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

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Once spent a couple of nights in Craigellachie staying at the local inn, the bar advertised 40 malts so indecisive I asked bartender: What do you recommend? What do you drink? Straight answer was: Famous Grouse! Malts are for tourists!
 
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Glen_Lee
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1,238
Anyway enjoyed a great dinner with haggis in Craigellachie and to drink: a wee dram of Famous Grouse and a pint of ale.
2/3 weeks into trying whisky - don't mind the Famous Grouse. Seems the nicest thus far, of the blends that I have tried. :eek:
 
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Cumbria, England
Famous Grouse is fine. Malts aren’t intrinsically better than blends, it’s just that blends are blended for mass appeal so they’re all quite similar, whereas with a single malt you get the individual characteristics of the distillery and more chance to find one that really suits your palate. It all depends on whether you want to get “into” whisky or just find something that you like the taste of.
 
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Stumbled across this topic and have nipped through the contributions and have to say I, unsurprisingly, found most of the names mentioned totally unknown to me (I'm not a drinker of spirits). But the description of some of them sounds heavenly.

However, I'll also admit to sometimes harbouring a slight feeling that I'm missing something by not enjoying spirits. Obviously I've been offered a little glass of this or that over time, but never actually really enjoyed any of them. Clearly I've saved myself a small fortune and reduced the likelihood of alcohol related misadventures but, judging by the way most spirit drinkers speak about their pleasures, I'm also missing out on one of life's apparent sublime pleasures. I don't deny that those who like their drop of whatever really seem to enjoy it.

EDIT. I should add I rather enjoy, in moderation, most beers and ciders and some wines so am not totally exempt from the "misadventures" I refer to above. And I'm no Mother Teresa. So to speak.

I found that I rather like liqueurs - either straight out of the bottle or, as was encountered recently, a glass of 'Pernod lookalike' that the fella gets by the case from France and costs about £7 a bottle and to which he added some tap water thus making a "long" drink).

Is there not a slight case of madness about requiring to make oneself enjoy something that, initially, tastes like aviation fuel might taste like? (slightly tongue in cheek there, OK?). I sort of liken it to smoking ... my one and only cigarette was horrendous and I never tried to, subsequently, force the unpleasantness on myself - and have to admit am grateful for that small mercy..... but a smoker really enjoys his fags and doesn't seem to want to stop (at least until a medical practitioner tells him it's apparently killing him and he needs to stop or prematurely die horribly).


No offence intended here and not wishing to incur the wrath of Hades.
 
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Norfolk, England
Stumbled across this topic...
In reply to your full post, which I didn't fully quote as it seemed superfluous, I think some people are more likely to enjoy spirits than others. I hated whisky until I was in my mid-20s, so I don't think it's one of those unchanging things that we can take for granted. It might have been that the spirits you were offered were of low quality (bad quality whisky that contains too much of the first (foreshots) and last (feints) of the spirit from the still can be rough and has what some call "heat" which is detected much the same as chili or wasabi as a result. For others, this harshness is more petrochemical, so that might explain your previous experiences. I wonder if beer drinkers are inclined to take too much spirit in one go, which will tend to overwhelm your system with alcohol; I reckon on taking no more than half a teaspoon at a time and letting it gently wash around in order to appreciate the aromas and flavours.
 
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In reply to your full post, which I didn't fully quote as it seemed superfluous, it's very possible that some of what I've tried may well have been less that ideal for a "beginner". My neighbour and his wife, (or in the interests of balance, my neighbour and her husband) however seem to know their spirits were the most recent to treat me to a tipple ... I honestly can't now remember what selection of different products they gave me but they seemed, from their descriptions and observations, to be able to judge what was, apparently, regarded as being the good from the less good. And, yes, maybe I supped too generous a portion or maybe it was served with too much or too little water or in the wrong glass or at the wrong temperature or on an empty stomach or whatever..... I really don't know.

It's possible I subconsciously tell myself I won't like it before I try it.

I think that, at the age of 67, it might be a bit late to make the effort to get to like it - and maybe I'm, deep down, frightened that I'll get to like it too much? Who knows?

But, thank you.
 
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