I didn’t even know what scotch was, really, until our trip to Ireland last fall. At the Jameson distillery, they give you an anonymous scotch to taste next to the Jameson. In general, I don’t like smokey things, but even I could tell it was some over-smoked cheap swill, given purely for effect. They also explained to us on the tour that the smokey flavor comes from the malted barley being dried over smoke–we were lead to believe that all scotch is dried over peat fires, but apparently that isn’t entirely true.
Last night I tasted a ten year old scotch from Laphroaig. In this video, my friend Iliea (who convinced me to try her fancy non-beer beverage in the first place) explains how she enjoys her scotch:
It was pretty great, as far as I could tell. Not too smokey, with just a hint of sweetness. I sipped two shots of it straight without getting the shudders even once. I’ve never done that before, so it must’ve been smooth. Hopefully, I’ll get to try some even older stuff soon.