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Newbie to Scotch/Whiskey


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Jets fan from eastern Canada here (don’t judge!!)

 

Just started venturing into the Whiskey/Scotch and want to buy my next bottle but can’t decide. Looking for good options around $80 or less (probably means a $20 bottle in the US). Any tips for the Newbie would be appreciated!

 

Here’s what drank so far;

 

- Gibson’s Finest Rare 12 year - great taste

 

- Dewar’s True Scotch White Label - not so good

 

Typically drink it straight! Shoot me some options!!

 

 

 

 

 

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May I suggest a bourbon Makers Mark. 

Heres what the pros say. 

Smooth and easy to drink neat or on the rocks with a nice warming sensation going down. Long dry finish of oak, caramel and a hint of corn. I like Maker's Mark. It doesn't have quite the depth and complex character that you can get with some bourbons, but it's well balanced, delicious and easy to sip.

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13 hours ago, CajunJet said:

 

Jets fan from eastern Canada here (don’t judge!!)

 

Just started venturing into the Whiskey/Scotch and want to buy my next bottle but can’t decide. Looking for good options around $80 or less (probably means a $20 bottle in the US). Any tips for the Newbie would be appreciated!

 

Here’s what drank so far;

 

- Gibson’s Finest Rare 12 year - great taste

 

- Dewar’s True Scotch White Label - not so good

 

Typically drink it straight! Shoot me some options!!

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile app

 

So I consider myself a Scotch man.  Got started on Dewars at a Christmas Party on 69 floor 1 WTC.   So, I will disagree, I really like Dewars. As a basic everyday scotch, it's fantastic. It is the TOP end of the bottom Scotch's or the Bottom of the top end.  FWIW I ALWAYS drink scotch on 911 as my scotch mentor died in the towers that day.  He said.. you can't drink Gin ad Tonic and be taken seriously. RIP Mr Grouzalis.

On the higher end....  not much of a Single malt guy BUT my top end Scotch's in no real order are (and I have a bottle of each in my home now)

Pinch, McCallum and  Belvinie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, southparkcpa said:

So I consider myself a Scotch man.  Got started on Dewars at a Christmas Party on 69 floor 1 WTC.   So, I will disagree, I really like Dewars. As a basic everyday scotch, it's fantastic. It is the TOP end of the bottom Scotch's or the Bottom of the top end.  FWIW I ALWAYS drink scotch on 911 as my scotch mentor died in the towers that day.  He said.. you can't drink Gin ad Tonic and be taken seriously. RIP Mr Grouzalis.

On the higher end....  not much of a Single malt guy BUT my top end Scotch's in no real order are (and I have a bottle of each in my home now)

Pinch, McCallum and  Belvinie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for your loss brother. My Dad drinks the Chivas Regal, always been his favorite. Couple days a week I enjoy Maccalan 12, no actual comparative preference though, someone bought me a bottle for my birthday 10 years ago, I liked it. So now I drink it. Gonna try a couple off Fish’s list though. 

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12 hours ago, Warfish said:

Thanks for the headsup @The Crusher.

For someone new to Scotch, I would recommend a number of bottles:

-Looks like you've been drinking Blended Whisky, most folks tend to start there as they're very approachable and drinkable, and usually quite low-cost vs. Single Malts.  I won't bore you with the differences, I am sure you can find reputable info sources online if you don't yet know the differences.

Some great bottles I'd recommend for a new Scotch Single-Malt drinker under $80 would start with:

The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood - a rock solid Speyside single malt, light, sweet, a bit of spice, but a great entry to single malts (~$60-65 US).

balob.12yo.jpg

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 14 Year Old Port Finished -- Another easy to find, very tasty single malt, this time from the Highlands region producer Glenmorangie.  This is their standard 12 year old aged an extra 2 years in Port Wine Barrels.  Smooth as silk, rich deep sweetness from the base malt and the port finish, a little darkness but not too much.  I love this, it's a standard on my shelf, and pretty affordable at ~$70 US.

gmgob.14yo.jpg

 

