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jwcarlson
06-15-2010, 09:32 PM
I'm 25 and had never drunk a single drop of alcohol until last weekend one of my friends was a groomsman in a mutual friends wedding and happened to be turning 21 the same day. He asked me to do a shot with him, I said the only way I would drink anything would be if it were a single malt scotch.

I assumed he didn't know what I was talking about and he didn't. But when he went to the bar the bartender gave him some sort of whiskey. My friend said it was "Jim Beam I think..." I don't know if it was bourbon or Jonny Walker blended scotch... it really doesn't matter. But while "slamming" my first drink I was intrigued at a few things...

1) It didn't burn my mouth or throat.
2) It smelled great.
3) It tasted... complex.
4) The room felt like it was 110 degrees for about an hour after I consumed it.

So yesterday I mail ordered a 750 mL bottle of Glenlivet 12 based at least partially on suggestions here via a search.

My question is... what should I expect?
Do I add water? On the rocks or no... I've heard some are "made for ice" and some aren't? This will be a once a month kind of deal so it'll probably take me a year to drink an entire bottle.

Any other suggestions?

craig87c
06-15-2010, 09:50 PM
I'm not an expert scotch master, but it really isnt taboo to add ice or a little bit of water to most whiskeys.

I love Glenlivet on the rocks. First scotch I've ever tried!

falkon
06-15-2010, 10:34 PM
Glenlivet 12 is a very easy single malt Scotch to get into. I would recommend drinking it neat ("straight from the bottle"). Many people, myself included, usually add a teaspoon or so full of water to a glass of Scotch. However, Glenlivet 12 usually doesn't need it. Ice is a no-go as it is widely considered to dull your taste. However, many people do enjoy Scotch on the rocks. It is also popular to make a Scotch & Soda (1 shot in a small glass of club soda). Many purists will scoff at most of these ideas but in the end, if you enjoy scotch mixed with turpentine and floor cleaner then drink what you like!

blary54
06-15-2010, 10:48 PM
Good luck with that... IMO Scotch is an acquired taste(a taste I have not acquired yet). I would recommend starting with bourbon or blended whiskey first if your just starting out drinking. I hope you like it...let us know.

rthawker
06-15-2010, 10:58 PM
I usually prefer mine neat but it is a YMMV kind of thing. My suggestion would be to try it each way. Pour yourself a dram and take a couple of sips neat then add a teaspoon or two of room temp water and see what that does to the taste. (you'd be amazed how much it actually does change.) Then after a few more sips add an ice cube or two and see what that does for you. There are a lot of single malts out there and you will enjoy everyone of them in a different way but I would always at least give them a taste neat before I alter them. Have fun, they can be as collectable as anything within the wet shaving world.

jwcarlson
06-16-2010, 06:15 AM
Have fun, they can be as collectable as anything within the wet shaving world.

That's my biggest concern. ;)

Having never been a drinker and really never having been in a liquor store I'm kind of upset I mail ordered it and I could have went down the street to Target and got it for about $5 but I guess then it would have been taxed so probably a $10 savings. I feel better about that now.

craig87c
06-16-2010, 10:41 AM
Can I ask where you ordered from?

Loner16
06-16-2010, 10:47 AM
IMHO, drink it neat... And, no need to down it as shots. Sip and savor...

plexibass
06-16-2010, 11:02 AM
Scotch is my thing. I recommend neat also, however, some scotches do benefit from a little water. Oban and Laphroig with a teaspoon of distilled or purified water will open it up a bit. I am a scotch snob:lol: so never use tap water. Rarely do I use water at all, in fact less than 1% of the time. Good luck on your scotch journey. Macallen is the best scotch in my opinion. anything in their line.

jwcarlson
06-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Can I ask where you ordered from?

www.KLWines.com

About $24 for the bottle, about $11 shipping = $35.

Target had it for $40 + tax = about $43 locally. I guess it's a "Super" Target, they have an entire isle of wine and spirts.


