cinci-hal wrote:In the meantime I would like some recommendations on good starter whiskeys according to my current tastes. As far as spirits go, I am normally a cognac drinker. Flavors that appeal to me: some sweetness, ripe apple and pear, nutty, nutmeg, vanilla, brown sugar, maple, smooth not sharp or stinging.
I'll simply toss a few suggestions out there, as I'm sure others will also chime in with worthy recommendations.
Glenmorangie Original: Balanced, subtle fruitiness with nice touches of nutmeg and ginger. Goes down easily. An everyday sort of whisky.
Maker's 46: The (to my taste, at any rate) Cognac-like persona of Maker's Mark taken to a different level with added maple richness and smoothness.
Glenlivet Nàdurra Cask Strength: The inherently delicate and fruity nature of Glenlivet intensified by sourcing the whisky from first-fill ex-Bourbon casks (not to mention the higher proof contributing greater apparent sweetness). Great value, too.
Booker's Bourbon: An absolute monster as it pours. But add water cautiously, and it transforms into a raisin and spice cocktail of considerable allure.
Glenfiddich 18 Year Old: Spiced honey pots. Lovely stuff.
Glenlivet 21 Year Old Archive: Dessert whisky!
As for ex-Sherry cask matured Scotch malt whiskies, you may need to exercise some care in selection, as the tannic extraction from European oak (where it is utilized) can add a bit of bite to the tail end of the flavour spectrum. That said, you say you like Cognac. So this may not be of great concern to you.