Auchentoshan Three Wood -- A Lowland Malt (lowlands are usually lighter more floral, more delicate), of which there aren;t that many distilleries left really.  But this is a great bottle, again, aged in the usual Bourban Barrels, then in two different Sherry barrels, so again, you get a rich sweetness to go with your malt.  Another about $70 US.

aucob.non2.jpg

And finally, for something different, Ardbeg 10 Year Old.  An ISlay whiskey (from the isle of Islay off the west coast fo Scotland), an island known for producing very peaty (smokey), very salty (not literally, but briney) strongly flavored malts.  Think drinking a big wood and seaweed fire on the beach (trust me, it's not as bad as that sounds, but it IS a very particular taste, not everyone likes the Smokey malts).   Some hate them, some drink one and never go back to anything else!  $60 US.

abgob.10yov1.jpg

 

There are endless other options, of course, but I'll give one last suggestion, if you want to stick with Blended Whisky, try Compass Box's Great King Street.  It's about as good a Blended Scotch as you're going to find, and a steal at $35 U.S.

blend_gre1.jpg

Great response Fish. I'm one of the guys who can't do peat at all. I've tried it probably 15-20 times over the years, and every once in a while I'll go try again just to see if the palate has changed over the years. As of now, it's still a hard no.

On the other hand, my cousin is exactly as you've described. He once tried a Lagavulin 16 at a wedding, and I swear he hasn't had a non smokey drink since. It's excruciating having dinner at his place while trying to sip one of his whiskeys. I usually just try a glass, remember that I really don't like it, and then whip out a juicy west coast IPA instead. 

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23 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

Gonna try a couple off Fish’s list though. 

The Glen that he listed is a topnotch winner. One of my absolute favorites. 

I'm excited to find and try the Auchentoshan. I've never even heard of it, but Fish's description sounds great. 

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1 minute ago, greenwichjetfan said:

The Glen that he listed is a topnotch winner. One of my absolute favorites. 

I'm excited to find and try the Auchentoshan. I've never even heard of it, but Fish's description sounds great. 

He needs a video Scotch  blog. I’ve actually met him a few times, dude was made for this! 

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28 minutes ago, greenwichjetfan said:

Great response Fish. I'm one of the guys who can't do peat at all. I've tried it probably 15-20 times over the years, and every once in a while I'll go try again just to see if the palate has changed over the years. As of now, it's still a hard no.

On the other hand, my cousin is exactly as you've described. He once tried a Lagavulin 16 at a wedding, and I swear he hasn't had a non smokey drink since. It's excruciating having dinner at his place while trying to sip one of his whiskeys. I usually just try a glass, remember that I really don't like it, and then whip out a juicy west coast IPA instead. 

Pretty sure my buddy @Nolder is a big fan of this flavor profile. 

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Scotch


I am Partial to the glenlivet (all of them are good and not that pricey) and Mcallan (which is a little more expensive then glenlivet). I haven’t tasted a single malt scotch I didn’t like.

 

Bourbon

woodford reserve, rowans creek, blantons, russel reserve single barrel, Elmer t Lee.

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56 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

He needs a video Scotch  blog. I’ve actually met him a few times, dude was made for this! 

I appreciate that my friend, but I could never live up to the guy I watch myself:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ralfystuff

This guy is the best source of info on Scotch one could ever need.

For anyone looking to get real deep in the field, Ralfy is the guy to look for.  He's done close to a thousand reviews, of all levels of price/quality/type/region, including other spirit classes too.  

Check him out, if there is a bottle you want to know about you can search his Vids for it he's probably covered it.  He has his own tastes and biases of course, and his early reviews were (as with most folks first attempts at YouTube) a little less great, lol, but this guy is my own personal Whisky Bible. 

I've tasted or owned hundreds of single malts myself, I generally have anywhere from 10-15 bottles on my shelf at any time and I rarely buy the same stuff twice (outside a few "daily drinkers" I always have on hand, like Old Grandad Bottled in Bond Bourbon, 100 proof, great tasting, ultra-cheap Bourbon for making mixed drinks!). 

But I am just the learner, Ralfy IS the Master.

I have a few other resources I might share, but I can't from it where I am, maybe a later post.  

