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Learning about spirits (Whiskey)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by 'JC', Aug 29, 2005.

  1. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000
    I've decided I want to learn more about fine spirits after today, but don't know how.

    I like having whiskey when I get home from work - usually Crown Royal. Didn't have any of that left, so stopped off but felt like trying something new.

    I know I like Canadian whiskey and American Bourbons, but in honor of my favorite Formula 1 team, decided to go with their new sponsor and picked up some Johnnie Walker Red Label.

    I hate it. :spit:

    I thought this was supposed to be great.
    I've heard so much about how fine scotch is, and seen the prices of JW Blue Label, so naturally I'm disapointed.

    It's smooth at first, but then when the flavor hits you, it's bleh. It's not as rich or flavorful as Canadian whiskey either.
    It's as if it's watered down.

    To the TBers who enjoy drinking responsibly, what's your drink of choice? How did you learn about it?

    And can someone explain to me why scotch is so nasty?
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I don't know what kind of scotch you tried, but single malt is the only way to go. Have some Glenfiddich or Glenlivet, and see how you feel after that. Maybe you're just not a scotch person. I've tried a few different kinds, and what I listed are about all I have the taste for.

    Can't help you on the whiskey, however. I'm a beer snob, and don't know much outside of that and what my dear 'ol dad can tell me about scotch. But if you ever feel the need to discuss the finer points of heavily hopped beverages, give a holler. :D
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    1. Scotch tends to be an aquired taste.
    2. Johnnie Walker Red is probably the worst scotch ever made. Johnnie Walker Black at minimum.
    3. SuperDuck is correct that you should go straight to the single malts.

    And as a Bourbon drinker, stay away from Jack Daniel's if you are ever in Canada. I don't know what they do to get it from 100 proof to 80 proof, but it is harsh compared to the American version. Wild Turkey is safe :D Or just get rye in Canada ;)
  4. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I'm a big scotch fan. JW red is crap. It is the Hartke/Behringer of Scotch. For inexpensive (relatively) single malts, try Glenlivet. For blends, I like Chivas Regal or Dewars.

    If you are used to Crown Royal (which I like quite a bit too), you'll note that it is quite a bit sweeter than scotch, and that may take some adjusting to the taste.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Now there's an area where you are clearly an expert.
  6. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Vodka pawns you all
  7. I like scotch single malts. They're pretty expensive, of course. Glenfiddich is a great suggestion, and very mild. My personal favorite is Oban, very smokey. Others I have tried lately that were good are The Dalmore and Isle of Jura, pretty ordinary tasting. If you don't like a whisky straight you can put a little bit of water in it, that is what the Scots do, or so I've heard. That makes it milder and is supposed to release tastes that you don't sense at 40% alcohol. Tamnavulin for instance is a yellowish whisky that tastes terrible without water in my opinion. Not that I know very much, but I have learned from personal experience and from friends, I have a couple who are more or less collectors.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Boy, I used to be a scotch and bourbon expert.

    Not anymore though (can't handle it anymore). :)

    Let's see, single-malts are definitely the way to go, when it comes to scotch. I second the Oban suggestion, that's an excellent whisky, and Glenmorangie is pretty good too (sometimes, at the right time of year, and when you can find it).

    One of the better "cheap" scotches is probably Dewar's, which is smooth and very palatable.

    In the bourbon domain, I'd recommend Maker's Mark, that's an excellent American bourbon. And also Wild Turkey's "Rare Breed", which is kind of a bottom-of-the-barrel thing that's been aged for 12 years or something. It's nothing like ordinary Wild Turkey, it's smooth and very flavorful, and not at all harsh and nasty like y'r average WT.

    You'll just have to experiment, and reach your own conclusions.

    Have fun.... (and be careful).... :)
  9. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    just drink beer....beer good....
    beer give me the body that i have today :rolleyes:
  10. +1 for the Highland Park.

