What Scotch should I buy?


Of course, this is a photo of what I already bought (or was given to me) not counting what I already drank! On the eve of the ever popular “Dollar Sale” at Twin Liquors, plus my upcoming 48th birthday, I have been pondering what is the next Scotch I want to buy (or receive). There is so much help out there, if you want it, to figure out what to buy. I really don’t like to buy Scotch I haven’t tried.  I won’t name names, but there are some here that I bought having never tried them first and they are not among my favorites.  My friend Jason likes reddit. He says if you find reviewers who like the same whiskies you like and describe them the same way you would describe them, then you can probably take their recommendations. I am easily influenced by marketing and good gimmicks. If you give me a good show, I will want to like your Scotch. I am always disappointed when the whisky doesn’t live up to the advertising. Honestly, that happens to me in many areas of my life. As a person with a Scotch Meet Up group and a Scotch themed website and blog, I do feel a responsibility to have certain brands of Scotch in my possession. As a person who attends many tastings and meets many ambassadors, I want to love all the Scotch they give me. One of the things that has fascinated me about Scotch since almost my first taste of it in Scotland was how different every Scotch tastes. There are basic tastes and smells you get with every distillery, yet everyone manages to make their own Scotch. Once you start learning how they make Scotch, you can begin to understand all the variables that can affect the outcome. I love Scotch; I don’t like every one I have ever tried. And God bless the distillers, so much competition, they have to try to stand out. So we have so many wood finishes and different combinations. To state the age or not state the age – that is the question these days. Or is it to chill filter or not to chill filter? Or to add caramel coloring or not? I don’t really know what my favorite Scotch is these days.  I usually say that Talisker is my favorite because it was the first one I tried when I was in Scotland. The sentimentality that many people experience around Scotch is a big factor in what they like, myself included. Plus, how many bottles of Scotch can you own? I, despite what you may think, don’t actually drink that much. Much of what I do drink is out away from my Scotch collection. Maybe I don’t need any more Scotch. What? Did I just type that? There is so much good Scotch out there, it can make you cry. Why? Well, I don’t know if I can try it all in my lifetime, that’s why!

Scotch whisky is time in a bottle. Time and Scotland in a bottle. Time, Scotland, barley, yeast, water and oak in a bottle. Oh, and sherry finishes. I have to laugh when I find myself looking at a 10 year old whisky and thinking of it dismissively. 10 YEARS!?! We get so jaded because there is always something older, more expensive and more unique. 10 years is a terrific amount of time to have to wait for something to be ready. The time, love and care that these wonderful whisky makers put into tasting and blending and bottling this liquid gold and sending it to Texas just so I can buy it and enjoy it is tremendous. There are so many great whiskies that are $35-$60, that have familiar names and that are not that old. I notice that sometimes there are so many to choose from, one almost has to get dismissive just to feel like you can figure out what you should buy. For me, I like a variety of styles and I like to have a variety of distilleries from which to choose. I like to drink 2 or 3 small drams side by side to compare the differences and savor how a peaty Islay can be so different from a sweet Speyside. I like my Scotch neat almost always, unless I am drinking Scotch cocktails. That will be a different post, another time. I hardly ever think it tastes as good when I am alone as when I drink it with a friend, and of course discuss it. I am not sure what I will buy, but I will love to drink it and share it, as this is the best part of Scotch – drinking it with your friends. I look forward to sharing a wee dram with you soon!

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