Scotch whiskey is not just another drink; it is ultimately a whole new world within alcohol. Scotch whiskeys have significant variation and enthusiasts will want to explore them, although the range of choices can become confusing.
Liquor experts recommend scotch whiskey for beginners due to its mildness and low ABV. However, there are many brands and not all of them are recommended for beginners. In this article, we aim to explain scotch whiskey and explore some great selections so that beginners can understand it better and be ready to try its great variety.
The terminology, method, and flavors in scotch may seem challenging and very colorful at first, but having a good understanding of the product and its features will help enhance the value of your tasting experience. For an uninitiated individual, having this understanding will prepare you well to ask for or make yourself a glass of scotch.
Method of Making
Drinking any liquor is not only about taste, but also the method of preparation. Dram is a widely used word in the case of scotch whiskey, wherein asking for a dram scotch whiskey signifies asking for 4mL of your preferred scotch. Glencairn or Copita is the best kind of glass you can have for scotch whiskey.
After pouring your preferred amount of liquor, one will add ice cubes to chill your drink and dilute it slowly. Large ice cubes are nice to have, because they melt slowly, giving you more time to enjoy your drink before it dilutes too much.
Method of Tasting
After making the solution, the beginners will take it close to their nose to inhale the aroma. Liquor with high ABV gives a very intense scent, and stirring the glass two or three times will quickly get rid of the intensity. Now it is time to taste. After the first sip, you will notice a robust flavor of nuts, spices, and fruits, and thus the journey begins.
Next, we look at some scotch brands that are great to try for beginner enthusiasts. Lower ABV scotches are normally suitable for beginners.
Top 5 Scotch for Beginners
We have chosen five great scotch brands for beginners. We are keeping in mind their taste, ABV percentage, age of the liquor, and affordability.
#1. Highland Park Scotch Whiskey
Highland Park Scotch is a 12 years old single malt whiskey. Single malt assures the quality of the product, and 12 years signifies the delicacy. Highland Park distillery is a scotch brand known worldwide.
Highland Park’s low ABV percentage of 43% makes it a little milder and smoother. If you inhale the aroma, you may feel a subtle smokiness, and a malt characteristic runs through the whiskey. The scent is not too substantial.
Now we move on to the taste. This liquor is very delicate. In the first sip, you will experience the smoky yet sweet taste of roasted honey and vanilla. It makes for a great blend, enough to call it the best-blended scotch for beginners. Adding little water to the dram scotch dilutes the flavor.
The Highland Park distillery is one of the old distilleries globally, and it is located in the coastal region of Scotland. Their scotch is in high demand so there is bound to be issues with availability. Highland Park is available in only a few countries such as the US, UK, and Sweden, and is often available at wineries. The price is $50 for 750mL, which is quite reasonable for such a reputable brand.
#2. The Glendronach Original Scotch
The Glendronach Original Scotch whiskey is a 12-year-old fermented gem directly from the distillery. The scotch is best suited for after dinner.
The Glendronach Original Scotch is single malt scotch, and it is incredible for beginners due to its fine quality of production. The scotch has an ABV percentage of 43% and this keeps the solution mild. The fermentation makes it more delicious because it is matured in the finest sherry cask. It leaves a delightful fragrance with a subtle smokiness.
Scotches are typically either smoky or sweet. This scotch is a mixture of both. It has the sweetness of dates, palms, sherry, a hinge of chocolate note, and the rich boldness of sherries.
It is well suited for beginners because it will provide exposure to different flavors in one drink. Scotch should not be consumed as an intoxicant but as a delicious beverage, so we recommend diluting this scotch before consumption.
The price is relatively high compared to other Scotch brands at $60. However, this is fairly reasonable for a non-chill filtered product.
#3. Bunnahabhain Scotch Whiskey
Bunnahabhain Scotch Whiskey is single-malt 12 year aged Scotch, and is prepared in the original distillery.
It has comparably more ABV than the scotches mentioned above at 46.3%, which is still suitable for beginners. The solution releases sweet scents of red fruits like cherries and apples. Bunnahabhain distilleries are situated in coastal areas, and this Scotch has an essence of sea salt and the nature of seaside air.
Taking the glass to your nose, you will feel a fresh, aromatic floral scent with hints of dried fruit and a subtle prevalence of smoke. In terms of taste, it has light fruit notes, nutty flavors with sweetness, and a slight hint of vanilla and caramelized strawberries.
This Scotch varies in price by country, but costs around $60 in the United States.
#4. Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch
Johnnie Walker is a renowned brand for liquor worldwide. It has gained popularity due to its excellent product quality. After launching red level and black level, the brand finally released Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch whiskey. This Scotch is a single malt liquor and is fermented for 12 years,
It is said that this is an advanced version of the original Johnnie Walker’s Black Label Scotch. Drinkers believe that Double Black Scotch to be more peated than the black label. The product has a strong smell of barbecue or burnt oak charcoal. Those preferring a stronger smelling drink would enjoy this. It comes with an ABV of 40%, making it suitable for new enthusiasts.
The gorgeous maroon color of the Double Black Scotch is a blessing to the eyes, and there is not any artificial color added to the solution. It has acquired such a beautiful color after a long fermentation.
Whiffing the Double Black Scotch, you will immediately notice smokiness. This product should be covered well when not in use, as the aromas can vanish quickly.
In regards to taste, it has a strong fusion of flavors that include barbecue, smoky burnt oak, caramelized honey, chocolates, and spicy peppercorn.
This Scotch is for the budget-conscious and is only $30. It is also quite widely available and can be bought in various countries.
#5. Arran Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Arran Single Malt Scotch whiskey is quite different from the above liquors. It was fermented for 18 years, which is the longest age in this list. The product is non-chill filtered, and it has acquired its beautiful colors in the fermentation process.
It has a higher ABV than some other Scotches in this list at 46%, making it great for both beginners and older enthusiasts alike. Its aroma is sweet compared to other brands, and this is noticeable from the first whiff.
The Arran was aged in sherry casks and draws from that influence. It has a touch of chocolates and the sweetness of vanilla. It also has essences of red fruits, salt, and caramelized nuts.
Its price may be a little high for beginners at around $80. However, it is a reasonable price considering its age and composition.
There are many brands with good quality Scotches in production. In this article, we explored the fundamentals of Scotch whiskeys and shared a variety of great Scotch whiskeys for beginners to try, although experienced enthusiasts will enjoy these options as well. We hope new enthusiasts will have found some valuable information in this read to get them started on their journey.