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  1. I started drinking bourbon a few years ago, ranging from the cheaper brands to the more expensive single barrels and small batch bourbons and whiskeys. Recently, I discovered Scotch and that was all I needed. I’ve gone through the Walkers, liking the black then I found double black….then I read about Famous Grouse and its popularity so I tried Black Grouse. Big smile on that one for sure. I’m looking forward to extensive tasting and a long stroll through the spirit isle. Waiting with anticipation for more suggestions.

    • Tom! Glad to have you here, I’m going in the other direction funny enough. I started with scotch and am recently dabbling in some bourbon after a friend bought me a bottle of Basil Hayden. It’s much sweeter because of the corn, so I feel like there’s less versatility available but it’s still tasty.

    • Cutty Sark produces a Prohibition era scotch that has uniquely wonderful smooth notes that make sipping it as, for instance, an after dinner cocktail, very pleasurable. It is not sweet like cordials but is intense in a good way. The only down side is that many liquor stores do not carry it although it is available online. In Pennsylvania, I was able to get it only twice at the Wine and Spirits (state controlled) store and now it is not standard inventory. If you try it, be cautious; it is 100 proof just as those daredevil bootleggers intended it to be back in the 1920’s!

  2. I’m always open for a good bottle of bourbon. About the furthest I’ve gone is Jack Single barrel, Elijah Craig and Makers 46. Good for the price. Thinking about trying some rye, but don’t know what to expect with that one.

    • If you can find it, try Weller Special Reserve, or the even more elusive Weller 12 yr. Bourbon. I like for Scotch Glenfarclas17, 21, and not tried their 25 yr Aged Scotch offerings.

  3. A bit of my journey. I tried acquiring the taste of whiskey a few years ago….tried with soda water, extra water and loaded with ice….and never with a mix. It still tasted like petrol until that one magical day….I succeeded and wow… what an explosion of flavours in your mouth from whiskey to whiskey. I have built a bit of a collection, and am proud to brag about the brilliant whiskeys out there. I have a whiskey tasting at my place with mates on the odd occasion to spread the brilliance of flavours. To all the whiskey makers out there…thank you. Regards Michael Macdonald

  4. My father comes from the Highland distillery area, and some of his relatives worked in various distilleries. His grandfather had his own (illegal) still, which was common among crofters (tenant farmers). After I’d grown out of beer and bourbon big nights, I developed a taste for pure malt whisky as we did our ‘Tour of the Glens’ in the comfort of Dad’s living room. We still do it and recently enjoyed a Talisker Dark Storm (duty free shopping is a great time to try new varieties) and I’m currently sipping on a very smoth Bruichladdich Organic Barley and watching the Tour de France. Life’s good!

  5. I am new to this brand of liquor and I don’t want to spend large amounts of money on something I might not like. I am a fruity and sweet liquor drinker. Please send me information that suggests liquors that are to my liking.

  6. I Love single malts and began drinking scotch almost two years ago. Now I’ve started dabbling in bourbons when a friend introduced me to Woodford Reserve, it’s quite a bit sweeter than the single malts but I’m starting to enjoy the different bourbons that I have tried so far. What else is there out there that I may be missing? Single malts are still #1.

      • Not a bourbon guy myself, but since it shares my last name I had to try Willett Bourbon & have to say, it was really good. Even more experienced bourbon drinkers tell me it’s one of the better ones out there. Not inexpensive, but fancy packaging probably contributes to price add much as taste.

  7. I’ve been a Scotch whisky drinker since I was in college. That’s my no. 1 favorite followed by Cognac or Brandy then Irish, Rum and Vodka……………………….Beer.

  8. Regarding Scotch on a budget, Jim, you mention Famous Grouse as a good cheapie and I agree enthusiastically. At our South Florida Total Wine, you can get the liter and a half for $27 and it’s sweet, smooth and interesting. And, as a blend, it turns out two of its ingredients are Highland Park and Macallan, both fine, well regarded single malts. Knowing that, you can kind of feel the meeting of those two single malts in the Famous Grouse. Haven’t tried the Black Grouse yet – read a lot of negativity about it – but Famous definitely gets two thumbs up from me.

    • They’re both good, I like Black Grouse but at those price points I’m not tremendously picky. It just has to not be bad for it to be a win for me, you know?

  9. A definite +1 for the Black Grouse. I tried both based on the blog’s recommendation, and believe the Black to be well worth the extra couple of $$. It’s not Glenmorangie, but the value per $ is quite nice.

