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Scotch 101

Smithy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,137
Location
Norway
manton said:
According to Manchester (and others) Churchill drank Red. At Chartwell, they have a little display of some of his indulgences, supposedly actually his stuff. Certainly, it was all old. I don't remember everything, but I remember a bottle of JW Red, a bottle of Hine Antique (both empty), an empty R&J #2 box, the size since renamed "Churchill". There was another empty cigar box, but I can't remember what it was.

Remember that was during the war when obtaining certain particular bottles of spirits was not guaranteed. There are a number of other references and accounts that after the war Winnie's oft ordered drink was Black Label.

What is fairly certain is that Johnnie Walker whiskies were popular with the great man.
 

manton

A-List Customer
Messages
360
Location
New York
Some book, I forgot which one, describes how after the election, Churchill went to see the king. When he came out of the place, he got into a big black chauffer-driven Rolls Royce and was whisked away. Just as he left, Atlee puttered up in this little economy car smaller than the Rolls' trunk. He of course drove himself.

The Changing of the Guard indeed.
 

metropd

One Too Many
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1,762
Location
North America
Some book, I forgot which one, describes how after the election, Churchill went to see the king. When he came out of the place, he got into a big black chauffer-driven Rolls Royce and was whisked away. Just as he left, Atlee puttered up in this little economy car smaller than the Rolls' trunk. He of course drove himself.

The Changing of the Guard indeed.

Very eloquently said Manton with that sharp yet dry British wit.
 

mtechthang

One of the Regulars
Messages
184
Location
Idaho
Longish reply

BellyTank said:
Blends can be quaffed with ice, in the summer-
Malts are enjoyed for their sheer uniqueness and individuality.
To add ice to a Malt is to debase the precious liquor- childish adulteration.

BT- I won't argue the Springbank as "best" part- that's taste, imho (I love Springbank- but think there's better!)

Anyhoo, To the original notion, I think you are spot on, BT. Malts for uniqueness (thus favored for newbies!). Start with single malts. Blends can be cheap and muddled (thus hard to distinguish) or beautiful and complex. Single malts are "narrower" at least the less expensive ones are likely to be. That is, in fact, what distinguished an 18 year old Highland Park say (85 - 100/bottle) and a 8 - 10 year old Dalwinnie or Glenfiddich. Blends can be delightful, full, complex, and even, dare I say it, better than singles! But you have to know how to "note" the different flavors. Talisker can often be found on sale also and is the foundation for many blends so is a must to learn.

I think it was said above that the Michael Jackson and other introductory books are a good bet to help your "education" in the fine art of enjoying Scotch. (Ok, I'll give away my preferences- Favorites, Macallan 12-year old (I know, the older is better- I like the "edge" and complexity to the 12 year old), Highland Park 18 (I've tried Scotch that costs 10 times as much- it is only different not better!), Laphroaig (several- cask strength recently). Those are what I drink most- (newbies- stay away from Islays- especially Laphroaig! To start at least. Some are my favorites but they are BIG, very to exceptionally peaty/smoky, and salty).

A better first course in Scotch Whisky drinking is available by printing all the advice from this thread!!! It doesn't all agree but that, imho, is a great starting point. Pick the ones where there is disagreement and taste them both Btw- find friends who are Scotch drinkers. They are a warm and sharing group who will gladly sit with you and taste and share what they've learned. For most of us that includes our cache! Currently for me that's about 15 bottles- it'd be more but I also adore Whiskey so have about that in Bourbons and half that many in Irish). Gosh I'm getting thirsty!!!
 

mtechthang

One of the Regulars
Messages
184
Location
Idaho
Huh??

Highlander said:
I totally agree, for years I wanted to like Scotch. But two things, One, I didn't know how to drink it (tossing it back like a Bourbon in a Western Movie), and drinking harsherII later learned the proper term would be COMPLEX:) ) Scotch than I knew how to appreciate.
:eek:fftopic:
(Said with a deep southern accent!) I beg your pardon, sir! :) (Just kidding). But the whiskey in a western is very unlikely a bourbon as we'd know it. More likely rye and closer to a modern Canadian - that's unfair also. Mostly it was bad stuff from what I hear but if it said bourbon it was very unlikely to be what we'd recognize as that today. :)
:eek:fftopic:
 

Highlander

A-List Customer
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473
Location
Missouri
mtechthang said:
:eek:fftopic:
(Said with a deep southern accent!) I beg your pardon, sir! :) (Just kidding). But the whiskey in a western is very unlikely a bourbon as we'd know it. More likely rye and closer to a modern Canadian - that's unfair also. Mostly it was bad stuff from what I hear but if it said bourbon it was very unlikely to be what we'd recognize as that today. :)
:eek:fftopic:

Yes, sir, I think I knew that. :) Red Eye was one of the things it was called as I recall, and I am sure it wasn't BOOKERS :) (another of my favorites, but that's for another place).

I am sure turpintine was closer to the taste.

