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Mmmm, Balvenie.

 

I'm a single-malt scotch beginner as well (always been more of a bourbon and rye guy), but I found the Balvenie 12 year Double-Wood to be a wonderful place to start. Smooth and mellow. Won't break the bank, either.

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I've always been a huge fan of the Balvenie. Their 17 yo special editions that come out each year are great examples of how different finishing casks can have significant impact on the final flavor.

 

Two of my favorite Scotches that I'm drinking right now are both Signatory Vintage bottlings. One is Port Ellen 1982 and the other is an Ardbeg 15 yo. Unbelievable.

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I'll somewhat second Peridot here, it's all great advice.

 

I'm somewhat new to the Scotch game myself, but I do tend to have more appreciation for the single malts (they're more unique - and while I haven't sampled enough different labels to have what I would consider an educated Scotch palate, the blends that I *have* tried were all kinda boring).

 

I've also found after experimenting that I prefer my Scotch neat, and tend to like Islay Scotch. I know a lot of people kind of denigrate Islay as tasting like old socks... but there's something really bold and rugged about it that I like. To me, it tastes like old leather.

 

Caol Ila is my favorite, so far. I should probably branch out and sample more Scotches from more regions... but when I need a Scotch, I keep reaching for that Caol Ila bottle.

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I love Islay scotches. By far my favorite region, although I like them all. Even some of the grain whiskeys from the Lowlands like Invergordon are great on their own as long as you find some that is well aged.

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The WS makes me want to drink everything I read about. As if my absinthe obsession wasn't enough! A few months ago I bought a bottle of Glenlivet on sale because I remembered seeing it somewhere in this thread. It didn't do much for me at the time, but it was better than the Johnny Walker I used to drink (until we shared a rough night together).

 

A few weeks later I picked up a bottle of Laphroaig so I could whip up some Mephistos. Afterwards it sat in my closet. I was a bit afraid to drink it straight...

 

Fast-forward another few weeks, when a friend suggests I pick up a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood. I enjoyed it, but it didn't "wow" me at the time.

 

Fast-forward ANOTHER few weeks. Following a glass of cognac (guess where I got the idea to buy a bottle of cognac?) I poored a glass of Balvenie. Completely different experience from my first time tasting it. This stuff is great! Followed with a glass of Laphroaig. Wow, this stuff is great too! (I was surprised I could enjoy something so smokey)

 

And now there are five bottles in my closet, half of them almost empty. Unfortunately, this stuff doesn't last as long as the absinthe. And most of it costs just as much. Thank you, WS, for my empty wallet :twitchsmile:

 

What's next, cigars? :laugh:

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The marketing and reviews for Balvenie are very effective! It was the first Single Malt I ever purchased, as well.

 

Very good stuff, and easily accesible for someone new to the Single Malt world.

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I poured a glass for a friend last night...  he braced himself for the first sip, as he was never a fan of scotch.  "Hey, this stuff is good!"  Another one bites the dust!  "Now, could you throw a few ice cubes in it?"  He'll come around...  :devil:

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