IMHO, drink it neat... And, no need to down it as shots. Sip and savor...

That's the plan... I'll never do "shots" I can guarantee you that. :)

falkon
06-16-2010, 08:21 PM
Yes, Scotch gets IMHO even more collectible than wet shaving. You really begin to realize your standards have been skewed when you can call various $50-60 bottles your "everyday" drinks and not something reserved for special occasions.

blary54
06-16-2010, 08:59 PM
Yes, Scotch gets IMHO even more collectible than wet shaving. You really begin to realize your standards have been skewed when you can call various $50-60 bottles your "everyday" drinks and not something reserved for special occasions.

That's one of the reasons bourbon is my drink...the price. You can get a great bourbon for the price of an ok scotch.

Agent8426
06-16-2010, 09:25 PM
Scotch is, without a doubt, an acquired taste as is liquor in general. If I were you I'd pour a "shot" over four or five ice cubes and let it sit for about five minutes.

The "Livet" is a good first choice. You will soon learn that any Glenn will do.

Agent8426
06-16-2010, 09:29 PM
Yes, Scotch gets IMHO even more collectible than wet shaving. You really begin to realize your standards have been skewed when you can call various $50-60 bottles your "everyday" drinks and not something reserved for special occasions.

This is very true. I'm always looking for a $100 bottle for special occasions, and I've drank a $60 bottle in a night (with help). However, I've never collected. I pretty much always have one bottle on hand, and only one be it Cutty Sark or McAllan 15-20.

causalfault
06-17-2010, 08:02 AM
I'm a big fan of the Glenlivet 12 year. I usually drink mine on the rocks, which probably makes the Scotch Purists go into fits, but that's just how I take mine -- YMMV. It's also quite fine with a splash of water. I personally feel it has a little more character than some of the other scotches I've tried.


That's one of the reasons bourbon is my drink...the price. You can get a great bourbon for the price of an ok scotch.

I'm mostly a bourbon drinker, too. For my money, it doesn't get much better than a Maker's Mark sour. Good price, good whiskey.

shavervinnie
06-17-2010, 02:58 PM
Drink it in any one of the ways suggested above. But just make sure and DRINK IT!!!!:tongue_sm:tongue_sm:tongue_sm

NavyLaw
06-19-2010, 01:20 PM
ALL,

That is really great information. I too am just about to be staring out on drinking scotch and I am not too sure as to what to expect. Great thread.

Steve

mikeypedone1
06-19-2010, 01:27 PM
Adding water to scotch is to cut down the intensity to around 80 proof or 40% alcohol by volume. 80 proof is where it is meant to be enjoyed. Some makers add the water for you and it comes 80 proof and some makers do not. So the amount of water you add depends on the strength. I have seen scotches come as high as 120 proof. So you will have to add quite a bit of water to it. Experimenting will give you the right idea. You will know if you have gone to far. Add the water and let it sit for 10 minutes, then sip it. If you would like a reccomendation Ardbeg Ueghidael is my favorite right now.

jwcarlson
06-21-2010, 07:06 AM
Adding water to scotch is to cut down the intensity to around 80 proof or 40% alcohol by volume. 80 proof is where it is meant to be enjoyed. Some makers add the water for you and it comes 80 proof and some makers do not. So the amount of water you add depends on the strength. I have seen scotches come as high as 120 proof. So you will have to add quite a bit of water to it. Experimenting will give you the right idea. You will know if you have gone to far. Add the water and let it sit for 10 minutes, then sip it. If you would like a reccomendation Ardbeg Ueghidael is my favorite right now.

I thought the water started some sort of chemical reaction that "opens up" the scotch. I have no clue I'm just going by what I've read/seen.

Improbable
06-21-2010, 04:21 PM
I thought the water started some sort of chemical reaction that "opens up" the scotch. I have no clue I'm just going by what I've read/seen.

