The Eleven Bottle Scotch Taste Test

The Setup

Following a brief discussion about the relative merits of different brands of scotch whiskey on the SCC mailing list, PeeWee and Jeff decided that it would be a good idea to go to the store, buy a couple hundred bucks worth of the stuff, and try them back to back. So thats what we did. We went over to Beverages & More on friday night and returned to my house with about $300 worth of scotch packed into the back of PeeWee's mustang.

On the ride back to the house, we thought it would be cool if we could somehow set up a blind taste test of our haul, just to be sure that we weren't being unconciously (or consiously as would be more likely) swayed by the price of the bottle. Luckily for us, my wife Rika happens to be a scientist, and knows all about how to conduct blind studies. She numbered each bottle and poured a sample of each into a numbered coffee cup. She then brought the 11 sample cups into the room where we were shooting pool so that we could sample them in any order we wanted. The samples were straight from the bottle, no water added, although we did each have a glass of water to drink with the sample. While we tried each one, we wrote down our reactions (if any) to the samples. After we tried all of them, we chose our favorite and our least favorite sample numbers. I ranked all of the samples by dividing the group in half based on how much I initially liked the scotch, then re-tested the samples back to back within each group to come up with a final ordering. Peewee just chose his most and least favorites.

Once that was done, Rika let us know which samples came from which bottles.

The Results

Picture NamePrice Comments
Picture of Aberlour 10 Year Highland Malt from Aberlour 10 Year Highland Malt$29.99
Jeff Peppery, Earthy, No medicine 4th place.
PeeWee Tried it
Picture of Bowmore 12 Year from Bowmore 12 Year$36.99
Jeff Antiseptic, mediciney. Listerine. Smokey like a bonfire. Last Place.
PeeWee Well, I can still see. Second worst. 10th place.
Picture of Bowmore Legend from Bowmore Legend$22.99
Jeff Listerine front. Drinks ok. Mediciney back. Charcoal. 10th place.
PeeWee Tastes dirty but smooth. Smokey
Picture of Glenfiddich from Glenfiddich$22.99
Jeff Very good. Fruity, flowery. 3rd place.
PeeWee Good. Sharp finish.
Picture of Glenlivet 18 Year from Glenlivet 18 Year$49.99
Jeff Sharp, sour. 6th place.
PeeWee Didn't try it
Picture of Glenlivet French Oak from Glenlivet French Oak$38.99
Jeff Smells great. Tastes great. Very good 5th place.
PeeWee Tastes smooth
Picture of Jonnie Walker Black from Jonnie Walker Black$23.99
Jeff Good. Very smooth 2nd place.
PeeWee Smooth. Best. The winner!
Picture of Jonnie Walker Red from Jonnie Walker Red$18.99
Jeff Buttery. A bit medicine on finish 7th place.
PeeWee Tried it
Picture of Knockando 12 Year Single Malt from Knockando 12 Year Single Malt$39.99
Jeff Smooth front, medicine back. Good The winner!
PeeWee Medicine aftertaste. Smooth. (Not bad)
Picture of Mclaren Speyside from Mclaren Speyside$14.99
Jeff Sour. Funny smell. Drinks ok. I know this one, its Mclaren or Tullibardine. 9th place.
PeeWee (Made a funny face.) Worst one. Last Place.
Picture of Tullibardine from Tullibardine$19.99
Jeff Mellow. Strange smell 8th place.
PeeWee Tried it

The Blend

At the end of the test, we poured the remainder of the scotch left in the eleven sample cups into one big cup, and added an ice cube. Here are the comments from our tasting panel:

"Rich and varied!"

"Very complex."

"Strangely good, with a hint of ass."

Update! I went to a scotch bar in Tokyo the other night, and had some wonderful scotch. I've got some pitures of them that I will post here later!