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Need help deciding whisky

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Need help deciding whisky

Postby txtran » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:35 pm

Okay so first off, i am very new to the whisky world. The only whiskey I have ever tried would be Crown Royal and Southern Comfort. Now I want to try Single Malts. My first option is Laphroaig Quarter Cask. I am a experienced drinker so I think I can handle this. My second option would be Highland park 12. My third option is Talisker 12.

Does this sound like a good plan?

I have no clue how much each bottle is but I want to spend maybe $30-$60 each. I'm on the southeast side of the US.

Oh and if you don't mind answering how is it do you drink whiskey? You dont drink it like a vodka,tequila,or a cognac.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby lockejn » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:21 pm

I would shuffle your order a bit. Maybe HP 12, Talisker 10, then Laphroaig (10 or QC). Then you have a sort of escalation in peat. I've seen Laphroaig turn off a lot of folks who were unprepared for the smack down.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby Ganga » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:16 pm

If you can get yourself a glencairn glass or use a brandy glass if you have one or this is easier to get. Also, have something that you can add controlled amounts of water to your whisky.

Some people prefer their whiskies need and others are quite generous with the water. Typically I like mine neat or maybe just a few drops of water. But it is up to you how much water you think you need. I don't like to add ice because the amount of water in the whisky is constantly changing and (at least for me) the whisky seems to close down when the temperature is lowered to that of the ice.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby txtran » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:08 pm

I have a Glenfiddich whisky glass which should perfectly fit. Ill experiment the water when I get some whisky. I will probably go with that list. I don't want to jump into anything too fast although I am excited. So HP12,Talisker10,Laphroiag 10 it is then. Any last details before I go?
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby Drammed » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:21 pm

I don't see anything on your list that is peat free. Some people really do not like the taste of peat so I would include something from Speyside like a Balvenie 12 DW or Signature, Mac 12 (if you like sherry casks) or and Old Pultney 12 (if you prefer bourbon casks).

cheers
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby txtran » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:00 pm

Hmm the only whisky I have ever tried would be crown royal and southern comfort but those I am guessing are completely different. I think I would be able to handle peaty whiskys. If possible I will see if I can squeeze in a mac 12.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:29 pm

txtran wrote:I have a Glenfiddich whisky glass which should perfectly fit.

It may well do but the most important thing is the shape of the glass. It should be bowl or tulip shaped like the Glencairn that Ganga mentioned:
Image
That allows the vapours to gather in the glass so that you can really smell the whisky before you taste it. Other tumbler style glasses will hold the liquid but are poor for nosing:
Image

By the way Southern Comfort is a whisky-based liqueur rather than a whisky. You're just about to start trying the good stuff. I hope you enjoy it. :thumbsup:
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:04 am

txtran wrote:Does this sound like a good plan?

It sounds just fine to me. But then a lot of Highland Park, Talisker and Laphroaig has already passed over these lips down through the years.

The first aspect you need to take into account is that most any single malt Scotch you begin with will likely taste quite a bit drier to you than Crown Royal, especially on the finish - and many of the island Scotches, such as the ones you've short-listed, noticeably so. It's not that they don't display a sweet side, necessarily, but rather that there's no overt corn-based spirit sweetness in them like you'll find in CR or many a Bourbon.

I like Drammed's suggestion of throwing a Highland malt into the mix. Many malt Scotch lovers (myself included) began their journeys with Glenlivet and/or Glenfiddich. Glengoyne is a totally smoke-free alternative that makes for a pretty easy-going introduction, too.

Then again, quite a few people have dived into the peaty malts right off the bat, and not been any worse for wear.

Whatever you decide, though, enjoy the journey!
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby txtran » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:49 pm

I will take all of your recommendations into consideration. I will mix it up just in case so thank you for the advice. I will leave in several hours and I have one last thing to say. How is Lagavulin 12 and 16 and the estimated cost here in the US. Would this be considered as a luxury whisky?
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:36 pm

txtran wrote:How is Lagavulin 12 and 16 and the estimated cost here in the US. Would this be considered as a luxury whisky?

