Are you a Malt Snob?

All your whisky related questions answered here.
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Paul A Jellis
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:29 pm

Me? A snob? I certainly hope so. I wasn't born English not to be a snob.

Except when it comes to whisky, I love my blends as well.

Drrich1965
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Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:45 am

Just opened a bottle of White Horse blend the other day, and it is pretty good. Here is what I wrote earlier today.

Score 75 (score of an average/enjoyble Single Malt) White Horse (40%, OB, 2006) January 24th 2007. Bought this one based upon the extremely high score in the whisky bible, plus it was only $13, so figure if I hated it, it only cost me a bit more than what a dram can be in a nice restaurant. Lets see. Nose: Definitely a blend. The nose is a weak, with smoke struggling to come out. After a swirl or two, a hint of malt that wishes it could join the party. Not unpleasant, just not enough there. Mouth: I like this profile. The smoke is certainly at the forefront, more so than other blends I have tried. It feels like a blend in the mouth. There is a bit of complexity, with some malt in the background, some sherry in there, something floral maybe? Towards the finish, it builds up steam and leaves a very nice smoky, peaty aftertaste. That is by far the strength of this dram. Very enjoyable, and one that I most certainly will drink. Well worth the money, and one I would rate average by malt standards, which to me makes it a very good blend. Still, too subtle for this malt drinker to love, but certainly I like it.

Frank D.Scott
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Malt Snobs

Postby Frank D.Scott » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:00 pm

Hi Tattieheid,I look forward to your visit this summer.Lots of new drams at the pub to sample.Mortlach 32,Benromach 1969,Balvenie 1971,Caol Ila 25,Talisker 25.Highland Park 30 to name a few.I think a few blind tastings using cobalt blue glasses,maybe with 2 blends and 4 malts might be an eye opener for some.I have spoken with a few Malt Masters who hate blind tastings,sometimes they can't pick out their own brands.My comment is this, please don't look down your nose at some who enjoy good blended whisky.I would recommend you try a Royal Salute 21 or Cutty Sark 25.I love whisky, good whisky or even poor whisky is better than nothing.

Frank

vitara7
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Postby vitara7 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:04 pm

too true frank, all whisky is good, some better than others, but as you say, poor whisky is better than no whisky at all....

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peergynt323
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Postby peergynt323 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:13 pm

I am surprised that malt masters wouldn't be able to pick out their own brands.

It's like a colorblind artist or a tone deaf musician.

lbacha
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Postby lbacha » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:15 pm

vitara7 wrote:too true frank, all whisky is good, some better than others, but as you say, poor whisky is better than no whisky at all..../


I think the people that forget that simple thought are the ones that become whisky snobs.

Len

Arebee
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Postby Arebee » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:09 pm

Single malts outnumber blends in my liquor cabinet by about a 10-1 ratio becasue that's what I enjoy, but I would choose JW Black and JW Green over dozens of Single Malts.

Mr Fjeld
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:48 am

I consider myself to be an enthusiast not a snob. For people outside our hobby the distinction may not be so obvious.

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Muskrat Portage
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Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:01 am

Mr Fjeld wrote:I consider myself to be an enthusiast not a snob. For people outside our hobby the distinction may not be so obvious.

Christian:
Very well put, my feelings precisely. I have been touted as a connoisseur by well meaning individuals, however, I correct them quickly that I'm anything but. I am very enthusiastic about Single Malts and will discuss them at anyone's whim but I'm no vaunted expert. I am an enthusiast.

The knowledge about whisky out there is overwhelming and I can only hope to acquire a fraction of that in my lifetime. The whisky varieties available are always growing and I only acquire those I am interested in or can afford. I have acquired both blends and whisky from other nations and find all have endearing qualities in one form or another. (Besides drinking for effect)

I find you have to keep an open mind and palate for new experiences. In this manner you expand your personal knowledge and in the process become a better person.
Peter

TheLaddie
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Postby TheLaddie » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:28 am

To follow on from my previous point about blind tasting:

At a whisky tasting tonight there was a "Surprise" whisky somewhere in the middle. I am delighted to say that myself and the gentleman next to me both nosed it, looked at each other and said "Blend" simultaneously. We were right.

