I’m going to step out of my comfort zone for a bit today. I want to tell you about something Hubs has gotten me interested in, something we love together. This is my very basic introduction to scotch for mommas.
It seems that every thing in life has a gender association. Pink is for girls; blue is for boys. Dolls are for girls; tanks are for boys. This reaches into adulthood as well. Crafts are for women; football is for men. Wine is for women; scotch is for men.
Ladies, I’m here to let you in on a little secret. Scotch is delicious! And men love it when women can drink it. For some reason they think that’s impressive. Hubs says one of his favorite things to do is to grab a glass of scotch and sit outside in the evenings with me. It drives him crazy (in a good way) that I love scotch, too.
When you think of scotch, what comes to mind? A dimly lit room filled with leather high-backed chairs, old books, and dark-stained wood. You see gentlemen in suits with a cigar in one hand and an old fashioned tumbler in the other. Do you think of a lady? Not necessarily. And you might not think of your average mom, either.
It all started when our son was born. A very dear friend/family member took Hubs out for scotch and cigars to celebrate the birth of our first child. I thought, “Have at it. That’s too manly for me.” Hubs came home hooked on scotch, and when he wanted to buy his first bottle I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head. He wanted to spend how much money on one bottle of booze? Seriously?! But I’m an understanding and supportive wife, so I obliged.
Naturally I was curious about this bottle of golden liquid that cost just as much as gold. It was The Macallan 18. I had mixed first impressions. I didn’t want to like it because it was so expensive and manly, but the smell was just intriguing. When I tasted it the first time I thought it was okay. It was smooth, but it burned a little and I wasn’t used to that.
As Hub’s collection grew (because you can never have just one), so did my interest. Over the past few years my appreciation and understanding of scotch has grown as well. I’ve even picked up on a few things.
Location Location Location!
Scotch can only be called “scotch” if it is aged in an oak barrel for a minimum of three years in Scotland. Whiskey is made in the U.S. It’s like fingers and thumbs (not all fingers are thumbs, but all thumbs are fingers). Not all whiskey is scotch, but all scotch is whisky. Also, even the region of Scotland where it’s made can affect the flavor.
There are several different types of glasses you can use for scotch. They all have different shapes, curves, and openings. Some of them are designed to concentrate the scent, which can affect the taste. All the different glasses help accentuate the different flavors and nuances of scotch. As a beginner, use an old fashioned tumbler. As you get more accustomed to the experience of scotch, try out different glasses.
The older the scotch, the smoother it is. Older scotches typically have less of that alcohol burn. The flip side of this is that they usually have a higher price tag in exchange, but it’s worth it.
They all taste different. I love reading the descriptions. Some have hints of vanilla or almond. Cinnamon aftertaste. Smoky flavor. All those wonderful descriptions you get from wine? Same thing applies to scotch. Some people add a tiny bit of water to their glasses, as they say it opens some of the flavors, but I do not.
Let me be clear on this: scotch is not the kind of beverage you drink if you’re just looking to get hammered. It’s a social beverage, meant to be enjoyed with company. Pour a small amount in your glass, and appreciate the color and smell first. Take small sips and enjoy the flavor. That small pour will last you a while, so sit back, relax, and unwind.
This is my favorite go-to gift for Hubs now. There are so many different brands and ages that he wants to try, and I do my best to keep track. Scotch or a pair of glasses make a perfect gift for any occasion: birthday, anniversary, Christmas, and just because. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a gift pack that has the scotch and glasses with it.
I wish I could say I’ve sampled more scotches, and that I had a refined palate that could pick up all the various flavors. But I do have three favorites that taste good to me. If you’re looking to start trying scotch for the first time, or need a gift idea, try one of these. They’re great for novices as well as those who are already scotch aficionados.
- The Macallan. I fell in love with the first scotch I ever drank. It’s smooth and rich. It’s a little pricier than the others listed here, so we save this for special occasions.
- Glenlivet. This scotch is more budget-friendly than The Macallan. We have enjoyed the 12, 15, and 18-year-old ages.
- Glenmorangie. My favorite thing about this one is that is has a lovely orange flavor. Not overpowering, but it’s there, and it’s amazing. This is my every day scotch.
Ladies, I hope I’ve changed your mind about scotch, or at the very least opened your mind. It’s not just for men. Don’t let advertising fool you – I think they just don’t want to share! Scotch is perfect for those days after dealing with teething babies and an attitudinal toddler. Grab a glass, cuddle with your man, and commiserate (or celebrate) the day!
Now when I think of scotch, thanks to Hubs, I have happy memories coming to mind. I think of the long conversations we’ve had while lingering over our glasses. I think of sitting outside at night watching the stars and making plans for the future or reminiscing the past.
Have you tried scotch before? What’s your favorite? Do you have a go-to beverage for after the kids are in bed? Tell me below in the comments!