When I was a boy, there was one little bottle of whisky in the house. No idea why, nobody liked it. When I took a sneaky taste, I did not like it either. Port wine on the other hand, I liked already at the age of 5 years. Offcourse my parents did not now.
When I grew (much) older and friends started to drink whisky, I tried it too offcourse. The first two sips were OK (but nothing more than that), the sips after that were slightly discusting me to be honest.
25 years later a local shop had a little taste session. Because a friend is a fan of single malt whiskies, I decided to try again. I missed it by half an hour. The next chance, I was late again and pissed off. Fortenately I was wrong, because the hired specialist was still there. Only four whiskies could be tasted. A Grouse family premium blend, Balvenie Doublewood, one I forgot, and a Lagavullin 16.
Because I was the last one tasting, he opened a sample of Highland Park 18. That one convinced me.
I left the store with one bottle of Highland Park 18 and one bottle of Lagavullin 16.
I had the impression the Highland Park at home tasted less good than the sample. Imagination? Or the taste difference between several batches as Ralfy's blog pointed out.
The store also gave me a "taste quadrant". After a few months I asked the store for advise about a whisky from another part of this quadrant. He had an opened bottle of Glendronach Octarine.
I really liked the Glendronach Octarine. The price was reasonable, 34 euros. Searching for information I learned that it was a limited bottleling, so I started to buy a bit more of it than neccesary because I got the feeling the availablility could go down fast. Now several stores cannot supply the Octarine anymore, or at double prices.
So when I finish my Octarine bottles I will have to find a good replacement.
I usually drink whisky as a mini taste event, using a tasting glass and I do not drink one whisky for the whole evening but always have an ad hoc line up.
I really enjoy my dram with toast and French cheese (camembert)....