Turned out to be Arran's "Immortal Memory" blend. Not bad actually. Spicy once you get down the glass a little. The best bit was when some was poured onto the Haggis as a sauce. It was fantastic! I was shocked at just how good it was.

Maybe my nose is becoming more discerning after all!

Turns out the gentleman sat next to me was the Father of a girl I went to school with nearly 20 years ago. I fancied her arse off but never had the balls to tell her. He is going to give her my love...

Life is a circle...

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Muskrat Portage
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Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:32 am

Unrequitted love?
MP

TheLaddie
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Postby TheLaddie » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:50 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:Unrequitted love?
MP


Absolutely. I moved down South (my old man was in the forces and was posted) without ever saying anything. I'm sure she never suspected how I felt about her. I understand she has just had her third child and is happily married. I have two kids and am happily ensconced with the mother of the second (not married but I may ask her one day...)

Always nice to know what happened to those old crushes though (we are talking 18 years ago here...)

Di Blasi
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:54 am

One of the best whiskies I've ever enjoyed, and sadly finished the bottle of, (still missing it!!) is a blend, the Berry Bros. and Rudd Blue Hanger 25y, dynamite stuff! You should give that customer of yours a taste of this stuff, blind, and see what he says! Any more dumb comments like that you mentioned: "He told me he had just read M Jackson's Malt book and that he could no longer drink blends.They are just too common." deserves to get his ignorant ass thrown out of your place! (Please excuse me for that, I had to say it!!) I'm not so familiar with Michael Jackson's stance on blends, but I think I may have read he too says blends don't get the credit they deserve, and are making a "comeback." It's Jim Murray whom professes blends don't get the credit they deserve! I'd rather have a great blend rather than okay single malt any day, any mood, anyway!!!

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WhiskyHill
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Postby WhiskyHill » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:01 am

I'm a self proclaimed malt snob, but there are some fantastic blends out there. When in Glasgow a couple of years back our group was invited over to the Laing's tasting room. I mentioned to Fred that I had never seen a bottle of their King of Scots range for sale (it's marketed only in the far east). Fred scrounged around a bit and came up with a bottle of the no-age-statement bottling and told us that the whiskies within were all 3-5 years old. It just blew me away! The oldest component whisky was only 5 years old, and the stuff drank like it was a teenager or older! On the same trip a couple of us were finishing up on our hoarding in the RMW shop in Edinburgh - one of the RMW lads suggested the John Scott's 35 YO blend (for around 50 quid - you won't find too many 35 YO malts at that price). It turned out that this bottling was a blend of 5 casks of Highland Park mixed with a bit of old Invergordon. I grabbed one bottle (should have gone for a couple more now in hindsight). Later on that day after stopping in at the Bow Bar for a draught, I spied a bottle of the Scott's blend on hand. One of my fellow ringleaders sprang for a dram which we shared; a great dram!

On US domestic airlines, the best one can hope for is Johnnie Black which is a far better dram IMHO than the Glenlivet 12 which is the only malt on offer. I'll always jump on that when upgraded to premium seating.

EdipisReks
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Postby EdipisReks » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:39 am

Mr Fjeld wrote:I consider myself to be an enthusiast not a snob. For people outside our hobby the distinction may not be so obvious.


yeah, i feel the same way exactly. that's a good way to put it.

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peergynt323
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Postby peergynt323 » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:29 am

No one would consider me a snob because one of the great advantages to whisky is that I can drink it all myself!!! The problem with wine is that if you don't share, you're an asshole. I just say, "it's an acquired taste." They have no idea how much I spend on it or why I get the brands I get.

