Wine Talk

Snooth User: akops41

I dislike Scotch

Posted by akops41, Mar 7, 2008.

Scotch Scotch Scotch.

I'm not a fan of peet. But I really like bourbon - the nutty and toasty flavors really get me. Knob creek does the trick specifically.

I've been told I have yet to taste a good scotch and thats why I don't like it. Any recs for a decent price? I'm not moneybags over here.

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Mar 7, 2008.

Bourbon's are sweeter, lighter/smoother and more approachable than Scotch. You should work your way up to Scotch slowly via the whisk(e)y steps in between. I suggest a few trips to the bar so you don't have to go whole hog on a bottle that you don't like.

-Bourbon (51% corn): Knob Creek, Maker's, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, etc.

-Tennessee Whiskey (also mostly corn, but technically not a bourbon): Jack Daniel's, George Dickel

-Rye (51% rye - almost extinct) Old Overholt

-Canadian Whisky (multi-grain... lots of rye used): Canadian Club, Crown Royal, Black Velvet

-Irish Whiskey (multi-grain or single-malt, usually unpeated): Bushmill's, Jameson, Tullamore Dew

-Blended Scotch Whisky (wheat, corn & barley): Dewar's, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Famous Grouse, Chivas Regal, Cutty Sark.

-Single Malt Scotch Whisky (made only from malted barley - expensive)
Lowland: Glenkinchie
Speyside (getting peaty): Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Macallan, Balvenie
Highland: Dalmore, Glenmorangie
Islay (these are the peaty bastards): Bowmore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Mar 7, 2008.

Good list. You can get whiskey flights at some bars in NYC so that might be a good place to start without breaking the bank. I'll add a few of my own favorite here:

Bourbon: Maker's (is the best QPR bourbon in my opinion), Woodford Reserve, Corner Creek, Black Maple Hill, Pappy van Winkle's Family Reserve (expensive but delicious)

Rye: as RBoulanger recommends, Old Overholt is a great starter -- cheap and (relatively) easy to find, Sazerac is also solid if you can find it.

And the only thing I have to add on the Scotch is a plug for Lagavulin. What a great whisky.

Reply by MoetChandon, Mar 8, 2008.

I don't like peety whiskys either, so I drink unpeeted ones like Highland Park. Lovely :-)

Reply by Chris Carpita, Mar 10, 2008.

Oban is also a good scotch. I will still take bourbon over scotch 9/10 times, because the smokiness doesn't sit well with other drinks.

Reply by necroprancer, Mar 11, 2008.

I would like to second that vote for Oban, and also add Clynelish and Dalwhinnie. If you don't like peat, then I'd recommend sticking with the Highland Scotches. They tend to show little or no peat and are more floral and fruity. Of the ones I've mentioned I think Dalwhinnie 15 yr is the best made. It's has a sort of silky mouthfeel that sets it apart from other Highlands in it's price range. That said it's still gonna cost you about $55 to pick up that bottle, and so you may be a little better off trying it and a few other highlands at a bar (preferably not a smoky one). Anywho, Scotch is awesome.

Reply by kiwisteve, Mar 11, 2008.

If you are looking for a good blened whiskey you can't go past Famous Grouse, relativey well priced. A good Friday evening tipple to get the weekend heading in the right direction!

Reply by VRider, Mar 12, 2008.

Nobody mentioned Ballantine's, which is my usual choice, especially if I want to know myself out. :-)

Reply by gr, Mar 12, 2008.

@RBoulanger: My favorite scotch got left out there, but it's possible that it's in a "still peetier than that" tier. Talisker. The only single malt from the Isle of Skye. Great stuff.

Also, a bourbon that's less-commonly seen and not terribly expensive is Bulleit. It's only moderately more expensive than even Jim Beam, but it's a lot better.

@ccarpita/necroprancer: I also like Oban, but it's only so-so under 12 years.

Reply by vintagesf, Jan 7, 2009.

The Scots consider Scapa to be the best representation of a traditional whisky. Even the 7 y.o. is quite smooth and very flavorful, with a very long finish. I, for one, like the peat flavors. Talisker is readily available and good. Once you start drinking the Islay malts, though, you won't go back to the lowlands. Lagavulin is probably the smoothest. A few years back when traveling through Heathrow I found a double matured Lagavulin that was so silky it was too easy to drink. They put out a new bottling every year for a few years, but there was never enough to be exported to the States. My favorite of all is Port Ellen, a distillery that closed in the early 80s. You can still find them around, but at a price becoming more dear by the day. Peat, seaweed and iodine and hey have the longest finish I have ever experienced.

Reply by manjuy, Jan 8, 2009.

faaltu....!!!!! mujhe inme se kuch b pasand nai!

