So a friend brought over a bottle of Glenlivet scotch tonight. It's the green bottle, I believe it's the 12yr. Until now, I've only tried bourbon and rye whiskey. Those two taste very different to me- the rye being spicier and hotter, while the bourbon is smoother and mellower. However, the scotch tasted very similar to my memory of bourbon. We had the scotch on the rocks (one big, round cube) and unfortunately by the time I brought out the bourbon and poured a sample the ice had watered down the scotch to the point that it was hard to determine whether they were really as similar as I thought- but I definitely didn't taste the unique characteristics that I was expecting of the scotch.
I was expecting scotch to be big and harsh and peaty (a smell I'm familiar with, but not a taste) but it really tasted pretty close to bourbon. Another (also female) friend agreed with me- the guy who brought over the bottle is new to scotch and whiskey in general and trying to learn to enjoy it for business purposes, so he couldn't offer much of an opinion on the comparison.
So is my palate terrible? Is Glenlivet not a good example of the kind of scotch I was expecting? If my palate is unsdiscerning, what should I do to improve it?