I don’t drink single malt Scotch, but after reading this article, I’m thinking I probably should. This article describes my tastes pretty well, except for the Connecticut and Zinfandels bit:
My obsession with the stuff is a story of extremes. As a kid in the suburbs of Connecticut in the ’60s and ’70s, I was weaned on all things bland and homogenized: Wonder Bread, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, fish sticks, and, in high school, Budweiser. I never liked beer until I tasted the robust, hoppy ales of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Big California wines–bruiser zinfandels, with a touch of loaminess–followed. Sourdough from what was alleged to be a yeast culture born before the Civil War tantalized me with what I’ll call its … offness. Off like certain cheeses. Off like Asian sauces ladled out of barrels of decomposing fish. I became a freak for all things “off.” When you put something strongly flavored or “off” in your mouth, your most primitive instincts tell you to spit it out, yet the perception of danger heightens the senses and makes the pleasure more intense. A design for living, that.
For what it’s worth, I didn’t drink beer in high school and I’m still OK with drinking cheap, watery American beer if the occasion suits it.