Every once and a while, my friends and I get together for a Scotch Night. The premise is simple. Each participant brings a bottle, or chips in for a bottle, and everyone gets to try a bottle they’ve never tried before without having to shell out $40 – $80 for 750ml of something they may not like. Having participated in several of these Scotch Nights, I have discovered what I enjoy without having to spend big bucks doing it.
Here are a few tips for Scotch Night:
- Research: Bone up on the tasting notes for the whiskeys you’re going to try. It’s good to get a general idea of what to expect (no, it’s not about impressing your friends, it’s about getting maximum enjoyment) and what you may or may not like.
- Pour a little at first: If you’ve never had something, don’t go pouring yourself a full glass. Give yourself a little more than a few sips. Enough that you can get a nose of it but not enough that you regret having poured so much if you don’t like it. You can always pour yourself more if you discover you love it.
- Good company can overcome bad whiskey: It’s all about who you invite. Invite people you enjoy hanging out with because good company can always overcome bad whiskey (it can’t overcome terrible whiskey though, unless they’re awesome friends). That’s why I always have fond memories of Pabst Blue Ribbon. 🙂
- Try something new: If you can, try to be the guy who brings the whiskey no one else can pronounce. The Glenlivet is great but you can get that anywhere, try getting yourself something you can have fun trying to say.
- Take notes: Whiskeys will come in all shapes, sizes, and names; you will forget what you enjoyed unless you write it down. Write down notes for the flavors you smelled and tasted, the color you saw, and anything else worth noting. You won’t be able to remember what was what by the end of the night. At a bare minimum, scratch down the ones you enjoyed so you can buy them later.
- Have fun! Most importantly, have fun!
Tonight a few friends of mine will be getting together to eat some good food, drink some good scotch, and watch The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with Clint Eastwood. We saw Gran Torino last weekend so we thought we’d follow that up with some Eastwood classics!