I Hate Scotch

Traveling to Thailand I made a quick stop in one of the duty free stores at Don Mueng or maybe Changi. Anyway these fine resellers were under the impression that the only spirit worth drinking was scotch, preferably of the 8+ year single malt variety.

They had a table of taster bottles that caught my eye, along with some water and clean taster cups. Not being much of a drinker, I almost passed it up. Looking closer I noticed that the table contained quite literally some of the most expensive bottles commercially available.

I figured I'd Be a while before i got another chance to test 15+ scotchs head to head ever again, so I set my bags down and had a go at the table.

Long story short, the Only ones I tried that I thought was acceptable for my palette was Johnny walker Blue Label blended First and a MacAllen select oak Second.

Some very interesting differences and highlights among the bottles but the peat just doesn't work for me.

Anyway, a very rare and cool opportunity to test about $20k of scotch head to head, sober and clear headed. Wish I could do that with whiskey now!!

I don't recall where I went after that.


  • @fijispirits. I have to admit that I am becoming of the same opinion. In the last 12 months with travelling more for my job I have had the chance to taste lots of really nice Vodkas, great white whiskeys, different bourbons and American whiskeys and now when I taste scotch, even the good ones. They just taste over peated or oversmoked to me. Actually of whiskeys I recently have tasted 3 different Japanese single malts and they were better than most of the Scotches I have tried over the last 10 years, and I have been through a few duty frees and bought lots of different scotches. To give you an idea I am 20 pages into my 5th 70 page passport.
    Anyway so for what its worth I agree with you @fijispirits. One of the great myths of the world is that Scotch is the best whiskey that you can get. Thanks to the craft distilling industry I think we are trying to change that concept. At least I am about to as soon as my boiler fabricator gives me my boilers.

  • Hey Don - well I got a problem because I think all scotch taste like shit. I can warm to a few bourbons but with coke. I think it must have been the first spirit I got shickatee on and it ruined me for life. Just like VB beer as I can still remember that taste on the way up rather than down when about 14 and it still gives me the shivers

  • The beauty of Scotch is that there are many styles, peated is only one and it is not for everyone. Remember Scotch is only whiskey made in Scotland. I like bourbon but not all of them. Also your tastes change. I mix it up by using a corn based grain bill plus malted barley and age in used oak barrels so it is bourbon/scotch style and every barrel tastes different.

  • I am keen to explore whiskeys and typically try to pick up some local distillation of some sort when I visit places.

    Rums have some interest. But frankly clear spirits are more my speed.

    I did some market research a couple years ago and it seems the market for spirits is moving quite decisively towards flavored vodkas and away from the dark spirits. Blame the club goers if you must.

  • @trebor, Nice idea mate. I might try that. I want to do some decent white spirits. And some clean rye or triticale vodkas.

  • edited May 2017

    I don't do scotch. Only hit it twice in my teens/early twenties and they were the only times i woke up not knowing what i'd done with everyone looking at me.
    The first time i literally woke up in the gutter.

    I know that ethanol is ethanol in my mind but can't shake my prejudice against scotch whiskey.

    Saw these at the pub in a plastic ice box on the bar on the weekend.

    Roam Vodka Watermelon Bottle 330mL

    Roam Tequila Lime Bottle 330mL

    I just can't imagine sitting through the development meeting listening to some prick in a suit saying this is a good idea. I'd just up and walk out i reckon.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Well Jim Cahill really like it!!

    I've thought of doing a straight eau de Vie but getting enough juice is a headache. I've messed with using fruit as a nutrient of sorts then bumping SG with sugar. Usually gives some cool results.

    I really want to do some natural infusions actually. I think that will throw more flavor but will probably require homogenizing and certainly my own essence development program for final blending.

    In almost every way I like the idea of spirit development using natural flavors over ageing in barrels.

  • edited May 2017

    Well white rum is a great drink. I never tried 'bacardi' as it was a girls drink. But when i started making neutral i did it with a mollasses wash and it was my favourite. Taken at 96% and a wash made with raw sugar and mollasses with no backset it's great with lemonade or with fruit juice and lemonade.
    I used to cut it to 51% and call it OP.

    Bet you could do something similar with palm sugar.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Whisky, gentlemen. Whiskey is the Irish variant.

  • Hey @Fiji_Spirits. As a kid in Fiji I remember the Fijians making a natural alcoholic brew made from Soursop and from memory passion fruit. Did the fermentation bit all on its own and I seem to remember one way was to make a hole in the soursop and fill it with passionfruit pulp and put the plug back in and away it went. Don't know if it could be adapted to a distilled brew.

    For those that don't know a soursop is like a really big custard Apple.

  • yeah, thats a cool fruit, a friend messed around with making wine out of it but kept screwing it up.

    Oh, for the record, the place I did the testing was the Singapore Changi airport duty free shop. I hit it agian on the way back to see if they had anything else but the tasting table had been worked over and only a few bottles left. However I did notice that a couple of the bottles I had tried were priced at $4300+. funny what you can get for something when you put it in a nice bottle and leather case

  • Though there's nothing like a full fruit mash, some of the more prominent Eau de Vies are made from macerations in grape spirit. I personally have no issue with this, grape distillate tastes awesome, but I can imagine some hardcore DIY/craft snobs would oppose this. Sometimes, actually fairly often, it just makes sense to go that route though.

    Anyway, I've been drinking The Balvenie Triple Cask and find it delicious. I also have the Double Wood but it's not as impressive. The Triple is stupidly well balanced, not too peaty not too sweet.

  • Never tried Triple Cask, will have to grab a bottle.

  • edited May 2017

    @Kill_Devil_Spirit_Co said: some of the more prominent Eau de Vies are made from macerations in grape spirit.

    This is very interesting, btw, I didn't realize this.

  • @Fiji_Spirits Singapore Changi airport duty free shop is a money pit, they stock some of the most expensive stuff, even more so than to be found in Dubai duty free. Although Dubai will also be eager to recommend the perfect cuban cigar to complement the tipple.

  • Definitely for fruit with low sugar content and I'll bet some places would do it for profit. Can't beat from scratch but in some cases it makes more than enough sense. If it tastes good, I'm not gonna judge too harshly.

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