Reply by Philip James, Jan 8, 2009.

VintageSF - i was lucky enough to spend a New Years on Islay (a decade ago) - had a great time with the Ardberg and Bunnahabhain, although I have a sweet tooth and lean more towards the american stuff as a result.

Reply by vintagesf, Jan 8, 2009.

Philip, you are indeed lucky to spend time on Islay, especially New Years. I've heard it is quite an experience. My wife got to travel to Scotland every other month a few years back and managed to bring back many unusual bottles to sample. We've wanted to visit Islay for some time. We will soon. My first taste of an Islay was also Bunnahabhain at a fine restaurant in SF where we became friends with the sommelier. Curiously, though I like Ardbeg, it affects my sleep if I have it too late.

Reply by patowino, Jan 8, 2009.

I started with blends like Johnny Walker red and Dewars. Single malts are wonderful after you've learned what you like in a blend.

Reply by Cassparagus, Mar 17, 2009.

I feel the same way about scotch... I have yet to find one I enjoy. Definitely check out W.L. Weller bourbons. some can get pricy, but its worth it!

Reply by Uwe Kristen, Mar 17, 2009.

Uisge Beatha - the water of life. How can one not like it? RBoulanger came up with an excellent list. The only point I slightly disagree with: I would not put Macallan in the peat section. I find Macallan to be the perfectly smooth, no volcanic lava like Talisker or iodine like Laphroaig. Auchentoshan is also fairly mild and so is Rosebank. And after you tried all the smooth ones go back for a wee dram of Lagavulin and see if you may not love it after all. How could ye not?

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Mar 18, 2009.

DK - Thanks for the kind compliments. I don't pretend know very much about Scotch, per se, but, being French and thinking appellations, I had those classified geographically.

As for not liking Scotch, it's not for everyone. I'm ok with that since it keeps demand down and means more for those of us who do appreciate it.

Reply by fibo86, Mar 18, 2009.

RB as usual cover all bases and as usual very well done.
So I dislike Scotch can you tell me what your version of peat is please, as I've seen quite a few here that are peated although quoted as not.

Reply by dmcker, Mar 23, 2009.

I've found in my travels that if you find yourself in or near any good-sized metropolis for any length of time it's possible to quickly find a bar or two or three that 'specializes' to some degree in good scotch. Talk to the owner/bartender and go through a few options each visit. Tasting with whisky is the best way to learn, as it is with wine. Guidance from experts along the way can, of course, speed the process.

Being raised in America, my first whiskey experiences were with bourbon. Jack Black in a flask at concerts, and the like. I still like a good bourbon, and the most commonly found premium label internationally these days seems to be Booker's. But after having matured in my wine drinking, and learning to enjoy not just cognac and armagnac, but marc, eau de vie, grappa and many other distilled European liquors, I find I nearly always tend to prefer Scotch these days.

I used to dislike it but then a friend gifted me a bottle of 18 yr. Ballantine's. Definitely changed my view of whisky that had been shaped by nasty highballs made from Suntory offerings or cheaper Scotch blendings that had been mixed specially for the Japanese market. Subsequently another couple friends turned me on to the Macallan, and Glenmorangie. Both approachable and impressive, rounded, heartwarming and not-too-peaty. Quite lovely, I thought, especially those that had been stored in sherry casks. After that, I never went back to blended whisky, but I did ultimately move on to the Islay heavyweights. Laphroaig and especially Lagavulin are the ones I can find most easily internationally. And what I choose to drink now when I have the option (I totally agree with Mark about the latter). Though I have been known to accept Glenlivets and Taliskers when pressed... ;-)

Has anyone noticed a change in Macallan in recent years? I don't enjoy it as much as I used to, and have wondered if that's because Suntory now owns it....

Reply by fibo86, Mar 24, 2009.

Hell yeah theres a huge difference in Macallan yes it's now "fine oak" not Sherry oak now as of yet no-one has specified what fine oak actually is so you'll find all of the fine oak a completely different beast....It has nothing to do with suntory and everything to do with master distiller, again I'm with you the old Macallan rocks.
The simple way to tell the difference is the shape of the bottle (old shape not oval) the foil on the top of the bottle (gold in colour not silver) and the colour of the box ( Maroon not purple with silver) if you see the old product grab it cause it won't be around that much longer.

Reply by dmcker, Mar 24, 2009.

I tend to be skeptical about coincidences, and am a firm believer that ownership is responsible for personnel decisions. Skeptical in this case because of all the experience I've had with questionable Suntory takes on beverage mixing over here, and because of their track record with overseas holdings. Had any Firestone wine from Santa Barbara, or done a comparison of 'modern' Ridge wines vs. their past?

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