Whiskey and Scotch Recomendations

boogle wrote:

I realize its slightly off topic, but I will be doing this tonight to celebrate the royal wedding..
img is broken but I will be making a 'royal wedding', crown and RC cola.

Funny story about Crown. I was at a local chicken wing joint, when I asked our waitress what kind of whiskey they had. She replied with, "Every kind?" and looked a bit confused. I assured her that, no, they didn't have every kind of whiskey there. She responded, "You mean like Crown? We have Crown. I like Crown."

I ordered a coffee.

I bought a bottle of Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Very light, almost vanilla and citrus with very little peat but a lovely autumnal tipple with friends.

That Gentleman Jack is very nice, and although I am yet to even see a 180lb lady in a bee costume (let alone carrying one down the streets), I can see how that might eventuate.

Very easy to drink after the first taste, lots of caramel and banana in there for me.

Thanks for restoring my faith in exploring bourbons. Next step some Buffalo Trace.

Any similar baby steps recommended for Scotch and Whisky?

I love Jameson's, but would like to hear what other flavours I can expand on from there in terms of Irish Whisky, and the steepness of the learning curve.

Scotch, the Chivas left me as unimpressed as the Wild Turkey, but again, I think that may have been my fault. This is certainly not something you do 'on a budget', as the results really do seem to echo the price tag.

I saw some girls in bee costumes yesterday, but I doubt any of them approached 180 lbs.

I had my doubts at the time, but I was also completely wasted.

m0nk3yboy wrote:

I love Jameson's, but would like to hear what other flavours I can expand on from there in terms of Irish Whisky, and the steepness of the learning curve.

Although I've switched almost exclusively over to drinking bourbon, I still assert that Irish whiskey is generally some of the smoothest whiskey available. If you like Jameson (and you should!), try some of the midrange Tullamore Dew. The bottom end stuff is 5 years old, I believe, and that's fine, but they have a VERY good 10 year old whiskey that I enjoy immensely. I have not had the 12 year old yet.

And my personal go-to when I'm looking to just get lost in irish deliciousness is Red Breast. It's a bit pricey (about 54 dollars American here), but worth every penny.

Although it feels almost blasphemous to be talking about irish whiskey a scant 32 hours before Pants On Fire scores a surprising victory over Uncle Mo and Dialed In in Louisville (or at least that's what my bet is predicting). Since I'm having a few people over, I went out and got:

Buffalo Trace (I was running low)
Eagle Rare
Rebel Yell
Jim Beam
Ten High
Bulleit

I may pick up one more bottle depending on how many bourbon drinkers rsvp. I will tell you that Ten High bourbon is not a diamond in the rough. It has a kind of weird-sweet flavor, like juice that's been sitting out just a little too long, followed by a hint of gasoline. I'll probably just dump that into a pitcher with simple syrup and mint and pour it over ice.

The rest of them are either surprisingly good given their pricepoint (Rebel Yell) or personal favorites of mine. I've already gushed over Buffalo Trace, but Bulleit can't be sold short; if you like your bourbon spicy and sweet, I highly reccomend Bulleit. It actually tastes a bit like spiced apple.

And, yeah, I bought Jim Beam. I don't usually drink it neat, but its thicker-than-normal consistency and overall palate goes really well with a cheap beer (we call it the "Old Glory Special" after some bar in Philadelphia that sold a shot of Beam and a PBR for 4 bucks. And yeah, we had enough that I can't remember the name of the bar).

Anyway. Go Pants on Fire.

EDIT: According to the internet, the Old Glory Special is from a bar called the Cherry Tavern, and it's not in Philly, it's in the East Village, in Manhattan.

So...I was close?

dthind wrote:
beeporama wrote:

CostCo is selling a "Kirkland Signature" bourbon that is apparently quite good for the money. Made by Jim Beam but not necessarily the same as the store brand. If you are in a state where you can get it (I'm not) it might be worth picking up at the price.

Fun Factoid:

In Washington state, the home of Costco hq and of the Actual city Kirkland, you cant buy any Kirkland alcohol products because all alcohol must be sold at a state run store, and Kirkland is a Costco only product.

I bought it here in California and poured myself some last night. It is the sharpest bourbon I have tried. Not that I am a bourbon connoisseur but I needed to put some ice cubes in it. It was good with the ice but not straight.

It is cheap too. $20 for 1 liter.

Of all the bourbons I have tried I like Bulliet the best.

Seth wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

I love Jameson's, but would like to hear what other flavours I can expand on from there in terms of Irish Whisky, and the steepness of the learning curve.

