A long time ago I wrote a little ditty called "What Your Drink Says About You In Hoboken".
My entry about scotch was: "The Alpha Alcoholics. All other drunks tremble in their presence. I pee in my pants a little when a customer orders it."
Yes, I am now a scotch drinker. Fear me.
Interestingly enough, I have tried quite a few scotches over the years, and still have a lot more to try, but I just wanted to write a little bit about what I have tried, and my suggestions to the budding Don Drapers of the world on what I would suggest trying if you wanted to finally stop drinking your fruity drinks and man up. Plus, since I have been doing the Paleo Diet, I have been trying to figure out lower carb ways to get drunk. Scotch works well.
What scotch I like and what others like will vary. For example, I don't like very peaty scotches. A 'peaty scotch' is one that has a strong smoky flavor. Also I prefer scotches that are a bit more sweet. Lastly, a note about ice. The purist scotch drinker will tell you that ice has no place in a scotch drink. That's their perogative. I'm sure they drink their coffee black and their steak rare. They like to wear kilts on St. Patrick's Day and think that scaling Mt. Everest is a lifelong dream. The purists will never wear white after Labor Day and...well you get the idea. My attitude is that you drink your scotch how you like it and anyone that tells you different should go fuck themselves.
If someone were to say to me, "Sean, I want to try scotch", the following would be the first three I would suggest based on two factors. One, drinkability. Two, price. I'm not going to suggest someone new to scotch to run out and buy a $185 bottle, unless they want to invite me over and try it together, then you know where to reach me.
Macallan 12: It's bronze color and smooth finish make it a fantastic drink to look at and taste. Once you start drinking this you understand what Frank Sinatra meant when he said, "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Oban 14: It's a pale golden color and has a slightly smoky flavor, along with a sweet edge to it. Easily one of my favorite scotches, and is perfect to drink on it's own, while meeting with the Mohawk Airlines sales reps and trying to close the deal (that's for you Mad Men fans).
The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old: Created first with a traditional oak cask and then matured in a sherry cask. The doublewood can be a bit rough at first, but I have found for the price, and with a few cubes of ice it's a nice entry level scotch.
OK, so lets say you tried my three entry levels and are ready to advance to Level Two Scotchaholic. Of course with Level Two, it means you will be spending a bit more money, but hopefully not going crazy, but also getting into scotches that you probably want to have after a nice big steak from Raoul's or The Strip House. You probably will see a pattern to my choices, with Macallan on the next list. Why? Well, because it's simply the scotch you can't go wrong with. Sort of like pizza. Yes, there is terrible pizza in the world, but most pizza places can make a fairly eatable pie. If they can't - they won't be in business for very long. Same is true in a way for Macallan, it's just the one scotch you really can't fuck up.
Anyhow, here's the next three I would suggest:
The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Years Old: The 15 year old Fine Oak matures in bourbon and sherry oak casks, which creates "lingering finish with hints of awesome, sexual prowess and manliness." I would suggest having one of these and then going to hit on the waitress or stewardess. You know that is what Don would do.
The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Years Old: What? Its only 2 years older than the 15, so it must be exactly the same! No, not really. There's a definite difference here, and if you can find it for around $100 a bottle, it's worth it.
The Macallan 18 Years Old: Fantastic scotch. Really great if you can find a bottle for less than $150. Really something you should reserve for special occasions. I would rather save $50 and drink a Macallan Fine Oak 17. But i'd rather drink this over Johnny Walker Blue any day of the week.
Also if you find yourself in an airport, look for the Macallan 1824 scotches. They are only available in Duty Free stores, and are outstanding. Plus they are a full liter instead of 750ml. I got to try the 15 year old Macallan 1824 "Select Oak" which cost £42. There's also the "Whisky Maker's Edition" for £64 and "Estate Reserve" at £117, which i'd like to try one day.
Does this cover all the scotches? No way. I have tried many others and didn't list them. Like Johnny Walker Blue. Is it worth $200? Not even close. Would I drink it again? Absolutely, it's quite a good blended single malt. I'd just rather spend money on other scotches.