Originally Posted by jtsmith
So, I have to ask. Is this peaty, smoky flavor common in whisky? Did I just get lucky with my first two bottles or am I going to be severely limited in what I will be enjoying. What are whiskies I should just straight up avoid? The peat, seaweed, smokey flavor is NOT my thing.
First, let me qualify my comments by stating that I'm less than a year into my own scotch whisky journey.
Having said that, there are a number of scotches that have varying levels of peatiness and/or smokiness, from mild to heavy. Many of the Islay whiskies are peated, but there are also peated expressions from other regions (BenRiach produces both peated and unpeated whiskies, for example). Of the Islay scotches, I've tasted Lagavulin 16, Ardbeg Corryvreckan, and Bunnahabhain 12. The Laga & Corry are different but both are pretty peaty, whereas the Bunna is a very mild expression. I haven't yet had the pleasure of tasting any of the Laphroaig expressions.
By the way, I found the Lagavulin 16 a little too smokey for my palate, but very much enjoyed the Corryvreckan. The Bunnahabhain was on the verge of being too mild for me.
As for being limited, absolutely NOT. There are a LOT of scotch whiskies to be had that are not peated, far more than I can name. Get on one of the online stockist and read through the tasting notes for some suggestions. On some of those websites, you can search by region if you're like me and didn't really know any distilleries by name when I first started.
And what may sound surprising is that if you sip your way through some other different expressions and work back to one that is mildly peated, you might have developed a taste for it.
No need to give up the man card either
We all have different tastes.
Enjoy the journey!