Cheerios & Scotch

glenlivetAn acquaintance of mine once said he only eats Cheerios for breakfast. I replied that I like Cheerios but I usually buy the generic versions. His response was, “Oh, I can’t eat those they don’t taste the same.” Yeah, they don’t taste the same but they both taste good. The nutritional and content labels read the same, they both taste good, they are both good for you, and one costs 33% less than the other. I taught consumer finance for several years and remain a firm believer in receiving value for the buck.

Okay, that takes care of the Cheerio part of the title, now let’s talk about the Scotch part. Scotch is a lot like wine, there are the  connoisseurs who make all kinds of snobbish claims and would never admit to drinking and enjoying an inexpensive table wine from an Ohio vineyard.

In the world of Scotch there are those who insist you’ve never had a good Scotch until you’ve experiences an expensive twelve-year old single-malt Scotch. Then there are those who say the really good Scotches are the long-aged blended whiskeys that represent the best of several distilleries. And then there is me. Me who breaks many of the rules about Scotch.

My experiences with Scotch have been mostly with cheaper blended whiskeys that has aged between three to five years. Brands like Lauder’s, Clan McGregor, Scoresby, Iver House Green, and Old Kilt Mold. These brands cost about $20 for a 1.75 liter bottle.  The connoisseurs go nuts when I admit to drinking this swill and even more when I announce I drink it over ice. Another common comment is, “Well, if you’re going to drink Scotch you have to buy a good single-malt.” A single-malt Scotch is one that is made entirely in one distillery and in a single batch. Absolutely no blending.

I’ve listened and listened to these remarks and I’ve bitten the bullet and purchased, “the good stuff.” The result is much like the Cheerio thing, they all taste different but they all taste good. They can all be enjoyed and if a buzz is what you’re after, they will all provide you with a hives worth of buzz.

I’ve bought several levels of Johnny Walker blends and found them to be delicious. I bought a cheaper brand of single-malt and found it to be very smoky and tasty. Just last week I bought a bottle of Glenlivet single-malt, which isn’t cheap, and while nice I didn’t find it as favorable as the Johnny Walker blends.

When I first popped the cork on the Glenlivet I poured a small amount into a clean glass went through the process of smelling its bouquet and then rolling it around on the tongue. Afterwards I rinsed my mouth with water and did the same with a sample Scoresby. The conclusion was just like the Cheerios, different but both good.

So, I’m back to being the old consumer education teacher. My day to day Scotch allotment is going to remain the less expensive blends and on those rare occasions where I’ve lost my mind, I’ll opt for a Johnny Walker Black.

By the way, a pint bottle of Glenlivet cost $23. Call me cheap but a pint versus a liter and three-quarter for about the same money…hey we’re talking Scotch, invented by Scotsmen, and we all know about how frugal the Scots are.

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