Every time you see some wine drinker you're probably thinking to yourself that they're such a snobby pricks and what the fuck is up with them describing a flavor like leather. How in the world can that even possibly be something that you would want to taste in your wine? Well, even though it sounds odd, there is some rhyme to their reason.
You see, they actually have a palate.
Don't get sad that you don't. It's not something you are born with. You actually have to develop one and a great way to develop your palate is to drink, drink and drink some more. But aside from drinking and reading reviews- which you may not really understand till you've explored drinking and what flavors appeal to you, is to sit down and actually taste the foods that people use to refer to whiskey/wine/beer/etc. Actually sit down and savor an almond, a bit of honey, a piece of quality caramel, stone fruits like plums and cherries, red fruits like raspberries and cranberries, dried fruits like raisins or prunes. Take in the nuances of a good vanilla extract or bean, the richness of a small bit of melted butter or just sit down on a freshly cut lawn and smell those blades of grass.
As you're tasting or smelling these things, think back to the drink you've tried in the past and try to place the flavors. Notice that some have a stronger vanilla or caramel flavor than others. Some are way more buttery than others. One may have stone fruit or red fruit flavors separately, while another might have both, and that you can actually distinguish them. Here's a cool "flavor wheel" to jog your brain of the words you want to use to describe whiskey, wine, beer, cheese or whatever, but can't think of it off the top of your head;
And yes, it does say Fruity - Solvent: Nail polish remover. You are looking to actually describe your drink as nail polish remover. No, this is not when you're drinking PBR on a 5am bender. This is simply to show that acetone, the main ingredient in nail polish remover, has a faintly fruity order to it. Don't believe me? Go waft a bit towards your nose and you'll see.
Another common idea people have is that they want to get into scotch so that they can drink a bottle that is older than themselves. Obviously this gets more difficult as time goes on since the older the bottle, chances are the more expensive it will be. To you folks I say be careful.
After 25 years, you're entering just a collectible /status symbol echelon for Scotch. You're going to be looking towards $300 for anything of good quality People who buy these Scotches are either truly passionate about a brand, a scotch collector, or someone looking to showcase their success or celebrate a milestone. You should never really shop for Scotch based on only price and age alone though, unless you only care about showcasing the age. If you go that route choosing a brand people know. But both age and cost alone are poor indicators of quality.
A 30 year old Scotch is a luxury item and sizable investment. I mean, you could buy a collection of Scotches from each region for the same price as one big whale. I actually would recommend doing that route if you're celebrating a milestone. You'll not only enjoy a vast far more amount of alcohol, but you'll also have a range of different taste from the many bottles you purchased.
Not to mention that you would hate feeling like you spent a lot of money on something you ended up hating. A lot of the whiskey events showcase older expression from 25 years and up. I would just suggest going to that if you're still relatively young and want to drink something that is simply older than yourself.
I know my analogies are god awful and I try to avoid using them whenever possible on here, but you wouldn't walk into a car dealership and say you want a car for X amount made on X year. You could walk away with just about anything. Same goes for Scotch. All the way from a minivan to a convertible. Add in that you wouldn't buy a car without at least driving it once.
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