Although I've switched almost exclusively over to drinking bourbon, I still assert that Irish whiskey is generally some of the smoothest whiskey available. If you like Jameson (and you should!), try some of the midrange Tullamore Dew. The bottom end stuff is 5 years old, I believe, and that's fine, but they have a VERY good 10 year old whiskey that I enjoy immensely. I have not had the 12 year old yet.

The 12 year old is fantastic. Mind-blowingly so.

Seth wrote:

Although I've switched almost exclusively over to drinking bourbon...

I knew I liked you for some reason.

Lester_King wrote:
Seth wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

I love Jameson's, but would like to hear what other flavours I can expand on from there in terms of Irish Whisky, and the steepness of the learning curve.

Although I've switched almost exclusively over to drinking bourbon, I still assert that Irish whiskey is generally some of the smoothest whiskey available. If you like Jameson (and you should!), try some of the midrange Tullamore Dew. The bottom end stuff is 5 years old, I believe, and that's fine, but they have a VERY good 10 year old whiskey that I enjoy immensely. I have not had the 12 year old yet.

The 12 year old is fantastic. Mind-blowingly so.

True!

I absolutely love the 18 y/o Jameson's (and Demiurge will back it up as well). I also love the Middleton Very Rare (which is distilled at the Jameson's distillery I believe), but that can be double the price of the 18. Also there is a wonderful single-malt Irish Whiskey branded as Knappogue Castle (in various years) which is delicious!

In honor of the Kentucky Derby this week, I picked up a bottle of Buffalo Trace on my way home from work last night. I did enjoy my first tasting of it late in the evening, but I think I'll have to try it a few more times tonight before I make any decisions.

I've been drinking a lot of Michter's Straight Rye lately. Wonderful stuff.

Thanks Seth, I'll keep an eye out for both of those next time I'm out.

I actually asked an Irish women I work with if she was a big drinker of the stuff (with the preface that I meant NO offense, or reference to stereotype). We get on quite well, so that started the conversation with a giggle.

She admitted that she didn't partake of that particular alcohol very often, but when she does, it's Jameson's. She went to their distillery when she was back visiting family, and she said it was fascinating (and the samples were good too).

We went on to discuss why I wanted to know, and I mentioned the different tastes, varieties, peaty-ness of other whiskys, etc and I was just interested on another person's experience with those. She said the guide at the distillary made a point of mentioning that their Irish whisky doesn't go through those things, as they view it as an impurity and that's what gives it it's smoothness. I then asked her if that was true, or just a dig at the Scottish, and she laughed.

Paleocon wrote:

I've been drinking a lot of Michter's Straight Rye lately. Wonderful stuff.

I really like Rye. Generally stronger taste and quite a bit cheaper.

I tried the Buffalo Trace the other day and was simply floored that it was only a $20 bottle of bourbon. I has to be one of the best deals in liquor going along with the Russian Standard Platinum vodka.

Paleocon wrote:

I tried the Buffalo Trace the other day and was simply floored that it was only a $20 bottle of bourbon. I has to be one of the best deals in liquor going along with the Russian Standard Platinum vodka.

Sounds good, for that price. Down here, we get stung with a $60+ price tag retail, and only slightly less online. I fail to see how import duty and shipping can triple the price for an item...

Spoiler:

Lucky b*stards... /envy

Eh, we pay the same insane markup for Australian wine. Find what's local and buy it.

...not that I mind living in bourbon country...

m0nk3yboy wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I tried the Buffalo Trace the other day and was simply floored that it was only a $20 bottle of bourbon. I has to be one of the best deals in liquor going along with the Russian Standard Platinum vodka.

Sounds good, for that price. Down here, we get stung with a $60+ price tag retail, and only slightly less online. I fail to see how import duty and shipping can triple the price for an item...

Spoiler:

Lucky b*stards... /envy

What Minarchist said. What do you pay for a bottle of Lindeman's Chard?

Paleocon wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I tried the Buffalo Trace the other day and was simply floored that it was only a $20 bottle of bourbon. I has to be one of the best deals in liquor going along with the Russian Standard Platinum vodka.

Sounds good, for that price. Down here, we get stung with a $60+ price tag retail, and only slightly less online. I fail to see how import duty and shipping can triple the price for an item...

Spoiler:

Lucky b*stards... /envy

What Minarchist said. What do you pay for a bottle of Lindeman's Chard?

Depending, you can pay from $7 up to $75, depending on vintage, blend, etc. (Not shilling that site either, I was interested myself as a non-wine drinker).

