Who Drinks Scotch?

Beginner’s single malt Scotch is a post at MetaFilter where someone asked:

What’s a decent, inexpensive and readily available single malt or good blend for a brand-new scotch drinker whose current dram of choice is a good dark sipping rum?

The first response recommends J&B, a common, inexpensive blend that I’d never recommend, although I do drink Teachers, a cheap blend that doesn’t taste cheap.

There’s no right answer; everyone’s tastes are different. There are a lot of excellent suggestions posted, although someone wrote:

Stay clear of the Islay malts like Lagavulin or Laphroaig until you’ve cut your teeth on the easier stuff.

Bullshit. The first time you open a bottle of Lagavulin and let the aroma of peaty air permeate the room, you’ll fall in love.

4 Replies to “Who Drinks Scotch?”

  1. Curious ’cause it didn’t come up in our last email exchange on the topic: what do you think of Oban?

    I like a good Scotch but bad ones taste like manure to me specifically because of the peat.

  2. Oban doesn’t excite me, though I can imagine you liking it based on your peaty preferences. I was disappointed it didn’t taste like a Western scotch (Islay-ish); however, there’s no scotch I’d refuse. I’ve only had one bottle of Obann and that was long ago. I have to try it again.

  3. I get asked this all the time, I’ll repost what I told people on the Whisky Magazine forums:
    I’d base what I gave a “new” drinker, on what they already like.
    If they don’t like “hard liquor” there will be very little you can do to get them over to the dark side.

    When I encounter a Bourbon Drinker, I give them Balvenie DoubleWood – Very similar to a good bourbon.

    If someone likes wine/sherry, I’ll likely give them a Macallan 12, Aberlour 10, or MAYBE a Glenfarclas 12

    If they have tried and like blends, I might wean them in with a light unassuming standard – likely Glenlivet, or something like Dalwhinnie or Auchentoshan.

    I would NEVER start with a smokey Islay. That being said the Laphroaig Cask Strength (by far the best whisky on this planet), was immediately loved by my Bourbon drinking girlfriend, who doesn’t like Laphroaig 10 yo…go figure.

    At least that’s my $0.02.
    Kevin Erskine
    The Scotch Blog

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