Till then, Sláinte and Na Zdrowie!

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13 hours ago, Warfish said:

Thanks for the headsup @The Crusher.

For someone new to Scotch, I would recommend a number of bottles:

-Looks like you've been drinking Blended Whisky, most folks tend to start there as they're very approachable and drinkable, and usually quite low-cost vs. Single Malts.  I won't bore you with the differences, I am sure you can find reputable info sources online if you don't yet know the differences.

Some great bottles I'd recommend for a new Scotch Single-Malt drinker under $80 would start with:

The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood - a rock solid Speyside single malt, light, sweet, a bit of spice, but a great entry to single malts (~$60-65 US).

balob.12yo.jpg

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 14 Year Old Port Finished -- Another easy to find, very tasty single malt, this time from the Highlands region producer Glenmorangie.  This is their standard 12 year old aged an extra 2 years in Port Wine Barrels.  Smooth as silk, rich deep sweetness from the base malt and the port finish, a little darkness but not too much.  I love this, it's a standard on my shelf, and pretty affordable at ~$70 US.

gmgob.14yo.jpg

 

Auchentoshan Three Wood -- A Lowland Malt (lowlands are usually lighter more floral, more delicate), of which there aren;t that many distilleries left really.  But this is a great bottle, again, aged in the usual Bourban Barrels, then in two different Sherry barrels, so again, you get a rich sweetness to go with your malt.  Another about $70 US.

aucob.non2.jpg

And finally, for something different, Ardbeg 10 Year Old.  An ISlay whiskey (from the isle of Islay off the west coast fo Scotland), an island known for producing very peaty (smokey), very salty (not literally, but briney) strongly flavored malts.  Think drinking a big wood and seaweed fire on the beach (trust me, it's not as bad as that sounds, but it IS a very particular taste, not everyone likes the Smokey malts).   Some hate them, some drink one and never go back to anything else!  $60 US.

abgob.10yov1.jpg

 

There are endless other options, of course, but I'll give one last suggestion, if you want to stick with Blended Whisky, try Compass Box's Great King Street.  It's about as good a Blended Scotch as you're going to find, and a steal at $35 U.S.

blend_gre1.jpg

Man, I could get in a lot of trouble hanging out with you. 

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This is great!! Appreciate the info!

First off... @southparkcpa  Respect to Mr Grouzalis! His quote of Gin and Tonic will always stick with me. I will make sure I have a drink of scotch on 911. I visited the 911 memorial a few years back and definitely gave me chills. Hopefully, I'll make it back to New York soon to visit and watch a game (This time Chris Ivory won't be there to drop two screen passes to complete a comeback versus Detroit). 

The initial taste on the Dewars White Label is good but at the end, I feel all I can taste is similar to a Vodka. Is that normal? I'll have to do more research on Single Malt versus others.

 

@Warfish Great post! Definitely helpful... the Balvenie Double wood will be my next purchase. The Genmorangie is also tempting. @joewilly12 your Maker's Mark will be on my list this weekend too (Heard good thing about it).

@greenwichjetfan Cheers to the IPA! My go to is the New England IPAs. Hazy, juicy and can't even see thru it!

 

Cheers to Ralfy! I'll be watching his videos...this Guy is awesome!

Thanks again for the insight! Go JETS!!

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I've become a bourbon guy over the years, and I think in terms of affordable/accessible stuff Michters and Angel's Envy are fantastic for the money. Eagle Rare is a great bang for the buck bourbon as well.  Very opposite ends of the spectrum and I enjoy both equally depending on my mood. AE is sweeter and Michters is on the spicier end.

Blanton's is by far my favorite I and I personally think it's the best under $100 bottle of anything in the world, but the stuff has taken on a level of popularity over the years that is insane. Good luck finding it. 

If you are looking to spring for a little more, Michter's makes a 20 y/o that is exquisite. Probably the best bourbon I have ever had. Would take it over Pappy 100%.

