Friday, March 4, 2011

Is scotch an acquired taste?

I still remember my first tasting of scotch.  It was at a college party.  Being poor college students as it is, the only liquor that we can afford are the cheap ones.  Amidst the several bottles of vodka and rum, there was a lone bottle of Johnnie Walker Red.  As my eyes settle on the bottle of scotch, flashback of memories take over my mind as I recall the "alpha male" image of my grandfather sitting in his rocking chair, sipping on a glass.  I was also curious about the taste, but the opportunity to taste one never really showed up.  Until now.

I poured myself a small amount.  Being the first-time, I started debating whether to add coke (I later found out that Johnnie Walker actually recommends adding mixers with the Red label, which tells you the quality of the scotch) and/or ice to it.  Being curious on the real taste of the drink, I decided to add just a few cubes of ice, and took a sip...

Boom!  The harshness of the alcohol smacks me like a speeding train, first stinging my nose, then lighting my entire mouth up.  It was like nothing I had taste before.  Not wanting to spit the scotch out in front of everybody, I struggled and forced myself to swallow it in one gulp.  My face scrunched up uncontrollably as the alcohol passed through my throat.


My body recoiled as I recover from the shock of the drink.  I wondered to myself how could anyone possibly enjoy drinking scotch?  I reached the conclusion that scotch is an "old men's drink", and that only old men enjoy this stuff.

Years later, when I started working, I received a bottle of Glenlivet 12 years for my birthday from a colleague.  Remembering my previous experience with scotch, I hesitated to give the Glenlivet a try.  The bottle ended up sitting on my kitchen counter for about 5 months.  One lonely wintery night, I was home alone with nothing to do.  I spied the bottle as I walked past the kitchen.  I started questioning my ability of perhaps better handling the alcohol drink now.  Cautiously, I poured myself a tiny amount of scotch, and gingerly took a sip...

Ahhh, much better.  The drink was still kinda harsh, but it was much better than my first experience.  Swallowing it was still quite difficult.  I continue to drink a small dram for the next few nights, and it got easier with each passing day.  Slowly, the flavors and aroma opened up to me, and I started to appreciate the work and effort it took to create scotch. 

To all people out there who were like me, who think they don't really like scotch at the first few tries, my advice for you is to stick at it.  Scotch is, without any shadow of doubt, an acquired taste.  It will get better as you get more familiar with it.  If you are drinking from a cheap scotch, consider going higher up the quality ladder, you might find yourself liking it better.

Till the next post.  In the meantime, bottoms up my friend. 

79 comments:

  1. mmmm but what an aquired taste it is....

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  2. I'm sticking with ice wine and fruity cocktails! :)

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  3. I had the same reaction as you my first time. "How could anyone drink this?"

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  4. I think scotch is widely regarded as an aquired taste....I tried some for the first time last night and I "recoiled in horror" as well. So nasty! I had to water it down with ice and....water to even finish it.

    Granted, it was only Glenfiddich, but still, yuuuuuuck.

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  5. At first it was too strong but after a while you start to appreciate the good taste :D. Scotch is for the win!

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  6. scotch sucks dick. sorry to break it to ya brah

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  7. scotch is great and should always be prepared neat. Its not a drink for kids who just want to get fucked up. Anything 35-40 a bottle and up should be good. The more expensive the bottle the easier it is on your vigina.

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  8. Most blended Scotches bring me out in a cold sweat (bad memories of Johnny Walker Red binges at college). I love peaty single malts though.
    Glenfiddich is the gateway drug for single malts.

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  9. Yes it is an acquired taste, and I acquire its taste at least once a night now... mmm.

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  10. never tried scotch, i dont know why

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  11. i like it probably inherited it from my grandfather

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  12. It is for me. I've tried it once and I hated it.

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  13. yep, it is an acquired taste. i enjoy a glass full of gin on the rocks, people also say that is an acquired taste as well.

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  14. I love Single Malts so much. It's an acquired taste but once you get it, it never leaves.

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  15. My first experience with scotch was a twenty year old bottle of...well...I don't remember the distiller. But it was given to me on my graduation from high school.

    My friend and I drank it all in a night and mixed it with blue kool-aid...yeah...blue kool-aid.

    So needless to say, my first experience with it didn't exactly garner much future anticipation after a night of smurf colored vomiting.

    BUT! I am sort of gaining an interest in the higher quality Johnny Walker labels. It's cool that I found this very well written blog, I will be following from here on out!

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  16. Haha wow, thanks for the insight

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  17. yeah im not sure man. I have a feeling its an acquired taste but i dunno

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  18. When I drink scotch I feel like I'm drinking fire.

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  19. i remember the first time I tried beer. It tasted like licking a rusted metal floor and piss. Later that year I got used to it

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  20. Scotch is OK, I enjoy it, but I prefer gin. I've met more people tolerable of scotch then gin. I forced myself to drink a glass of it every night for two weeks. Now I can't imagine drinking much else.

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  21. I have yet to acquire a taste for Scotch! Perhaps I will try again though, this post made me consider it.

