I am admittedly a novice here, though I am enjoying the combined experience of reading, buying (sparingly), tasting, and daydreaming about trying new (to me) Scotches down the road.
As I've long enjoyed Bourbon (and other American whiskies), I decided to give Scotch a go when I found the book, "The Complete Guide to Whiskey," by Jim Murray (published 1997). He seems to like many of the Bourbons I like, so I thought I'd try some of the Scotch he recommends. So far, I haven't been disappointed. He gives high marks to Ardbeg 10yo and Talisker 10yo... distinctly different, but each very pleasing (Ardbeg especially is unlike anything I've experienced... really like that one). Other than those, I have The Macallan 12yo and The Glenlivet 18yo... these are okay, but doubt I'll miss them when they're gone. I also have some Johnny Walker Black, which seems to be a good mixer (Rob Roy), but nothing special neat.
I do try to run the gamut when experiencing these Scotches (nosing, tasting, savoring the finish, etc.), though I don't pretend to possess any great sophistication... senses no doubt compromised by the fact that I smoke.
Having just returned from Japan recently, I sort of regret I didn't pick up one of the Japanese Scotches, as a few of them seem to be highly regarded... next time.
Meanwhile, I'd be curious to know what folks might recommend I try next (not too expensive). Thanks! (Apologies for what must be a common question in these parts.)
I'd like to try them, too.
As for what to try next, well, it depends on what you have available. I say try them all!
Shreveport is Terra incognita for me, but here in New Orleans, even now, there are a couple of good shops for spirits, including many single malts... Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie, and Vieux Carre Wine & Spirits in the French Quarter. Haven't been there in a long time, but thought I'd head over to the Sazerac bar at the Fairmont Hotel to see what they have available by the glass.
Here's hoping the hurricanes miss both of us this season!
Although Ardbeg is still one of my favourites, I have found others that are just as good. Most of the whiskies I favour, is from the same island as Ardbeg, and I can recomend you to seek out whiskies from Islay.
If I should recomend some, not too expensive, I would go with the following:
1) Lagavulling Destillers Edition
2) Laphroig Quarter Cask
3) Lagavullin 16 YO
4) Ardbeg Uigeadail
5) Longrow 100 Proof
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