General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

Tell me about what single malt scotches you might like and why?

Asked by Caravanfan (13378points) 2 months ago

Highland? Lowland? Islay? Speyside? Peated? Bourbon casked? Sherry casked? Aged?

Any scotch blends you particularly like from, say Caidenhead or Johnnie Walker?

This thread is to discuss scotch. If you don’t like scotch, that’s fine, but I’m not interested. This is only for people who, like me, love a good dram.

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39 Answers

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Speysides, peated. I also like a port or sherry cask finish. I don’t much care for blends, give me single malt.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park There are some excellent blends out there. Caidenhead makes the best as all of their blends are curated. I like Monkey Shoulder also. Some of the JW blends are pretty good, but they’re overpriced IMO.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park So by speysides, are we talking Macallan, Glenlivit or Glenfiddich, or something more niche like Tomintoul or Abelour?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. I’ve had at a friend’s house, while a few of us were sitting around in his living room in front of a wood fire. The house was built in 1903 in a town with big money from tobacco.. Stable and carriage house. still there.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Tropical_Willie The Glenlivit 12 is a terrific scotch and can be a tremendous value if you catch it right.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My friend had 4 Scotches and 5 Bourbons to chose from, his recommendation.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I have been getting this to celebrate special ocassions

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Nice! I have not had that. I just bought a Kilchoman Sanaig which is an undated mostly sherry cask. Kilchoman is a very new wonderful little distillary which opened in 2005. They grow their own wheat and they moderately peat their grains (so it’s not a face puncher like, say, Laphroig 10). Sipping it now and it is beautiful. I visited their grounds earlier this year and it’s basically a farm.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

The peated variety of this is not punch you in the face either, it’s just faintly smokey. I don’t get to do this much but I’m due a bottle of something really nice in the next week. I only do special occasions. I’m graduating with an MBA, so I’ll get something good in the $100 range. Not sure what it will be yet.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Can I recommend a Springbank 10 year? Springbank is a wonderful distillery in Campbeltown and is one of the only distillaries to do every single step on site. They use as close to the same methods that they’ve been using for nearly 200 years. It’s truly a traditional distillery. Springbanks scotches are only moderately peated and the brand is probably my favorite scotch.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Certainly! Looks like I can find it here locally too. Mix of bourbon and sherry cask finish seems intriguing.

There are some crazy laws here regarding liquor. From what I understand, only a few distributors are allowed, and you get what they carry. I would be trying something different so it’s nice to get a recommendation from a real person.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I had to go to a specialty store. I had gone to Total Wine and more and was disappointed by their scotch selection so on my way home I went by our local specialty liquor store. They actually had the Springbank 10 for sale there for about 100 bucks but I already have two Springbank varieties at home (both custom made—long story), so I settled for the Kilchoman Sanaig that I mentioned above. That was 70 bucks. But sipping it now and oh my fucking god is it good. You’d never know it’s a young scotch.

smudges's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Hearty congrats on the hard-earned MBA! Enjoy whatever you get!

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I’m not sure how much of Springbank’s are sherry casks. The one I got today was a Kilchoman and it’s fantastic. Congrats on the MBA!

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Thanks, I got it more out of boredom during the pandemic than out of need. I still have 15 years or so left to work, so it may pay some dividends.
I just checked our total wine and they have it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not a big drinker as you know, but Pinch was a big favorite of my exboyfriend’s family. They went through a lot of bottles of the stuff. I thought it was tasty. Love the bottle.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Caravanfan The guy who curated the tastings would give everyone an eyedropper so they could put a drop of distilled water in the shot glass and see how much it changed the nose. One drop would change the surface tension and release different aromatics.
That was interesting.
(Glenfiddich supplied the eyedroppers.)

canidmajor's avatar

Back in the day I was a yacht broker for wooden boats. One of the guys we dealt with regularly was all about a fancy Glenfiddich (I think with a reddish label?) and he would occasionally pour out a dram at the end of the day. I don’t like Scotch at all, but this stuff was so smooth that I actually enjoyed it.

Caravanfan's avatar

@LuckyGuy I went on about 15 distillery tours and they all did that. Every one I asked “Why do people put water in their scotch?” They all gave me a varied response of “It opens up the scotch”. It became someone of a joke among my tour mates. Finally one of the distillery people gave me an acceptable answer: Water is good for higher alcohol cask strength scotches to mellow out the water. However, never, EVER add ice to it.

@canidmajor There is a scotch for everybody!

canidmajor's avatar

I just looked it up, and I am not surprised it was smooth, I think it was the 21 year old stuff.
And now I am happy with my Kirkland brand (Costco) Prosecco.

I am a cretin these days.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Caravanfan I have been to bourbon-tasting parties, and there is always that one newcomer who insists on adding ice. Nothing screams “I don’t know this” any louder.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Can’t think of one. I don’t drink scotch!!!

Caravanfan's avatar

@canidmajor Actually Costco has some outstanding scotch. I’m having one as I type this right now.

canidmajor's avatar

The Kirkland brand is often a a relabel of excellent brands. I don’t know about Scotch, but their generic brand vodka is Grey Goose. :-)

mazingerz88's avatar

Who knew there are other jellies who like this sort of glorious drink?

These past few years, Macallan 12 and 18. Had them and they delivered those mind-blowing flavors that had always kept me fascinated and beguiled.

By myself in a bar drinking in memory of a loved one who passed away or in a great seafood or steak dinner with the best buddy celebrating his or my bday…priceless.

Caravanfan's avatar

@mazingerz88 I was in a restaurant the other day and I saw that they sold a shot of Macallan 18 for $65! It’s not worth that much.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^No. But that must have been one heck of a swanky place!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Caravanfan The guy had a supply of whiskey stones similar to these that we kept in the freezer. They would cool the drink without watering it down.
The one drop of water changed the surface tension on some of the scotches. You could see the surface reflection change when the drop hit.(like a drop of oil or soap dripped into a pool of water. ) A drop is only ~0.05ml so it was not diluting the drink significantly.

Caravanfan's avatar

@LuckyGuy Yes, they made the point that adding a drop of water increases the armoatics. They also said that cooling it down closes down the scotch flavors decreasing their range.

@mazingerz88 No, that’s the thing. It was a standard bar and grill. A pretty good one, but nothing special.

JLeslie's avatar

The dark liquors taste so much better, Vodka tastes like medicine to me, I don’t understand why so many people like it.

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie Vodka is horrible.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Vodka is not pleasurable in any way.

canidmajor's avatar

Ultra cheap vodka is, however, a great ingredient in homemade stuff like antiseptic mouthwash, astringents, etc.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Apparently you take the cheapest vodka and run it through a britta filter 5–6 times and make it taste like top shelf. It still tastes terrible to me though

Caravanfan's avatar

Vodka, by definition, is 40% ethyl alcohol in water. Period. So cheap vodka and expensive vodka are exactly the same thing. It’s all in the label.
https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/02/23/588346329/episode-826-the-vodka-proof

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Cheap vodka has other alcohols, such as methanol and propanol (fusal oil), as well as compounds such as acetaldehyde that were not filtered out.

https://www.compoundchem.com/2016/06/08/vodka/

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@Caravanfan Do you have a second suggestion? Springbank 10 year appears to be sold out everywhere I have access to.

Caravanfan's avatar

Oh plenty. At the moment I am drinking a delicious Kilchoman Sanaig sherry cask

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