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Single Malt

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by gerry grable, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Today I bought my first bottle of single malt Scotch Whisky, Glenmorangie 10 years old. I just wanted to see what all the fuss is about. I've been sipping it at room temperature, straight. Should I pour it on the rocks? It is good but I wonder if I could distinguish it from Johnny Walker Red in a blindfold test?
    Any suggestions? Is this considered a good brand? I just picked it out at the state store here in PA. Nobody to ask here in state run stores.
  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    A few drops of water will help, IME. Ice melts and dilutes the flavor too much. As to whether it's worth it, that's a taste thing IMO; more expensive is more subtle with a greater amount of flavors... cheaper is... rock gut. Where do you get off? Personally, I appreciate an expensive Scotch, but for an evening "2-fingers", I'm good with JWR.
    basspraiser and gerry grable like this.
  3. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Anchorage, AK
    Man..... you think trying out different strings is expensive?

    Don’t know about the Glenmorangie. I found early on I really like the peat flavored smokey single malts from Islay. I suggest starting out with Caol Ila and/or Laphroaig. Talisker (isle of Skye) and Lagavulin are also superb.

  4. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    At the end of the day, the expensive stuff is worth it... but for a couple of times a week... a got the money but still not worth it to me. That's the thing... what do you value?
    Big Shrek and gerry grable like this.
  5. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    I have to admit this stuff I randomly picked is pretty darn good. Can't see pouring it on ice. It was the least pricey of the pricey shelf. It's almost like bass bows. After a certain point (price) I can't tell the difference. :)
    TomB, JLubinsky-Mast and Tom Lane like this.
  6. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I, personally, won't drink the cheapest stuff, and, like I said, I very much appreciate the more expensive stuff... at the end of the day, in this case, price usually connotes quality... not so for wine, IMO, but I'm good with regular gas most of the time.
    TomB and gerry grable like this.
  7. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I am by no means a Scotch expert or even a dilettante. but:

    - I prefer to take whiskey (and whisky) neat. I want to taste whatever it is that I am supposed to be tasting.
    - In general the blended Scotches can be "smoother" but the single malts have more individual character. Kind of depends on what you feel like at the moment. Some of the single malts are practically undrinkable to me, and others are some of the best liquor I've ever tasted. Never gotten hold of a really bad blended Scotch (I only buy brands you have heard of, not weird store brands in plastic gallon jugs, "aged at least 24 hours".)
    - It looks to me like the educated tasting of whiskies is much like the educated tasting of wines; you can make a lifetime study of it if you want to. Or you can just enjoy a nice glass every so often.
    equill, Big Shrek and gerry grable like this.
  8. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    I'm not much of a fan of Highland varieties (like Glenmorangie), but the 10 is certainly a reasonable scotch. If you were hoping for a little more pizazz, consider trying an Islay variety. For the same @ price, you could find an Ardbeg 10 or a Laphroaig 10. The Laphroaig would be my recommendation, and the cask strength 10 is my go to.

    And I like to swish some water in the glass, pour it out, and then pour in the scotch. Or just neat if I don't have some reasonable water.
    Rev. Cornelius and gerry grable like this.
  9. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Thanks all.
    Joshua, you and Nathan (above) have given me a good to-try list. I'll try them very slowly since I am now a man of leisure. I don't Have to play for money anymore-- just fun.
    One thing I keep seeing is peat and peatyness. I'm not sure what that is since I've never tasted peat. Chewing on ancient mud has never been one of my things. Is the Glenmorangie considered peaty? Highland, and, I assume, lowland are also puzzling. Other than with a map of Scotland, how does one know which are which? Ageing also seems very important.
    Thanks again.
  10. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Highlands are generally not peaty, and Glenmorangie definitely isn't. Islay is generally where the peat lives. Ageing means very little in my opinion, as I've had plenty of younger bottlings that were awesome. Heck, my go-to is a 10.

    I'd recommend Malt Madness - all about Scotch whisky as a great source of info. When I first got into scotch it helped me a great deal. The beginner's guide (A Beginner's Guide to Malt Whisky) and the bang for your buck list (A Beginner's Guide to Malt Whisky) are great. From the bang for your buck list I got the cask strength Laphroaig.

    Buenas suerte!
  11. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Glenmorangie 10 is a good start and for sure you can tell it apart from a blended like Johnny Walker. If you do like that first bottle, you're on a journey of a lifetime; different whisky regions to try, different vintages, different glasses to try (I'm digging the Glencairn glass style right now), distillery pilgrimages to the motherland!

