What kind of Whisky Do You Drink ?
Are you a malt maniac with a personal track record of thousands of different drams? Then please feel free to skip this article.
But chances are that you are one of the many people who usually drink blended scotch or consumer brand US whiskey.
Take scotch for an example. Compared to blended scotch, single malt has only a market share of about 10 percent (albeit with rising tendency). The picture in the US will not be much different. Large consumer brands dominate the market with just a few products.
You might be content, but…
If you are usually enjoying blended scotch or consumer brand whiskey, you might do so because you simply like the taste or because it’s affordable. But have you ever tried a single malt whisky or a small batch bourbon? Did you like it?
If you never tried, I strongly suggest to do so. If you liked better than your usual dram it but think it is too expensive, just drink a bit less, and perhaps you will even find that the better taste indeed is worth a higher price. If you didn’t like it, well…perhaps you have just not found the right whisky for you yet.
There is Much More to Whisky
Variety in the whisky market is so much more than just the choice between blend A and blend B.
The 10% market share of the “small ones” is divided under dozens if not hundreds of distilleries, all making whisky whith a distinctive character. In Scotland this ranges from smooth and gentle Lowland drams to intensly peated Islay whiskies. Bourbons have a large variety as well, but not in such an extreme way.
Most distilleries offer bottlings with different ages. Young whiskies tend to be more “edgy”, older ones have more influence frome the cask and are usually rounder and more complex.
3. Cask types
As explained in part 4 of the Whisky Basics series, casks can have a massive influence on the whisky. Distilleries and independent scotch bottlers offer a large selection of cask types that are used to mature and “finish” the whisky.
It’s a Whole New World
Of course this enormous variety may be somewhat intimidating when you’re just used to one are a few standard whiskies. But that’s what the internet is for. Look around, read ratings and tasting notes and compare prices. You may also want to join a whisky forum to meet other whisky lovers and exchange experiences.
The journey you are about to take will be long and perhaps a bit expensive. But you will be rewarded with sensational tasting experiences that you will certainly miss when you keep sticking to the same old favourites.