  10. Black Grouse is my go-to. our prices are $39.99 for 1.75L. When i see guys standing trying to figure out what to buy i recommend the Black Grouse. Problem is its becoming more and more popular and out of stock more and more often.

  11. James, i don’t think you’ll be disappointed. for a blend, its pretty good. i prefer it over JWB. well, i like the price better than JWB and i think its a comparable taste. I think my all time favorite when I’m in the mood to splurge is Talisker Storm but its a little higher up on the $$ scale. I think my vendor sells it for around $60.00 a fifth.

  12. Hi Jim thanks for your site.
    I started drinking scotch at 14yrs old in Switzerland while attending boarding school. JWR with coke. Visiting my father in Saudi during break, he asked what I was drinking while at school. It was inevitable he knew it. I mentioned the JWR and Coke. He just shook his. Then he sat me down “you are too young to be drinking like that, I can’t do anything about it when i am not around. So, you better learn right. Scotch- never use sweet mixers, start with scotch and soda if you must. Then mature your tastes to scotch and water or rocks. Try single malts rocks or neat.” I am now 51 my father is 85 we sit down a few times a year and enjoy wonderful single malts together. Always great memories.

  13. Just signed up! I am always looking for tips and reviews on Scotch whisky. Some friends and I are heading to a “whisky dinner” tonight, where different courses are paired with different drams. Hope the food is OK.

  14. I started drinking single malt scotch whisky not long ago. I purchased a bottle of Glenmorangie Original that came with three samples: Nectar D’or, LaSanta and Quinta Ruban. I instantly sided with the sweet flavor of LaSanta. Honestly, i wouldn’t mind to keep drinking this whisky forever, but since I’m pretty much a brand new drinker, I would like to try different brands that compare to this one. Any recommendations?

    • I just sent a bottle of Glenmorangie LaSanta to my son in the UK as a birthday present. I haven’t tried it so my selection was based on price and reviews. So fingers crossed he likes it. It was reassuring to see that you enjoyed it.

  15. Found this site the same way many treasures are found – by pure accident. The many flavors of whiskey and my path have crossed many times thoughout the years, but never really took the time to get to know it and appreciate it. My intersest was elevated a few years back after playing in a golf tournament sponsered by Jack Daniels; in fact, I still have a bottle of Single Barrel tucked away that is autographed by the sixth master distiller, Mr. Jimmy Bedford (RIP). From there, I was pretty much stuck in the American Whiskeys, especially taking a liking to Jack’s Single Barrel and Gentlemen Jack and later, Bulleit. Then a couple of years ago, I was introduced to Glenmorangie Original and the journey took off. In reality, I am still a ‘freshman’ in the world of whiskeys, but this is one ladder I don’t mind climbing. I travel extensively, and often find myself wondering through the duty free shop and typically ending up with a known flavor. I have already picked up on a few pointers here and look forward to many more suggestions as I continue my travels. Now I’m on the quest to find that ‘Monkey Shoulder’…

  16. A very kind friend gave me some whiskey stones as a gift recently but I was disappointed when I used them. I put them into the freezer over night – they chilled (slightly) but warmed quickly after they were put into the glass. Did I do something wrong?

  17. So glad I found this site, it feels so much more personal than a lot of other ones. I’ve recently gotten into scotch in the pastyear or so, a friend bought me a tasting pack of The Balvenie, 12 Doublewood, 14 Caribbean Cask and the 17 Doublewood and I haven’t looked back since.

  18. It’s an interesting site. I am just learning to know about Johnie Walker Whisky “Label”. I myself have Black Label, and Gold Label. Recently got a Double Black as a gift from a friend, Just want to learn more about Johnie Walker. I bought Green Label before, i was wondering where it goes? Just realized that already “Discontinued”.
    Thank you.

  19. Hi Jim
    Interesting site.Reading the whisky lovers comments.I find your programme interesting and with insight.I like the Scotish Islay peated/smoked whiskies the most.And will be trying the Bruichladdich octamore 2-beast shortly.Just a pity that there is talks that peated whiskies might be faze out in 2020 because of legislation diminishing peat sources.Interesting too read about the Corsair Triple Smoke whiskey from the USA and the Amrut Smoked whiskey from India.Will find your comments about them interesting.James de Meyer from South Africa.

