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Ultimately, once you delve into the world of selecting, tasting and enjoying scotch, you’ll have set for yourself a foundation on which you will continue to build your scotch education. Here are some key things to know when you begin the process by selecting your first bottle of scotch with confidence.
Whether you need help with buying Scotch or you choose to experiment on your own, your first lesson is that different scotches come from different regions. Scotch, as its name suggests, comes from Scotland. The country of Scotland is divided into six geographic regions, and each region has its own distinctive scotch.
There are two basic types of scotch: single-malts and blends.
Beyond acquiring knowledge of where and how scotch is distilled and the distinctive elements of the two basic types, you must also factor in your personal preferences, meaning your palate. Just as you may have preferences for certain foods or non-alcoholic beverages, so too will you likely discover you prefer scotches from certain regions, distilleries or blend types. Acquiring your personal palate is the most enjoyable part of learning about scotch because it is here where you put all your hard-won knowledge to work.
Before you select your first bottle of scotch, you might want to attend a tasting. At a scotch tasting you can further develop your palate as well as flex your knowledge muscles by tasting several different scotches from different regions. A single tasting session can narrow down your choice spectrum considerably as you notice whether you enjoy a lighter or full-bodied, smokier or fruitier scotch. From here, you can identify the region or regions that produce the flavors you enjoy most and the distilleries that produce those types of scotches. You then have the basic information you need to shop online or locally to select scotches you enjoy. It can also be fun to share your basic palate preferences with scotch experts and see what they recommend for you to try.
With this knowledge you can begin right away to taste and experience scotch as you select your very first bottle with confidence.
About the Author: Chad Corsaw grew up in a scotch-loving family. On his 21st birthday his dad gave him a rare single-malt scotch that they opened to celebrate. Today he is a sommelier who specializes in scotches.