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    Scotch whisky is not necessarily a necessary gaming accessory, but it’s nice one to have when you’re relaxing on the couch doing a spot of post-game analysis over a snifter or two. Despite years of intensive liver abuse, I was introduced to Scotch whisky only a few years ago by a bunch of thoroughly decadent gamer friends who occasionally get together to play Shanghai Trader or six-player Overlord games of Memoir ’44.

    Since then, in the course of my visits to Peter in NZ over the last few years I’ve taken advantage of the duty-free to create some half-decent collections on both sides of The Ditch. My latest acquisition is a Jura ‘Turas-Mara’, which according to the label is a ‘Travel Exclusive’. Whether it is or no, it’s a lovely smoky drop without either the intense honey of the highland stuff, nor any lowland peat. Not to say that either of these elements aren’t enjoyable, but I’m not enough of a connoisseur (yet, nor is it likely anytime soon) to make any strong claims for either.

    I was attracted to the Jura brand by the character of policeman Sean Duffy in Adrian McKinty’s ‘The Troubles’ Trilogy, (set in Northern Ireland in the 1980s), who regularly uses Jura to calm his nerves after a hard day of being shot at by the IRA: “Aaaaah, The Juuuurraaaa.”

    I thoroughly recommend both the whisky and the books. I listened to them on Audible, which was a damned-fine way to experience them and left both hands free to manipulate glass and bottle.

    Universal Head

    Excellent subject for a forum thread Will.

    Given there’s about a dozen bottles in my collection now, I find myself flitting from one to the other when I have a wee dram now, which is all very well to perpetuate variety, but makes it difficult to appreciate all the complexities of a single drop of a period of time. Any advice on tasting patterns anyone?


    Yes, Will excellent topic and very timely since the bottle of Glenlivet ran dry last week and it is time for restocking.

    A couple of years ago I bought Bruichladdich heavily peated Port Charlotte after I saw a bottle in the background of a photo and liked the shape of the bottle. Interesting and probably an acquired taste with an aroma reminiscent of a recently creosoted fence post – yet strangely addictive.

    I might pencil in Jura Superstition Whisky (who could resist a bottle with an Ankh on it) or a repeat bottle of Monkey Shoulder – ‘triple’ malt Scotch (I managed to lever the monkeys off the last bottle).


    Ah, an excellent topic. I’ve been on my second Scotland holiday this year and visited two distilleries: Bunnahabhain (on Islay) and Isle of Arran. Since then the Bunnahabhain 12yrs has really conquered by heart (and palate). Only slightly peated, it is wonderfully smooth yet complex. And it is an affordable price range for me. 😀 A new bottle just arrived yesterday and is sitting pristinely on the shelf. There’s also an unopened Glenmorangie 12yrs Lasanta next to it, but that’s a Christmas gift for my father. *sighs*

    As for tasting patterns, I’m sure this is basic advice, but I’d always start with the smoother ones (usually the Speysides) and end with heavily peated drams from the west coast. I’d also not try more than two or three (at most) different ones in one evening.


    Wow. Cool thread. And at the same time, it makes me feel like quite the novice drinker. I’ve had scotch whiskey a couple times, and it’s a little “powerful?” for my palete. I usually drink Bourbon.

    Would you guys be able to recommend a nice noob friendly scotch? I always hear such great things about the drink, but I always gravitate toward what I’m comfortable with.

    Universal Head

    It’s definitely an acquired taste – despite being a quarter Scottish myself, it took me a while to understand and appreciate a good single malt. As in most things, it’s best to go for the high quality stuff; I don’t know how people manage to drink more commercial blends on a regular basis, for example, what’s the point? Another tip was going from ‘drinking’ to ‘tasting’; ie keeping the portions small, adding a teaspoonful or so of water (not ice, it drastically waters down the whiskey as it melts), and taking your time.

    You can’t go wrong with this excellent series of YouTube reviews:

    As for recommendations, stay away from the peaty, smoky stuff to start with – your Islay whiskies like Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Caol Ila etc. they take a little longer to come to terms with.

    Good introductory whiskies are Glenmorangie, Oban, Balvenie, Auchentoshan. 12 year olds (very) roughly speaking.

    A good glass helps, these are excellent:

    Take your time with the aroma, letting it drift past your nose a few times. Appreciate the colour – the more straw coloured whiskies usually indicate that no caramel has been used to give it that golden brown colour, or it isn’t chill-filtered, and that’s generally accepted to be a good thing. Taste a bit and try to identify the flavours. Appreciate the initial flavour, how it changes, and of course the all-important aftertaste.

    This are just ravings from a very inexperienced taster. It’s a lot of fun and definitely a rabbit hole once you get started!


    You may consider this sacrilegious, but I don’t recall drinking a single malt.

    My short of choice is Southern Comfort, but refuse to call it ‘soco’ as they do in those annoying cinema adverts… to me it is ‘scumfort’, a descriptor I encourage others to use and spread as it has more of a ring to it than ‘soco’.

    Universal Head

    I’ve got a bottle of Lasanta Uthoroc; it has a lovely slight sherry sweetness from the casks. Must track down a Bunnahabhain.


    8th Pagan – I will have to tell my wife about the Southern Comfort ad as she is a SOCO (Scenes Of Crime Officer).

    Why do scotch whisky makers often insist on brand names that make you sound like you have a speech impediment ?

    Universal Head

    That’d be Gaelic, usually.


    Aren’t garlic ones usually French ?
    Green Chartreuse isn’t too bad either, especially when watching repeats of Poirot.
    Yellow Chartreuse – blahhh!


    Oi!!!!! No French!

    Seriously though, comparing the Gaelic language to the source of French body odour is likely to cause offence.

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