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Bad first experience, looking for advice
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Whisky_trier
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:40 pm    Post subject: Bad first experience, looking for advice Reply with quote

TDLR;
Whisky to me just tastes like wine (which I hate), should I avoid whisky altogether if I dislike wine?

If you would like to answer more thoroughly My story follows:
——-

Having watched around one hundred whisky reviews, I became more and more enamored with the idea of trying whisky. Promises of butterscotch, and toffee, rich crisp apple, or salted candied gingerbread notes, citrus, or on the other end peat and other flavors.

This gets the mind soaring on an endless mouthwatering adventure, its amazing what the mind can come up with hearing all these flavor profiles without ever having tried a scotch.

After filling my cart with hundreds of dollars of age statement single malt, I realized I was way overdoing my purchase for something I had never actually tasted. So I put those single malts back and decided to get some less expensive whisky and move up from there.

I ended up buying Aberlour 12 yr double cask matured and a Glenmorangie tasting set which includes 4 100ml bottles (10yr original, 12yr the Lasanta, 14yr The Quinta Ruban, and a NAS? The Nectar D’ Or)

I tried 2 Drams of the Aberlour first. I tried it while resting only about a minute, then 15 mins, then after 20 minutes of letting it rest. I tried it while also adding 2 drops of water and working my way up with water variations as well.

The only taste I get from this is of a strong red wine flavor with (being an ex smoker) the distinct flavor of the aftertaste of smoking a cigarette or of an ashtray. There may be other flavors if you really push your imagination like a banana, but these are purely imagination in my eyes and the predominant flavor for me was of a red wine that someone had put their cigarette out in.

So my question is am I wasting my time with wisky? Are these luxurious flavor profiles just after notes people are tasting in all cases, or is there a whisky that actually tastes like these flavor profiles and not like wine.

Not having opened the Glenmorangie taster I am thinking for someone who does not like wine taste, this tasting set might be a bad idea. The original 10 might have promise but again I am not sure if all whisky just tastes like wine of one variation or the next.

Is there any whisky you could suggest that has no wine flavor, but does have some of these other wonderful sounding butterscotch, toffee, biscuit, dried fruits or peat without the wine flavor?

Thank you for any advise that you can give.
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davidbe
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the day, no matter what whisky you're drinking it will always be whisky.

Tasting notes are a way of breaking down bigger notes, as it were. It doesn't to me mean that that the whisky tastes like that note, but that it is more like that note than anything else.

Have a read of https://malt-review.com/2015/09/10/whisky-flavour-wheels-and-colour-charts/

It's worth persisting with if you can, as there are so many various factors about how a whisky tastes each time (a prior meal can change everything).
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ralfy legend
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newbies are called so because it’s what they are, we all was at some point. Time and a bit more time is the key , so many newbies rush into things then moan,, your palate needs time and when it is there you will get the rewards , so keep trying different whiskies but don’t rush, if after let’s say 6 months to a year you feel the same then whisky might not be your tipple, my first real try was aberlour 12 and it just tasted like a strong spirit but it’does come ,, best of luck .
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MattS
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the first point I'd make is that wine varies across types. Secondly, I believe there is an even wider spread of flavours in whisky.

The comment on the Aberlour 12 and flavour wheels reminded me of this site that shows similar detail at the foot of the page and likely shows the rich sweet 'red' types notes that you maybe dislike?
https://distiller.com/spirits/aberlour-12-year-double-cask-matured

There is no right or wrong here, it is only about preference and it sounds like you could go on a smell and taste exploration to find styles you like.

Either a friendly bar or a friend with a collection could be a good idea to avoid buying whole bottles. Even without tasting, smelling a few bottles would be worth doing to get a feel for the spread available.
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lowlander
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't say where you are based, but if you can get hold of some 5ml taster packs or 20ml bottles then you can easily try a few different styles/regions without spending too much money on one 70cl bottle which you might not enjoy.
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Whisky_trier
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your wonderful input. I really appreciate the warm welcome and advice. I will take a look at the links provided and be sure to see if I can get some smaller samples. At least I know I don’t care for a strong wine flavor, so perhaps a double cask finish was just a bad personal first choice.

I did notice the wine flavor was a lot more mild once it opened up and perhaps as I go through the bottle it might get better, and so will I. It was my first tasting so perhaps not fair in the way this was worded.

Thank you so very much
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mistah
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe go to your local pub and try 4 or 5 pints of your usual tipple. Then order a few shorts of different whiskies. If you don't like it then you're probably never going to like it.
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Scotchnthings
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely sure I got a lot of wine out of Aberlour, but maybe try something less sherried like a bourbon cask matured whisky or a very lightly sherried whisky like a springbank. As someone else mentioned if you dont like it you dont like it, although some learn to appreciate it. My first whiskies were heavily peated Islays (which I loved and still do) , but I wouldnt recommend them to someone trying whisky for the first time...
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BigShing
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, if you want your whisky to taste less like wine, avoid Sherry Cask! Glenmorangie 10yr is there in your sample set and that is really a textbook Highland Malt that will give you the "classic" whisky flavour profile, so give that a go.

