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Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

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Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby SheltieBoy » Wed May 23, 2012 9:52 pm

I very much enjoy Scotch single malts and also enjoy some blends. I have a fair bit of experience in the last 5 or 6 years and my enjoyment only becomes deeper and more intense with each new tasting. I rarely taste something I do not like. Having read quite a bit, I often see American whiskies and Bourbon covered (a recent Wine Spectator covered them in depth) and the descriptions sound very interesting. But so far, I have only had a few...the most recent are Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek. But they seemed so two-dimensional in comparison with Scotch. They seem to hit me over the head with two or three main notes...no subtlety at all.

Scotch is so complex; there are so many layers and nuances. Are all American whiskies and Bourbon so simplistic when compared to Scotch? I WANT to like the stuff. What examples might be more "Scotch-like?" I would very much appreciate the more experienced folks chiming in with opinions.
Thank you in advance
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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby Ganga » Thu May 24, 2012 4:28 am

You want something scotch-like then look for whiskies that are single malts. There are a couple from the States (McCarthy comes to mind). But the real producer of this is Japan.

For a little more complex bourbon whiskey, look to George T Stagg or some of the older Pappy van Winkle bottlings.
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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby SheltieBoy » Tue May 29, 2012 9:55 pm

Thanks for your feedback Ganga! I think you have a good strategy and I will pursue it.

In the meantime, I did enjoy the Bulleit Bourbon which made me think that perhaps I might like Rye whiskies. I next tried the Michter's Straight Rye which I enjoyed (oddly "thin" in body but excellent taste and spice). Next up is the Eagles Rare 10 Year old. Stay tuned
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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby SheltieBoy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:02 pm

The Eagles Rare was lovely.
I have tried a few more Bourbons and quite a few ryes.
My tasting has made it clear: I like ryes because there is a real spiciness and complexity. The High West ryes (Rendevous Rye in particular) are stunning.

Perhaps others might benefit from my conclusion...if you are a Scotch fan and are looking to expand to American whiskeys, try ryes and rye-weighted Bourbons..
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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby corbuso » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:56 pm

I also tend to find the bourbon and other american whiskies more unidimensional than Scotch whiskies. This partially related to the production process (mainly Continuous stills instead of Pot stills) but also to the raw materials and type of casks used.

Try maybe some wheated bourbon (e.g., W.L. Weller) or as suggested above, with rye whiskies or bourbon with a high rye content.
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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby SheltieBoy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:06 pm

Thanks Corbuso! I appreciate you taking the time to chime in.
Just last night I was reading about some of the wheat whiskies and I was intrigued.

I was sipping some Rittenhousen Rye B.I.B. Not exactly subtle, that!
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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby MacDeffe » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:29 am

Initially I had it the same way. I think the reason is the intensity of the flavours of bourbons. It's comparable to younger peaty malts

I found as I developed my palate - a lot of hard training...:-) I started to be able to discover the underlaying tastes of bourbons. So I needed a bit of practise. Drinking whisky is pure hard work :-)

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Re: Scotch versus Whiskey and Bourbon

Postby SheltieBoy » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:14 pm

Thanks, Steffen. Good points!

I agree...I am slowing figuring things out as my palate becomes more exposed to Bourbon and rye. The Russell's Reserve 10 year old and the classic Jim Beam Rye ("lello" label) were my latest experiences...I liked them both.
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