  20. Hi Jim!

    I’ve been learning about bourbons the past couple years and have found some incredible beauties for not too much $$$. You might consider trying Knob Creek, Elijah Craig, Bulleitt, Woodford Reserve, Woodford Double, Buffalo Trace, and of course Blanton’s. But don’t miss Bird Dog. It’s amazingly inexpensive but really good.

    Then a friend introduced me to JW Black. On the rocks, but with a splash. Amazing! I loved it at first taste. Then I found Macallan. Also incredible!

    I found your site when I was searching for info on Shieldaig Speyside 18. Someone gave me a bottle as a gift, and as a beginner I didn’t know what to think of it. I’m already appreciating all the info I’m finding here! Thanks for all your effort!

    • Those are some good recommendations, I’ll check out Bird Dog because I’ve never heard of that one. I’ve actually tried many of the others, Elijah Craig and Buffalo Trace are great distilleries.

      Thanks Bob!

  21. Recently tried 3 brands as a taste-test at home. Small glass with a single large ice-cube.
    1st was Glenfiddich 12 year-old. Familiar and crisp, with no dominant character to identify it unless you had the bottle in front of you.
    2nd was Lagavulin 16 year-old. Bold peet flavor and my long-standing favorite with a good cigar. A favorite of mine for years.
    3rd was a wild-card, as I picked up this 1 liter bottle of Aberfeldy 18 year-old in the duty free store in Toronto. A surprising and refreshing Scotch that had a hint of honey and a clean finish. Very nice. I ended the evening with a nice glass of Aberfeldy and claimed it as the evening’s winner.
    Maybe tomorrow will be a Scotch and cigar night, so Lagavulin will be on the menu!

  22. Just returned from a cruise to the Carribean and picked up three scotches on my wish list – thanks to Chats at Gulomahr’s on St. Maarten. Working to get all the Isle of Islay scotches – started with the light peats before the heavy ones. Recent purchases – Caol Ila (12 yr), Bunnahabhain (12 yr), and Bruichladdich (Classic Laddie). Will post a review. Very excited.

  23. I find myself in the sad position of needing to sell my carefully collected, stored but rarely opened (sadly only 3 of the 40 bottles) highly collectible single malts. Any suggestion for a auction house or method to insure my treasured bottles find good homes? Thank you

  24. Came across your site when I was searching for the peatiest single malt. I’m from India. We get decent single malts now in India. Looking forward to this journey with fellow dram connoisseurs.

  25. A few years back, after a bad night in a New York cab, a friend handed me a shot of Lagavulin. One whiff, and I was intrigued. One taste, and I was in love. After trying various bourbons, whiskeys, and Scotch, I am firmly planted as an Islay whisky fan. From Kilchoman Sanaig to Ardbeg Corryvreckan, or even just a smooth dram of Black Grouse, I like that peat.

  26. I became the proud leaseholder of a square foot of Islay on 17/01/2014, the plot number being 630734. However, since that date I changed my email address without notifying you. I have found no other means of letting you know, so I hope this does the trick!!

    • Peter Hills, Congrats, we may be neighbors, as I also am a proud leaseholder of a square foot of peat.????. I think you need to contact Laphroaig directly to give them your new email address, as opposed to this site.

  27. I see there have been few signups in the last 2 years. Does that mean the addicts are so busy drinking they can’t type?

    My son and I started scotch with Glenfiddish and Glenlivet. He struggles, I love them. We are now into Aberlour A’bunadh iced down to perfection.

  28. My true love is MacCallan and Monkey Shoulder. My goal is to be able to taste all of the single malts and visit Speyside for a wonderful tasting tour.

    • Monkey Shoulder is Fantastic and has a great story . The Three Single Malts that it contains… are all on the same street. Start at Glenfiddich.. and just keep going.
      I hope to return! my Room at the Hotel in Edinburgh did not have a number. It was known as Oban.. and Oban is waiting for you in the room… Amazing!

  29. I most enjoy the smokey/peaty scotches. So far my favourites are Ardbog (a lucky find years ago) and Ardbeg Uigdeavail. Any suggestions for alternatives I might enjoy? Thanks. MDL

  30. One Beautiful day in Edinburgh in 2013 my Wife and I paid the the $30.00ea. to enter the training at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile ( I highly recommend) Upon on exit we continued across the street to Royal Mile Whiskies, at which point our education continued and they shipped about 12 Bottles back to the States for us. Excellent Shop! We did learn about the Best of Speyside’s and Islay Whiskies and have a number of favorites. We ended that day at the opposite end of the Royal Mile with food and Lagavulin at The Worlds End Pub. I would do it all again!

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