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Offering a single malt to guest....

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When offering a single malt to your guest, you:

Let them take it with ice (or however they want to taint their single malt)
38
42%
Make them take it neat (or with a couple drops of water)
52
58%
 
Total votes : 90

Offering a single malt to guest....

Postby thehoj » Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:34 pm

I had a friend come over last night that doesn't usually drink whisky. I offered him some of my Highland Park 12, and he asked for it with some ice..

I actually cringed when he said that, which I thought was pretty funny because my cringing was completely involuntary.. I pretty much told him it's neat or nothing... After, I realized that maybe that's a bit rude, people like their drink how they like it..

I just kept trying to explain that he'd miss out on a lot of flavor's if he tainted it with ice.. In the end he took it neat, and was pleased with it, but maybe I should have just let him have his way??.. I dunno, what do you think?
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:59 pm

The first alternative. I would as you thehoj let them know that skipping the ice would mean a more flavoursome dram but they would be free to enjoy it as they prefer. It's easy to intimidate guests with our habits I guess but it should also be possibly to give good advice in a polite and well-meaning way. I don't think you upset your guest though.
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Postby peergynt323 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:04 pm

Depends on the dram. I'm usually very generous with my open-minded guests, but if they insist on ice, they're gonna get the ones I'm not too keen on. It's a waste otherwise.
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Postby fishboy » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:16 pm

My first instinct would be to let them take it with ice if they so wished (good host and all that...). Maybe I'd try to encourage them to try it without ice first, then let them add it if they insist. Although on reflection I probably agree with peergynt323 - it depends on the dram. I'd probably let them have a standard malt with ice, but not something more precious.

"could i get the springbank local barley with ice please?"

Is a sure fire way to get thrown out (or made to sit in a corner and drink Tesco's own brand blend all night)
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Postby lexvo » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:22 pm

I'm with fishboy on this one. It depends on the visitor which whisky I will offer. Call me crazy but I'm not going to poor my most expensive whisky for someone who 'just wants to try whisky for a change'.

On the other hand, when a whisky-knowing friend comes to visit, he may choose any whisky he likes.
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Postby Dan G » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:10 pm

I seem to have 3 thpes of friends:
ones who like their whisky straight up,
ones who don't drink whisky,
ones who will drink it if I offer, but know nothing about it and are willing to defer to however I pour it for them.
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Postby Bullie » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:15 pm

How ever they want it. I would never dream of telling people how they're supposed to take their dram.

You never water another man's dram and you never sleep with his wife. But if you have to choose, sleep with his wife...
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Postby BubbaC » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:16 pm

I always suggest it without ice first. I try to impress upon them how much the flavors change once an ice cube has been dropped in. For the most part they take my advice. There was one jackass who pounded it like a shot though. He has not tried any of the single malts since.
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Postby thehoj » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:26 pm

fishboy wrote: Although on reflection I probably agree with peergynt323 - it depends on the dram. I'd probably let them have a standard malt with ice, but not something more precious.

"could i get the springbank local barley with ice please?"

Is a sure fire way to get thrown out (or made to sit in a corner and drink Tesco's own brand blend all night)


Yea.. that's definitely a good idea, although I had already offered the highland park 12 (he's pretty new to whisky, and I mean how can you not like hp12?), and just before I was about to pour he asked for some ice....

When I explained that I like it neat, and possibly a little warmed even! my friend thought I was crazy..
He seemed to think that the ice makes it really smooth, and quite refreshing.. Sure I can see the smoothness being there, but the drink is already smooth! By smooth I think he's referring to the fact that he's probably lowering the alcohol content to 25% abv or something, and closing up all the interesting flavors.. I mean really, he probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between some crown royal on the rocks, and a nice straightforward single malt on the rocks.. Yea, we're not talkin about one cube of ice here, we're talking about glass full of ice, and a couple ounces poured over that... for shame. lol.

Anyways, maybe I just won't offer anything that nice unless I know for a fact they can appreciate a good single malt.
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Postby parvus » Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:55 pm

thehoj wrote:
fishboy wrote: Although on reflection I probably agree with peergynt323 - it depends on the dram. I'd probably let them have a standard malt with ice, but not something more precious.