I love the combination of intelligent conversation and a good single malt. Or as some were implying before, female company and a good single malt. :wink:

EdipisReks
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Postby EdipisReks » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:47 am

peergynt323 wrote:I love the combination of intelligent conversation and a good single malt. Or as some were implying before, female company and a good single malt. :wink:


either of those works for me, though i like it best when they are combined ;)

Di Blasi
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:18 pm

EdipisReks wrote:
Mr Fjeld wrote:I consider myself to be an enthusiast not a snob. For people outside our hobby the distinction may not be so obvious.


yeah, i feel the same way exactly. that's a good way to put it.


Yes, enthusiastic, not a snob either! Very good way of wording it!

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Re: Malt Snobs

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:33 am

Frank D.Scott wrote:Hi Tattieheid,I look forward to your visit this summer.Lots of new drams at the pub to sample.Mortlach 32,Benromach 1969,Balvenie 1971,Caol Ila 25,Talisker 25.Highland Park 30 to name a few.I think a few blind tastings using cobalt blue glasses,maybe with 2 blends and 4 malts might be an eye opener for some.I have spoken with a few Malt Masters who hate blind tastings,sometimes they can't pick out their own brands.My comment is this, please don't look down your nose at some who enjoy good blended whisky.I would recommend you try a Royal Salute 21 or Cutty Sark 25.I love whisky, good whisky or even poor whisky is better than nothing.

Frank


Thanks, Frank, will pm you when I know when I'll be around. Should have done it last year, too.

I had a couple blends in Victoria that I thought were very good--a nice eye-opener. Of course, one was a Whyte & MacKay 40yo I could never afford! I think there is plenty among the malts to keep me busy for a lifetime, and my focus will likely always be there, but I'd certainly not sneer at any good whisky, and I'm always open to being educated. In fact, I drank a lot of stuff this weekend I wouldn't normally--blends, bourbons, ryes. Unfortunately, I can't say I gave most of them a really fair shake, palate overload having set in.

Did I say "any good whisky"? Had a SMWS Littlemill, and even after my palate had turned to mush, it stood out. Strike two, Littlemill!

dgilbert
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Postby dgilbert » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:10 pm

I certainly agree with " a good dram is a good dram"
And i truly enjoy trying something new or unique.
I am sure many of you have too but every so often we like to have blind taste tests, its amazing what not having any expectations as to not knowing bottle name can do for what you taste and smell.

Anyway if educating the palette and a desire to enjoy something with quality defines snob then i am one however i dont think all the talk of malt is contributing to it.

Lawrence
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Re: Are you a Malt Snob?

Postby Lawrence » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:20 am

Frank D.Scott wrote:Hi,A gentleman came into my pub last week(we carry over 200 whiskies)and asked me what I drink at home or off duty.I replied, usually a blend like Teacher's, Johnnie Black, Grant's Family, Grouse.
He told me he had just read M Jackson's Malt book and that he could no longer drink blends.They are just too common.I love malts but I do not drink them all the time.A good dram is a good dram.
My question with all this talk of malts in todays world, are they influencing drinkers to become malt snobs?

Frank


I think a large number of single malt scotch whisky drinkers think most, if not all other whiskies such as American, Canadian, Irish, Japanese etc are simply inferior. It's simply not true but they think it anyway.

WestVanDave
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Postby WestVanDave » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:01 am

While the Malt(s) in my life might augment the situation - I take pride in my self-induced Snobbery!!!

Rory B Bellows
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Postby Rory B Bellows » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:01 pm

I wouldn't consider myself a snob, but when someone says to me "I prefer to drink Johnnie Walker Blue Label", I know they're posing.

I can't help ripping into them, asking them "do you also live in a gold house and ride a unicorn to work?", and so forth.

WestVanDave
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Postby WestVanDave » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:33 pm

Rory B Bellows wrote:asking them "do you also live in a gold house and ride a unicorn to work?", and so forth.


