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July 8, 2014

8 Things Beginner Scotch Drinkers Should Know: An Interview With Scotch Expert Richard Crawford


8 things beginner scotch drinkers should knowIn recent years the scotch-whiskey industry has boomed. The rising demographic is growing up drinking scotch-whiskey, rather than vodka or beer. If you’re a scotch drinker or trying to make the transition into enjoying a glass of scotch, this article contains some crucial information. We’ve reached out to scotch expert Richard Crawford. He’s given some great advice from how to enjoy a scotch, how to store it, and what to look out for while ordering a scotch. Read this article to expand your scotch knowledge.

1.What’s the story of your first drink of scotch? Was it love at first sip or an acquired taste for you? If acquired, when was your aha moment?

Both my dad and uncle worked for the Grants family who own Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky so my first taste was at a very early age. Of course I had no understanding of Scotch whisky or a developed pallet to fully appreciate what I was tasting so it wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

My ah ha moment was more of a moment of full appreciation for what scotch whisky when I spent a day with the international Glenlivet ambassador, Mr Ian Logan. We spent the best part of a cold wet day in the hills of Scotland making our own Scotch whisky form an old portable still. When that first run of spirit started flowing out of the tube I in that moment became a true advocate of our national product.

2. What’s the best scotch you’ve ever tasted?

The Glenlivet Cellar collection 1964… a 40 Year old Whisky followed by a close 2nd in the Balvenie Tun 1401 I cant remember the batch number.

3. Does the age of the scotch affect how good it tastes?

There are many factors that affect the taste of a whisky and age certainly adds an element to the final flavor profile but keep in mind older does not necessarily mean better.

4. Are the more expensive scotches always the best?

No. The price of a scotch whisky is set by many factors including age, type of barrel used, supply and demand but ultimately tasting scotch whisky is a very subjective matter so price does not determine quality.

5. What’s the most important thing to remember when ordering a scotch?

Not every Scotch whisky tastes the same. There is a much larger variety in the flavor of scotches than most people realize so taste with an open pallet and an open mind and of course drink as many different Scotch whiskies as you can….just not a one time 😉

6. What scotch would you recommend for a beginner scotch drinker?

I recommend a region more than a specific scotch. The Speyside region (Norteast) typically offers whiskies that are approachable and over all fruitier, sweeter and more balanced especially for the beginner.

7. What’s the best way to enjoy a scotch?

I prefer to add a little splash of water to my whiskies. For me it opens it up a little and releases aromas and flavor profiles giving a fuller, complex and balanced nose and taste.

8.How should scotch be drunk?

The way that you enjoy it and don’t let anyone else tell you different. Whether its neat, on ice of with a splash of water , it is your preference and your preference alone.

9. How do you store a bottle of scotch?

Upright at room temperature is sufficient.

10. What’s one thing all scotch drinkers should know?

Scotch Whisky is a product of its environment, its history, heritage, craftsmanship, science and art, it has stood the test of time for centuries through economic hardships, wars, and demand lulls. When you full understand all of this, each sip you take form each dram is so much sweeter and the experience so much more fulfilling.

Are You A Beginner Scotch Drinker? How Do You Order Your Scotch?

In the comments below, tell us if you’re a beginner scotch drinker. What kind of scotches did you drink to help get you started with this type of liquor?

Danielle Cherrick

Danielle loves a good glass of wine. She enjoys exploring various kinds of spirits and learning more about what she's drinking so she can enhance her palate and tasting skills.

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