Whiskey Talk

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Jan 14, 2006
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#2
Am new to the game of liking nice whiskey and exploring. Any advice?


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You'll have to do a little sampling on your own to see what your thing is and go from there.

I've settled on being a bourbon guy myself. I think there was a bourbon thread on here at some point.

Let me know your price range and I'll tell you what I like but I'm not a sophisticated dude.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#6
Ok, this is going to be WAY too long.
Cigars, whiskey (with an 'e') and golf are my vices in no particular order and preferably at the same time.

Everyone's taste is different and you have to remember one thing. Just when you think you are developing some degree of knowledge, you realize you do not actually know sh&%. I am going to write a lot here as I attend tastings, talk with suppliers, friends, etc, and in the end...I do not know sh&%.

Here is one of my primary rules. Avoid blends. There is a huge market for blends where "distillers" literally buy overstock from legit names then mix and match to create their own using not just whiskeys, but other non-whiskey grain alcohol as well. You would be surprised by some of the more well known names that do this such as Jameson's. They are usually very young and the base whiskey that is required to have proof of age only has to constitute 20% of the product.

Rule 2. When you discuss whiskey, never give an opinion if it is based on your consumption as part of a mixed drink. Got to drink it straight or cut slightly with water so that you can discuss the whiskey itself. It also opens you up to ridicule among purists.

I am not one (snob) and mix mine probably 60% of the time. Found out the hard way how passionate some people are about it.

Rule 3-Forget everything you thought you knew about brands if your info is more than 20 years old. There was a huge upheaval in the industry over the late 80s-90s. Some names that were once consider poor are now good and vice-versa, there are more players, and unfortunately, too many local distillers are actually part of larger international conglomerates that rep multiple brands.

I have a fun game I play where I take 3-6 glasses (wide bottom, narrow top is best IMO) that are marked on the bottom and have wife pour the shots noting which is which. Then sample trying to identify only by taste. I can tell the blends as they buzz the undersides of my tongue, but beyond that, I suck at the game except for picking out the Buffalo Trace.

Would guess I have about 15 different brands at any one time but my under $50 go to choices include.

Straight
Buffalo Trace
Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight
Blanton's Single Barrel (actually a high rye mash content)

Mixed
Buffalo Trace
Weller's Special Reserve

Wish I could find and hope it is as good as I imagine:
Elmer T. Lee

Valhalla:
Pappy Van Winkle
Made "popular" from the HBO series Justified. Rare, rare rare. Expensive, expensive, expensive. Had an opportunity to go to a tasting where PVW was the main card. $600 a seat. Afraid I would be disappointed or not be able to tell it from a bottle of Jack, I passed. Not worthy yet.

By my list you can tell I have an affinity for the Buffalo Trace/Sazerac brands.

So many options and so many are really good.
 
Last edited:
Apr 12, 2020
973
407
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Stillwater
#7
Ok, this is going to be WAY too long.
Cigars, whiskey (with an 'e') and golf are my vices in no particular order and preferably at the same time.

Everyone'ss taste is different and you have to remember one thing. Just when you think you are developing some degree of knowledge, you realize you do not actually know shit. I am going to write a lot, but I attend tastings, talk with suppliers, friends, etc, and...I do not know shit.

Here is one of my primary rules. Avoid blends. There is a huge market for blends where "distillers" literally buy overstock from legit names then mix and match to create their own using not just whiskeys, but other non-whiskey grain alcohol as well. You would be surprised by some of the more well known names that do this such as Jameson's. They are usually very young and the base whiskey that is required to have proof of age only has to constitute 20% of the product.

Rule 2. When you discuss whiskey, never give an opinion if it is based on your consumption as part of a mixed drink. Got to drink it straight or cut slightly with water so that you can discuss with others the whiskey itself. It also opens you up to ridicule among purists.

I am not one and mix mine probably 60% of the time. Found out the hard way how passionate some people are about it.

Rule 3-Forget everything you thought you knew about brands if your info is more than 20 years old. There was a huge upheaval in the industry over the late 80s-90s. Some names that were once consider poor are now good and vice-versa, there are more players, and unfortunately, local distillers are actually part of larger international conglomerates that rep multiple brands.

I have a fun game where I play where I take 3-6 glasses (wide bottom, narrow top is best IMO) that are marked on the bottom and have wife pour the shots noting which is which. Then sample trying to identify only by taste. I can tell the blends as they buzz the undersides of my tongue, but beyond that, I suck at the game except for picking out the Buffalo Trace.

Would guess I have about 15 bottles at any one time but my under $50 go to choices include.

Straight
Buffalo Trace
Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight
Blanton's Single Barrel (actually a high rye mash content)

Mixed
Buffalo Trace
Weller's Special Reserve

Wish I could find and hope it is as good as I hope:
Elmer T. Lee

Valhalla:
Pappy Van Winkle
Made "popular" from the HBO series Justified. Rare, rare rare. Expensive, expensive, expensive. Had an opportunity to go to a tasting where PVW was the main card. $600 a seat. Afraid I would be disappointed or not be able to tell it from a bottle of Jack, I passed. Not worthy yet.

By my list you can tell I have an affinity for the Buffalo Trace/Sazerac brands.

So many options and so many are really good.
Great advice. I started going a bit deeper thanks to a gift but I’ve gotten relatively into it in a short amount of time, although I haven’t had Buffalo Trace and I know that’s the big one to try once you get past the bigger brands.


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steross

he/him
A/V Subscriber
Mar 31, 2004
32,301
32,993
1,743
oklahoma city
#8
Am new to the game of liking nice whiskey and exploring. Any advice?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I am far from an expert.
And, I generally do something that many consider whiskey sacrilege. I like it with ice. Not a bunch, just a little. I've been told it decreases the flavors and it ends up watering it down too much. I tried to be a good boy and just add a little water but I never liked it as much.

Then, I saw this article and video. I just do what I want now.
https://www.distillerytrail.com/blo...fred-noe-explains-how-to-drink-bourbon-video/

I'm partial to bourbons too. My Scottish friends in Aus had huge collections of whiskey. The biggest thing I recall is depending on the part of Scotland different distilleries dry the barley with peat and so some is very "peaty" or smokey and some less so. I liked the peaty, about one, then I didn't want any more.
 
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Aug 16, 2012
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#10
I am far from an expert.
And, I generally do something that many consider whiskey sacrilege. I like it with ice. