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Are you a Malt Snob?

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Are you a Malt Snob?

Postby Frank D.Scott » Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:48 pm

Hi,A gentleman came into my pub last week(we carry over 200 whiskies)and asked me what I drink at home or off duty.I replied, usually a blend like Teacher's, Johnnie Black, Grant's Family, Grouse.
He told me he had just read M Jackson's Malt book and that he could no longer drink blends.They are just too common.I love malts but I do not drink them all the time.A good dram is a good dram.
My question with all this talk of malts in todays world, are they influencing drinkers to become malt snobs?

Frank
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:02 pm

id say no, simply for the fact that more is spent on advertising blends than malts. also, blends have by a country mile, more sales than malts do.
i myself only drink malts, i do not drink blends, this is not snobbery, its simply that if i drink blended whisky, for some reason i have a sore head next day, but when i drink malts, im fine.
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Postby peergynt323 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:20 pm

That's funny because Michael Jackson rates JW quite well.

If I'm drinking to get drunk, beer is my number one choice.

I find myself even shying away from cheaper single malts as I get deeper into the world of malt whisky. If the whisky doesn't give me an experience, then why am I drinking it?
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Postby Wave » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:25 pm

:lol: I was labelled a "Scotch Snob" by my friends years ago, actually called me a scotch snob to my face just because of my want of only single malts! :wink:


Cheers!
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Postby kildalton » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:37 pm

I'd say that good is good...
I mean blends in the very early times were intended to inhance the tasting panel respect to a single malt, but I think that good stuff is good stuff.
Once I had an Highland fusilier 21 y.o from the 70's(or early 80's) and it was very very good, so one might be snob even if he drinks blends :D
I think that nowadays blends are more more less good that in the past when the average single malt quality was in my opinion far better than the present so now we're more oriented in having single malts.

I'd like to know Your opinion on this matter, I suspect that in the 50's-60's many blends might have been better than some single malts but I've no such an experience to state it, it's just a suspect...
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Postby r900p » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:50 pm

I'd prefer malt, thats my personal taste as im sure it is most of the members on this forum. But i know that sometimes all i want is a jack daniels and coke.

Next time that gent is in, ask him what he thinks of the new Bruichladdich Celtic Nations, i'm pretty sure its a blend of cooley's irsih whiskey and bruichladdich. If he doesn't know then you can say that it is, and get one over on him, if he does know it then just re enforce the blend bit. Hope i;m right in thinking its a blend.

You could just serve him a blend for the price of a malt and see if he notices the difference :twisted:

Good luck
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:56 pm

Celtic Nations is indeed a blend of Cooley's and 'Laddie, although I can't yet vouch for the taste as I haven't had that pleasure - YET.

As for being a snob?
I would say "No", I often have a blend in my drinks cabinet and have no problem in drinking blended whiskies, although, like most on here, I do prefer a good single malt.

I will also add that at the 2006 WL in Glasgow, my favourite dram of the event was .......... A BLEND!
But having said that, it was a 40y/o blend from Richard "It always rains on Islay" Paterson of Whyte & Mackay.
Running a very close third place from the event was his 30y/o blend.



Before anyone asks, in between those two at No. 2 was the 40y/o Dalwhinnie.
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:19 pm

Everyone states blends arn't as good because of the grain whisky in them. I have tried a 42 yr old "Clan Denny" Lochside grain whisky that was fantastic. I have also tried some other douglas Laing grain whiskys that were great as well. It just shows that good whisky is just that "Good Whisky" I think people who don't try something because they have some bias to it are missing out. When I get a chance to try something new I try it.

I have also tried some of Richard Patterson's blends during Whisky Live Belgium last year and I would say you were foolish to pass them up. They are great and really make you appreciate what a good master blender can create.

Len
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:28 pm

there are good blends out there and ive tried blends just as good as any malt, but if i can avoid a hangover next morning for the sake of a few quid, ill always drink malt
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:31 pm

One who possesses a supercilious air concerning wine and its appreciation, often looking with contempt on any wine that is not sufficiently expensive or prestigious.

This is the definition I found on the web for a wine snob, I guess this only makes you a snob if you only drink vintage Macallans, Port Ellen and Single Cask Ardbegs.

Ha Ha
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:32 pm

vitara7 wrote:there are good blends out there and ive tried blends just as good as any malt, but if i can avoid a hangover next morning for the sake of a few quid, ill always drink malt


I do agree though if it gives you a hangover don't drink it. No point in suffering no matter if it is good or not.

Len
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:00 pm

lbacha wrote:
I guess this only makes you a snob if you only drink vintage Macallans, Port Ellen and Single Cask Ardbegs.

Ha Ha

Damn ! i can't afford to be a snob !!!!!
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:14 pm

yeh same here, caouldnt afford to be a whisky snob.
i mean, ive got many bottles in my collection worth a few hunderad each, but id never drink them... whats the point when i can get 20 bottles or so of laphroaig cask sterngth for the same amount...
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Postby peergynt323 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:17 pm

To the wine snob definition I would have to add from personal experience that they know little about wine except for which bottles are most prestigious and expensive.
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:44 pm

I think that is a big part of the definition. If they were a wine connoiseur they would appreciate all wines. If they were a single malt connoiseur all single malts and so on.