The prices (and availability) of these two vary quite a bit from one market to another in the U.S., according to many who have chimed in on the matter. In my local Canadian neighbourhood, the differential is less than CDN$15, though.

They are two VERY different whiskies, with the 16YO presenting a more 'sultry', sumptuous flavour profile while the stronger (alcohol strength) 12YO is much crisper, lean and 'clean' in flavour. I'm actually partial to the younger cask strength version, but others feel the 16YO works for them better.

Both would certainly be considered borderline or outright luxury whiskies, depending on personal finances.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby andygaspo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:36 pm

I am also new to the world of single malts, but I have had my fair share of Crown and other Rye whiskys... in Canada you are pretty much garaunteed to have tried Crown, Canadian Club, Wisers, Gibson's etc.

I can tell you that Crown is very sweet compared to the others I mentioned, and Southern Comfort is also very sweet.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby Leorin » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:40 am

andygaspo wrote:Southern Comfort is also very sweet.


That's not a whisk(e)y but a liqueur that contains whisk(e)y...
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby andygaspo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:44 pm

Leorin wrote:
andygaspo wrote:Southern Comfort is also very sweet.


That's not a whisk(e)y but a liqueur that contains whisk(e)y...



Yes that was mentioned above
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby txtran » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:11 pm

Update*
I just tried the HP 12. For being my first true scotch I found it very good and certainly enjoyable.I was going to get Laphroaig but I want to work my way up instead.So now what would the next level be? Im guessing a intermediate level whisky/whiskey since HP 12 is a beginners.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby andygaspo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:11 pm

Take this with a grain of salt as I am a newbie also, but after having some Glenfiddich 12 as my first single malt, I recently tried some Balvenie 15 single cask. Not sure if this is considered a begginer, intermediate etc level but I did find it to be very good. More complex then the fiddich 12, but i imagine not as intense as I am ready about some others on here. It is also a decent price point (in Canada at least) so I imagine in the US as well.

{Edit: Sorry price point is higher then I thought, I was getting it confused price wise with the 12 y/o signature. In Ontario the 15 is over $100}
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby txtran » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:17 am

Its around $70 for the 15 and $60 for the 12 where I'm at so that quite expensive in my case but Ill give it a try if I get a chance. I'm trying to stay $50 a bottle since there's so much to try and so anything over is considered luxury to me.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby pkt77242 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:33 am

txtran wrote:Update*
I just tried the HP 12. For being my first true scotch I found it very good and certainly enjoyable.I was going to get Laphroaig but I want to work my way up instead.So now what would the next level be? Im guessing a intermediate level whisky/whiskey since HP 12 is a beginners.


I say get Talisker 10.

Though I don't really believe in the whole Beginner, intermediate etc in single malts (I am sure people will come along and disagree with me). There are whiskies that are at an entry level price point (HP 12, Glenlivet 12, Old Pulteney 12, etc) but it doesn't mean that they are beginners as far as the taste.
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby DavidUK » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:32 pm

My advice would be to build a small collection based on different whisky profiles from different regions.eg.

Islay-Laphroiag (as you have already done)
Highlands-Perhaps Ben Nevis, Old Pultenay,Dalwhinnie
Lowlands-Definately Bladnoch
Speyside-So many to chose from, Aberlour,Balvennie,Glendronach,Benromach,Glenfarclas
Campeltown-Springbank
Islands-Highland Park, Talisker
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Re: Need help deciding whisky

Postby Leorin » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:59 pm

I support David's advice.
And I also agree that there's not really such thing as a beginner's malt (apart from the price maybe).
Laphroaig was the the malt that really got me hooked., even if (or just because?) it's one of the most intese and distinctive flavoured whiskies out there...
Try as much as you can keep an open mind and just enjoy the malty journey.
maybe you find someone with lots of open bottles who sells samples at a descent price, so you can try a bigger variety without spending a fortune...
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