Hello, I'm new here, and new to single malts as well.
I used to be really fond of brandy and cognac, but I've recently developed a huge appreciation of Single Malts.
For some reason, whenever I heard Whisk(e)y mentioned, I would remember some very bad days/nights related to the American stuff. I had finally tried a few blended scotches (JW black, gold), and thought they were fairly nice.
I always remember a british friend of mine talking about single malts, and how great they were.
So, about 2 months ago, I went to Total Wine and looked over their collection. Feeling very overwhelmed, I looked for some advice. None of the staff really had a clue. So I was looking at bottles, and grabbed a Balvenie 12 doublewood based solely on the packaging, and an older lady walked by, and said "That one is GREAT".. I didn't question her, as she seemed like she had downed a few bottles of the stuff.
Anyways, I got home and tried it, and I was floored. WOW!
Over the next few weeks, I grabbed a Macallan (sherry style) 12 and was impressed. Later, I upped the ante, and got a bottle of Laphroaig 15. Tasting that made my brain explode. I'm hooked, not in an alcoholic sorta way.. but in that wonderful hobby / taste sensation sorta way.
That is where my collection stands at the moment, but after reading these posts, I've got a huge shopping list that will slowly get filled...
Aberlour a'Bunadh, Ardbeg 10, Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 10 C/S or QC, Highland Park 12, etc etc.
I'd like to thank the Academy, the Balvenie 12 doublewood, that older drunk lady in Total Wine, and my british pal.