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Old 06-26-2005, 08:39 PM   #11
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So what's a good Scots whiskey for someone who's only had Bourbon and Jack Daniels?

For me, taste matters way more than proof.

Also, what's the best way to cut whiskey? I will not use tap water, should I just use spring water?
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Old 06-27-2005, 03:23 AM   #12
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Scots whisky is a matter of personal taste - the flavours really ARE very different, even amonst distilleries which are in the same area, use the same water supply etc. The difference between the various areas is also extremely marked, eg Islay and Speyside.

Whiskies we always have in the house

Bowmore
Strathisla
Highland Park
Glen Kinchie
The Glenlivet

Our water in Scotland is really 'soft', with very little chemical treatment, so my husband always adds just a splash of tap water. Some people drink it with nothing added. My Dad always said that the addition of a smidgeon of water was to break the surface tension of the whisky and to allow the flavours to be released! (Don't know if that's true, or not, but it sounded good!) What no Scot who is serious about whisky does is add ice.... Although I have a Japanese friend who is a real malt whisky fan and he always says that straight whisky with ONE icecube adds just enough water to release the oils and flavours!
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekim
So what's a good Scots whiskey for someone who's only had Bourbon and Jack Daniels?

For me, taste matters way more than proof.

Also, what's the best way to cut whiskey? I will not use tap water, should I just use spring water?

I'd order from a bar firstbefore dropping $$ on a bottle.

You might want to start by taste testing a pretty good blended scotch like Johnny Walker Black versus a pretty good single malt scotch like Glenlivet. They are both decent and not overpoweringly smokey and peat-y tasting.

If you like the Glenlivet you might want to experiment with other single malt scotches that have the more interesting "acquired" tastes.
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Old 06-27-2005, 12:43 PM   #14
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to cut a malt whisky is something of a crime. I would recommend a fine blend like Dewars white lable or Johnny Walker Black, and cut with seltzer. Scots whisky does not take well to sweet mixers as it has a smokey flavor.
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:11 PM   #15
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In Scotland it is considered personal taste whether or not to add water - hardly a 'crime'
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:24 PM   #16
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Last October we were invited to a dinner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh. The whisky was wonderful, the friendship charming, and the presentation had us rolling on the floor (and that was before most of the whisky was served.)

Did notice (and I was watching carefully) that most of the Scots (we were the only foreigners in the place) added some water to their drinks.

Personally, I generally prefer whisky neat but, sorry Ishbel, will occasionally add one small ice cube.

Agree with Jennyema, would suggest Ekim try some in a cocktail lounge before springing for a large bottle.

A nice blended Scotch (Johnny Walker, Famous Grouse), or a gentle single malt like Highland Park, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet (OK, the Glens seem to be milder than some) would be a good place to start.

Or if you can buy the airline bottles in the liquor store you can give a few a taste without a large expenditure.

Ekim, was never a fan of Bourbon, or its relatives, but have become a fan.

But still prefer a good Scotch whisky.

Hope you learn to enjoy whisky at least as much as I have learned to enjoy a good Bourbon.
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:05 PM   #17
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Ishbel, American chlorinated city water would not be a tasty additive to good Whisky. Much of our water is "hard " with minerals which give a distinct taste as well. Here it is just better to go with something filtered.
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:17 PM   #18
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I am not a whiskey or scotch drinker. I watched something on whiskey a short while ago. The brewmaster (is that what they are called when making whiskey?) said that the reason a small amount of water is added is that it brings out some subtle flavors in the whiskey that you would otherwise not taste. The way he was describing it, it made me think of it similar to how we use salt. A little bit of salt on food brings out the flavors.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:20 AM   #19
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GB - That distiller's opinion is widesprea in Scotland, and probably why most Scots (as AuntDot noted!) use the 'just a splash' technique with water!
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Old 07-08-2005, 04:33 PM   #20
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Good point on the water, I wouldn't use ice as that tends to dull some of the more subtile flavors the better whiskys have. As with most any drink or food, try it before you invest money in it, I have over $1000.00 tied up in a few bottles of different "Water of Life" but every drop is a favorite. Age is another factor in selecting the drink too. Older is usually better because who wants to keep a kask around for 25 years only to have a mediocher product.

BTW, the smoky/peaty tastes come primarily from the water used and the type of still (Swan's neck, open spout stills are what is used for whisky and a closed system for most of the stuff that is called whiskey). For more info on Scotch and it's making try this site and it's links www.scotch-whisky.org.uk There is a world of info there.

You can get Scotch that is still in the barrel or keg and age it but it will have to be at least 3 years old (I think it was reduced from 7 years anyway) in order to be 1) Scotch and 2) exportable according to laws. You will have to wait for 3 or 7 years before you can buy it if you want a true 21 year old.

I do really like the idea of buying a bottle/cask for your son's 21st drink!
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