I got into Single Malts in the early spring of '07.
I walked into a pretty nice liquor store up in Albany. I told the clerk that I was looking for something along the lines of Johnnie Walker Black but smoother.
He pointed me in the direction of Highland Park 12 years. The bottle had an amazing sunrise scene on it and I was sold.
Then I opened it up. It was even better than I ever thought. I had then become obsessed. That is still one of my all time favorites and am upset I finished it.
Since then I have amassed a collection.
Forgive my amature description of some of these.
Ardberg - currently my go-to bottle. Each is different. I love when I get hit with the smokiness and chocolate at the same time..or is it toffee? Either way, some sips just fall flat.
Balvenie Doublewood- Good. Not Great. Flavourful, but sometimes boring. Depends on the night I have it really. Last night was amazing. But other times it was just.. there. Has a nice round flavor. Not peaty or smoky. But nice.
Dalmore Cigar - Awful. Just.. plain awful. It was like drinking an ashtray. It actually gave me a headache. My least favorite scotch. But it's still better than Jose Cuervo. Gave it away.
Glenlivet Nadurra 16 year - Amazing scotch. 9/10. Right off the bat. Treated myself for my birthday last year. Have been hesitant to finish it. I love it. Sweet, not overly sweet. Honey. Citrusy..sorta. A hint.
Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or - One of the sweeter whisky. Delicious for the summer nights. I really enjoyed this bottle. Cinnamony sorta.. Fruity kinda..
Highland Park 12 year - This years is disappointing. Not as smoky. Let down. Man. And what the fuck happened to the pretty bottle?!
Highland Park 18 year - Yum. Those who have had, knows. I haven't had it in a while, so I will have to update this later.
Lagaluvin 10 year - Well.. wow.. complex is right One of the most complex scotches I've had the pleasure of having. Hints of smoke and peat and other lovely flavou dance on your tongue. dance on your tongue. Might be a bit too busy at times for me. Feels lik certain flavours try to break through but can't. Very interesting
Laphroiag 1/4 Cask strength - Holy mother of Gasoline smell. Open this bottle up and everyone asks what you're having. Drop some water in there and see it smoke up. 2 drops at most. And I'm being literal. Drops. Anymore and you ruin it. Strong. Peaty. Smoky. Fuckin A.
MacCalland 12 yr - Oh sweetness. Oh Lord this is a winner. Cheap too. Robust. Coffee like almost. Just.. yum. This was my go to bottle till I finished it recently. I'm hating myself for it.
Oban 14 - Not as impressed as I liked it to be. Had a nice peat kick to it. Sweet. But my tongue wanted more. Ok. Wouldn't have it again.
Speyburn - Tan colored water. Weak. It was like 20 bucks. Bland, boring. Gave it away. 4/10
I did not include the typical Glenlivet and Glenfiddich you find at your bars. They're common. I thought those whisky beginners would (hopefully) get a good feel for scotch if they were wondering which to buy because this can be very daunting.
I purchased Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. I agree usually about 75-80% of the time when he rates a whisky and what he says. That might also help.
Now.. I was looking for a smoky scotch like Highland Park 12 that I had 3 years ago. Or something like a mix between Ardberg and Macallan.