OK, so now I have two reasons to locate to the US, Gears and Bears Friday Nights, and cheaper Bourbon. Now if only the wife could see the value in that proposition.

New plan, get back into Micro Brewing from home (should be a bit more manageable now the kids are older). What I save on retail beer prices goes into my new found love for the stronger spirits. It's a win win!

Just to point out, those $70 items are a case of six for the early harvest, and a case of 12 for the premium.

We can get a really decent bottle of red or white down here for $15-20 (good age, etc), so I guess it all evens out.

I guess once good whisky/bourbon/scotch starts getting a bit more of a mind share down here (at the moment, it's usually just something that goes with Coke) we might start seeing some more varieties down here, and at a reduced price (through volume ordering).

Until then, I'll rely on you guys to steer me in the right direction, and save me making some expensive mistakes. You haven't steered me wrong so far.

Paleocon wrote:

I tried the Buffalo Trace the other day and was simply floored that it was only a $20 bottle of bourbon. I has to be one of the best deals in liquor going along with the Russian Standard Platinum vodka.

A store just down the road from The Coppertop pub sells Buffalo Trace for $18—that's for the full liter bottle! It's a wonder I ever reach sobriety at all.

Pyroman[FO], have you tried that Benchmark yet? I'm drinking some now, thinking of you.

(double-post)

So I went off the deep end and bought some Laphroiag because I'm graduating.
In other news I am a bourbon man apparently.

boogle wrote:

So I went off the deep end and bought some Laphroiag because I'm graduating.
In other news I am a bourbon man apparently.

IMO, you chose a pretty tough 1st bottle of Scotch. I would have gone for something much smoother with less peat.

HedgeWizard wrote:
boogle wrote:

So I went off the deep end and bought some Laphroiag because I'm graduating.
In other news I am a bourbon man apparently.

IMO, you chose a pretty tough 1st bottle of Scotch. I would have gone for something much smoother with less peat.

I had a similar experience this weekend. I bought a bottle of Highland Park, 12 year, and didn't like it very much. It might have been the night (I wasn't feeling all that hot, and probably shouldn't have drank at all), but advice on a more "beginner" Scotch would be appreciated.

HedgeWizard wrote:
boogle wrote:

So I went off the deep end and bought some Laphroiag because I'm graduating.
In other news I am a bourbon man apparently.

IMO, you chose a pretty tough 1st bottle of Scotch. I would have gone for something much smoother with less peat.

Look, there is still a lot of the bottle for it to change my mind.

boogle wrote:
HedgeWizard wrote:
boogle wrote:

So I went off the deep end and bought some Laphroiag because I'm graduating.
In other news I am a bourbon man apparently.

IMO, you chose a pretty tough 1st bottle of Scotch. I would have gone for something much smoother with less peat.

Look, there is still a lot of the bottle for it to change my mind.

If it's your first Scotch, it'll still be tough. As such I'd highly recommend two cubes with it. I love, love, love Laphroiag, but amongst my friends I'm in a small minority.

Just curious, what did the bottle run you in OK? In AL it's $43.

booty wrote:
boogle wrote:
HedgeWizard wrote:
boogle wrote:

So I went off the deep end and bought some Laphroiag because I'm graduating.
In other news I am a bourbon man apparently.

IMO, you chose a pretty tough 1st bottle of Scotch. I would have gone for something much smoother with less peat.

Look, there is still a lot of the bottle for it to change my mind.

If it's your first Scotch, it'll still be tough. As such I'd highly recommend two cubes with it. I love, love, love Laphroiag, but amongst my friends I'm in a small minority.

Just curious, what did the bottle run you in OK? In AL it's $43.

It was like 38 including 7% sales tax.

Yeah the Islay scotches are not really for the inexperienced. Even Lagavulin, which I consider one of the smoothest Islays (that I've had), comes with a pretty aggressive flavor. My wife describes Laphroiag as "licking a freshly lacquered floor," and I can't really disagree. (the fact that I apparently enjoy the taste of a freshly lacquered floor is the mystery).

If I were to coax someone into scotch whisky, I would start with Speyside scotch. Glenlivet is popular for a reason, and it's because it's a smooth, mid range whisky that's not too rough on the palate.

I may have already mentioned it, but there's some reasons why bourbon can come close to Scotch and Irish whisky quality at a fraction of the price. Basically, the climate in Kentucky (extreme hots and colds) causes much more expansion and contraction in the barrels, effectively speed-aging the bourbon, and bourbon is fighting against 50+ years of being known as crappy hooch, a reputation earned by the unfortunate effects of trying to compete with established pedigrees that didn't see their distilleries shut down during Prohibition.