Is there any agreed upon metrics for a "good" whiskey/bourbon/scotch?ydrink

With Naugahyde, a peaty Islay scotch. With Pleather, a smooth Wisconsin* bourbon…

  • Think I’m kidding? This is THE smoothest whisky I’ve ever had…

Ok… I’ll oblige you. :wink:

Vodka just seems to me like the pretentious yuppie way to drink liquor and have an opinion about it, without actually having to drink anything that you can’t entirely camouflage with ice-cold temperatures or literally any mixer out there.


(that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with vodka per-se; it’s just the whole ecosystem about how one is better than the other, etc… is so absurd, when the whole point is for it to be flavorless. For example, why would you want a vodka distilled from grapes instead of you know, brandy, grappa or marc, if you like the flavor of grape distillate?)

Here are 2 characteristics of most whisky drinkers I know:

  1. they enjoy drinking/trying whiskies they don’t normally buy.
  2. they enjoy drinking whisky they did not personally pay for.

The exception here is heavily peated stuff. It’s a really distinct flavor. I love it. I also love a nice runny gorgonzola, but if someone tells me it nauseates them I’m not going to argue. I can actually completely understand the reaction even if I don’t share it.

My bourbon picks would be Four Roses Single Barrel, or FR Small batch. But Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek are both readily available, quality bourbons. These are all 40$-ish or under in NY.

For scotch I’d say either Highland Park 12 (50$), or MacCallan 12 sherry cask (70$). Scotch is tough because you have availability issues and peat issues. You can find these anywhere and they should bring a smile to any whisky drinker. There are options I like more for this price, but they are either extremely hard to find or very peaty. These are both very respectable bottles.

I have 7 bottles of bourbon in my liquor cabinet. Each has it’s own unique quality and I enjoy drinking them all. I don’t have any Maker’s or KC. I prefer KC, it has a more refined taste to me. Maker’s is what a bourbon newbie will drink, it’s sweet and not offensive. My drink of preference is a good single malt and some of the best around is made in Seattle. My bourbon of choice right now is Angels Envy.

Jesus. Someone thought there wasn’t enough Sherry in Macallan already? More for them, I guess.

EDIT: Totally agree on your two points, @SacFly.

IMHO, it’s hard to beat Glenlivet 12 for, “I know they like Scotch, but I’m not sure what kind,” gifting. Decent at the price, last I checked, and very seamless in flavor. Auchentoshan if they are just getting started, and Highland Park is great if they think they like peat, and aren’t already telling you about the Ardbeg or Octomore they just had the other night.

Oh, @bump, you’re actually in an area where you can try it. I know you wrote you’re not a fan of vodka, but if you were, the “Shevkoff” brand at Spec’s is about as smooth as it gets. Highly recommended.

Naw, I liked Laphroaig the first time I tried it. And it’s one of the few hard liquors I actually like. A lot of the Lagavulins are good, too. I’m not as fond of Ardbeg, but perhaps I have only had ones that are too young.

Or to me.

I keep a bottle of vodka on hand, as it turns out. Sobieski, as a matter of fact. It’s awfully smooth… and flavorless, like you’d expect from a good vodka. And only $13/bottle, I believe. I think the bottle before that was Grey Goose. But as far as my taste buds and nose are concerned, smoothness (however that’s perceived) is the primary differentiator in vodkas, and above a certain point, they’re all pretty much the same here in the US.

My metric? Can I stand to drink it, and will it fuck me up. I know. I’m a terrible person and gonna die alone in a ditch. The sooner the better.

Clearly, a man of refinement.

I’ve not noticed a shortage of the 16 year; will check next time I’m at the government liquor store.

Their website, cleverly hidden at, says they now make a special edition 16 that’s sold only via Amazon (!) and only in the countries where Amazon sells booze: UK, Germany, France, and Italy.

Oh well. … Road Trip!!!

Late add: Although the more I look the more I wonder whether I’m confusing where they distribute it to with where and how they say one could buy it online. Stupid bluenose USA and their treat-everyone-like-children booze laws. I do know none of the major US distributors I’ve checked have 16 nor have they had it for a couple years now.

I’ve never seen 16 here. 15, of course, but never 16. I’m glad Lagavulin is back to selling 16 again. Still not as good as they were pre-fire, but maybe I’ve changed, and not them?

Lagavulin is my first choice. Laphroaig is my second, and Oban is my third.