Welcome to the forum, and to our little obsession. I'm not so sure that it matters which one you try first, as long as you keep in mind that there is a great variety to be had--if one thing doesn't appeal, another may well. From your list, Highland Park or Balvenie might give you the best introduction to what single malts are about; then you will want to try something heavily sherried, like Macallan, and something heavily peated, like Lagavulin or Ardbeg. Then you will spend the rest of your life filling in the spaces!
irishwhiskeychaser wrote:I voted Highland Park 12, not because it is my favourite out of the list but because it is just a great whisky that is very approachable, I think they call it the all rounder of malts. Further it is quite affordable so that it won't be a costly mistake in comparison to some others you have listed but I reckon it will not be a mistake.
Ditto. Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Talisker are strong tasting whiskies and may take you time to grow into. I would go for something flavoursome but approachable like HP or Macallan.
Thanks a lot for all you input, give me all you want or can,
In all seriousness, any an your list is well worth trying. In fact, even the ones I have mentioned above, my least favorites, have been joys to try. Its a great hobby/adventure trying new malts..
If possible, grab some minis and/or go to a pub and try a couple whiskies.... if you can't, then read tasting notes and plunge in.
Also, I'd not worry about trying a 'lighter' malt first, I say go for it and try whatever seems tasty even if it's a big peat monster.
If you haven't had any whisky from Islay yet, get the Lagavulin 16. Might be a bit expensive though. Ardbeg 10y is, I think, not as good as the Lagavulin but for a price of €36 euro's a liter it's quite a lot cheaper compared to the Lagavulin; and it's a very good whisky on its own anyway. Other Islay whiskies you might want to try are the Laphroaig 10y (hell of a lot of smoke), something from Bowmore (seems to be an aquired taste but I like em) and perhaps the Caol Ila, which I find to be a very subtle whisky with not that much peat.
Talisker is a very good choice as well. But what you also might want to try, sooner or later anyway, is some cask strength whisky. Heck, since I love heavily peated whiskies (Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin) the only way I really enjoyed the Caol Ila was when it was at cask strength. You can add water to dilute a cask strength a bit but I quite like them with very little water. Something you'll have to find out for yourself.
Also, if you're going on with the single malts, a good glass helps a lot with nosing the whisky. I used to only have...well, crap glasses, stuff like those little tumblers. Then I switched over to a wine glass, which didn't feel alright but it helped with the nose. After that a couple of Glencairn glasses came with a bottle of Talisker 10y and I really love them.
Anyway, whatever you buy, I doubt it'll be a waste. Even if you don't quite like a certain whisky, it might still grow on you and if you not, well then at least you'll know what you don't like.
bamber wrote:Lagavulin 16yo is very commonly the whisky that makes people love malts.
This has most certainly aroused my curiosity. My experience has shown me that more than half the populace has an aversion to strongly peated whiskies. The one that has given me the most consistent appreciation is Glenlivet.
Thanks so much, you guys are awesome.
I am now trying to compose a list or recommendation for Campbeltown, Lowland and Highlands minus Speyside region. (is Speyside classifed as Highlands or by itself) Any recommendations please say.
Lagavulin was my first love, and there are lots of drinkers who are first grabbed by peat monsters--it's impossible to predict whether any particular person will be so affected, you just have to try for yourself. Some don't like them at first, but grow into them, and others never acquire the taste. (The stereotype is that it's more a man's thing than a woman's, but that should be taken with a grain of salt.) Me, I was a peat 'n' smoke fiend for a long time, but hardly ever drink that kind of stuff now.
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