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I'm hosting a scotch tasting on the occasion of my Son's Wedding for 15-20 of my closest friends this summer. Thinking six bottles perhaps from all regions served with prime rib sliders, fresh summer fruit, assorted cheeses, cigars, et al.
I've taken a first swing at some of my favorites and those recommended to me but would welcome opinions. Going for
1) nothing pretentious ... fun
2) great diversity ... something to encourage the novice and something to dazzle the experienced
3) personally not peat-oriented but if you were going to wow them with a bottle what would you pick with other bottles having shades from no peat to very light.
4) your thoughts on first selections:
· Macallan 18 Speyside
· Glenlevet 18 Speyside
· Springback 15 Campbeltown
· Highland Park 18 (corrected) Island
· Ardbeg Corryvreckan Islay
· Jura Origin10, or Scapa Island.
The Glenlevet 18 was given recently as a gift so I added it to the list but if I were to have a second from Speyside ... I'd pick a Balvenie.
Thanks for your thoughts.
For Island I would go with Arran 10 for example, as I find Jura to be lacking.
As there are both the Lowlands and the Highlands missing just yet and almost all of your picks are sherry cask matured, why not add a bourbon cask Highland Malt (e.g. from Balblair, Clynelish or Old Pulteney) and some nice crispy lowlander like Auchentoshan Three Wood - works especially well in the summer months from frosted glasses...
By the way - Highland Park is from the Islands, not Islay - so you've got both Islands and Speyside doubly covered. I'd go for HP and Glenlivet - Jura is imho just a tad too indistinct and Macallan 18 is a great whisky for sure - but might eclipse the others too far... but go for it if you like!
Bedlam (OU/OSU?, I'm a Husker ... miss our battles ... miss us being relevant):
Thanks for the thoughts on an alternative for Jura. Received two comments that it lacks ...
Any thoughts on the others?
Sage thoughts. Thanks very much. Tasting notes on the Highland you recommend?
Unfortunately I can't give you tasting notes for any recent Balblair - what I seem to remember most are notes of green pears, apple mint and an overall freshness.For Clynelish, you might try either the regular 14 y.o. (or better yet the Flora & Fauna edition, if you can get it): Notes of wild honey,cloves,beeswax candlesticks with a decent amount of oak and herbs. There are also some really good independents out there, "The Maltman" from Meadowside Blending for example.
(Old) Pulteney ist rather maritime, with salt,vanilla and occasionally a hint of smoke - here the Flotilla series (especially the Spectrum WK217) might work best - but the following series (Lighthouses, I think) shouldn't be too different. If possible, you might want to try an Ex-Bourbon single cask - these tend to be very good, even if quite steep in price.
Hope this helps - have fun trying some of this stuff out!
Many thanks ... sounds like you've toured extensively (physically or virtually) ... how did you come to being so well-versed?
Thanks - you're making me blush...
It's just extensive interest - and having tried lots of different whiskys in the last decade.
Would think about the order of the whiskies, and limit the number of smokey/peaty whiskies to one. To try something different styles of whisky for newcommers I suggest to follow an order that goes:
- Rye whisky (e.g. Crown Royal Northern Rye)
- a regular single malt whisky (e.g Glen Grant 10)
- a whisky from outside Scotland (e.g Omar bourbon cask)
- A great single malt or one with sherry finish
- Cask strenght and/or single Cask
- Peaty/smokey whisky
Hope you get a great tasting
Many thanks … hadn't thought of the cask strength or bourbons as a change of pace.
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