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Whiskey Tasing HELP

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Whiskey Tasing HELP

Postby douggell » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:55 pm

A group of 8 - 10 friends are planninjg to start a whiskey tasing association 2 or 3 times a year - not a dinner. We would appreciate your help in suggesting:

1. How many whiskeys should we try to taste at a session? (1 oz?)

2. Should we include something to eat between/during?

3. Suggested first time tasting malts?

3. Other helpful hints?
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Postby parvus » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:26 am

These are just my opinions, and they are probably all wrong, but this is how i'd do things:

1. How many whiskeys should we try to taste at a session? (1 oz?)

6 is a comfortable number, any more and your guests will be too sozzled to care about what you are serving up.

2. Should we include something to eat between/during?

The tastings i've attended have a plain oat biscuit on the table, and plenty of water. I don't think any other food would really be appropriate.

3. Suggested first time tasting malts?

I'd suggest something pretty basic, along the lines of:
1. Bruichladdich 10 or 15
2. Strathisla 12
3. Highland Park 12
4. Benriach Curiositas
5. Aberlour a'bunadh
6. Ardbeg 10

I think the above 6 would be a fairly good intro tasting, and most of those bottles can be had for reasonable prices. How long have the people attending been drinking whisky? If it's a more seasoned bunch, i'll see if I can come up with something a bit more interesting.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:58 am

It would be helpful to those who want to suggest whiskies to know where you live, douggell. Availability varies widely.

Do you intend to drink only whiskey, or also whisky? (Sorry, smart-ass question! 8) )
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Postby douggell » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:13 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:It would be helpful to those who want to suggest whiskies to know where you live, douggell. Availability varies widely.

Do you intend to drink only whiskey, or also whisky? (Sorry, smart-ass question! 8) )


Ontario, Canada where "spirits" and controlled by the Liquor Licence Board...generally good selection somewhere in the Province.

Having said that, the following previous suggestions are not available to us:

Strathisia 12
Benriach Curiositas
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Re: Whiskey Tasing HELP

Postby douggell » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:16 pm

douggell wrote:A group of 8 - 10 friends are planninjg to start a whiskey tasing association 2 or 3 times a year - not a dinner. We would appreciate your help in suggesting:

1. How many whiskeys should we try to taste at a session? (1 oz?)

2. Should we include something to eat between/during?

3. Suggested first time tasting malts?

3. Other helpful hints?


Suggestions of six whiskeys much apprciated.
Here is Ontario, Canada, neither Strathisia12 or Benriach Curiositas are available. Couple others?

What is the rational for the six suggestions? (I know that the Ardbeg 10 is a peaty one)
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Postby parvus » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:23 pm

Here's why I chose those 6:
1. Bruichladdich 10 or 15 - Light and fruity, floral, a nice soft start.
2. Strathisla 12 - A robust non-sherried Speysider.
3. Highland Park 12 - A good all-rounder for the middle, hints of things to come.
4. Benriach Curiositas - A heavily peated speysider, peaty yet balanced with sweetness.
5. Aberlour a'bunadh - Heavy, heavy sherry speyside.
6. Ardbeg 10 - A peat beast to cut the sherry of the Aberlour.

I guess replacements for the Strathisla would be a Balvenie 15, I've not had it but it is another non-sherried malt. A replacement for the Benriach, perhaps go really coastal with an Old Pulteney 12yo, or go lowland with a Bladnoch? Maybe Ben Nevis 10yo?

Perhaps you could stump people and throw in a quality blend or vatted malt?

I'm sure others far, far more experienced than I on these boards have better suggestions, but i'm trying to keep it fairly simple for a first outing.
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Postby Frodo » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:36 pm

douggell wrote:Ontario, Canada where "spirits" and controlled by the Liquor Licence Board...generally good selection somewhere in the Province.

Having said that, the following previous suggestions are not available to us:

Strathisia 12
Benriach Curiositas


Hi Douggell:

The Strathisla 12 OB is available at the LCBO at $50/bottle. If your local store doesn't have a bottle, you can ask them to ship one (or more) to a store near you.

Bye-the-bye, the $50 price tag seems to have come down from 3yrs ago when it was about $60 or so.

Cheers!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:15 am

What! Yet another Ontarian! My god, maybe Tronna really is the center...uh, centre of the universe. You certainly will not lack for LCBO-oriented advice in these parts, dougell!
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:14 pm

parvus wrote: ......
Perhaps you could stump people and throw in a quality blend or vatted malt?



Jim Murray regularly throws in one blend into his tastings and a lot of the time it is Blackbush a quality Irish blended Whiskey(or jameson 12yo or Redbreast potstill 12yo are other worthy replacements). It's just to give people contrast and objectivity to other types and styles. Don't forget you could throw in one of you own quality whiskies from canada instead(American & Japanesse whiskies should never be over looked either).

This is a good idea as you should not explore single malts as the summit of perfection if you are not going to objectively compare them to other whisky types.
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:48 pm

Yes, ALberta Premium would be a great addtion. I am doing a tasting for a group in the next few weeks and threw in Black Bush, I was really surprised at how good it was when I tasted it at the JM tasting at the Festival in January.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:35 am

Black Bush was the best non-SM Scotch in that tasting, to my mind. When I told Murray that, he noted that it was the one non-SM with the most malt in it. I respect differing tastes, but I will not apologize for the fact that I prefer single malt Scotch to all other whiskies I have tasted, any more than I would for the fact that I prefer SM Scotch to gin. Apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.
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