View Full Version : New To Scotch, Need Advice...
11-22-2011, 02:51 PM
I'm traditionally a beer drinker. With that said, I'm bored with the usual thing, and I want to delve into something a bit deeper, and explore scotch. I tried the search feature but didnt see exactly what I was looking for. Can anyone offer advice on a good starting point for a beginner?
Thanks in advance for the help!
11-23-2011, 05:33 AM
Start with a Speyside. Compare your experience with others notes. Once you learn about nose, palate, finish, move on to another Speyside. Once you have an idea what characterizes by a Speyside, move onto another region....Highlands, Islands, Islay and do the same thing. Try several expressions from one distillery and learn what makes them different.
Throw some blended scotch in alonng the way for comparisson.
My two cents...
Because there is so much variation to styles of whisky being made in Speyside, I would clarify what the previous post has indicated. For example, if you went to the store and asked for a Speyside whisky and the unknowing clerk handed you a Benriach Curiositas Peat or Benromach Traditional, you might be put of by their phenol levels and consequently think Speyside whisky is not for you. Additionally, you may love them and be utterly surprised when your next Speyside purchase is nothing like these.
In general, the Speyside whiskies are a bit sweeter and quite floral. Most are medium bodied. These appeal to a lot of new malt drinkers.
That said, light bodied whiskies like Glenkinchie from the Lowlands are also a very nice place to start. Back in Speyside, a lighter whisky like Strathisla is pretty nice.
I more suggest buying a couple different bottles of different styles and from different regions. The way you'll learn fastest is by doing comparative tastings between different whiskies. And if you don't want to spend $45 or more on several bottles you're not sure you'll like, find a good whisky bar in your locale and do your exploring at around $10-15 a dram. Then look for a good store whose staff can guide you to other whiskies which are somewhat similar to those you've tasted and like. Good luck on finding such staff in most stores because, where they may know a little about wine, most know much less about whisky.
If nothing else, you can comeback to this board and let us know what you had and liked and we can give you good direction from there.
Finally, you might also try some of the Irish malt whiskies. They tend to be much lighter than the Scotch malts due to triple and patent still distillation. They also tend to be sweeter. That said, Bushmills 10 and Knappogue Castle are pretty pleasing whiskies, and quite affordable.
11-25-2011, 11:27 AM
In addition to slowly moving from one bottle to the next (once you feel like you know that particular dram), I would always keep one or two "reference" drams that you know cold to be a known, well, reference to any new scotch you try.
12-01-2011, 02:10 AM
Thanks very much for the replies, they gave me a place to start. I appreciate the help!
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