A Brief Beginner's Guide To Whiskey

A Brief Beginner's Guide To Whiskey | Kash Brown | WhiskyWhiskey.Co
We here at whiskywhiskey.co sell products for the bar-minded. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer you all up a quick start rundown on acquiring the palate of a true whiskey connoisseur so that you can more fully appreciate our products here at the Co. Let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty that will get you in front of a bartender without resorting to blankly staring at a cocktail menu for about 3 minutes before ordering a jack and coke.

What’s in a name?

Sure, whiskey or whisky, is a fine drink, but what’s all this about bourbons, ryes, or even scotches? The classic square is not a rectangle dilemma. Whiskey is the generic term for alcohol distilled from grain mash. Each type of whiskey has strict rules and regulations that generally involve keeping manufacture to very specific places. You can’t make Scotch outside of Scotland, even if you produce it exactly the same. The differences in the types of whiskey don’t just involve geography, there are also different classifications such as what type of grain has been used, the length of the aging process, and even the type of cask used in the aging process. Just know that you’re getting a very distinct flavor difference with each type of whiskey.

Bourbon’s are generally sweeter and smokier, and these include brands such as Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, or Maker’s Mark. Scotch is primarily defined by its use of malted barley and the dragging bite along the back of your neck when you take a swig coupled with a satisfying earthy taste. Generally not advised for beginners to the wonderful world of whiskey, most have a Scottish name so be on the lookout for Macallan, Glenlivet, or Johnnie Walker. Rye is spicy with a mean streak most of the time, distilled from at least 51% rye, brands such as Journeyman Ravenswood or Van Winkle Family Reserve produce this spirit.

Begin the Journey!

Now you know the secrets, let’s begin the journey to boozy enlightenment. We recommend some Maker’s Mark or Four Roses for an easy entry into the world of Bourbon. If you’re adventurous, head down to your local liquor shop and ask for the good stuff, specifically some Glenmorangie 12 or Aberlour 10. Feel free to select whatever grabs your heartstrings, but just use your knowledge and maybe avoid ryes or harsh scotches. It’s generally a great idea to ask the staff at your local liquor store, depending on where you happen to be shopping. They tend to be both knowledgeable and helpful if you tell them that you’re new and looking for advice. They wouldn’t be working in a liquor store for too long until they started shopping here themselves!
At last, a bottle! Now, how to drink? You’re now the proud owner of a new special bottle; however, your thoughts are racing.

How do I drink this like a true pro?

Don’t bust out your plastic wine glass or sippy cup yet, we’ve got you covered. There are four ways to really drink your new bottle. Neat, which you’ll probably want to try first, is just pouring it into a nice glass and drinking it straight. This is generally thought of as the purists’ choice, you drink it as it was distilled without distilling it further. This is great for a first taste, but we recommend adding some water to that glass. Some claim it opens up a bouquet of flavors, but mostly it’s to keep your tongue from getting numb as you anesthetize it with high-grade alcohol. Add a capful of water and add more until you can take nice sips without feeling your tongue numbing.

How about ice, instead of water?

Drinking ‘On The Rocks’ simply means adding a few cubs of ice to a glass of the good stuff. We recommend the ‘capful’ method. But there’s also a huge myriad of cocktail recipes both on the internet and here on the site!

Check out our top 20 whiskey cocktail recipes here.