Whisk(e)y for beginners.....

#1
Gentry,

Having had the flu for 3 weeks now, tried everything that the pharmacist has suggested, thought I would try the remedy that my dad always went for - whiskey.

More than this, as I get older I'm increasingly intrigued by the drink. Just like i was with safety razors about 4 years ago.

I don't drink any spirits, and on the odd occasion in the past when I've tried whiskey, there was some kind of burn which I didn't really enjoy. Maybe it's like shaving - you have to practice?

Anyway - where would I start? Needs to be affordable and taste reasonable. I'm no expert or snob so it doesn't need to be rare or in any way special. Just taste good for a rank amateur
 
#2
First lesson: there's no 'e' in whisky, if it's the proper stuff.

There are plenty of websites that will guide you around the characters of whiskies, but in the end it's really down to what YOU like to drink ... and you'll only know that once you've tried a few miniatures.

To get the best out of the experience, I really don't see anything wrong with a drop (literally, a drop) of water in whisky. I do, and the experience is greatly enhanced for me; the burn removed and the full character brought through.

Okay, so where to start ...

Good blends are cheap enough. Glenfiddich is probably a good one to start with and most supermarkets carry a three miniature sampler with a 10, 12 and an even older version. You can immediately compare and contrast the same drink from different years.

You also want a good drinker in. One you can just enjoy, neat, perhaps with ice (the horror) or even a splash or cola or ginger (again, the horror!). I like Grants or Whyte & MacKaye, both of which are not especially characterful, just whisky.

That can be your baseline and from there just travel around the wonderful spread of flavours that good Scotch has to offer - miniatures are available in abundance, just find a good website that will introduce you to the regions, tastes and flavours so you can understand what it is you're drinking and how it compares to others that you've tried.

Have fun!

Beyond Scotland, there's Welsh, even English and Japanese to try ... and when you want an 'e' in your whisky, there's America (and Ireland).
 
#4
Bushmill's, Power's or Arbelour are all very good whiskies at a decent price.
A splash of water will not only calm the alcohol burn but will also let you taste the whiskey at its best.
Sometime in the '80s it became cool to drink it neat, but sometimes our fathers and grandfather's knew best.
Not so long ago every pub in Ireland and Scotland always had jugs of water on the bar, a tradition sadly forgotten.
 
#6
I am exactly like you Glen. Never really liked whisky but have become intrigued with it. I was told it was because I was drinking cheap whisky and the good stuff was like chalk and cheese comparatively.

As Pjgh advised, I tried some Glenfiddich courtesy of a little set my son got me. I found I wasn’t so keen on the 12 and 15 year old, although the 15 improved with a drop of water, but quite liked the 18yo.

From there I found I quite like Monkey Shoulder which is a blend of 3 Speyside single malts. I find it a little smoother than a Glenfiddich 15yo and more to my taste. It’s not expensive either. Also tried a nice Balvennie 16yo on works do and that was smooooth. Bit pricey though.

I am now branching out into more peaty types (acquired taste maybe) and some Irish.

I agree it really is down to what YOU like. Try Master of Malt web site where you can buy drams.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#7
Take that sentence away and you've actually posted a great reply. ;)
Ireland the home of whiskey or to give it it's proper name Uisce beatha, has always spelt it with an e.
I used to say, "there's no 'e' in whisky unless you're in Glasgow".

I tried some Glenfiddich courtesy of a little set my son got me. I found I wasn’t so keen on the 12 and 15 year old, although the 15 improved with a drop of water, but quite liked the 18yo.
12, 15 & 18 ... that's it. Not 10, 12 and older as I said.
 
#8
First lesson: there's no 'e' in whisky, if it's the proper stuff.

There are plenty of websites that will guide you around the characters of whiskies, but in the end it's really down to what YOU like to drink ... and you'll only know that once you've tried a few miniatures.

To get the best out of the experience, I really don't see anything wrong with a drop (literally, a drop) of water in whisky. I do, and the experience is greatly enhanced for me; the burn removed and the full character brought through.

Okay, so where to start ...

Good blends are cheap enough. Glenfiddich is probably a good one to start with and most supermarkets carry a three miniature sampler with a 10, 12 and an even older version. You can immediately compare and contrast the same drink from different years.

You also want a good drinker in. One you can just enjoy, neat, perhaps with ice (the horror) or even a splash or cola or ginger (again, the horror!). I like Grants or Whyte & MacKaye, both of which are not especially characterful, just whisky.

That can be your baseline and from there just travel around the wonderful spread of flavours that good Scotch has to offer - miniatures are available in abundance, just find a good website that will introduce you to the regions, tastes and flavours so you can understand what it is you're drinking and how it compares to others that you've tried.

Have fun!

Beyond Scotland, there's Welsh, even English and Japanese to try ... and when you want an 'e' in your whisky, there's America (and Ireland).
Sorry about the "e" - next you'll be telling me there's no "t" in Bratford.......

Great post, thanks for the advice. Just picked up Glenfiddich & Monkey Shoulder miniatures from the supermarket. Will give them a whirl.
 
#9
I am exactly like you Glen. Never really liked whisky but have become intrigued with it. I was told it was because I was drinking cheap whisky and the good stuff was like chalk and cheese comparatively.

As Pjgh advised, I tried some Glenfiddich courtesy of a little set my son got me. I found I wasn’t so keen on the 12 and 15 year old, although the 15 improved with a drop of water, but quite liked the 18yo.

From there I found I quite like Monkey Shoulder which is a blend of 3 Speyside single malts. I find it a little smoother than a Glenfiddich 15yo and more to my taste. It’s not expensive either. Also tried a nice Balvennie 16yo on works do and that was smooooth. Bit pricey though.

I am now branching out into more peaty types (acquired taste maybe) and some Irish.

I agree it really is down to what YOU like. Try Master of Malt web site where you can buy drams.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks Antonio - I will follow your advice
 
#11
Sorry about the "e" - next you'll be telling me there's no "t" in Bratford.......

Great post, thanks for the advice. Just picked up Glenfiddich & Monkey Shoulder miniatures from the supermarket. Will give them a whirl.
Bra'fud: home o' glo'al stop!

Great! You're on your way now ... have fun!

View attachment 32338
Even when you have chosen which to buy it's still difficult to choose which to have
Nah! That's easy! Laphroaig ... in true Highlander spirit, there can only be one. Otherwise, the Suntory (with Cola :D ).
 
#14
the whisky exchange.com is a great way to try various miniatures of whisky. Try lots of whisky’s and you will find you’re taste. Single malts are my taste.

As to why us Irish spell whisky with an E is beyond me but we don’t make the best whisky in the world.

The best whisky in the world is whoever tastes it in the moment.
 
#16
the whisky exchange.com is a great way to try various miniatures of whisky. Try lots of whisky’s and you will find you’re taste. Single malts are my taste.

As to why us Irish spell whisky with an E is beyond me but we don’t make the best whisky in the world.

The best whisky in the world is whoever tastes it in the moment.
Thank you sir. I'll check that website out. Like the idea of miniatures!
 
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