Single malt scotch and brandy: How to drink?

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Single malt scotch and brandy: How to drink?

Post by Rob »

Hey fellows, today I went to the adult beverage store and purchased a bottle of single malt scotch and some E&J brandy. I'm really not sure how to drink these. Ice? Cold, no ice? Room temperature? Room temp with ice? What's the proper course of action?

I did take a nip of the scotch just for fun and it was pretty good even at room temperature. Never had it or the brandy before.
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Post by notthesharpest »

I don't know if there's one right way, but one possible way for good scotch is room temperature with an optional plain water on the side (more water, or no water, to your taste). When you pay this much, you want to taste your drink. :) Cold reduces the flavour of everything. Save the "rocks" for the scotch that doesn't taste that great anyway, or for drinks that are supposed to be served cold.
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Post by CMur12 »

Hi Rob - (No longer Rob_TN?)

I haven't touched the stuff for almost 35 years, but from what I have seen on TV, NTS is right. They say to drink a fine scotch or whiskey at room temperature, with just a little water added to open up the flavor.

Not bad for a tea-totaler, huh? :D

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Post by TRBeck »

I generally drink my Scotch neat (no ice or water), but I will add a few drops or perhaps even a tablespoon of water to higher-proof spirits on occasion (which is a roundabout way of asking which Single Malt you chose)? I generally use a snifter for Scotch, though I do also have the Micheal Jackson single malt glass, which is sort of a modified tulip shape that concentrates the aroma and then forces it outward from the lip of the glass. It is a superb vessel, but pricey and not worth the cost unless you're going to drink whisk(e)y often.
As for brandy, I find snifters to be absolutely the perfect glass to concentrate the nose and allow the aroma to saturate the nostrils as the brandy hits the palate. I rarely drink brandy with ice or water. That said, I mix less expensive (and sometimes more expensive) brandy in Sidecars. So, American brandy. Is it designated VS, VSOP, XO, or none of the above? Recent bottles of E&J XO I've had are not cognac quality but excellent nonetheless, and actually open up a bit with a touch of water or an ice cube.

Having said all of the above, you should drink the stuff however you like it.

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Post by MadAussie »

I drink my scotch neat. Depending on my mood tho I may add a teaspoon of water to it (brings out the smell/flavour).

Sometimes its nice to add a little ginger ale to it but 99% of the time I drink it neat.

What kind of scotch did you get? I'm an Islay lover (Lagavulin to be exact).
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Post by fallingwickets »

Rob Formally known as Rob_TN

I've never seen anyone drink brandy with ice and or chilled and so i take it that brandy is best consumed neat at room temp.

Whiskey goes the way you enjoy it, but the good stuff should be neat...water dillutes HAHAHA

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Post by ScottS »

I like single malts in a snifter, with just a few drops of spring water, which really opens things up. No water for some scotches, like Lagavulin.
Rob

Post by Rob »

Thanks for all the replies. I figured room temperature was ok, but I just wanted to check. Yep, no more Rob_TN. I only chose Rob_TN because Rob was taken at the time I registered. A while back I asked the mods to change my username because Rob became available.

I'll try the scotch with a splash of water and see what it's like. I feel all hoity-toity now drinking scotch. Hehe! Though I think I like the brandy more...we shall see. The scotch I bought is called Speyburn and it's 86 proof. It's 10 yrs old and a single malt. I have no idea what malt means, but 10 yrs old makes sense to me. The E & J brandy is classified as VS. Not sure what that means, either.

A tee-totaler, eh, Murray? Good for you. I may turn into one as well. These days I seem to get headaches easily from alcohol. Not hangovers, but headaches while I am enjoying an adult beverage. It's very annoying. I must be getting old.

I don't have any special glasses for my drinks, unfortunately. I just have the standard large glasses and small glasses that you can get at Wal-Mart. They'll do, I suppose. Thanks again, guys!
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Post by TRBeck »

Rob, VS stands for "Very Special," and is generally the "youngest" brandy in a house's line. I've found VS to be a mixed bag, as it can be a bit hot but often offers the purest expression of the brandy's flavor (as opposed to that of the wood). I've not had E&J VS in a long time, but it's pretty popular as a mixer across the Midwest (any way you can think of to drink brandy, they do it in Wisconsin), and I think the most common way I consumed it when I lived up there was with Coke, believe it or not.
Malt refers to the fact that the whisk(e)y is made entirely from malted barley, rather than using other grains (which bourbon, blended whisky, most American rye, and many Irish whiskeys do). Single refers to the fact that the whisky comes from a single distillery (there are some blended or "vatted" malts on the market) and so retains a house character. Speyburn is a baseline Speyside malt, a little grassy and lightly fruity. I like it, and if you enjoy it, the majority of very popular malts are Speysides or the similar Highland style (Speyside is a micro-region within the Highlands). Consider Glenlivet and Glenfiddich as additional houses working in roughly the same style. Macallan is also from this region but sweeter and richer. Islays are popular with connoisseurs, generally, although the first single malt I liked was Laphroaig, a very smoky malt, so don't be afraid to try an Islay malt.