Whisky is already half water. There's no chemical reaction. What it does is thin it a little bit. When we refer to "opening up," all it really means is the alcohol is a bit weaker, which can make some of the flavors more accessible.

jwcarlson
06-21-2010, 08:39 PM
Whisky is already half water. There's no chemical reaction. What it does is thin it a little bit. When we refer to "opening up," all it really means is the alcohol is a bit weaker, which can make some of the flavors more accessible.

Makes sense!




Well, it was finally delivered today and I drank a small amount. It was stronger than I expected. I drank some neat and some with a little dash of bottled water, which did cut down the alcohol "burn" to my nose. I'm not used to flavors or smells much really. I smelled some sweet... and fruit. Apple in particular seemed to stand out. Tastewise there was substantial burn for my escentially alcohol-virgin mouth but it had some complexity which I liked. Also noticed that the scotch was relatively "thick" and clung to the sides a little like thinned syrup. But I don't have anything else to really compare it to.

Sipped a very small amount over about a 45 minute period. Going to have to try some with a cigar soon... I can see how that would nearly be devine! :thumbup1:

SkipH
06-21-2010, 08:48 PM
Glenlivet (probably SIC) 12 is a very good scotch. I would also recommend drinking it neat. There is nothing!!! you can add to it that will improve, enhance, etc the flavor. I like it in a Brandy Snifter. It allows the scotch to breath and you can really enjoy the aroma. Enjoy the journey.

jwcarlson
06-22-2010, 04:38 AM
Glenlivet (probably SIC) 12 is a very good scotch. I would also recommend drinking it neat. There is nothing!!! you can add to it that will improve, enhance, etc the flavor. I like it in a Brandy Snifter. It allows the scotch to breath and you can really enjoy the aroma. Enjoy the journey.

Here's what I used:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31ZH8TYP3WL.jpg

Closest I could find to a 'nosing' glass @ the store last night.
I could have been drinking it out of tin can and it wouldn't have made a difference to me I don't think. ;)

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 07:05 AM
I'm 25 and had never drunk a single drop of alcohol until last weekend one of my friends was a groomsman in a mutual friends wedding and happened to be turning 21 the same day. He asked me to do a shot with him, I said the only way I would drink anything would be if it were a single malt scotch.

I assumed he didn't know what I was talking about and he didn't. But when he went to the bar the bartender gave him some sort of whiskey. My friend said it was "Jim Beam I think..." I don't know if it was bourbon or Jonny Walker blended scotch... it really doesn't matter. But while "slamming" my first drink I was intrigued at a few things...

1) It didn't burn my mouth or throat.
2) It smelled great.
3) It tasted... complex.
4) The room felt like it was 110 degrees for about an hour after I consumed it.

So yesterday I mail ordered a 750 mL bottle of Glenlivet 12 based at least partially on suggestions here via a search.

My question is... what should I expect?
Do I add water? On the rocks or no... I've heard some are "made for ice" and some aren't? This will be a once a month kind of deal so it'll probably take me a year to drink an entire bottle.

Any other suggestions?

Alright my friend, now listen to me lol. Please do not put water in your scotch, it merely waters it down. One of my aunt's is scottish and she decries it as "a bloody sacrilige". It comes from the idea that if you add the water from the area its brewed, more taste will pop out, but the water your adding is just your local tap water. Ice, I wouldn't do either, till you've tried it normally. That's my main point: if you want to know how it tastes, just taste it (no water, no ice).

I got into single malts a while ago, so let me save you some time: If you only want an excellent whiskey, that will taste high brow to everyone go with Macallan 10 year old, or Lagavulin 16 year old. Those are the best in a beginner's price range as far as I'm concerned. My mom's concern as well, and we know she can smell chewing tobacco in a tin, buried in someone's knapsack from across the room, so..."