Do you drink any other spirits? Personally I think with whisky you need to take the time to build up your tolerance for the higher ABV, and when you get used to that you can peer behind the veil of the alcohol. My best m8 absolutely detests whisky, and every whisky I've ever given him to try has elicited the same response: "Taste's like Bell's!" (and I've given him some radically different whiskies like Laphroaig 10). His problem is that he's not getting anything but the alcohol because he hasn't trained his palate. Whisky require patience and perserverance if you really want to get into it.

As for those flavour notes you're looking for: Butterscotch, toffee, biscuit, dried fruits or peat - My advice would be to seek out a bottle of Kilkerran Heavily Peated. Unfortunately they only release it in limited batches and right now we're between batches, so the only bottles available have been heavily inflated by price. I think we're waiting for Batch 5 to come out. It's cask strength though (50% plus typically), so might be a bit much for you, but for me it really hits that trio of butterscotch, toffee, biscuit.

Another alternative (and I always give this advice to newbies) is look for an upcoming whisky festival near you. They're typically around £30-£40 a ticket and most of the whisky available are free to try. Walking around one of those, interacting with fellow enthusiasts and listening to the distillery reps is IMO the best crash course you can have.
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ralfy legend
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only worry is newbies jump straight into some whisky that’s just too good for them, I was told to start on Glenlivet and glenmo,, I think my first real start was aberlour 12 and glen moray,, the aberlour lasted a few months and I honestly thought wow I’m just getting spirit, then tried Glen moray and totally enjoyed it and it didn’t last long but I got the notes,, from there I just worked my way through most entry levels, then came highland park 12 in 2012 which I didn’t totally enjoy from two doubles so it was put into a cuboard for 8 months and when I retried I was getting better things,, it was then I knew my palate was developing,, the journey has been great since then , get your glass of choice, water and a spoon if needed and roll that whisky round your mouth and learn and enjoy,
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Scotchnthings
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigShing wrote:

As for those flavour notes you're looking for: Butterscotch, toffee, biscuit, dried fruits or peat - My advice would be to seek out a bottle of Kilkerran Heavily Peated. Unfortunately they only release it in limited batches and right now we're between batches, so the only bottles available have been heavily inflated by price. I think we're waiting for Batch 5 to come out. It's cask strength though (50% plus typically), so might be a bit much for you, but for me it really hits that trio of butterscotch, toffee, biscuit.



I agree with you, awesome whisky, but cask strength heavily peated might be a bit much, try some Irish as well (redbreast). And just work your way through the lower shelve/supermarket whiskies. Try them side by side, put them away for a bit, come back to them, see if they change. Both your palate will develop, as well as the whisky (will start oxidising once opened. Just enjoy the journey, there is so much to explore.
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ralfy legend
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This post is on bad experiences but I just tried the highland park 10, it was on offer so ok I try , it’s 40% ok we can look past that for now, on my first double it’s light but it’s got a bit of everything, apple, red fruits , citrus , peat, highland park peat, prob more than the 12 , the typical honey and spice is also there ,, great starter whisky , of late the 12 hasn’t been great for me so the 10 is more enjoyable In my opinion,, just thought I’d drop it in this post 👍 had to edit oooh sherry notes to boot ,
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TheWM
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A brief point to add - your tasting notes are just that. No one can taste the taste that you do and one man’s banana is another’s toffee based on their own historical memories of tastes that they hold.

Don’t fret too much. You will hear lots of stuff about adjusting pallet and getting your tastebuds in tune. It’ll click one day.

Keep writing short notes as you are and come back to them with bottles that have been left for a few weeks and indeed new bottlings of the same (cheaper) flag bearers and see whether you can write same or different experiences.

Great to experiment but easy to overdo it. I look back at having 30 bottles open at one time and especially as a newbie, too much. Get used to what you like and occasionally get your partner to pour you a dram and see whether you can identify it.

Most of all enjoy.
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BigShing
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus if you give whisky a good shout and ultimately conclude that it isn't for you then don't worry about it. Try Rum or Brandy (although if you think Whisky tastes too much like wine I'd be shocked that you'd find Brandy isn't)! Very Happy
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MattS
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want a purely first fill bourbon matured bottle (to get away from sherry influence) and that is available in some UK supermarkets maybe try Tullibardine Sovereign. £25 on special sometimes (Sainsbury's currently).

If you want sherry influence without peat then maybe Bunnahabhain Stiuireadair would be good value when on offer around £25.

For a little sherry and a little peat I'd suggest Highland Park as above.

For more peat but without the sherry I'd suggest getting Ardbeg 10 when at £37.


Last edited by MattS on Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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