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I've become a bourbon guy over the years, and I think in terms of affordable/accessible stuff Michters and Angel's Envy are fantastic for the money. Eagle Rare is a great bang for the buck bourbon as well.  Very opposite ends of the spectrum and I enjoy both equally depending on my mood. AE is sweeter and Michters is on the spicier end.
Blanton's is by far my favorite I and I personally think it's the best under $100 bottle of anything in the world, but the stuff has taken on a level of popularity over the years that is insane. Good luck finding it. 
If you are looking to spring for a little more, Michter's makes a 20 y/o that is exquisite. Probably the best bourbon I have ever had. Would take it over Pappy 100%.


For a newbie, should I start out with the sweeter stuff and work my way into the spicier?? Or doesn’t matter?

Also, I drink it neat but someone told me by putting a stainless steel ice cube gives it more flavour? Is that true?


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48 minutes ago, CajunJet said:

 


For a newbie, should I start out with the sweeter stuff and work my way into the spicier?? Or doesn’t matter?

Also, I drink it neat but someone told me by putting a stainless steel ice cube gives it more flavour? Is that true?


Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile app

 

Honestly it’s all preference. Just gotta try them and see what you like. Including the type of ice or if you even want ice. Anyone who tells you how you need to drink your drink is a dweeb. 

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2 minutes ago, RutgersJetFan said:

Honestly it’s all preference. Just gotta try them and see what you like. Including the type of ice or if you even want ice. Anyone who tells you how you need to drink your drink is a dweeb. 

Ice? We going skating? 

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6 hours ago, RutgersJetFan said:

Honestly it’s all preference. Just gotta try them and see what you like. Including the type of ice or if you even want ice. Anyone who tells you how you need to drink your drink is a dweeb. 

This is true. I like it straight up no ice at room temperature so I can taste it. My friend bought these fancy scotch rocks that you put in the freezer and then drop them in the glass. I will say the ice ball in a rock glass with bourbon I like, but scotch I prefer with no ice.

everybody has different preferences. Whatever you think tasted better.

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12 hours ago, RutgersJetFan said:

I've become a bourbon guy over the years, and I think in terms of affordable/accessible stuff Michters and Angel's Envy are fantastic for the money. Eagle Rare is a great bang for the buck bourbon as well.  Very opposite ends of the spectrum and I enjoy both equally depending on my mood. AE is sweeter and Michters is on the spicier end.

Blanton's is by far my favorite I and I personally think it's the best under $100 bottle of anything in the world, but the stuff has taken on a level of popularity over the years that is insane. Good luck finding it. 

If you are looking to spring for a little more, Michter's makes a 20 y/o that is exquisite. Probably the best bourbon I have ever had. Would take it over Pappy 100%.

My GF drinks that stuff the way I drink Scotch.  I have never acquired a taste for Bourbon. Here in nC, when a Liquor stor gets Angerls Envy, they run out in a matter of days.  It's hard to find.

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1 hour ago, southparkcpa said:

My GF drinks that stuff the way I drink Scotch.  I have never acquired a taste for Bourbon. Here in nC, when a Liquor stor gets Angerls Envy, they run out in a matter of days.  It's hard to find.

Same here. Little light for my taste, but Uber popular and seems to appeal to lighter palates. When I drink bourbon as of late it’s been Basel Hayden, they also have a dark rye that’s solid. 

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1 hour ago, southparkcpa said:

My GF drinks that stuff the way I drink Scotch.  I have never acquired a taste for Bourbon. Here in nC, when a Liquor stor gets Angerls Envy, they run out in a matter of days.  It's hard to find.

It’s so weird. Here in LA some stores can’t keep it on shelves, but I’ll walk into a Costco or Whole Foods and it’s always just sitting there. 

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2 minutes ago, RutgersJetFan said:

It’s so weird. Here in LA some stores can’t keep it on shelves, but I’ll walk into a Costco or Whole Foods and it’s always just sitting there. 

Of course. Who in their right mind would think of Costco or Whole   foods to purchase quality spirits? Well, uhh, other than you. 

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2 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

Of course. Who in their right mind would think of Costco or Whole   foods to purchase quality spirits? Well, uhh, other than you. 

I walk into Costco for the bulk boxes of Kerrygold Butter, sir. It just so happens I have to walk through the booze section to get there. 

