A prejudice? Maybe so. But a prejudice often has some truth to it, so why is it that Scotchers (my term for whisky drinkers who rubbish any non-Scottish whisk(e)y) are so hesitant to broaden their horizons? Is it not a paramount mistake to compare a juicy bourbon with a luscious Speysider or hefty Islay? Should whisk(e)y not be judged by its own merits?
Questions that arise near bed-time at 1 AM after a wee dram of Powers Gold Label...
I daresay that most of us were introduced to whisky by being offered one particular type or style, for instance, a friend offers us a single malt. We then subconsciously make the presumption, "So, this is what whisky tastes like!" Having now tried one single malt, we are tempted or encouraged to try other single malts. After a while, or many different single malts (whichever comes first!), we have conditioned our tastebuds and our brain into asserting that the style/flavours of single malts are what whisky is all about, and it's what we like and enjoy.
And then we are suddenly tempted or offered to try a different style of whisky, i.e. bourbon or irish. Not surprisingly, it tastes completely foreign and strange! And this is where the "scotcher" has to make a choice: He either decides, "Well this tastes too strange or different; it's not for me", OR he decides that this new flavour and new world is worth exploring, and he then trains & conditions his palate to accept other whisky styles.
Being creatures of habit, and preferring to live within our comfort zones, I suggest most decide that it's easier to stick to scotch.
Besides, it tastes so much better !!!!
In other words, is bourbon the biggest selling whisk(e)y in the USA? Is Irish whiskey the biggest selling whisk(e)y in Ireland? Is Canadian whiskey the biggest selling in Canada?
Perhaps r0b, the majority of "scotchers" live in Scotland/UK, where they're conditioned not to try the other whiskies.
The other thing with Canadian is that it's a very popular mixer, and there just isn't a household around where you can't ask for a "Rye and Coke"
My real interested in whisk(e)y in general came when I visted a whisky museum in Edinburgh. Not only did that encourage me to explore scotch, but also to try different Irish.
I love single malt and many blends, but what I get really excited about is tasting new Irish whiskeys with the pure pot still influence. I was amazed when I attended a vertical tasting of Jameson hosted by Barry Walsh how different all the Jamesons were. Many of them certainly could not be described as light.
Unfortunately, my favourate Irish whiskeys are the likes of Jameson 15 and Dugorney, which represented heavier pot stills. I'm not sure if these will be made again.
Anyway, the great thing about whisky is the variety, and Irish and American whiskey certainly are very different to Scotch. I think they add greatly to the world of whisky.
The greatest thing about Scotch is its variety - Ireland just doesn't have as many brands. I would also add that there are too many preconceptions about Irish whiskey. This is changing though.
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