Ize -- Whisky is meant to be enjoyed, and miniatures can be part of that enjoyment
I believe that the UK and the EU have a broader range of minis available, but there are places in the US which offer a good selection too. Japan's reputation for them is formidable
Not only are they a 'safer' way to experiment a bit, but they also can be purchased while one is otherwise on a buying 'freeze'. For example, I recently found an OB Longmorn and another version bottled by Cadenhead. I doubt that I would purchase a full bottle of both for the H2H, but my total outlay for the minis was $15 or so ... not bad.
There are many full-fledged mini collectors out there, and so it may be difficult to locate some expressions.
Go for it! Enjoy them!
You can even arrange a tasting of minis ... let participants bring their own, and swap a bit before starting. It can be great fun, and a nice alternative to the costlier full-out tastings. Each 50ml bottle holds 2 moderate-size drams, right?
[This message has been edited by St.Peat (edited 07 May 2002).]