Forbes' Brief History of Scotch

Forbes has a very entertaining and educational article on the history of Scotch whiskies written by F. Paul Pacult, who writes the Spirit Journal. It discusses the origins of scotch whiskies, how whisky is produced today, and talks a lot about column still distillation, which was a more recent innovation. It then moves on to discuss blended scotches, with Pacult sharing his twelve recommendations (in alphabetical order):

  • Ambassador Royal Deluxe 12 Year Old, 43% AbV, $20. A lovely, finely balanced blended Scotch with nuanced flavors of nut butter and old oak.
  • Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, 40% AbV, $35. The classic luxury brand that put the “luxury” in blended Scotch when it was introduced in 1954. Strathisla is the core malt.
  • Chivas Royal Salute 21 Year Old, 40% AbV, $180. One of the greatest, most sublime whisky experiences of any variety that one could have. A legend.>/li>
  • Compass Box “Asyla”, 40% AbV, $40. Malt whiskies from stellar distilleries like Linkwood and Cragganmore form the soul of this lithe, feminine blended Scotch.
  • Dewar’s Special Reserve 12 Year Old, 43% AbV, $25. Core malt whisky is Aberfeldy. A delicious, mature whisky with seductive flavors of nougat and baked pears.
  • Duggan’s Dew, 43.3% AbV, $22. Another best-kept-secret blended Scotch that combines excellent value and outstanding flavor.
  • Johnnie Walker Gold 18 Year Old, 40% AbV, $65. The heart of this great Scotch hails from the Clynelish Distillery in the northern Highlands. Simply thrilling.
  • Old Smuggler, 40% AbV, $15. A big favorite during Prohibition, Old Smuggler is today an overlooked dram of character and style.
  • Pinch The Dimple 15 Year Old, 43% AbV, $33. One of the classiest blended Scotches, whose core malts include Dalwhinnie and Glenkinchie. Elegance in a glass.
  • Teacher’s Highland Cream, 43% AbV, $20. The foundational malts are Ardmore and Glendronach. The creamy/oily result is one of the best blended Scotches you can buy.
  • White Horse, 40% AbV, $16. The sensational smoky/iodine taste is brought to you courtesy of the Lagavulin Distillery on Islay among others. Unbelievable value.
  • William Grant’s Family Reserve, 43% AbV, $16. Both Glenfiddich and Balvenie malts contribute to the sophisticated character of this global favorite.

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