"could i get the springbank local barley with ice please?"

Is a sure fire way to get thrown out (or made to sit in a corner and drink Tesco's own brand blend all night)


Yea.. that's definitely a good idea, although I had already offered the highland park 12 (he's pretty new to whisky, and I mean how can you not like hp12?), and just before I was about to pour he asked for some ice....

When I explained that I like it neat, and possibly a little warmed even! my friend thought I was crazy..
He seemed to think that the ice makes it really smooth, and quite refreshing.. Sure I can see the smoothness being there, but the drink is already smooth! By smooth I think he's referring to the fact that he's probably lowering the alcohol content to 25% abv or something, and closing up all the interesting flavors.. I mean really, he probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between some crown royal on the rocks, and a nice straightforward single malt on the rocks.. Yea, we're not talkin about one cube of ice here, we're talking about glass full of ice, and a couple ounces poured over that... for shame. lol.

Anyways, maybe I just won't offer anything that nice unless I know for a fact they can appreciate a good single malt.


Welcome, 'stairs' etc. from the other forum we both frequent.

I'd hazard a guess to say that most people requesting ice in their whisky are coming from the usual background of whiskies that usually require a bit of the roughness taken away (canadian club, as you mention, et al.) and are going to be resistant or unlikely to try something you offer them without it.

All you can really do in a situation like this is either educate or substitute - as others have said. Or you could just serve them a 'womans' drink, like a white zinf :wink:
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Postby vitara7 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:52 pm

thats why you need to have a bottle or two of rubbish blened whisky, the cheapest firewater you can find. dont give them good stuff, its wasted on them, whisky is whisky to them, go give them the cheap blended muck, not the best single malt in you cupboard...

thats what i do when someone comes round, but then again, maybe im just a tight git :twisted:
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Succinctly poured out

Postby Muskrat Portage » Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:23 am

vitara7 wrote:That's why you need to have a bottle or two of rubbish blended whisky, the cheapest firewater you can find. Don't give them good stuff, it's wasted on them, whisky is whisky to them, go give them the cheap blended muck, not the best single malt in your cupboard...:twisted:
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Succinctly put. I will offer a visitor a drink, if they choose whisky I take them down to the lair;
:arrow: if they ask for whisky neat, I give them a choice from the menu;
:arrow: if they request ice, I select a moderate SM for them and get them to have a sip neat before the ice is added to allow the flavours to caress their palate;
:arrow: if they request it with Pepsi, my hand veers from the SM to the blended stock to the left. (To quote Vitara "the cheapest firewater you can find")
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:36 am

Quite simple really, if they drink whisky with anything in it other than water then they are not considered a friend! :wink: :wink:
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Postby Ann-Helen » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:07 am

I don`t have any friends that actually have requested anything in their whisky but I guess if they absolutly wanted ice or something else in it I`d serve them Blended :wink:
As I said everyone that comes inside these doors and have a drink know we love singel malt whisky If they don`t want it neat then they can take whatever else there is like gin and tonic ,vodka and whatever or as I said before Blended .
why do you want to drink singel malt with ice when you know that ice reduces the taste of the whisky try something else I`d say or dare to try it without ice. :)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:02 am

At home I just don't have ice available and any guests being offered a dram are generally ones who already appreciate it and wouldn't ask for ice in the first place.

At my tastings I never have ice available and try to discourage people from asking for it at the bar.
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Postby fishboy » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:23 am

My son (it’s his 4th birthday today by the way) bought our current ice tray from the Glenturret distillery (“the famous grouse experience”) using his saved pocket money last summer. The cubes are in the shape of grouse.

I still don’t put them in my whisky though. But my son loves those frozen fruit juice grouse cubes!!

I accept that this is slightly off topic, but it’s still a vaguely whisky related anecdote and not in anyway insulting to white zinfandel drinkers. :wink:
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Postby thehoj » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:51 pm

Malt-Teaser wrote:At home I just don't have ice available
MT


I like this solution.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:08 pm

Anybody over to my place is welcome to have it their own way. But I usually ask generally what they want. I just say Whiskey(Irish/Scotch/Bourbon), Vodka, Gin, Wine or Beer. If they answer Whiskey I ask how they like it. This determins what I actually offer in the first place if they specify neat or with touch of water or even ice I'll ask them if they have a prefernce if they say with coke it'll be what ever bog standard blend is available.