The thing it seems most folks don't understand it TAKE YOUR TIME. Sip it. Enjoy the nuances as the whiskey floats on your tongue. Each of the various flavors as it falls over the various taste areas... Ah, yes, I think I am thirsty... Off for a pour of the Laphroaig I believe.
 

dhermann1

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,158
Location
Da Bronx, NY, USA
For years now I've noticed on the dessert menus of good restaurants that they served both cognacs and scotch as an after dinner drink. I never really thought much about it. I've always enjoyed cognac, but I tried about half a shot of Chivas Regal this evening after dinner, neat, and it was a revelation! I think I'll do it again. And again.
 

mtechthang

One of the Regulars
Messages
184
Location
Idaho
You sir, are correct!!!

Highlander said:
I am sure turpentine was closer to the taste.

Highlander- I bet you are correct!! :eek:

Highlander said:
The thing it seems most folks don't understand it TAKE YOUR TIME. Sip it. Enjoy the nuances as the whiskey floats on your tongue.

Yes. That's the "secret" of it all. That and Bourbon is best with ice. Small amount. Let it sit - 2 minutes (some of the very best Bourbon does fine or even best w/o ice). For Scotch, a few drops of filtered water- never ice! :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap

Good whisky/whiskey glasses are also a plus but not required. (no paper or plastic though!) :eusa_doh:

Favorites. That's difficult for Bourbon- I keep going back to Woodford Reserve though several of the small batch bourbons are quite good as well as some of the *old standard* premiums.
 

Phil

A-List Customer
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385
Location
Iowa State University
I'm not big on drinking, however, if you're going to drink scotch, it must be done in a large armchair, near a fire, in a velvet robe of a bugundy hue.:p
Also, you have to cock one of your eyebrows when you take a sip.
 

Highlander

A-List Customer
Messages
473
Location
Missouri
Hi Phil:

Lets see, I have the smoking jacket, the fire place, the overstuffed/tufted leather chair. I am now working on cocking the one eye... Now, I pressume that's a LIFTED brow correct? I don't want to get that part wrong.. :)
 

rikrdo

A-List Customer
Messages
326
Location
Yucaipa CA
Single Malts are overrated and overpriced......

but, hey !! Thats just my 2CW [huh]

Ive had many tastes of Scotch in my day and
For my money:

Chivas Regal 18y/o is probably as good as it gets. ($50)
For every day consumption its hard to beat Johnnie Walker Black Label ($25)
and bang for your buck booze goes to Teachers Highland Cream ($17)
all are blends.



I like to pour mine into a shaker with some ice, stir until chilled and then strain into a bucket.
 

BellyTank

I'll Lock Up
I was given a large glass of Scotch, two nights ago and upon tasting it, was very intrigued as to which it was.
It was, surprisingly, Ballantynes- blended and it tasted pretty good.

I don't much dabble in blends...

It's always easier to experiment with someone else's booze.

I would never have bought a bottle of Ballantynes but if the price is good,
I just might.

Springbank, Ardbeg, Laphroaig.

B
T
 
My father in law gave me some Bushmills when we visited down under last month (i introduced him to Lagavulin). First time i'd had a blend in a while. I never complain about free blended whiskey, but i probably wouldn't buy it. I find it a little (a lot, actually) characterless, but that's the nature of a blend and the reason for blending: to make it "more palatable". Even the speyside malts have character, of an admittedly limited nature. For the slight increase in price i'll stuck with malts over blends.

bk
 
Messages
11,580
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
Over priced?

I would like to review the making of the whisky to give some insights as to how it is made to dispell questions of prices.

The distiller takes the barley and any other grains from the famer. If they are malted that is a step and the barley is peat smoked so there is a step.

They are ground or broken open.
They are added to hot water at precise temperatures is get the carbs to convert to sugars.
This is cooled.
Placed into a fermenter.
Propriatary yeast is added to brew a beer,
Fermentation is carefully watched.
The beer is then moved to the distiller.
It is heated.
The alcohol comes off thru the chiller.
Often this is re-distilled.
Then it is placed in pre-used bourbon barrels and sometimes others like sherry.

Held for years 6-8-12-25 and on to mellow, it is sometimes shifted in the warehouse.
Some are moved to other barrels along the way.

I am not sure as to how much grains yeilds how much whisky but that is the first downsizing and first step up in cost, then manufacturing then the lengthy storage depending on the age you want to release. Bottling, shipping and TAXES all come into play. It seems that a lot of the hard liquors avasilable should actually cost more than they do.:eek:
 
The process is almost entirely automated; certainly from what i saw at the Speyside distilleries. I haven't been to the Island distilleries or the West Coast ones so i don't know about them. This ain't moonshine, it's a streamlined scientific process these days.

I agree that the waiting for years - watching your capital and doing nothing with it - probably has a bit to do with it (price).


bk
 
Messages
11,580
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
It may not be hand crafted but all of the steps are there and have to be done to make the product. The big ones have continuous distilling with steam but the little ones may still do batches in pot stills. So far they haven't figured out how to outsource to China yet.
 
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