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  22. i havent acquired this one yet

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  23. Ahh scotch makes me vommit! + I got alcohol poisoning from new years eve from it as well! lol!

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  24. I don't think it's just scotch that is an acquired taste but most liquor in general (unless it's a fruity drink. I highly doubt anyone's first time experiencing alcohol was there best time haha but I would agree that the acquired taste aspect does apply much better to scotch than any other drink. great post!

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  25. I always thought Johnny Walker Red was a at least a semi-decent Scotch. It's no Glenfiddich or anything, but it's drinkable. Still, even in that lower price area, there are better ones.

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  26. ... are keeping it classy.

    HOW do I do that in my blog? So cool :D

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  27. it is about practice, the more you drink, the more you can taste it.

    @Merlyy: go to design > Blog Posts 'edit' > change text in the second box of Post Page Options

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  28. nice post love coming over and reading

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  29. There's some types of whiskey that I just can't drink, either. I remember starting out with Famous Grouse, then trying stuff like Four Roses, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker. Mostly nowadays I stick with the Jack, but never without ice!

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  30. I remember learning to like scotch with my friends while playing roulette. good times...

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  31. I never could get into scotch, but you have inspired me to giver it a second chance.

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  32. I rarely drink scotch myself

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  33. I can't remember my first scotch but I remember my first single malt. It was Talisker and I immediately switched from bourbon to scotch as my drink of choice.

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  34. I'm still in the poor-college-student-rum-and vodka camp, but I've been curious about scotch.

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  35. scotch is good on an occasion with a fine cigar

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  36. I agree, i thought it was crap too but after trying a few and "sticking with it" as you put it....i definately acquired a taste.

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  37. That was a great narrative, I've never tried scotch, I had no idea it was so strong D;
    hahah I don't know much about alcohol anywayss

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  38. Quality of the scotch is definitely key, I think, to acquiring the taste for it. It certainly made the difference for me.

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  39. I made sure to try some quality scotch my first try, and as a result I was not disappointed.

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  40. The more you pay the better it gets.

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  41. nice post man. :)
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    $upported!returnfavour pls. :D

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  42. Reminds me of my first time drinking scotch...i almost spit it out it was some store-brand harsh-tasting vile drink. Once I had my first sip of a quality scotch though I started to enjoy the flavor a lot more I must say

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  43. nice post man ! Following :)

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  44. IME: a GOOOOD Scotch Gently warms the throat as a delicate spring breeze, and has just a bit of a bite to it.

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  45. I can't wait to read future posts. I remember my first, I had the red label with redbull. It was later on that I tried it on the rocks at a family get together, some small brand, 40 years old. It was like heaven.

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  46. Hmm scotch... isn't my thing -_-
    Recently though I've been looking into Gin, and, well.. it's usually a hit or miss for me d; Keep up the blog though! Very good read (:

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  47. Amazing post, I feel motivated to try some right now :P

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  48. Doesn't matter how much I drink I still hate it lol. Got some strawberry tarantula tequila im gonna sip on right now

    F&S

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  49. I've still to acquire the taste of scotch. Tried a 25 year old single malt the other day and gagged with each sip.

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  50. Whiskey is by far my favorite drink. Great post!

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  51. I agree it is an acquired taste, I still don't like it much though.

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  52. It definitely is an aquired taste lol

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  53. It took me awhile to find a taste for alcohol at all. The first time I tried scotch I hated it!

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  54. He'll yeah man you have pictures of margaritas near qme around your blog

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  55. I don't think I've ever drank scotch.
    And I'm not in any hurry to after reading your post lol.

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  56. Hahaha. Without a doubt, an acquired taste. I remember the first time I took a drink it knocked me on my ******************. XD

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  57. I know a friend who had all sorts of scotch. One bottle was $300 and it tasted like water. It went down so smooth and it was 100 proof.

    But alcohol is an acquired taste for sure. Following!

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  58. I read that some of taste bud cells die as you get older, that's why you like strong cheeses, wines, whisky, etc. better at old age.

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  59. great stuff, you totally have my support!

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  60. Good apoints, good post man.

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  61. i dont know man, but as a good mexican i prefer tequila

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  62. I almost pass out when I even just smell scotchs ^^

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  63. Sounds like my first meeting with Mr. Hennessy. :D
    Should try some, some day soon.. Havent rly drank anything in ages..
    Damn nice post mate. (:

    -Koal0r

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  64. I just recently got into scotch a bit. A friend of mine has been talking about it for years, and I finally gave it a shot.

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  65. I would just like to say that I've been following you and taking all your advice. A little over a month ago, I bought that bottle like you recommended, and now I buy it every once in a while when I can afford that treat. I like to do my outside work while drinking an ice-cold glass of the stuff. Thanks!

    I follow and support those who do likewise.
    toastburnt.blogspot.com

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  66. Scotch blows serious @#$%, American Bourbon and Rye are leagues above it.

    5 years in a barrel in the hot Kentucky summers is like 15 years in Scotland. Even our cheap stuff blows away 75% of Scotch.

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