Enjoy your drinks in good health.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

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Post by ichabod »

My wife is a single malt connoisseur (connoisseuse, I suppose), and I went with her to a single malt tasting event recently. The guy running the show was a Whisky Master, and he recommended two things I had not heard:

A drop or two of water to open up the taste (optional though).

Drink whisky without breathing in, as it were, the opposite of drinking wine. When I tried this I suddenly appreciated whisky, where before it often felt like sucking on a stick from an old camp fire (my wife likes the smoky highland/island malts).
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Post by mattbramanti »

fallingwickets wrote:I've never seen anyone drink brandy with ice and or chilled and so i take it that brandy is best consumed neat at room temp.
It's actually better a bit warmer than room temp. Once your brandy is in the snifter, hold it in your palm and let the body heat warm the brandy a bit. The fragrance will really open up.

I've seen little stands that hold the snifter at an angle above a small votive candle to warm it. That's too hot (and gimmicky), in my opinion.
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Post by paperpundit »

I'll echo the earlier statement on brandy...I've had it slightly warmed, and it makes a big difference. Much more enjoyable.
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Post by Thalay Sagar »

mattbramanti wrote: I've seen little stands that hold the snifter at an angle above a small votive candle to warm it. That's too hot (and gimmicky), in my opinion.
Absolutely- body heat is plenty adequate. In the brandy family, don't neglect some offerings from Spain if you have a chance. Very good and generally at a better price than the French offerings of the same quality, although you can also find yourself in the heart attack area. Also, check out calvados, apple cider brandy from Normandy. A friend of he family gave me a bottle and its quite nice.
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Post by Bob »

Pour the single malt into a shot glass, then depth-charge it into a frosty cold mug o' beer. Mmm.


Actually, like some of the others, I use a small snifter when I really want to fully enjoy a scotch. I also add a little water to bring out the aromas.

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Post by ScottS »

Bob wrote:Pour the single malt into a shot glass, then depth-charge it into a frosty cold mug o' beer. Mmm.
That hurt to read.
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Post by closeshave »

I drink single-malts, but go through the bottles very slowly. I just cracked open a bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 yr., that is a little strong in alcohol but nice round flavour. I am also looking forward to a bottle of Armagnac in my near future. I have lately enjoyed these drinks with a piece of dark chocolate on the side.
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Post by TRBeck »

Ah, Armagnac. I prefer good Armagnac to Cognac, certainly, but prices are getting a bit out of my range lately. Spanish brandy can still be had a moderate prices, and I'm very fond of that, too.

Chocolate and Scotch: terrific. Last year, Fortune Brands tried a little touring tasting event pairing Laphroaig and Dalmore with chocolate. Dalmore 12 is IMO the best value in single malts, and Laphroaig is my first love, so naturally I attended. The chocolates were Scharffen Berger. Some excellent pairings.

Regards,
Regards,
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Re: Single malt scotch and brandy: How to drink?

Post by MrSmooth »

Rob wrote:Hey fellows, today I went to the adult beverage store and purchased a bottle of single malt scotch and some E&J brandy. I'm really not sure how to drink these. Ice? Cold, no ice? Room temperature? Room temp with ice? What's the proper course of action?
The Speyburn would be best room temp with a little cool water added.

The E&J VS would be my choice as a mixer brandy for cocktails, like a sidecar or a brandy alexander.

I've been known to drink brandy (usually Presidente from Mexico) with 7up and a lime as well. E&J should be fine in a cooler like that as well.
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Post by Squire »

Single malt, Cognac, Bourbon, Brandy, Blends, I treat them all the same. Throw some ice in an old fashioned rocks glass, add enough booze to cover the ice then pour in an equal amount of water.
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Post by MadAussie »

I wasnt a big fan of dalwhinnie. I dont remember why, its been a few years. I guess it was too not-islay for my tastes.
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