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Tasting for Beginners

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Tasting for Beginners

Postby JJR24 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:53 pm

Hello All,

I am hosting my very first Whisky tasting in a few weeks in an attempt to bring some of my friends into the SM fold. There will only be a few people in attendance, but all have little to no experience with Scotch (blend or SM). So, I wanted to give them 5 difference Whiskies to taste that represent good value, diverse range in taste, and that are approachable. My list and order for serving is below, please let me know what you guys think.

Thank you.


#1. JW Black - to wet the palate and to show the people something they are all at least somewhat familiar with
#2. Highland Park 12 - all-arounder
#3. Bunnahabhain 12 - very gentle, inviting and one of my favorites
#4. Balvenie DoubleWood - sherried
#5. Lagavulin 16 - introduction to peat/smoke


I'm trying to build to the Lagavulin, but I also want other tastes well represented, so the people can see the diversity in SMs. Any suggestions?
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Re: Tasting for Beginners

Postby lockejn » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:07 pm

I think you might consider moving the Bunna up the list, then you have a smoother escalation in flavor. I think a lot of its subtlety might be lost following the HP.
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Re: Tasting for Beginners

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:41 am

lockejn wrote:I think you might consider moving the Bunna up the list, then you have a smoother escalation in flavor. I think a lot of its subtlety might be lost following the HP.

My thought exactly! :thumbsup:

Plus, by having the Bunnahabhain immediately follow the Black Label and precede the Highland Park, you'll give your fellow tasters the opportunity to see some of the island influence that lurks in the background of the JW while also creating a better sense of continuity between the Bunnahabhain and Highland Park.

No problem proceeding on after those three with the Balvenie, as its pronounced Sherry cask aspect will provide a nice contrast before finishing off with the Lagavulin. Just be ready to see some widely differing reactions with the last pour.
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Re: Tasting for Beginners

Postby JJR24 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:46 am

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. Makes a lot of sense when I think about it. I have a feeling that the Bunna is going to be a big hit, and having that be the first SM experience - since it is the gentlest - is a good idea. Also, I am very excited to see the reactions to the Lagavulin. My first single malt was Lagavulin 16 and it turned me from blends almost entirely in a single dram. Thanks once again for the input.
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