September 16, 2005

Scotch Whisky for...the Inexperienced

Single Malt Scotch GuideWe were going to call this one "Scotch for Dummies," but we didn't want to insult our readers since so many people are intimidated by the beverage. If you're one of those people, we know your pain - the first few times we tried the stuff we felt like we were sucking on a piece of peat moss soaked in lighter fluid. For us it was an acqured taste, but there are a lot of fierce Scotch drinkers out there who are as dedicated and choosy about their whisky as your typical wine snob is about the grape.

Scotch snob wannabes no longer have to go it alone. We found out that Kevin Erskine is attempting to change the image of the fire water, and make it more accessible for folks who want to expand the boundaries of their alcoholic enjoyment. Mr. Erskine's book, The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch, is aimed at the novice drinker, and as he says on his site, "It could be the perfect gift for someone in your life who has not yet discovered the joys of the finest adult beverage in the world! (And who knows, even the savvy Scotch drinker may learn something.)" We found the book at Amazon for less than ten bucks, which we think is a steal for the wealth of information it includes.

Buy your copy of The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotchat Amazon.

From the back cover:
Contrary to popular belief, scotch is not just for old men sitting around stuffy country clubs...it’s the original luxury spirit and it’s now more popular than ever! But for someone who wants to learn about scotch, it can be a little intimidating - overwhelming even - all those unfamiliar terms, different brands - the novice has no idea where to get started. Most books on the topic are written for those already familiar with scotch and tend to concentrate on author ratings, distillery overviews, and tasting notes. They simply do not address the needs of someone new to scotch.

That’s where The Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch comes in.
Readers will learn:
How to read a scotch label.
How whisky is made, aged, and bottled.
The difference between blended scotch and single malts.
The difference between whisky & whiskey.
About the four primary whisky regions of Scotland.
How to taste scotch.
Most importantly, how to determine what they will like.

Learn more about scotch at TheScotchBlog.com.

Read More in: Liquor | Scotch | Whiskey

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 16, 2005 12:42 PM

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OK. So I confess to not being a scotch connoisseur right off the bat, though I enjoy a fine XO Cognac now and then with friends. Anyway, I went to have a few drinks the other night of my favorite cheap whiskey, Seagram's 7 (at about $13.00 US dollars in my Chicagoland area#, when I realized I was almost out! So, I ran out in the night to my local liquor store chain, Foremost, #not sure if a are national chain). The Seagrams's 7 was priced at $13.99, but they had a "sale" on a blended scotch, James Alexander, for $12.99! Never heard of it. I lifted the sale sign to see it's 'regular' price was $19.99. So, being the bargian hunter I am, I decided to try it! When bringing it to the counter and explaining the above to the cashier, as a 'seasoned' Scotch drinker, he felt obliged to explain to me the difference I could expect with the Scotch compared to the Seagram's 7 blended Canadian whiskey. In his opinion, whiskey goes, "straight to the stomach" upon swallowing, whereas he warned Scotch would have a much longer 'mouth feel'. This made me a bit apprehensive, yet I bought it because of the price. Once home and upon opening the box (yea, it was BOXED, lol), I was VERY surprised to see it was aged 12 years, much longer than I had expected at this price! It clearly stated it was a "Product of Scotland", even listing the distillery, yet here is the STRANGE part: Going to Google, I could not find ANY reference/link to either the distillery ("The James Alexandar Whisky Company, Scotland, ML4 3AN, nor it's US importer, "Elite Brands LTD, Skokie, Illinois 60077".) The end of my story is this: Contradictory to my 'gut feeling', this stuff turned out to be EXCELLENT!!! It was UNBELIEVABLY smooth, with great character and flavor, and no 'harsh' mouth feel or after taste!! It only saddens me that I could not find ANY corporate web page to complement the distillers or the importer.


Posted by: SkaTeeBoy at January 22, 2010 12:05 AM
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