Glenlivet is not the best, but its still fairly good, it suffers the same problem as Glenfiddich (snobs dislike it, because they're too familiar with it) . I tend to dislike Speyside's in general. I prefer my whiskey's smokey, and not complex (so I lean more towards Islay"). However, you've made a decent choice. From what I remember it tastes kind of like a less in your face Glenfiddich (there is pear there, but not so abundantly (good/bad depending on your tastes :). I think the best part of Glenlivet is the nose (I have Glenlivet 12 French Oak, in a small bottle), and I like how sweet it smells. It has hints of apple and pear to it. Let me know how it goes.

That would be my suggestion. Get a bottle of Lagavulin 16 if you only want one whiskey in your pantry. Also, a lot of beginner's really like Dalwhinnie. (Jim Murray likes it too, so there you go).

By the way, I don't mean to hate on your choice, I like Glenlivet, my mom just doesn't like it, so my initial reaction is "oh, you could do better", but as a starting whiskey its perfectly fine (I would have gone more middle of the road like Bowmore, or Dalhwinnie 15 years old, but its fine). I feel its like a German white wine. Very sweet. You should compliment a sweet complex whiskey with a simple smoky whiskey (Islay made, Lagavulin 16), just to see where you stand. Yeah good job, that will give you perspective on a type of single malts, now pick up Lagavulin 16 and you can really see where you want to lean with this new hobby. I wouldn't go for more than two bottles as you will not be drinking them that quickly (as every adult should! lol).

I hope this helps. Welcome to the wonderful world of single-malt scotch. Seriously good choice, with the glenlivet, most people go Johnnie Walker, or Glenfiddich (Not that those are bad, just so common). Yours says "don't f with me, I know my scotches". (Bill Bryson reference for the win).

Yeah if you have any questions, feel free to fire them my way.

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 07:14 AM
Here's what I used:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31ZH8TYP3WL.jpg

Closest I could find to a 'nosing' glass @ the store last night.
I could have been drinking it out of tin can and it wouldn't have made a difference to me I don't think. ;)

That's a bit more of a modern glass, still works though. Yeah Brandy sniffers are meant for brandy, but eng, they also work for port, and in my case, cognac (I don't drink any of them enough to warrant separate glasses for all of them, "Oh what's this my semi-yearly cognac, I guess I grab the brandy sniffers...)"

Traditionally, it is served in a highball glass, or a rocks glass.

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 07:17 AM
Glenlivet (probably SIC) 12 is a very good scotch. I would also recommend drinking it neat. There is nothing!!! you can add to it that will improve, enhance, etc the flavor. I like it in a Brandy Snifter. It allows the scotch to breath and you can really enjoy the aroma. Enjoy the journey.

This guy is correct, about drinking it neat, and a brandy sniffer would work fine. It really only improves with the quality of the glass maker (crystal tastes better than dollar store glasses, but only slightly), its not important, or something you should worry about.

jwcarlson
06-22-2010, 08:02 AM
I love the passion, Rollie!

I did try it neat first and then put a small amount of water in. Will not add any water next time and just keep going at it neat. I would like to try a smoky scotch, sounds good. But I won't have more than one bottle at a time... this will be MAYBE a once a week occurance.

But if I could find samplers somewhere I'd be happy!

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 10:33 AM
Adding water to scotch is to cut down the intensity to around 80 proof or 40% alcohol by volume. 80 proof is where it is meant to be enjoyed. Some makers add the water for you and it comes 80 proof and some makers do not. So the amount of water you add depends on the strength. I have seen scotches come as high as 120 proof. So you will have to add quite a bit of water to it. Experimenting will give you the right idea. You will know if you have gone to far. Add the water and let it sit for 10 minutes, then sip it. If you would like a reccomendation Ardbeg Ueghidael is my favorite right now.

and... that's why Wild Turkey sells both an 80 proof and 101 proof, where the 101 proof tastes better than the 80 proof ever will lol.

