many styles of beer. I know some people get their best start on speysides (malty fruity), while others really get into the Islay scotches first (seaweed and peatsmoke). My advice: if you live near anywhere that has a good scotch selection and does flights, ask them to do a flight for you of a couple different types. it'll be cheaper than buying any one of them and you'll get a good sense of the variations.

In Kegerator - Hopfen Weiss, Best Bitter
In Primary - Baby Baine Barleywine
Next up: Petite Saison
User avatar
Posts: 852
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:14 pm
Location: Bronx, NY

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Fri May 06, 2011 2:04 am

Glenmorangie is a good distiller to start with. They make good highland style scotches that aren't too overwhelming but are still complex and with a lot of different cask finishes to start to branch out into.

I also recommend you get Michael Jackson's Malt Whisky Companion. It gives you information about its production, flavours, regions, etc as well as a breakdown of distillers and a description of their scotches. A good reference book as well as something to learn the basics of the drink from.
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:07 pm

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Fri May 06, 2011 3:01 am

Highland Park 12 is a great beginner scotch. It's the scotch I drink most often. Not too expensive either.
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:03 pm
Location: Detroit

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Fri May 06, 2011 3:49 am

Glen morangie and the Highleand park 12 were the first 2 I bought, and are pretty damn nice, I aslo enjoyed Scapa 10 I woudl suggest start with the HP12 though from memry scotch cossts roughly 1/5 of what it does here in AUS in the US
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:32 pm
Location: Perth/Fremantle, Western Australia

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Fri May 06, 2011 6:21 am

glenlivet is also a good inexpensive one to start out on. im also a big fan of the macallan. they recently released a 10 year that is really quite in expensive and very nice. but if you want something awesome go for the cask strength. a lot of their stuff is aged in sherry oak casks so it has a wonderful sherry flavor.
An empty kegerator is a crime against humanity. -Dirk McLargeHuge
Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Where the fuck is the BACON???????? - Bdawg
User avatar
Posts: 1109
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:49 am
Location: Bothell, WA

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Fri May 06, 2011 8:44 am

Way late to the party here, but just to make my two cents:

LOVE the Macallans. 18 was ridiculously good, but too far out of my budget most days. The 15 Fine Oak is amazing.

Balvenie: I really have a liking to the 15 and DblWood.

Others I've enjoyed thoroughly:

Dalwhinnie - very honey aroma to it. light in color. to me, a very springtime scotch. also very minimal note of smoke/peat in the background.

Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or - honey, again. i swear i got a very subtle note of something my mind thinks of as flower pollen...this was a good thing. and vanilla. (it's been a while, but that's vaguely what i remember of it)

Glenkinchie - alcohol-forward, honey, small smoke/peat. needs a cube to relax and lessen the alcohol burn. not great, tolerable.

Laphroaig - peaty/smoke-heavy! great, once you acquire the taste for it.

Lagavulin - PEAT! campfire, more PEAT! again, acquired taste.

re: Laphroaig vs. Lagavulin -

There has long been a religious war of sorts between fans of Lagavulin vs. Laphroaig, though the discussion is much like the Coke versus Pepsi debate -most people couldn't tell the difference between the two in a blind taste test. As a result either can be considered to be a definitive Islay malt. For example Michael Jackon gives Lagavulin higher points, while Jim Murray gives a slight edge to Laphroaig.

That being said The Lagavulin IS excellent - garnering 99 points from the Beverage Tasting institute, 97 points from Wine Spectator and 95 points from Michael Jackson. This is a whisky to work your way up to. The peat can overwhelm the average palate, and the finish is smoky and sustained. It's been said so much, it's almost a cliche - Lagavulin is an acquired taste, people either love it or hate it.

I typically give my Scotch a sip neat to determine if I want to add a cube or not. I don't like the typical results I taste when adding more than one cube, though, or adding any water. I like to have that cube open up different flavors throughout my perception of the Scotch and enjoy how they change throughout the melt.

Again, just my pair of Lincolns. YMMV.

User avatar
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:21 pm
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: I'd like to try scotch...

Fri May 06, 2011 2:36 pm

Sweeeeet, I think I'm probably going to try and find what I can at the liquor store. I've always liked rum, but hearing people talk about scotch made me want to try and acquire a taste for it. There's just something classy about a glass of scotch anyways.

Interesting thread so far!
User avatar
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:48 pm


Return to Off Topic Stuff

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


The Brewing Network is a multimedia resource for brewers and beer lovers. Since 2005, we have been the leader in craft beer entertainment and information with live beer radio, podcasts, video, events and more.