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Isn’t Scotch a Guy Thing?

Saturday night I was actually a little spontaneous and ended up at my friend Eve’s house for a single malt scotch tasting.

I’m not really a scotch fan at all. Everyone always tells me it’s “an acquired taste” but I don’t think I should have to work that hard to enjoy my liquor. In fact, I’d rather suck down a gallon of kerosene than take a sip of scotch. I have a hard time enjoying something that smells like peat moss or smoke and burns my nose hairs.

So I was pleasantly surprised by the evening.



My host and hostess were very gracious, because even though the evening was supposed to be all about this amber liquid from Scotland, when I walked in the door, they handed me one of the most magnificent martinis I’ve ever had.

Bill is very experienced with Scotch–we have about a half dozen or more in our bar at home—a couple of Glenns, Macallen, Lonach—but it’s just not something I’ve been able to stomach. Generally speaking, I don’t do well with amber liquors (believe me, that was a hard lesson to learn). I usually  stick to vodkas and tequilas. But at the end of a long night or during a cold winter evening, Bill loves a good scotch and a cigar. But I knew Bill would love it and I was just happy to be invited.

The tasting progressed from the lowlands of Scotland to the highlands. Even if I stuck with my martini and just listened to our host talk about the distilling process and how they get the flavor, I would have had a great time. But Bill shoved his glass at me and told me to try it. The first scotch was called Littlemill. It’s a pale scotch—more golden than amber—and I found that I actually like it. At 40% alcohol it isn’t something that I could drink much of—or easily for that matter—but it’s like that gateway drug. You start with the stuff that seems tame but then you get introduced to the hard stuff.

As we moved from the lowlands to the highlands (do you like how I’m writing this like I know what I’m talking about?) the scotches got darker, smokier and smelled more like peat moss. These are the scotches that Bill and his friends call Angry Scotch—so brutal they’ll burn your face off. Scotches so hardcore they dare you drink them. I couldn’t go there, but I did try the first couple.

I am kind of surprised—I don’t hate scotch as much as I used to, but I’m a long way from pouring myself a glass (no ice). I’m curious, though: do you drink scotch and if so, what do you like?

Now, if I could just convince Eve to have a tequila tasting…

Patron Reposado

11 Responses

  1. Despite being a quarter Scots myself, I can’t stand Scotch (or really, any whiskey). However, that picture of the Patron bottle makes my mouth water. Tequila is definitely my drink. (Good Tequila, that is.)

  2. I’m not a Scotch drinker really. Of course, since I started a new med, the MD says ixney on the inkeydrey permanently.

  3. I’m kind of off hard liquor altogether – was never a big fan anyway. I’m more of a wine or beer person. But, hey, good for you for expanding your alcoholic horizons.

  4. I LOVE Scotch. I do NOT like the smokey, peaty scotches but the more citrus/vanilla ones such as Glen Livet 12 yr & 18 yr (which is da bomb!), 10 yr Bruichladdich.
    If you’re ever in Las Vegas go to Mandalay Bay StripSteak restaurant where they have a scotch bar. Talk to the bartender and tell him/her what you like and dislike if you’re willing to try find a Scotch you would like.
    I also enjoy Irish whiskey – Jameson’s Special Reserve is by far the best and I drink it neat.

    Give other Scotch a try, you may be surprised.

    • I had no idea citrusy/vanilla scotches existed. I could try to get down with that. My husband loves Glenlivet and Glenmorangie (spelling?) 18 year.

      Next time I’m in Vegas I’ll remember to stop by that restaurant!

  5. I remember working on the cruise ships and the guy who ran the casino was a Scotsman who would challenge anyone who looked at him askew to a drink off and slam a bottle of amber on the table. I think I made it through 2 glasses (fingers?) and I was out.

  6. This sounds amazing.

  7. Reading your post, and all the comments, I think having a host led tasting helps. Now, about the Tequila. Last time we went to a tasting, sans host, the hostess ended up face down in the swimming pool – for about a minute. So we missed the nuances then…but are willing now! Thanks for coming Mo!

  8. Doesn’t make you sound like an alcoholic at all. It makes you sound like a connoisseur of fine spirits

  9. Good luck converting her from WINE – but it is worth a try!!

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