Scotch For BeginnersYou are looking for some whisky and the guy at the store says what type of Scotch do you like. You have no idea as you are just starting your journey. Today we are going briefly look at a few bottles to try as you start your journey.

I can tell you right now that if your first experience with Scotch is trying a 16-year-old Laphroaig straight up, you’ll probably never want to try Scotch again. When you’re selecting your first glass whether it be purchasing a bottle or trying it at the pub, choosing a Scotch will make or break your desire to continue drinking Scotch very quickly. Scotch a spirit you guzzle for the fun of it like you did tequila on spring break. For one, it’s just too expensive and second it’s not intended for that. Do you really think that the crafter spent years perfecting a whisky so you could down it like jello shots? Of course not.

When you’re selecting your first dram of Scotch, my advice is to stick with a gentler spirit. The first glass I ever had was a Cutty Sark, and it was pretty tough to swallow. I was a senior in college and saw a deal where I could get free glasses with a bottle of Scotch. So I made the purchase. Now, Cutty Sark is not a bad Scotch by any means, but as someone who was drinking mostly Captain and Cokes in college and drinking Guinness this was a nightmare. Fortunately, I did enjoy aspects of it, and that’s what brought me back for a second try.

If you’ve never drank whisky before without using a mixer there are two bottles I highly recommend starting out with. The first is Auchentoshan as it contains no peat. The second is Dalwhinnie as it too is a very smooth and light spirit. In fact Dalwhinnie’s tagline is “The Gentle Spirit”.

By making one of these your first introduction it should act as a warm hug rather than a noose around your neck. The burn you’ll experience will be very minimal and the aromas and flavor profile should excite you. While most bartenders will probably suggest Glenlivet or Glenfiddich, it’s only because they’re the two most popular bottles in restaurants. Both are great options for second or third tastings, but for a first timer, you may find them slightly more powerful than you’d like.

As these are your first two bottles I would attempt to write down as much about the tastes you are sensing and then compare it to notes of others that can be found online. After you have sampled these Scotch’s a few times try a couple of others off of thisScotch For Beginners list below.

– Glenkinchie 12 Year

– Bladnoch 11 Year

Glenlivet 12 Year 

Glenfiddich 12 Year 

– The Balvenie Doublewood

– The Macallan 10 Year

The Dalmore 12 Year 

As you start making your way through these various other Scotch’s your palette will start to develop and you will start picking up more of the flavors that more experienced drinkers talk about.

Before you know you will be impressing bartenders with your discussion on the sherry vs peat flavors on how long the finish is. Good luck and enjoy.