You see I think if a person takes a whiskey neat, with water or even ice well thats the way they like it and they abviously know what they like. Who am I to argue but they will not be getting any expensive stuff when with ice but it won't be the cheapest either. I know plenty of people who try various whiskies on the rocks and good luck to them.

Basically it should be obvious if someone knows nothing about whiskey and a quick conservation and maybe the offer to try it straight should be had first. If that fails then the dustly bottle at the back of the cabinette should be found :wink:
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:37 pm

If we're gonna taste a few different things, I'll always start them on something lighter in alcohol and style, straight, first. If necessary, bottled water to the individual's preference and taste, just a little at a time. Then we move up in alcohol and flavor, smokiness etc, and more water if necessary. I won't offer ice, and if it's asked, I'll insist they first try it neat, then some water, then however they wanna drink it!
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Postby Rory B Bellows » Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:13 pm

I don't think you should correct a guest, unless they are drinking copious amounts of your malt, then it's time to replace it with something else (like that bottle of Johnnie Walker Red label you got as a gift because they heard you "like scotch").
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Postby Klas » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:10 pm

I would myself feel a bit awkward if I was told how to enjoy a dram when visiting a friend’s house. During the last years I have had it difficult to enjoy some of the blends (snobbery, maybe?) At times when offered one I have sometimes asked for ice (when offered some cheap stuff). At one of those occasions I got a comment that whisky should be enjoyed “pure”. You really don’t go into argument at a time like that and start to explain how you drink your “fine stuff” at home and that the reason is that the host stuff isn’t good enough for you.

I think that each person it quite capable of specifying how they would like their whisky, drink, bear or what ever..

I have served Port Ellen, Ardbeg, Rosebank etc with ice to people who have asked for it at home. (Even if I must admit that it did hurt a bit inside….)

Should the solution really be to serve your guest from one bottle and yourself from another one just because they enjoy their whisky with ice?
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Postby lexvo » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:19 pm

Klas raises a good point: what do you do when they know you're a whisky lover and they want to offer you a dram, but they only appear to have cheap blends which are not your taste?
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Postby peergynt323 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:54 pm

lexvo wrote:Klas raises a good point: what do you do when they know you're a whisky lover and they want to offer you a dram, but they only appear to have cheap blends which are not your taste?


I'll just say I feel like a beer right now. :wink:
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Postby BubbaC » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:56 pm

I have been offered whisky before, but it hasn't been a blend or a selection I find distasteful. I occasionally get a bushmill's or jameson's when I'm out, and that tends to be what most of my friends have around. I guess I would accept it graciously if that's all they had to offer, and remember that the next time a holiday rolled around and get them a better bottle. You know like President's day or Flag day.
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Postby Quaichuser » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:31 pm

I will suggest they try it neat, if it is not to their liking I will allow a small bit of ice.

I'd never offer my high end stuff to someone who had never had scotch before. I get a lot of converts because I will start them with a Balvenie 12 DW. (I get them hooked and then they can't go back :evil: )

If they like the DoubleWood then we can progress to a more complex scotch.
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Blends offered to me...

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:08 am

lexvo wrote:Klas raises a good point: what do you do when they know you're a whisky lover and they want to offer you a dram, but they only appear to have cheap blends which are not your taste?
Lexvo & Klas:
I've been in this circumstance where someone has actually gone out and purchased a blend especially for my visit. Simply because they have chosen, what is to them, a reasonable priced blend or can't afford to pay the price demanded for many Single Malts isn't a reason to decline hospitality. They had gone to extra effort for me and I won't turn my nose up at a whisky simply because it doesn't say "Single Malt" on the label. I visit my friends to spend time with them, so whatever they offer as hospitality is only an additional benefit. I enjoy anything they offer , as it is a privelege to be allowed into their home and partake of their largess. To act in any other manner would be rude and offensive to the host.

