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I had my first taste of single malt scotch the other night when I saw Iron Man at the Alamo Drafthouse. I was pretty impressed, so I picked up a bottle of Laphroaig (which many of you seem to enjoy). I'm looking to buy another bottle, but something on the other end of the spectrum. I've seen Glenmorangie come up quite a bit here, but I was curious if someone had any other suggestions for a good, less-peaty, single malt.

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I am also new to the single malts, and really enjoying it. Living in a small town like I do makes it hard to find good single malts. The liquor stores don't carry anything that cost over $50 a bottle, and the ability to order online isn't an option in Mississippi. This limits me to the cheaper stuff like Glenfiddich and Balvenie.

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It just tastes like burning to me. But I did pick up a cheap Single Malt at 20% off retail when a supermarket was going out of business. It's a good deal better than the plastic bottle Scotch my friend likes, but still pretty much burning.

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Laphroaig is most definitely categorized as a full bodied, peaty and medicinal Scotch. If you're looking at the opposite end, there's a couple of categories you can look into.

 

If you're looking for light and delicate, then you may want to check out Glenkinchie, Knockando, Auchentoshan, Arran or Cardhu.

 

If you're looking for a more full-bodied Scotch, but with low peatiness, you may want to check out Mortlach, Aberlour, Cragganmore, Glenfarclas, Balvenie, Clynelish or Ardmore.

 

Happy drinking!

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And if you're looking for a sherryish scotch, try the Macallan 18 year, or for something more reasonably priced (and really delicious), check out the Balvenie Double Wood, and Port Wood.

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Balvenie is one of my favorite lines of Scotch. They have a huge range of flavors, depending on which type you buy. The 17 y.o. Sherry Wood was a great addition to the line last year.

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I'll second the Balvenie line.

 

I would say the Glenmorangie line but they just changed it up completely and I haven't tried any of the new products yet.

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Laphroaig for that peaty, medicinal flavor. Like smoke? Try Lagavulin. Or bad mezcal. Not that I'm comparing the two. Macallan is fantastic; the 12-year-old is quite nice too. For a good all-around scotch, try Highland Park.

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Agreed. My biggest recommendation would be to call Park Ave liquors and request their scotch catalog. Over 400 of those buggers to choose from, many of qhich are exclusive bottlings for their store only.

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Other end of the spectrum from Laphroaig -- hmm, wouldn't that be Cask Strength Laphroaig? Or are we talking about a different spectrum? :)

 

To me, when thinking of opposite end of the spectrum from an Islay malt, my first thought is intensity, but in a different dimension. And to me, that means sherry. The old style Macallan (not the newer "fine oak" line), or Glenfarclas. Is the Glendronach sherry wood still available? Haven't seen or had that one in years, but it was a sherry bomb (I didn't care for it all that much, pretty one-dimensional).

 

Lots of good recommendations in previous posts, but if I had to recommend just 1 bottle to a new single malt drinker, it would be 12 year old Highland Park. As much as I love my Talisker, and my Lagavulin, etc., Highland Park is my "desert island" scotch.

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It just tastes like burning to me.

It can take time to acclimate your palate to it. And it also has to do with how you're drinking it. If you're sipping from a nosing glass instead of shooting it then it will burn a hell of a lot less. It also helps to take it in smaller sips, just enough to wash over your tongue. And many people add just a little spring water to help the aroma bloom. Just a few drops often make a huge difference in an ounce of whisky to open up the aroma and to make the mouth-feel a bit smoother.

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I have done the Scotch and water and Bushmills and water for the past 8 years or so. With the single malts, I am doing it neat. I may sip on an ounce of it for 30 minutes or maybe an hour. I don't rush it. I am not drinking this stuff to get drunk. I drink this for the enjoyment. I take a little and swish it all around. Yeah, I get some burn, but there is a lot of flavor to take in. As you get used to it, the subtle nuances start to come out.

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Adding a few drops of water is just meant to open up the aroma. It also depends on whether you're drinking or nosing. If you're nosing then diluting it down as far as 20%ABV generally works really well but that doesn't work so much for drinking because the flavour becomes totally flat. Everyone's different but for me getting most malts to around 35% brings the best balance of aroma, flavour, and texture. I enjoy smelling it as much as I enjoy sipping it, if not more, so I find it really important to help the aroma bloom some with 3 to 8 drops of water.

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Laphroaig is most definitely categorized as a full bodied, peaty and medicinal Scotch. If you're looking at the opposite end, there's a couple of categories you can look into.

 

If you're looking for light and delicate, then you may want to check out Glenkinchie, Knockando, Auchentoshan, Arran or Cardhu.

 

If you're looking for a more full-bodied Scotch, but with low peatiness, you may want to check out Mortlach, Aberlour, Cragganmore, Glenfarclas, Balvenie, Clynelish or Ardmore.

 

Happy drinking!

Big fan of Aberlour. :thumbup: Picked up a bottle of 15 YO Double Cask Matured last month at Heathrow.

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FYI, Balvenie is coming out with a new 12 yo offering this month.

 

Personally crafted by Balvenie Malt Master David Stewart, The Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old, is a skilful marriage of three casks - first fill bourbon barrels, refill casks and sherry butts.

 

The result of this union is a perfect balance of spice and subtle oak, deliciously enveloped in The Balvenie’s trademark honeyed character.

 

The Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old is a limited release with each bottle carrying its own batch number.

 

Nose ~ A rich complex nose with honey, citrus fruits and vanilla oak notes.

 

Taste ~ Rich honeyed sweet taste with a hint of sherry fruitiness. A cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness and a subtle oakiness with time.

 

Finish ~ Warm and lingering

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I also am a fan of the Balvenie line and recommend it as a less peaty alternative to the O.P.

 

I am one that finds adding a splash of water does open up a good single malt, as Peridot pointed out. It's amazing how just a few drops in a snifter can completely change the nose and bring out previously undetected notes.

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I think a good portion of the equation lies in the glass itself. A snifter is ideal for nosing. With another glass the changes may not be as detectable. I certainly notice a difference. It also seems to make it just a touch smoother and a creamier mouth-feel.

 

Just be sure not to over water it. A teaspoon full is all that is needed, if even that.

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Just be sure not to over water it. A teaspoon full is all that is needed, if even that.

 

I have about a 1/2 oz in the glass and added 10 drops of ice water. Nice trails when it hit the liquor.

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A proper whisky glass can usually be even better than a snifter, although that's depending on the particular whisky. Snifters often have too much open space and it doesn't work as well for whisky as for cognac. Whisky glasses are usually taller than wide with a narrow lip and hold less than a snifter. But I still use snifters because I only have one whisky glass (cat broke its companion) and often don't feel like washing it before having the next malt.

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