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What I know about Scotch

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What I know about Scotch

Postby Richiyaado » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:14 am

The short answer, of course, is "Not much."

I am admittedly a novice here, though I am enjoying the combined experience of reading, buying (sparingly), tasting, and daydreaming about trying new (to me) Scotches down the road.

As I've long enjoyed Bourbon (and other American whiskies), I decided to give Scotch a go when I found the book, "The Complete Guide to Whiskey," by Jim Murray (published 1997). He seems to like many of the Bourbons I like, so I thought I'd try some of the Scotch he recommends. So far, I haven't been disappointed. He gives high marks to Ardbeg 10yo and Talisker 10yo... distinctly different, but each very pleasing (Ardbeg especially is unlike anything I've experienced... really like that one). Other than those, I have The Macallan 12yo and The Glenlivet 18yo... these are okay, but doubt I'll miss them when they're gone. I also have some Johnny Walker Black, which seems to be a good mixer (Rob Roy), but nothing special neat.

I do try to run the gamut when experiencing these Scotches (nosing, tasting, savoring the finish, etc.), though I don't pretend to possess any great sophistication... senses no doubt compromised by the fact that I smoke.

Having just returned from Japan recently, I sort of regret I didn't pick up one of the Japanese Scotches, as a few of them seem to be highly regarded... next time.

Meanwhile, I'd be curious to know what folks might recommend I try next (not too expensive). Thanks! (Apologies for what must be a common question in these parts.)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:25 am

Richiyaado, I understand what you mean by "Japanese Scotches", but that's a faux pas--Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, period. Certainly the Japanese have, in their way, identified the best products in the world and done their best to replicate and even improve on them, as they've done so many times in the past. Forty years ago, I'd never have believed I'd be driving a Honda. But in this case, the product can only be called Japanese whisky.

I'd like to try them, too.

As for what to try next, well, it depends on what you have available. I say try them all!
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Postby Richiyaado » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:38 am

Gomenasai... I should have said "Japanese single malt whisky." :oops:
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Postby jimidrammer » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:10 am

I had all kinds of recommedations until you said "not too expensive". Now don't get me wrong, it has been hard for me to build up to $100+ bottles. And that is NOT a guarantee of quality any more than age, but some of my favorites have been the Glenfarclas 21 and 25 $80 and $100, respectively. Older Glenrothes, Glenmorangie, and Balvenie. Talisker 18 is a great dram in the smoky category. Highland Park 12 and 18 get the nod repeatedly. Anyway, a good place to start. I've been to Shreveport, LA numerous times to the Riverboats for some light gambling, but I've yet to find a great selection of Single malts there. How's things coming along in New Orleans? The hurricane just missed us last year.
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Postby Richiyaado » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:10 am

Thank you for the suggestions! My strategy is to limit myself to no more than eight bottles on hand at a time, restocking those I really like, and replacing others with something new as I go along. I did this over the years with Bourbon, etc., until I settled on a small stock of favorites. For now, I'll probably also limit myself to Scotches costing no more than $100 or so... there seem to be quite a few out there.

Shreveport is Terra incognita for me, but here in New Orleans, even now, there are a couple of good shops for spirits, including many single malts... Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie, and Vieux Carre Wine & Spirits in the French Quarter. Haven't been there in a long time, but thought I'd head over to the Sazerac bar at the Fairmont Hotel to see what they have available by the glass.

Here's hoping the hurricanes miss both of us this season!
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Postby kljostad » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:26 am

Ardbeg was also my favourite for quite some time. I just loved that peaty smell, and the complexity that really challenge the tastebuds.

Although Ardbeg is still one of my favourites, I have found others that are just as good. Most of the whiskies I favour, is from the same island as Ardbeg, and I can recomend you to seek out whiskies from Islay.

If I should recomend some, not too expensive, I would go with the following:
1) Lagavulling Destillers Edition
2) Laphroig Quarter Cask
3) Lagavullin 16 YO
4) Ardbeg Uigeadail
5) Longrow 100 Proof
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Postby Richiyaado » Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:12 pm

After reading through some of the review and tasting threads here, I decided on Highland Park 18yo... seems appropriate as I'm exactly 1/4 Norwegian! :wink:
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Postby kljostad » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:16 pm

Cool! Do you know wich part of Norway that quarter comes from?

:D
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Postby Richiyaado » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:37 am

I don't, unfortunately. All I know is that my maternal grandfather (and his brother) emigrated from Norway to South Dakota around 1900 or so. Until he married my German grandmother, he was one of the original Norwegian batchelor farmers.
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Postby kljostad » Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:57 pm

Do you know his last name? That might give us a clue.
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Postby Richiyaado » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:06 pm

My grandfather's name was Ole Martinson... his brother's name was Nels. I believe they emigrated from Norway in 1906.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:00 pm

Well, what do you know. A Norwegian quarter caste!
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Postby Richiyaado » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:27 pm

...or, not forgetting my Irish and Scots-Irish forebears, a blended European.
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