Educate me on Scotch....


Think Twice - Post Once
May 10, 2009
Between Jerry and a few others here, I know we have some scotch drinkers. I've looked around here and there online, but I'd like to know what you guys recommend. What's a good starter scotch for someone who's interested in getting into scotch? I've been into craft beer for five years or so, but I'm looking to branch out a little bit. I'm all ears.... thanks in advance.
If you are new to scotch any non-peaty sort will suit you fine. I would stay away from Lagavulin and Laphroaig, which are marvellous but usually too heavy, peaty and seaweedy for the majority of beginners. Good starter types would be Highland Park from Orkney or any of the excellent Lowland whiskies such as Auchentoshan or Glenkinchie. The latter are the classic starter types. I am also very partial to Balvenie form Speyside and their Double wood is very smooth. All of the above sorts are single malts.
Start with something cheap - you won't have the tastebuds developed to know the difference anyway :D
I would not start with something cheap! (No offence Mustard Man!)
I did so and was pretty disappointed thinking scotch is not for me.

Until I tried a Talisker 10 (not that this is really expensive), which I would absolutely recommend. It´s complex with tastes of wood, a little fruit, just a tiny bit of smoke. I think it´s kind of "all around".

Another very good starter whisky as well is Scapa(14,16)/Highland Park as drcfreak already said, I second that.

If you want to spend a bit more: Laphroaig 15 is fantastic and rich with flavour, and so are some of the older Glenrothes, a 1983 is one of the best whisky´s I´ve ever tried.

If you want something strong and peaty/smokey which tastes like a campfire (obviously made by chopping wood with Busse knives of all kinds;)) you could try the above mentioned Lagavulin or an Ardbeg 10. But I agree that those are at least not the "common" beginners scotches. But what is "common" in Busse Land anyways?!:D

Best regards,

I'm curious to see the responses you get throughout this week. I've tried to 'explore' scotch and disliked every one I've tried. Bourbon is a spirit I enjoyed from my first try with Knob Creek and every one since.

I may steal some of the Scotch suggestions from your thread and try again, LOL :)
Dewar's is a good EDS. :thumbup::D

I'll second that! Dewer's is a great blended whisky that won't break the bank. If you find that you like the taste, you can move on up to the more-expensive stuff later.
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If you're gonna go blended, Dimple Pinch is a mighty fine choice that won't break the bank either. Plus it comes in a cool bottle :D
My father in law is a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky society in the UK and this is his recommendation.

The Macallan is an excellent single malt from Speyside. Go for the 12 year old but if you fancy spending a bit more, try the 18 year old.

Add a drop or two of bottled water to bring out the taste completely.

If you are near a Trader Joes, they do an own branded Macallan at a great price.
I've tried a bunch, but I always come back to The Macallan, 12YO.

If the idea of a mouth full of smoke and dirt appeals to you, try something like Laphroaig.

Most blended Scotches (I'm talking about brands that dilute the flavor of malt by adding in grain whiskies) are suitable only for use as cleaning solvents, and they're not really very good for that.
Macallan you say???


Sadly, the knife is gone, but the scotch is still here :thumbup:
for single malts you can't go wrong with:

Speyside area
Balvenie 15y

Island whisky
Talisker 10y
Laphroaig 10y
Lagavulin 16y

Highland region
Highland Park 12y
Oban 14y
Old Pulteney 12y and 17y

The best whisky for my tastebuds is Balvenie 15y Single barrel (very nice vanilla taste) and Old Pulteney 17y (little peat, little smoke, little sea influence very nice!!!)

Very good allrounder (and not too expensive) is Highland Park 12y

Talisker 10y
Laphroaig 10y
Lagavulin 16y
Someone drinks the real deal! Almost anything from the Isle of Islay (Isle of Sky with Talisker) will slam your taste buds into shape like some kind of molecular personal trainer. Also, I would reccomend Ardbeg once you've developed a taste for Islay Scotch (but only after you get into shape). Bowmore is a good Scotch to start with, both in terms of taste and price. ENJOY!!!
I tend to stick to the speysides. I tried one of the Islay malts and to tell the truth it was the first bottle of liquer in my life that i would not finish, dirty gym socks comes to mind.
No one has mentioned A'bunadh!
I am not sure how well known it is but it is very nice, and its subtle sherry after taste might help you ease into Scotch appreciation. That said A'bunadh is not cheap depending one where you are, here in Canada it is about $100 a bottle. For something a little cheaper and more accessible try Glenfiddich 12 year old, the 16 year old is not worth it in my opinion, it tastes too peaty :barf:. If you like peaty though, try Oban.
Here are the Wiki's to my two favorites:'bunadh
If I am breaking any rules by posting these links I am sorry will remove them if needed.

You need to learn what region you like. I'm an Islay nut like some others here. Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Caol Ila. These are smoky and medicinal. You'll hate them so don't buy em and leave more for me!~