Many of the SM I enjoy are flavour additives in many blends available in Canada and I've enjoyed many in the same manner I would enjoy a Single. Famous Grouse, Te Bheag, Grants, JWs Red and Green spring to mind as examples of blends I've enjoyed neat or with a bit of water, even ice if the fancy strikes.

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Postby thehoj » Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:31 am

Klas wrote:I would myself feel a bit awkward if I was told how to enjoy a dram when visiting a friend’s house. During the last years I have had it difficult to enjoy some of the blends (snobbery, maybe?) At times when offered one I have sometimes asked for ice (when offered some cheap stuff). At one of those occasions I got a comment that whisky should be enjoyed “pure”. You really don’t go into argument at a time like that and start to explain how you drink your “fine stuff” at home and that the reason is that the host stuff isn’t good enough for you.

I think that each person it quite capable of specifying how they would like their whisky, drink, bear or what ever..

I have served Port Ellen, Ardbeg, Rosebank etc with ice to people who have asked for it at home. (Even if I must admit that it did hurt a bit inside….)

Should the solution really be to serve your guest from one bottle and yourself from another one just because they enjoy their whisky with ice?


The solution is going to be having no ice in the house :)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:47 am

A guest is just that -- a guest. Any whisk(e)y I don't want him/her to enjoy at his/her discretion will be put away before arrival.
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Postby BubbaC » Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:53 am

TNbourbon wrote:A guest is just that -- a guest. Any whisk(e)y I don't want him/her to enjoy at his/her discretion will be put away before arrival.


That is downright genius :twisted: I have not had to do that yet... primarily cause most of my friends can't differentiate good from bad. :roll:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:41 am

BubbaC wrote:
TNbourbon wrote:A guest is just that -- a guest. Any whisk(e)y I don't want him/her to enjoy at his/her discretion will be put away before arrival.


That is downright genius :twisted: I have not had to do that yet... primarily cause most of my friends can't differentiate good from bad. :roll:


That's why they're your friends!
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Postby heatmiser » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:42 pm

lexvo wrote:Klas raises a good point: what do you do when they know you're a whisky lover and they want to offer you a dram, but they only appear to have cheap blends which are not your taste?


I would graciously accept and look for the closest mixer...
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Postby TheLaddie » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:42 am

TNbourbon wrote:A guest is just that -- a guest. Any whisk(e)y I don't want him/her to enjoy at his/her discretion will be put away before arrival.


Unfortunately (or fortunately really...) my whisky shelf is full of the good stuff and is openly displayed in the kitchen. I simply couldn't hide it away. I've got a bottle of JD, a bottle of Grouse and a bottle of Jameson's (I don't mean to diss the Jameson's, it's an enjoyable whiskey but easily and cheaply replaced) in a cupboard. I wouldn't ask if anyone wanted ice in their whisky. If anyone did ask for ice I'd point out that my single malts are predominantly unchillfiltered and therefore likely to develop an unpleasant cloudy appearance if ice was added. They should therefore have a malt neat or one of the others on the rocks...

Put it this way. I worked as a chef in my holidays from medical school. If I cook a meal for guests no-one is going to dare to ask me for ketchup on it... :evil:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:11 am

If a guest asked for something in his whisky, I'd use a blend rather than a SMW. I'd try and convert them at some stage in the evening though :wink:

Quite a few years ago my sister and BIL met a couple when they were on holiday. They met up back in Scotland sometime later and visited our family home. Dad asked the bloke if he would like a drink and he wanted whisky. "You'll not be wanting anything in it." said Dad jovially.
"Diluting orange please, if you have it." was the reply.

I'm not sure the old man ever fully recovered..............
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Postby martin grant » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:34 am

Any guest in my house asking for ice in his whisky is offered a little advice. Imagine stripping off naked and diving straight into the north sea for a quick swim. What's going to happen? Everything shrivels right up.
If you really want 'shrivelled bits', I'll go get the ice.

Nobody has ice in my house
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Hannibal Laddie?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:22 pm

TheLaddie wrote: Put it this way. I worked as a chef in my holidays from medical school. If I cook a meal for guests no-one is going to dare to ask me for ketchup on it... :evil:

...a chef...in my holidays from medical school...You're scaring me, I saw the "Hannibal Lecter" character in "Silence of the Lambs" :shock:
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