    Comes in a bottle that looks like it should contain some fairly crappy cologne BUT it is like a kiss from an angel IMHO. ;) ;)

    (I've not gone too far have I? :eek: :D )

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Glenmorangie for Scotch and Wild Turkey 101 for Burbon.
  12. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    JW is a blend. They take the scotch that's not good enough and mix it with other scotches that aren't good enough.. Think of it like Fruit Punch...

    Cutty Sark is a better blend, IMO. However, Single malts are the way to go..

    +1 on Oban, Talisker (mmmm peaty), Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, and The Glenlivet. Good scotch gets some getting used to. I'd start with The Glenlivet, as it's a bit lighter, than most, but gives you a good "introduction" to the pallet of flavors.

    I dig Knob Creek for bourbon. Elijah Craig and Maker's Mark ain't too shabby either.

    Also, if you aren't into heavy spirits, Irish Whiskey tends to be lighter.. almost buttery. Bushmills is a good brand.

    +1 on hte no ice... Ice and fine malt spirits should never cross paths.. ever...
  13. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Scotch is the now only alcoholic beverage I drink on those ever increasingly rare occassions when I do tip some back.

    A) It's definitely an acquired taste, but it's one of the rare drinks that has never given me a hangover. Sure, I might feel like crap, but I don't get the pounding headaches.

    B) Dewars is like the Fender of scotch .... it's available everywhere, it always gives you the same result without any surprises, and you'll never be embarrassed to be holding it in public.

    C) At the most, just a little ice will do the trick. No water, lemon peels, club soda, etc.

    D) What do you think looks better to the ladies? A drummer guzzling down a beer and belching, followed by a fast trip to the mens room to empty out, or a suave-looking bass player politely tipping back a refined single-malt or blend?
  14. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I had a ridiculously long post about vodka written, but something happened in transit and now I'll shorten it up.

    Grey Goose/Belvedere - Best stuff I've had
    Staraya - 90% as good as Grey Goose, none of the sticker shock
    Absolut/Popov/Taaka - swill

    Anything you spend over 30 bucks for the smallest bottle of it should not be mixed with anything (ice, juice, etc).

    Would you get a 3000 dollar set of home speakers and use a 50 cd player as your source unit? I hope not.

    No flavored vodka. I put that crap in with Bartels and James stuff.

    Pepper vodka is only for Bloody Marys. Infernal Pepper is the best pepper vodka. Do not, I repeat, do not eat the pepper in the bottle of Infernal Pepper. Dare your friends to do it.

    That is all.
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I agree. The one exception is the margarita. I haven't had straight tequila since college :)
  16. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Tequila is the way to go.

    March 2003, Naval Support Unit Bahrain, we just got back from being out to sea for 60 days. I had 20 shots of tequila and 6 B-52s at the Desert Dome. I haven't had a drink since that night...
  17. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I've not had tequila that I've enjoyed drinking straight.

    I am far too much of a man to be caught dead drinking a margarita. :D Being serious and facetious simaltenously.
  18. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm a whiskey drinker myself. I usually stick to Irish whiskeys, but do enjoy Canadian blends like Crown Royal. If you don't mind that they are from the Protestant North of Ireland, Bushmill's is one of my favorites. Tully is pretty good too, it's one of the smoother Irish whiskeys.
  19. Where have you ever seen 100 proof Jack?

    It had been 88 proof then went to 80 proof everywhere iirc

    If I am wrong , my apologies.

    Chivas Regal and Jack Daniels drinker for about 20 years now.
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Them's fightin' words!

    Maybe you have just never had a good margarita. It needs to be a hot day. In a shaker mix (for a single drink 1 part = 1 oz):
    • 3 parts Tequila, preferably Blanco
    • 2 parts Contreau. You can use Triple Sec if you must.
    • 1 part lime juice. Lemon juice will not do.

    Shaken, not stirred ;) Put one or two ice cubes in a glass. Pour the margarita over. Let it chill a bit. Enjoy!