The simple answer is YES, of course. The problem is, as we taste more and become priviledged enough to try some really dynamite drams from beyond our comfortable price bracket, we begin to develop a taste for the finer things. But are there good whiskies (excluding supermarket brands, etc.) that dont break the bank?
Five Cheap and Tasty Whiskies
that come to mind right now (ie. in no particular order and may change my mind tomorrow):
Jon, Mark, and Robbo - I say Smooth Sweeter One, Kristin says Rich Spicy One, Inder says Smokey Peaty One. The point is just get one. Sublte but dense. Multidimensional in each category. One of the best cork-pop sounds out there. Cheap, (£15-ish) and with the departure of Robbo, one cannot be sure that the stuff will be the same, or even around (!) in 2007.
Old Pultney 12 - on offer often and always worth the full price(£24-ish). Bourbony vanilla nose, creamy and inviting. Soft on the tongue, so whisky virgin safe. Sweet and Salty taste, like licorice, with a buttery toast taste throughout.
Balblair 16 - Taste it and try to guess the price. Seriously. It has coastal rubbery notes, slight salt, oily tones on the nose(chinese cooking?) and vibrantly viscous in the mouth, sweet dried fruits, raisins and spice. Seriously hefty on the bang-for-buck scale.
Compass Box Eleuthera- More expensive(£30), but totally worth it when you learn what is inside. Rich wood spices and buttery vanillas all in the key of smoke. Frickin gorgeous.
Black Bottle - At around £14, you cant do much better to satisfy the peat freak in you. But is does not cover you in smoke, in fact the balance between sweet ice creamy grain and salty, briny, smoked kippers tastes is its real accomplishment. The first time whisky drinker might shiver, but that only means more for you!
and a Cask Strength bonus
Glenfarclas 105- Around £30, but at cask strength worth every pound. Massive but balanced, lots of wood, chocolate, and all things that drive sherry freaks wild.
FOR MORE RECENT CHEAP WHISKY RECOMMENDATIONS SEE "Top Picks" HERE and HERE
ALSO SEE CHRISTMAS PICKS 2008 HERE