Well I tried the initial set of recommended ones plus a few more, them went and got a second set of tasters of 18/21 year olds. I printed off some tasting notes so that I had something to look for that others had smelt/tasted but I reckon they either had drunk waaay too much themselves or I am suffering from Covid symptoms! I rated them all out of 10 (10 being what I imagine would be a perfect whisky for me) for taste and also "burn", both neat and with a few drops of water (10 being ripped out my toungue, throat and tonsils, 1 like nectar).
I'm not sure what this says about me but my scores were (Taste / Burn Neat / Burn with water):
Jura 12: 3/8/6. Very medicinal, tarry no hints of vanilla or chocolate coated raisins for me
Glenlivet 12: 6/7/5 Again a little tarry but far less so, could get some hints of fruit and a little buttery plus some oaky spiceness on the finish.
Glenmorangie 10: 6/7/6 Got hints of vanilla but not much else on the tasting notes that I could relate to.
Glenfarclas 10: 6.5/8/6 Some light toffee notes and OK finish. Best of the first bunch of "younger" tasters.
Glenfiddich 12: 5/9/6. Really burned this one, somewhat put me off, couldn't really get any of the smells or tastes.
I then got a few more drams from Masters of Malt, these didn't tend to need the water which is what I was after so only 2 scores here:
Tomatin 18: 8/4.5 This was the pick of the bunch though I couldn't make out the same tastes as the notes other than maybe the oak, certainly never tasted any sweetness.
Glen Spey 21: 7/5 I wrote lovely! Could recognise the roasted pear/apricot and marmalade. Had a lingering taste but coudn't put my finger on it (not drying nutmeg as suggested)
Jura 18: 7/4 So much better than the 12! much less tarry.
Jura 21: 6.5/5 Very strange this, I was expecting a better experience on both taste and smoothness but ranked it worse on both counts, very odd.
Glenrothes 21: 7/4 Didn't really recognise much of the tasting notes descriptions
Finally I had a little taste of the Glenfarclas 21 that I bought in St Andrews on a golf visit a couple of years ago and this was a great buy: 8.5/2.5 Best by a margin, the only trouble is I can't afford another bottle
and it is nearly all gone
Still got more tasting to do with the second set so perhaps I might spot more flavours as I get used to what I am doing?