The world of whisky may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a lot of great things to explore in the whisky space. Don’t let anyone put you off it, find like-minded folks, and just enjoy the journey
Let us help guide you on that journey. We’re here to introduce you to things like strength, flavour, and style. All areas that will help you find what you love
These are variations that you will see often:
- Single malt – This is a malt whisky produced from a single distillery and commonly associated with Scottish Whisky.
- Blended malt – A whisky made using a variety of malt whiskies from different distilleries, blended to make one drink.
- Single grain – Similar to single malt, this whisky comes from one single distillery but can be made up from a variety of grains.
- Blended whisky – This is a blend of single malts and grains from different distilleries.
Just because the production methods for these whiskies can differ, they do not necessarily affect the flavour, this means a single malt can have similar tasting notes to blended. A lot of people’s favourite single malt whiskies are used in the production of blends.
Without going super in-depth, blends tend to be less expensive because grain whisky is cheaper to produce, and their use of younger whiskies. Couple that with the fact that Single Malts are produced in smaller quantities, which lends itself to higher price points. Blends are usually created to be more affordable and have a flavor profile that is more widely approachable. Similar to coffee where you have coffee blends (which tend to be more afforadable) versus Single origin coffees (pricier). Both can be very good, but process and source comes into play.
Price doesn’t always dictate quality. Some less expensive whiskies can be amazing and some expensive ones can be hard to swallow for new drinkers. It depends on your personal taste. Don’t ever let someone tell you what you like isn’t “good enough’ If you are looking for something to mix with a soft drink, then just a simple blended whisky will do, but if you want a drinking ‘experience’, then treat yourself to something like an older single cask.
Starting out, you could expect to pay around £30 for a good blended whisky. If you are looking for a single malt then you should look around the £50 mark.
A great way to explore what you like and dislike is to find your local whisky pub! That is a great way to try so many different whiskies without having to commit to full bottles. If you are up in Speyside pop by our home at The Mash Tun and we would be more than happy to guide you on your whisky journey.
Great whiskies to try as a beginner are usually the softer, fruitier styles. This could include Speyside whiskies, which tend to be sweeter, or lowlands, which tend to be softer and maltier. Some places to star: Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask which is sweet and creamy with notes of apples and mangos. The Lindores Cask of Lindores Bourbon which is fruity and mellow and the Hibiki Harmony which is sweet and spicy.
Start with nosing as a first step in understanding the flavours. Common flavours found are vanilla, toffee, or caramel. For Scottish whisky, you can expect anything from smoky leather to light fruity notes. So experiment with the different regions to find out what you like. You can open up the flavours by adding a bit of water, so try experimenting with different whiskies and water combinations.
A wonderful whisky for beginners is our Stalla Dhu Speyside, with sweet fruit flavours and slight spice. A must-have!
Just enjoy yourself and find what you enjoy. The fun is in the journey!