Scotch 101: The Scotch Flavor Chart

When I first started getting into scotch and whisky, I started by trying a bunch of different kinds based on recommendations or just what bars happened to have at the time.  Once I started finding some that I liked, what I wanted most was an easy way to say “If I like X, what other whiskies are close to the flavors of X that I might also like?”.  Enter the scotch flavor chart.  This breaks the main flavors of scotch into 4 main areas: broken down as:

Delicate: Flavor profiles based around floral and earth

Smoky: Flavor profiles based in smoke and peat

Light: Flavor profiles based around caramel and bourbon

Rich: Flavor profiles based in sherry and fruit

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There are multiple similar maps, some with the quadrants in different orders.  But the idea is once you find something you like, you can search around for other whiskies in the same area.  Or if you are looking for something completely different, you can go in the exact opposite way.

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