You have the right idea, just slightly incorrect as far as proofing is concerned. You are right water is already added to it, in the production process, so why would you then, need to add to it?

Meant to be enjoyed is a really generalized statement, and in my and Jim Murray's estimation, terrible incorrect. Jim Murray says cask strength "It's the way God intended whiskey to be" Macallan Cask Strength is meant to be that way. There are plenty of single malts that are 45 % and what not. 80 proof is the most common, but its far from mandatory. The proof doesn't effect taste, otherwise all alcohol would get significantly better at a prescribed alcohol by volume number. Does Jack Daniels taste better than a fine wine (no). But it has the same alcohol content as Jim Beam (why aren't they equal)? What your adding is the taste of your local tap water to a whiskey. Think about it, would you ever do it for beer, or wine.

Adding water won't reduce the alcohol content of what you are drinking. It will just increase the water in the mixture. So now you are drinking 5 ml of whiskey and 5 ml of water, whereas before you were drinking just 5 ml of whiksey.

Not to be too mean, I will give you some props. Ardbeg is excellent and you are right as far as the reasoning behind doing it, which is to open up the flavours. But really what can you add, that the manufacturer already has not thought of?

Scots don't do it. Its the same with Mexicans and fine Tequila, they don't serve it with lime and salt. Or Absinthe, the French don't light it on fire. It's just comes from people who want to water down their scotch and make it less intense on their palate. If you put ice in it, you'll get the same result and less throat burning more watery taste.

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 10:36 AM
Makes sense!




Well, it was finally delivered today and I drank a small amount. It was stronger than I expected. I drank some neat and some with a little dash of bottled water, which did cut down the alcohol "burn" to my nose. I'm not used to flavors or smells much really. I smelled some sweet... and fruit. Apple in particular seemed to stand out. Tastewise there was substantial burn for my escentially alcohol-virgin mouth but it had some complexity which I liked. Also noticed that the scotch was relatively "thick" and clung to the sides a little like thinned syrup. But I don't have anything else to really compare it to.

Sipped a very small amount over about a 45 minute period. Going to have to try some with a cigar soon... I can see how that would nearly be devine! :thumbup1:

Before you grab a cigar I think you should spend it on another scotch to compare it to, so you have some frame of reference, as you noted above. Then buy a copy of Miles Davis Kind of Blue.

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 10:38 AM
I love the passion, Rollie!

I did try it neat first and then put a small amount of water in. Will not add any water next time and just keep going at it neat. I would like to try a smoky scotch, sounds good. But I won't have more than one bottle at a time... this will be MAYBE a once a week occurance.

But if I could find samplers somewhere I'd be happy!

If I can find samplers in the LCBO's commie alcohol purchasing posts, I'm sure you can find them wherever you are :)

Rollie Juddernaut Fingers
06-22-2010, 10:44 AM
I've also tested the water theory before at a scotch tasting. Me and my best friend both tried whiskeys neat and then with some water, and we both agreed it tasted worse.

The guy who said its about thinning the whiskey and letting some tastes jump out more is correct. Some people cannot get past the "fire water" stage and taste things better with it. You'd have to find out for yourself. Also Jim Murray says ice should only be used if you are in the state of Kentucky where the heat turns your legs to jelly. I think if it ever got that hot, I'd be drinking pure liquid ice cream instead.

If you want to do it, its fine. You just should now why and how you are doing it? and not believe that you're magically going to drop 10% of the alcohol out of your drink with a splash of water. In all seriousness that kind of stuff, can be quite dangerous.

HDPaul
06-22-2010, 05:36 PM
I am a new scotch drinker (drank vodka before...NEVER going back).

I tried some Macallan 12yr at a bar couple days a go. Very NICE. Complex and tasty.

I got a bottle of Glenlivet 12 today too (its relatively cheap) and it is good, but not great. I see why folks say it is a good starter, thats because it is an easy drinker. Some fruity notes, nothing profound, but very accesible. I liken it to the Proraso of single malts, haha; it's a good all arounder, but nothing crazy.