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47 minutes ago, RutgersJetFan said:

I walk into Costco for the bulk boxes of Kerrygold Butter, sir. It just so happens I have to walk through the booze section to get there. 

When kids were little went once  a month . Was nice, grocery shop, feed the five of them for $15 and get enough bulk everything till next month. Now that 4 out of 5 are gone I feel as it’s a liberated right of passage  to not go there. I do Wegmans and Ukrops on the reg. 

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2 hours ago, The Crusher said:

Of course. Who in their right mind would think of Costco or Whole   foods to purchase quality spirits? Well, uhh, other than you. 

Have not been there in a few years.  But Whole Foods at the Bergen Town Center in Paramus had a fantastic wine/spirits department.  Plus they gave you a great discount off a mixed case of wine.   Also had a couple of Champagnes I couldn't find at my local Bottle King. 

And I think it was "Mr. Wonderful" who said Costco is the biggest seller of wines/spirits in America.

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30 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

Have not been there in a few years.  But Whole Foods at the Bergen Town Center in Paramus had a fantastic wine/spirits department.  Plus they gave you a great discount off a mixed case of wine.   Also had a couple of Champagnes I couldn't find at my local Bottle King. 

And I think it was "Mr. Wonderful" who said Costco is the biggest seller of wines/spirits in America.

I’m Virginia it’s only wine and beer. Hence my surprise. 

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So all this talk has me with a Scotch in my hands.  BUT...  a great friend bought me Dewars 12 knowing I drink Dewars.  Strange but I’ll drink it but not a fan. I want Dewars White label.  BUT.....  I’ll drink it.  Cheers everyone.   

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On 2/24/2021 at 10:26 PM, Warfish said:

Thanks for the headsup @The Crusher.

For someone new to Scotch, I would recommend a number of bottles:

-Looks like you've been drinking Blended Whisky, most folks tend to start there as they're very approachable and drinkable, and usually quite low-cost vs. Single Malts.  I won't bore you with the differences, I am sure you can find reputable info sources online if you don't yet know the differences.

Some great bottles I'd recommend for a new Scotch Single-Malt drinker under $80 would start with:

The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood - a rock solid Speyside single malt, light, sweet, a bit of spice, but a great entry to single malts (~$60-65 US).

balob.12yo.jpg

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 14 Year Old Port Finished -- Another easy to find, very tasty single malt, this time from the Highlands region producer Glenmorangie.  This is their standard 12 year old aged an extra 2 years in Port Wine Barrels.  Smooth as silk, rich deep sweetness from the base malt and the port finish, a little darkness but not too much.  I love this, it's a standard on my shelf, and pretty affordable at ~$70 US.

gmgob.14yo.jpg

 

Auchentoshan Three Wood -- A Lowland Malt (lowlands are usually lighter more floral, more delicate), of which there aren;t that many distilleries left really.  But this is a great bottle, again, aged in the usual Bourban Barrels, then in two different Sherry barrels, so again, you get a rich sweetness to go with your malt.  Another about $70 US.

aucob.non2.jpg

And finally, for something different, Ardbeg 10 Year Old.  An ISlay whiskey (from the isle of Islay off the west coast fo Scotland), an island known for producing very peaty (smokey), very salty (not literally, but briney) strongly flavored malts.  Think drinking a big wood and seaweed fire on the beach (trust me, it's not as bad as that sounds, but it IS a very particular taste, not everyone likes the Smokey malts).   Some hate them, some drink one and never go back to anything else!  $60 US.

abgob.10yov1.jpg

 

There are endless other options, of course, but I'll give one last suggestion, if you want to stick with Blended Whisky, try Compass Box's Great King Street.  It's about as good a Blended Scotch as you're going to find, and a steal at $35 U.S.

blend_gre1.jpg

I think for the price, the Balvenie 14 year Carribean Cask is a better value than the 12 Year Double Wood and pretty close on smoothness.

A knock off of Balvenie for a blended Scotch that is very single-malt like is Monkey Shoulder.

In terms of bourbon, Woodford Reserve is my favorite but for a few dollars more, the Double Oaked is delicious.

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