Responding personally as a snob - and not as a Johnnie Walker Blue drinker - I do not live in a gold house - and my Unicorn is in the shop - so I rely on a Midget Pony to get around... :wink:

Now Lawrence, on the other hand... (start new Word Association repartee here): _______________________

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Elagabalus
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Postby Elagabalus » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:48 pm

I sampled Johnnie Walker Blue Label in a bar with my friend. It was 20 bucks a dram so we each pitched in 10 bucks. I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Perhaps I didn't drink enough of it, or maybe I didnt say loudly enough that we were drinking Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Johnnie Walker black label is ok but here it's 42.50 for 750ml and for 2.70 more I can buy Balvenie 10 Founder's Reserve and it's worth far more than the 2.70 extra IMHO. I like malts that are smooth and slightly sweet I suppose. I tried a dram of Cardhu and that was nice. I disliked the Glenmorangie I ordered the other day. I have no fond memories of Glenfiddich either. Would I be correct to assume that any malt that starts with "GLEN" is barren of any slightly sweet notes such as the Balvenie is?

I wasn't much impressed with Johnnie Walker Green either. I preferred the black. However I bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Gold and that stuff is liquid gold. I really really liked the Gold. JW Blue is too pricy for me to buy a bottle which is fine as I am more than happy to have a bottle of the Gold once in a while.

I think the problem with Canada is that most bars around here don't really stock a good selection of blends or single malts. The only place I could go would be The Feathers which is downtown Toronto, but that's a trip I wouldnt take with my car and thus will have to wait for warmer weather.

:wink:

Rory B Bellows
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Postby Rory B Bellows » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:41 am

WestVanDave wrote:
Responding personally as a snob - and not as a Johnnie Walker Blue drinker - I do not live in a gold house - and my Unicorn is in the shop - so I rely on a Midget Pony to get around... :wink:


Dave, two of my favourite things are minature equines and malt scotch. Maybe we should start a Mini Horse and Whisky Forum! We'd just have to make sure the mini horses don't get into our malt minatures, or they may get mini-drunk, and trust me, there's nothing mini about a mini horse that's drunk and angry...........mini.

Rory B Bellows
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Re: Are you a Malt Snob?

Postby Rory B Bellows » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:55 am

Lawrence wrote:I think a large number of single malt scotch whisky drinkers think most, if not all other whiskies such as American, Canadian, Irish, Japanese etc are simply inferior. It's simply not true but they think it anyway.


I concur Lawrence. I think different whiskies are often compared to scotch, rather than critiqued for their individual values. Sure, a Canadian whisky may not be as warming as an Islay malt, but could you imagine sitting on the dock in the summer drinking a neat Ardbeg? I don't think so.

It is really like comparing apples and oranges, and who complains that an apple tastes terrible because it's not orangey enough?

Rory

P.S.: most people who bash our whisky have only tasted Canadian Club, and I wouldn't feed that to my mini-horse.

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Elagabalus
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Postby Elagabalus » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:21 am

What on earth do you do with a mini horse?
Do you own a circus?

Rory B Bellows
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Postby Rory B Bellows » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:28 am

Elagabalus wrote:What on earth do you do with a mini horse?
Do you own a circus?


Sorry, I don't actually own a mini-horse. It's on my wishlist, though (along with a bottle of St. Magdalene 19 yo :wink: )

Photon
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Postby Photon » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:27 am

Elagabalus wrote:. Would I be correct to assume that any malt that starts with "GLEN" is barren of any slightly sweet notes such as the Balvenie is?


No, Glenrothes has some of the same rich sweetness as the Balvenie Founder's Reserve and if you like the sherry-sweetness of the Doublewood, try a Glenfarclas (OK there's lots of sherry in that one).

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Elagabalus
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Postby Elagabalus » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:00 am

I would if it was available at the LCBO :cry: Thanks for the recommendation. In my own research I have found that it is said and generally agreed that the speyside malts are the sweeter malts. Or rather the region that produces the sweeter malts. Any thoughts?


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