I got it on sale for $20, a good deal to me. In that price range, comparing to other forms of alcohol, VERY good. Very smooth and good taste.

I realize I am already ready for something more complex and profound, I may go and get a bottle of the Macallan or maybe try some others out (Balvenie and Dalwhinnie are at the grocery store!)

HDPaul
06-22-2010, 05:41 PM
Also....I drank my first drink of the Glenlivet neat. Then I had my second with ice to see what all the talk is about.

Here's the scoop: If you put ice, there is definitely less complexity of flavor. Also, different flavor notes come out. But it is more refreshing in some ways.

I think that neat or with some water is the way to go if you want to taste the the flavors. On the rocks is okay too if you want something cold and refreshing, but if that is the case, go for beer, sparkling wine, or maybe a whiskey sour.

krevo
06-23-2010, 10:43 PM
I've also tested the water theory before at a scotch tasting. Me and my best friend both tried whiskeys neat and then with some water, and we both agreed it tasted worse.

The guy who said its about thinning the whiskey and letting some tastes jump out more is correct. Some people cannot get past the "fire water" stage and taste things better with it. You'd have to find out for yourself. Also Jim Murray says ice should only be used if you are in the state of Kentucky where the heat turns your legs to jelly. I think if it ever got that hot, I'd be drinking pure liquid ice cream instead.

If you want to do it, its fine. You just should now why and how you are doing it? and not believe that you're magically going to drop 10% of the alcohol out of your drink with a splash of water. In all seriousness that kind of stuff, can be quite dangerous.

Methinks Jim Murray has never been to Texas. :001_cool:

And tbch, I think the one thing new scotch drinkers can do is forget about what guys like Jackson and Murray say. Just like shaving, the way a man takes his whisk(e)y is his own business. Nobody is missing the point if they enjoy a teaspoon of water in their Ardbeg.

jwcarlson
06-24-2010, 05:56 AM
I think tonight is going to be a Glenlivet night. :thumbup1:

jwcarlson
06-28-2010, 02:52 PM
http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/4579/scotchandcigars1.jpg

Pumpkin
06-28-2010, 03:11 PM
If you're drinking a blended Scotch (Bell's, Grouse, Dewar's etc.) feel free to add whatever you like to it...with Ginger Ale and ice is very refreshing.

If you're drinking a single Malt (Glenlivet, Laphroaig, Macallan, etc.) the purists will say just drink it neat. However, if YOU prefer it with a splash of water (bottled, spring water rather than tap water full of fluoride and chlorine) or a couple of ice cubes, then enjoy it with pleasure.

krevo
06-29-2010, 06:31 AM
If you're drinking a blended Scotch (Bell's, Grouse, Dewar's etc.) feel free to add whatever you like to it...with Ginger Ale and ice is very refreshing.

If you're drinking a single Malt (Glenlivet, Laphroaig, Macallan, etc.) the purists will say just drink it neat. However, if YOU prefer it with a splash of water (bottled, spring water rather than tap water full of fluoride and chlorine) or a couple of ice cubes, then enjoy it with pleasure.

And that just reiterates my point. Purists say you should do a lot of things the traditional way. I say, do them the way you enjoy them most. :thumbup1:

DE Shaver
06-29-2010, 06:58 AM
Sipped a very small amount over about a 45 minute period. Going to have to try some with a cigar soon... I can see how that would nearly be devine! :thumbup1:

If this was a shave it would be BBS with no irritation or weepers. That's how I drink my scotch whisky. :thumbup1: You can use it as an aperitif with water or enjoy it neat after a meal.

DE Shaver
06-29-2010, 09:54 AM
The "Livet" is a good first choice. You will soon learn that any Glenn will do.
That generally seems to the case. I find Glenfiddich to be nice for the money.