Suggestions for Beginners

General chat and talk about whisky.
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Suggestions for Beginners

Postby Wub » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:59 pm

I'm a relative beginner myself, but looking through old threads I've noticed that often new people will arrive at this forum, announce what they've tried before and ask for sugestions on what to try next, or they'll be given suggestions anyway. So it seemd like a thread devoted to giving suggestions might be a good idea (if not let it sink into obscurity).

I'm a fan of big, peaty Islays. If you like foods with intense, savoury aromas and tastes like blue cheese, fish sauce, hot salami, and smoked foods, then the chances are that you'll like these whiskies as well. I can only go on what I've tried, but here are my suggestions for starting with Islays:

If you're the type to test the water with your toes before entering: Bowmore Legend.

If you're the type to jump into the deep end and don't mind a bit of chlorine: Laphroaig 10yo.

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Re: Suggestions for Beginners

Postby scotchdrinker » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:26 pm

What if you swim in the ocean :P

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Re: Suggestions for Beginners

Postby johan brugge » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:33 pm

Don't swim in the North Sea. The crap you get in your mouth from the dark brown water ... :yuk:

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Re: Suggestions for Beginners

Postby scotchdrinker » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:35 pm

I will take that under advisement but I was saying ocean that everyone would swim in not the north sea which from the sounds of it no one should swim in it :oops: Kind of like the Hudson River :shock:

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Re: Suggestions for Beginners

Postby dramtastic » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:52 am

My suggestion for beginners(and I'm one of them) is buy and try.
My first single malt, about three years ago, was Springbank 15, hardly one normally suggested to novices. The other, suggested at the same time by the guy at the liqour store, was Ardbeg 10!!?? Shit, I mean heavy duty stuff!

I've read many times that members were really turned on to whisky by Laga 16, not exactly 'Livet 12 is it.

If your going to become a whisky lover I can promise there is something out there for you, if it's not the first one you try, then just try something else etc etc, you will stop pretty soon if whisky is not in your blood. Oh, then go back and try the first one again, it might have been better than what you first thought.

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Re: Suggestions for Beginners

Postby Tightwad » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:27 pm

I think its really hard to say what someone will like. I do understand the idea of a "less challenging" Whisky for a beginner but not many first time SMSW drinkers are "true beginners" (at least in the US) in my opinion.

The first six hard liquors I had were:

Jack Daniels
Jim Beam
JW Black

I will be honest in that I didnt find Scotch (Blends) to my taste. In retrospect it might be wise to revisit them. I might have a very different opinion today.

Fast forward 20 years and I decide to try SMSW. A 1-2 on the 5 Point Intensity Scale is usually recommended for beginnners. I think that usually means a Lowland... although their are a few exceptions. The first three I tried did not fit that recommendation.

1. Highland Park 12 (4)
2. Macallan 12 "Sherry" (3)
3. Laphroaig 10 (5)

I liked every one of them. That from a longtime (although not in great quantities) Bourbon drinker.

While I did find the Laphroaig very different I did not find it "challenging". I would be willing to bet most Booker's drinkers would find it interesting.

My thought is the extremes will help you define your taste better than the more mainstream choices.

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