    I'm not much of an Islay guy and Highland is too predictable...I'm more of a Lowland or Speyside guy.

    With a single malt, stay away from ice. Some like the drop of water, but I like mine neat.
    Jborg, pjbassist and gerry grable like this.
  12. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    You sure are right about telling the difference between Glenmorangie and JWR. It's like night and day. I tried them side by side last night. Also JWB which is good but I'm not sure that good to merit the price.
    I'm going to check out Joshua's sites, too. Your right about the journey I'm just starting. But neat it is for me. It's much like sipping a great brandy.
    DirtDog likes this.
  13. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Yikes! I think I stay with Scotland for the time being :)
  14. Jim Dedrick

    Jim Dedrick Jim Dedrick Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    Port Deposit, MD
    IMO About 10 years ago the Japanese single malts were an excellent value whiskey-$50 bottle for the 18yr old Fukasima. Kind of reminded me of the 18yr old Glen Levit. Now that bottle is about double the price and the quality has gone down hill. It was the interesting to try the 12yr old from the same distiller- it tasted like Kentucky bourbon.not at all like a single malt. Lately I have been enjoying the glen Fedich IPA cask.
  15. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    One of my regular gigs is at a bar that specializes in old school drink preparations. They always have a nice variety of libations to choose from, particularly with different whiskeys.

    Neat whiskey is, to me, very 'direct' tasting - you're getting everything full blast. Sometimes I'm in the mood for that sort of thing, but when I want to tone down the flavor a bit, my favorite method of cooling is with one big cube (or better yet, sphere) of ice, rather than many smaller cubes. In my experience this slows down the rate of melting quite a bit vs. the standard on-the-rocks preparation, which dilutes the flavor a bit quickly for me.
    KokaKola likes this.
  16. Don C

    Don C

    Jan 13, 2007
    Victoria BC
    Glenmorangie 10 is a pretty decent start IMO. If you like the style try Glenfiddich 15 yr solera vat, good value for money. Also, JW is known for their Blended Scotches (a blend of malt and grain), but they also make one blended malt (no grain whisky) that is good for the price - Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 years old. If you want a good Sherry cask aged whisky try Glendronach 12 yr, again good for the price. The Islays can be an acquired taste, it might take you a while to enjoy them, or might not - depends on your taste. And peat can be present in different ways depending on the distillery. It can be smokey, phenolic, maritime etc. Suggest you try Ardbeg 10 for a start on the Islays. Sigh - there are so many to try. Your palate will change as time goes by. For interesting reviews try Whisky.com and Ralfys reviews, they usually have something interesting to say.
  17. BD Jones

    BD Jones

    Jul 22, 2016
    I'm a McCallan man myself. I prefer the Sherry Cask line. For rough days, it's the 12 year. I don't mind I don't mind downing a couple of drams of that. For relaxing on the weekends, it is the 18 year. When I get a good cut of Akaushi (when the butcher has it), I break out the 30 year. I drink all of mine neat. This is the way the distiller wanted it to be tasted. If they wanted it watered down, they would have added water. I've tried all types of Scotch from different regions, but I keep going back to McCallan.
  18. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I actually saved a ton of money by sticking with the same set of strings for a while...so I spent that money trying different whiskys. Much more expensive.

    I ended up on a gig where I was on stage and the actors all had to take a shot. usually they use iced tea but the others convinced the director to let us take a shot of scotch instead. Couldn't stand it at first cuz we used dewers but we used Glen 12 year for the run. It was quite nice.
    Big Shrek likes this.
  19. Admittedly Scotch isn't on my regular list, just when I wanna feel something with a bite.
    You don't drink Scotch, it smacks you in the gob, wrestles with your tongue,
    burns your throat on the way down, then it starts a fight with your stomach.
    Almost swear the Scot's made their single malt so painful to drink
    was because they were bitter about the English taking over. ;)

    Was given a bottle of The Glenlivet 18 by my best man when I got hitched.
    That's where the above description comes from...experiences with it.
    Took 4 years to empty it...usually on special occasions...like funerals.
    Definitely brings a tear to a fella's eye...whether in its beauty or harshness,
    whichever one prefers to call it.
    Josh Kneisel and gerry grable like this.
  20. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Don’t be afraid to try the Islays. By sheer coincidence my first taste of single malt was a Lagavulin, and I’m still looking for one I like better - not complaining, by the way.
    Joshua likes this.

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