Len
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Postby ScotchPalate » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:18 am

I have a few blends that I fancy if the mood strikes. Although, I do prefer the heavier malt flavor of a single malt. However, I'd never be so pretentious as to mock another's taste in general, let alone for blends. As you stated: A good dram is a good dram. It bugs me when a newbie reads a book and shortly after becomes an expert. I wonder if thise guy could even taste the difference between a single malt and a blend.

SP
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Postby Aidan » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:19 am

I'll drink anything that I think is nice.
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Postby Mustardhead » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:48 am

The idea of getting hangovers from blends and not from malts is interesting. Are some of the blends heavy on very young grain whiskies at high ABV which dominate the blend?

I have drunk some aged single grain whiskies which have been pretty good, I surprised myself when I drank them, I might have counted myself as a malt snob before trying them ;)

I no longer drink enough of anything to get a hangover, and I don't recall whisky of any sort contributing to those I used to get.....or do I? :shock:
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Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:54 am

I remember one party at my parents' house where I raided my dad's liquor cabinet to the tune of 15-20 drams over 7-8 hours. No hangover.

I only get hangovers when I drink too fast or when I drink beer/champagne.
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Postby TheLaddie » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:21 am

I really only drink malts but I don't consider myself a snob (I'm above that... :roll: )

I just don't like grain whisky. It gives me a funny taste in the throat and that has happened with blends and single grains and bourbon too. I'd be more than happy to find a blend I like and I'm not averse to keep trying but until that day I'll stick with the malts. I wpuld be interested in trying a blind comparison at some point to see whether I did prefer the malts without knowing what they were, or whether I'd get it wrong, at which point I guess I would have to accept I was a snob. :oops:

My mind is open. I can't help it I have a fussy palate...
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Postby TheLaddie » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:22 am

peergynt323 wrote:I only get hangovers when I drink too fast or when I drink beer/champagne.


Drink doesn't cause hangovers.

It's waking up that does that... :twisted:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:21 am

You bet I'm a malt snob! That's why I hang out in the Lunar Rogue whenever I'm in Fredericton! (Good to see you, Frank--I should be in a few times this coming summer, let's have a dram.)

Like TheLaddie, I try to keep an open mind, but I've yet to find any whiskies other than malts that float my boat. Last year at the Victoria Whisky Festival, I attended Jim Murray's tasting; we tasted thirteen whiskies blind. I can honestly say that I simply did not care for the ones that were not malts, whiskies he'd chosen to be top-notch examples of their kind. I learned from this to be confident in my own tastes, and I will not apologize for them; nor, of course, should anyone who feels differently.

I will be attending Paterson's tasting in Victoria this year, and I eagerly look forward to it. I'll certainly let you know if he changes my viewpoint!
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Postby Drrich1965 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:03 am

Snob? Seems that is one of those labels that we would rarely put on ourselves, and are more likely to be accused of by others. I would say at this point my strong preference is for SMS over other whiskies. That being said, yesterday my dram was a White Horse blend and right now I am drinking Jim Beam Black bourbon. I enjoyed both; although I certainly wish the White Horse had more oomph- that is what I love about SMS, or at least part of it. When I am drinking a blend or a bourbon, sometimes I wish for the maltyness I get form a good SMS, but by the same token, I also miss that sweet maltiness with some Sherry Monster SMS. Regardless, as has been said, a good whisky is a good whisky. I would gladly take a nice dram of Royal Salute any day.
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Postby Jan » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:25 am

Hmmm. certainly would'nt describe myself that way - but it is all in the eye of the beholder I guess.

While I must admit, that I have not tried that many blends, I was not really fond of the those tried. Also with the truth "So many whiskies - so little liver/wallet/time" in mind, there is in my opinion nothing wrong with specializing in one kind of whisky. For me that is SMS.
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Postby dram_time » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:11 am

There is nothing wrong with blends. I drink a fair few myself. An I wouldn't say that drinking only malts makes you a snob. But with so many malts to try, the blends are taking a bit of a back seat these days.

I think peergynt323's thoughts were about spot on.

Dt.
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Postby EdipisReks » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:11 am

i have nothing against good blends. however, in the Cincinnati area, there are good blends (like Tomatin 12) available for cheaper than JW Black, or similar blends, so generally my every day bottle is a single malt.
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Postby Nock » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:22 am

I personally really don't care for the flavor of grain alcohol. Blends just really do not do it for me. And I have tried to like them believe me. It would be so much easier on the pocket book.

My friend Scott really likes the taste of blends and finds single malts are much too heavy and abrasive. He finds Bourbon to raw and sweet.

My friend Tim really likes the taste of Kentucky Bourbon and doesn't care for any sort of peat (even mild stuff like in Glenmorangie).

