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If I like Jameson, what else might I like?

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I tried whiskey for the first time last night -- Jameson, and was pleasantly surprised. I'm typically a gin/tequila/vodka person.

I was satisfied with the lack of an aftertaste, and the amount of (what I assume to be) peaty flavor didn't really bother me. I didn't even need a chaser.

What would be a good whiskey for me to try next? I've been told that Jack Daniel's is very sugary/syrupy, and as someone who tends to stray from that, I'm hesitant to try it. Would the peat in JW Scotch be too much? What about Bourbon?

Suggestions would be great.

Many thanks-

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  1. Ezra Brooks. A nice, and inexpensive Bourbon.

    1. can't go wrong with elijah craig, maker's mark or wild turkey for bourbon. for peaty scotch get ardbeg or laphroaig. less peaty scotch go with maccallan. for irish whiskey like jameson but much, much better try red breast. i would be hesitant to try anything by johnny walker.

      1. There is no peat in Jameson. If you liked the smooth flavor of Jameson, the natural next step would be Redbreast. It's a more refined Irish Whiskey made by the Midleton Distillery, the same distillery that makes Jameson. Redbreast is a pure pot still whiskey, meaning it's made from 100% barley (both malted and unmalted) as opposed to Jameson, which is a blended whiskey (made from a blend of barley and other grains).

        If you want to branch out to try other whiskies there are a plethara out there. Again, riffing on the Jameson flavor profile, you might want to try a lighter single malt Scotch like Balvenie or Glenlivet. For something a bit heavier, try Famous Grouse or Highland Park. If you're interested in trying peat, I would go full throttle and get yourself a Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Lagavulin and see if you dig it.

        1. Try some Jameson Gold, a step above the normal jameys.

          1. I think the OP may be using the word "peaty" to mean an earthy flavor, whereas the scotch drinking world uses the term to mean smokey. Peat is burned to dry the malted barley.

            Just be warned: Laphroaig is a very, very smokey scotch and the 10 year especially so. That's fine if you're investing in one drink at a bar or a sip at a friend's house, but it would be a shame to buy a fairly expensive bottle and hate it. Lagavulin is probably my favorite scotch, also very peaty, but it is even more expensive (maybe about $70 these days). The scotches from Islay are usually very peaty.

            I think the Balvenie suggestion is an excellent one for scotch.

            If you want to stick with Irish, try regular Clontarf (not the more expensive reserve or whatever they call it). For $20 I find it very flavorful and good enough to drink neat. I'll sometime have a bit of something special first, then switch to Clontarf. I prefer it to Jameson, and it's cheaper. I also agree the Redbreast is excellent (more expensive, though).

            If sweet isn't your thing, I might wait a bit before venturing into bourbons.

            Welcome to the whiskey drinking world. If you like whiskey neat, you'll always be able to find something to drink. You can bring one bottle somewhere where there's no ice even and enjoy yourself. Even the worst bartender can pour a liquid into a glass and hand it to you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EvergreenDan

              Agree with the above...I also enjoy 18yr Glenfiddich (sp?)

              Recent favourite is the special reserve Jameson....so so smooth!

              On a side note, I have long been a Jack Daniels drinker...starting off with Jack D and coke, which I was quickly weaned off. My current favourite is Silver Jack on ice

            2. Bushmills, or one step up, Black Bush are both nice Irish whiskeys as well.

              1. redbreast 12 year old irish whiskey
                woodford reserve bourbon
                famous grouse/black grouse

                1 Reply
                1. re: kitchenassassin

                  I agree with the Redbreast. I would think that you would like Blackbush as well. As far as Scotch goes, I would take it easy and move into the Speysides and Lowland Scotches first. As a drinker of clear spirits you will probably not immediately enjoy some of the stronger flavours in the Islay's, Buichladdich excepting. Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Balvenie would be good choices. If you like those then maybe Highland Park, then Tallisker, and then maybe the Islay brands. Definitely try some blends as well. Famous Grouse, Teachers, Johnny Walker Black. Stay away from Black Grouse at this point.

                  Also, you mention not liking the aftertaste. That is a big part of tasting whisky, especially the really good ones. The lingering reminder of something that you really like can be fantastic.

                  BTW, although it could be fun, I don't suggest trying all these in one night. But if you do, please invite me.