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Beginner looking for starters guide

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Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby jot » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:38 pm

Hi everyone.

Glad to stumble across this great forum. I know there are probably some threads on this topic, but I don't want to bump an old thread or anything.

I have never had Scotch, but I am very excited to give it a go. I have recently done a lot of research to try and help myself answer one question:

Is Scotch the drink for me, and if so, which type of Scotch do I like?

What I am curious about, and hope to get some opinions on from you all, is how to start.

Would it be smart to buy one bottle from each region, and go from there? If so, I was thinking of the Glenlivet 12 as one buy, as I have seen it recommended in many places as a great starter bottle...but could I ask for some recommendations for the other regions?

However, if that isn't the best way to begin, could I get some advice on how to start this journey?

Should I just get the Glenlivet 12 and go from there?

Money is not really an issue and I'll definitely be buying bottles. I looked around for some miniatures but had no luck (are those the same quality, anyway?). No big deal.

Thank you for your time!
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby JJR24 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:07 am

I'd start with Highland Park 12 - usually known as the best all-arounder for beginners. Also, check out The Whisky Exchange for an extensive listing of miniatures:

http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/C-395.aspx?filter=true

Finally, no worries about bumping. The old information is there to be utilized...
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby AdamMY » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:25 am

I used to have a lot of thoughts about this, then I tried a lot more whiskies, and I really do not know anymore. Perhaps the most important thing, is how much are you willing to spend on a bottle that you may or may not like?

There are not a huge number of Lowland Distilleries still in operation, so I will not comment on them. And honestly the Regions are more or less to give you a hint at what the style may be, and not actually well defined styles in among themselves. The only exception is Islay and other Island whiskies tend to have some pretty unique characteristics, especially when you are going with the peated ones.

Perhaps I am slightly biased right now, but if you are willing to spend a bit more than just a bottle of Glenlivet 12, I suggest you look into Old Pulteney 12, which is a highland whisky. But in terms of whether or not you would like a Scotch, both OP 12 and Glenlivet 12 are safe bets for starters, as is Glenfiddich 12.

If you want to try an Island whisky, there HP mentioned above which could be quite a bit of a softer introduction to what they can be, but if you are of the method "Go Big or Go Home" you may want to look into something from Islay itself. The question then is how BIG do you want to go? For a softer introduction try looking at an affordable Bowmore. If you want to go big (and more expensive), consider Ardbeg, Lagavulin, or Laphroig, with Ardbeg 10 being highly recommended, but then the other two distilleries also have great offerings. If you want something that's also quite good and depending on the prices in your area is on the scale consider Caol Ila 12 year old.

Others might stone me for suggesting this, but if you are really wary about spending too much, the following might not be the best examples of great quality whiskies, but if the McClelland's Whiskies are offered in the stores by you, depending on which ones they carry, picking up the Islay (Bowmore I believe), and one or two of the others ( I have also heard that the Lowland is Auchintoshan, but I do not recall anyone being sure on what the Highland or Speyside distilleries are) , can usually be done for a less or the same amount as say Ardbeg 10.
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby dramtastic » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:48 am

Yep keep it simple and start with the Glenlivet 12
Also Glenfiddich 12
Glen Moray 12
Old Pulteney 12 as mentioned, more complex IMO than the other 3 and a nice progressive step.

i reckon you'll know if you are going to be a whisky guy if any of these tickle your fancy but give it time and dont judge after the first few pours.
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby jot » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:42 am

Thank you very much everyone, I really appreciate the advice. Very helpful.

I feel good enough to start now. I actually lucked out and found a miniature Glenlivet 12 tonight while picking up some wine for the wife. Haven't opened it yet though.

I plan on picking up some of the other suggestions (HP12, OP12 and Glenfiddich 12 to begin, probably) very soon and trying them out. It is nice to have some 'a little further ahead' progression options too, thanks guys!

Also, I will definitely will not be quick to judge. I plan on giving them the time and respect they need, to truly see if this is for me.

Thanks so much again!
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby The Third Dram » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:43 pm

jot wrote:I actually lucked out and found a miniature Glenlivet 12 tonight while picking up some wine for the wife.

As good a place as any to begin your 'exploration' of malt Scotch whiskies. :thumbsup:

The only other suggestion I'd make is that, at the outset at least, you find a good local watering hole where you can sample a variety of whiskies pour by pour. Your purchasing of a range of full bottles will happen soon enough.
:wink:
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby outamyway » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:07 pm

Go to bars and try individual drinks of whisky, check with local liquor stores and see if they do tastings, talk to your friends and acquaintances to see if they drink whisky and if so would they mind letting you taste some of theirs. If someone expresses an interest in bourbon or malt whisky to me I'm pretty happy to give them a taste of what I have.
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby jot » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:45 am

JJR24 wrote:I'd start with Highland Park 12 - usually known as the best all-arounder for beginners. Also, check out The Whisky Exchange for an extensive listing of miniatures:

http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/C-395.aspx?filter=true

Finally, no worries about bumping. The old information is there to be utilized...

Apologies for the delay, but I am going to order the following miniatures from TWE, any other suggestions are welcome:

Ardbeg 10
Laphroaig 10
Dalmore 12
Bowmore 15 / Darkest
Lagavulin 16
Highland Park 12

Is it even legal me to order to Tennessee? Will I have any trouble? They say they have no problems shipping to USA...I just thought it was illegal.

Also, the suggestion of finding a good bar is appreciated.. I have now begun my search for one. :)
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Re: Beginner looking for starters guide

Postby whiskynig » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:57 am

See if you can get a Mortlach. 8)
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