Single Malt Newbie
I decided to start drinking Single Malts recently and in less than half a bottle I must say I am hooked! I have enjoyed non single malts my entire adult life. Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, Crown Royal Black, etc.
My wife who is pretty much a fruity girly drink drinker even agreed that what I purchased was by far the smoothest thing she had ever had.
I choose as my first experience "The Glenlivet" 15 year French Oak Reserve. As I stated above first ever single malt.
Any suggestions as to the next best thing from here? Not the BEST but something slightly better in scale but not much more expensive. Would it be smart to try the 18 Year in the same brand to see the differences between the two ages and maturation barrels? or to try something entirely new.
Completely open to suggestions!!
Crown and Jack Daniels aren't just non-single malt whiskies, but entirely different kinds of whiskey/whiskey altogether. Jack Daniels is American bourbon from Tennessee, and Crown is Canadian whisky (not bourbon or scotch or Irish whiskey). The difference between whisky and whiskey is just the different spellings used in different regions/countries.
Naturally, scotch whisky is the best there is, a thousand times over.
You COULD go ahead and step it up from the 15 year, but seeing as you are brand new to scotch I wouldn't do that. Unless you have the rare "super palate" and naturally are a master taster, then your palate will take some time and experience to begin picking up the tastes and variations that make fine whisky worth the high cost. With the first 10 or so malts I had, the only thing I really noticed was whether the whisky was smooth or not, and whether it had peat smoke or not. There is an infinite amount of complexity beyond just smoothness and smoke, and now at 30 malts I still only pick up a handful of them. Save the nice bottles for when you can more fully appreciate them.
If I were you, I would save the rest of that Glenlivet 15 for a while, and in the meantime start trying 10 and 12 year olds from different regions. I would also try a few blends like Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal. JW green and gold labels are my favorites (blue is overpriced), and Chivas Regal 12 is pretty good for the price.
Here are some good suggestions for entry level scotches from different regions:
Speyside: Glenfiddich 12, Glenlivet 12, Glenfarclas 10 or 12, Balvenie 12 doublewood, etc.
Highland: The Macallan 12 year, Highland Park 12 (also an island malt), Cragganmore 12, Oban 14, etc.
Islay: Ardbeg 10, Laphroaig 10, Bowmore, etc. (beware of these!).
Lowlands: Glenkinchie 12, Auchentoshan 12.
Campbeltown: Longrow or Springbank.
It'll depend on the availability and prices where you live. Search for the largest liquor store in your area or state and call them, asking about what kinds of scotch they carry. Order online too if you are able to in your state (I'm not).
I would suggest starting with a smaller bottle of Glenfiddich 12. After that start trying the "Classic Malts Collection" by Diageo, which includes whisky from several regions and is available most places. Always first go with sample bottles or the smaller 375mL bottles whenever you can find them; they are more expensive by volume, but buying them may save you $50 or more when you inevitably run across a whisky you don't like. I have ended up stuck with several $50 bottles I didn't want to drink, waste of money.
First and foremost, if you haven't tried Taketsuru 17, 21, 25 or Hibiki 12 and 17, then you really should, and these are just a couple of the better Japanese blends.
Then there's Miyagikyou 10, 12, 15; Hakushu 10, 12; Yamazaki 12, 1984; Yoichi 10, 15 that are all excellent single malts and a single tasting of any of them would most likely change your mind in a dramatic sense as to the quality available outside of Scotland.
I really like your listing of suggestions, but think it's worth noting that many of us don't care for the Fine Oak versions of Macallan's and while Laphroaig and Ardbeg do require some caution, I think of Bowmore and Caol Ila as very safe for the uninitiated into Islay whiskies.
Stev, it's apparent from your posting that you're a shill for Dewar's and I hope the mods here see fit to strike all your posts, which only number 4 so far, every single one pushing Dewar's.
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