I don't think less of my friends for their preferences. And while they roll their eyes at my cask strength obsession I know they don't less of me. I am just jealous that when we get together they both bring a bottle they paid around $20 for while I usually have to spend between $40 and $60 :x

Snob? Not really
Connoisseur? hardly

I just drink what I like.
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Postby The Fachan » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:34 am

I appreciate there are several of us who have the talent to be ablt to know exactly what they are drinking( damn.... I'm Jealous) but The Laddie also brings up a good point. How many of us unknowingly drink with our eyes making the decision before the dram has arrived.
To know the truth we need cobalt glasses and a true blind tasting, just dont know where we would all manage to get together, nice thought though.
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Postby laphroaig10_65 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:11 pm

I drink single malts for the wellness that other kind of whiskies (or whiskeys) are not able to give me.
If I hadn’t known single malts, I’ve never become a whisky lover.
Sometimes I drink some blends (or other like Jack Daniel’s) when I’m in restaurant or away from my home, because I like to improve my knowledge, but it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to finish the glass.
Blends are useful for the market and help the diffusion of single malts, but don’t ask me to buy them.
Bye
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Postby fishboy » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:32 pm

I agree - if it's good it's good, and I'll probably drink it. Mostly for me this does mean single malts, but I don't exclude blends (Asyla from compassbox is superb, or say a 21yo Campbeltown Loch [£25!!!!]). There are some wonderfull aged single grains that are the equal of anything I've tried.

I also tried the older Whyte & Mackay at WL2006 and thought they were excellent!!

I do know malt snobs (as well as some malt sonb subgroups - such as islay snobs), but I'd like to think I'm not one.

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Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:51 pm

I'll drink a blend if I have to...and a couple i really quite like, notably Blackbush and JW Black. these are the only two i've actually bought, whereas a bottle of Bell's gifted me by a well meaning music lover at one of my gigs a couple of years ago still stands unopened! but like the man said, it was malts that got me into whisky.

I've met malt snobs, and am often tempted myself to cross that line where one looks down one's nose at some inferior ignorant being...like the other night when the waiter brought me my Lagavulin...on ice!!(after i'd specifically said NO ICE!)

If looks could kill, and all that... For a fleeting moment this man was the ignoramus of all ignoramusses, and I seethed in self - righteousness...but politeness prevailed(just!) I mean to say, I fancied a Lagavulin, not getting thrown out for insulting a waiter!( I almost asked if i could keep the "iced" one anyway - I couldn't bear the thought of them throwing it away...even if it was a measly 25cl dram)

Isn't this more about malt snobs being snobby towards other malt drinkers? You know, when someone tells you they think Glenfiddich is marvellous, and THAT's when you look down your nose at them, and reel off a list of names of "superior" whiskies you know damn well they've never heard of.

Actually it can be gratifying to educate people! When a ladyfriend expressed a liking for Glenfiddich and a disdain for "smoky" whiskies, (e.gtmyLagavulin which had finally arrived untainted) I ordered a Glenmorangie and shared it with her. She absolutely loved it!

That's my idea of fun!
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Postby lbacha » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:52 pm

laphroaig10_65 wrote:I drink single malts for the wellness that other kind of whiskies (or whiskeys) are not able to give me.
If I hadn’t known single malts, I’ve never become a whisky lover.
Sometimes I drink some blends (or other like Jack Daniel’s) when I’m in restaurant or away from my home, because I like to improve my knowledge, but it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to finish the glass.
Blends are useful for the market and help the diffusion of single malts, but don’t ask me to buy them.
Bye
Luca


I think the word useful should be changed to essential to the market. if it wasn't for blends there wouldn't be many single malts if any at all. Blends are the reason most distilleries make whisky. I beleive only 10% of whisky is single malt, and that is alot higher than it was. single malt drinkers are a minrity that should thank evry blend drinker they find becasue they keep the distilleries operating. Even the distilleries that only make single malt whisky rely on blends to make whisky popular.

JW black and Jameson's are the reason I drink single malts right now. I most likely wouldn't have started drinking single malts because the pirce had kept me away but blends gave me a good alternative.

Len
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Postby vitara7 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:03 pm

there are many distilleries who bottle no single malt and are there purly to supply blends...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:11 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:I'll drink a blend if I have to...and a couple i really quite like, notably Blackbush and JW Black.


Black Bush was one of the non-sm's Murray presented to us last year, and when I opined that I liked it better than the three things that followed it--Grant's, Alberta Premium, and Gibson's 12--he noted that it has more malt than any of those. He invited us to score using his system, but I simply cannot, so I ended up using, essentially, a five-point scale: - (didn't like), ~ (on the fence), + (like it), ++ (really like it), and +++ (really, really like it). The above, in order, got ~, ~, -, -. Actually, I think I gave the AP a double -.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:40 pm

I prefer malts but don't see myself a malt snob. I wouldn't refuse a blend - there are some really really good ones out there - but I just prefer the taste of SMW. That's what floats m'boat :D
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