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How to Drink Scotch According to a Scottish Bartender. Scotch can be a difficult drink for Americans to get into.

How to Drink Scotch According to a Scottish Bartender

Whether it’s due to hard-to-pronounce names, or the perception of Scotch as a serious drinking man’s drink, there’s an intimidation factor associated with Scotch whisky on this side of the Atlantic. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Take Scotland for example, the birthplace of Scotch, where cocktails are served with a heavy dose of Scotch whisky. The liquid basically runs in streams through cocktail programs across Edinburgh. And the Scottish believe that Scotch is for everyone. “There’s no restrictions on getting into Scotch whisky,” Jon Linstead, a bartender and bar manager in Edinburgh, Scotland, tells me.

His name is Jon, but his friends call him Jonny, and he comes off like a man who lives and breathes cocktail culture. I’m sitting across the bar from Linstead at the Voodoo Rooms cocktail bar in Edinburgh. So, without further ado, here are the four ways to drink Scotch according to a Scottish bartender. Served with water. The Secret to Picking a Good Scotch Whisky. Picking out a Scotch whisky from a wall of names you have no chance of correctly pronouncing can be intimidating.

The Secret to Picking a Good Scotch Whisky

Names like Allt-a-bhainne, Auchentoshan, and Bruichladdich are sure to get you dirty looks from the Scotch enthusiast behind the counter and the people behind you in line. So you choose one the old fashioned way: blind pointing. How different can each bottle of Scotch be, right? Wrong. That random bottle you pointed out will definitely be peaty, and it’ll probably have some malty flavors.

To be clear, the region doesn’t matter as much as, say, wine regions. The easiest way to have an idea of what you’re getting without tasting (there are over 100 Scotch distilleries and it’s a pricey task to try and taste them all) is to pick your Scotch based on the region. Highland Highland is the largest whisky region by land size.

Lowland Just below Highland is Lowland. Speyside Right in the middle of Scotland, carved out of the Highland region, is Speyside. 10 Best Scotches Under $100: Holiday 2016. Login I forgot my password Don't Have an Account?

10 Best Scotches Under $100: Holiday 2016

Signup Sent! Please check your email for a link to reset your password. Coolmaterial. Review: The Balvenie 15 Year Single-Barrel Sherry Cask. The Balvenie distillery is located in the burgh of Dufftown in Moray, Scotland — in the Speyside region at the north end of the country — and produces some of the most popular whisky on the planet.

Review: The Balvenie 15 Year Single-Barrel Sherry Cask

Both The Balvenie‘s delectable and pricey 21 Year Old Portwood and their more affordable DoubleWood are highly respected, much-enjoyed single malts. But if you’re in the market for something a bit different, their newly released 15 Year Single Barrel Sherry Cask is richly rewarding aesthetically and on the palate. 10 Best Scotches Under $100. Here once was an indecisive man stranded in the middle of Scotland.

10 Best Scotches Under $100

From where he stood, he could set off in any direction and find good Scotch: straight south to the light, fresh Lowlands; straight north to the fruity Highlands; up to the caramel-y region of Speyside in the northeast; or down to peaty, seaweed-y Islay off the southwest coast. Just before he could set off, though, a man behind him asked him to move his shopping cart. How to Buy Scotch Whisky. In this installment of our whisky guide, we’re going to focus on how to buy whisky at the store and online.

How to Buy Scotch Whisky

In past guides, we’ve covered Scotch for Beginners, how it’s made, how to properly drink it and the various regions, as well as many other aspects of whisky. Whisky Flavors by Region Buying Whisky More often than not, walking into a liquor store and asking for a whisky recommendation from the salesman is like the blind leading the blind. The 10 Best Bourbons Not From Kentucky. It might seem like blasphemy, but technically bourbon can be made in other states besides Kentucky.

The 10 Best Bourbons Not From Kentucky

There’s even a well-known dispute as to whether the name comes from Bourbon Street in New Orleans or Bourbon County in Kentucky. Obviously, most of the best bourbons come from Kentucky—this is where Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve are located—but legally, the whiskey only needs to be made in the United States to be categorized as bourbon. It also must be made from a minimum of 51% corn in new, charred American oak casks. Although the folks who make Buffalo Trace, Bulleit and Four Roses make excellent bourbon, there are many other great bourbons made all over the country. These are the ten best bourbons not made in Kentucky. Hillrock Estate Solera Aged Bourbon Hillrock combined their barrel-aged bourbon and matured seed bourbon. FEW Bourbon Garrison Brothers Straight Bourbon Belle Meade Bourbon Koval Single Barrel Bourbon High West American Prairie Bourbon.