How to become a single malt connoisseur

Not a connoisseur, but I just opened a bottle of Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair. It’s different - I tend towards Kilchoman and Caol Ilia, also Glen Moray, and I do like sherry casks.

Haven’t decided if I’ll buy another bottle when I finish it, but then there’s two other Bunnahabhains waiting in the wings.

When I finish a bottle of Kilchoman Sanaig, I go buy another bottle. Just gotta make sure.

A reference from The Wire?

I’m also more of a fan of Irish whiskey too. But I do like a good rye. Tried a Dutch rye recently called Millstone 100 and I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe the best sip of alcohol I’ve ever taken.

I just got a pair of Glencairn socks from the Whiskey Tribe. That is, socks with a Glencairn glass profile woven into them. Trey kewl.

Speaking of Irish: I bought a bottle of The Sexton Single Malt Irish. Anybody had this? I haven’t tried it yet. Will it do for tomorrow or should I fall back to the Redbreast Lustau?

Ah, Irish whiskey! Looking for advice here. I’ve had Jameson, Bushmills, Green Spot, and Red Breast 12. All, to me, are very sweet, thin, basic, unremarkable whiskey. Recommendations for irish whiskey that might be interesting?

anyone use this place ? ive been on their mailing list for ages

they have a lot of cool looking/sounding stuff…including bottles that run in the tens of thousands …

Interesting results in my own explorations so far. I’ve been buying glasses here and there the past few weeks and have discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that thus far the best - or at least most accessible - has been plain old Maker’s Mark bourbon. I guess this pegs me as a neophyte, akin to a child preferring hot dogs and mac n cheese over more sophisticated offerings. I also discovered I really don’t like stuff that has a peat flavor (or at any rate not Laphroaig 10). I’m still early in my explorations, though.

Not in the least. Or if so, you aren’t alone. I’m a Maker’s Ambassador, myself. Got the cards to prove it. The whiskey you like is the whiskey that’s best. No, strike that. The whiskey that’s free is the whiskey that’s best.

When you feel like trying a variation, get a bottle of Maker’s 46. Even better, a bottle of Maker’s 101. Whole different ball game with the latter.

Bourbon and Scotch are not in any sense the same drink. IMO it’s silly to mention them in the same breath or to make comparisons between them. It’s certainly fine to enjoy either or both and I have my favorite bourbons and my favorite scotches. But they’re certainly not interchangeable in any sense.

Unrelated to the above, IMO Laphroaig 10 is a loss leader and an insult to their distillery’s history of fine scotches. It’s not a good example of peaty scotch.

Though peat in general is definitely one of those features of scotches that most drinkers either love or hate. I happen to love peat, but I know folks more discerning than I who don’t care for peat at all. Vive la différence!

Really? Because as a beer afficionado I enjoy both stouts and pale pilsners - two very different creatures - and yet see no disconnect in classing them together or discussing them under the banner of beer.

I see your point. I too enjoy both stouts and pilsners. And I can discuss which I prefer paired with what or on what occasion / circumstance. But I have a hard time with the idea of comparing their respective features. They’re IMO too different to intercompare. Yes, they both share their beer-ness, but IMO that’s a comment mostly about production technique, not about the consumption experience.

Of booze, my favorite genres in general are scotch, bourbon, and gin in that order. The first two are clearly more similar to each other than either is to gin. But I still have a hard time intercomparing any of the three genres.

I suppose this is a matter of lumpers vs splitters:

And I’m evidently more of a splitter than you are. As long as we’re all having fun with it, it’s all good.

They both get some oak, but yeah, classic bourbon notes are vanilla and caramel while scotch (depending on the region) is smoke or brine. Pretty different.

Different choices when different moods hit is fair too. I would state though that ISTM that the range of flavor profiles under the umbrella of “Scotch” is much broader than that under the “bourbon” or even “gin” umbrellas.

As long as you don’t lump genever under the “gin” umbrella, I agree.

My only advice is to not limit yourself to Scotch. My “journey” as it were started about 4 years ago. In that time, I’ve learned there are not many Scotchs that I’ve tried that I’m a big fan of. I do like the smoke so a nice peaty Islay is likely to find a spot on my shelf but as a general rule I realize I’m just not much of a Scotch guy.

I found my enjoyment in Bourbons and of late, Rye. For bourbon, I started with something low proof and approachable, like a Basil Hayden. I started drinking that, usually with a nice rock. It helped me ease my palette into bourbon with something that was really approachable. Over time I began branching out, trying different things and gradually higher proofs and now almost always neat (maybe a drop or two of water).

I now find I can approach Scotch, Irish, etc., with more appreciation that I had before.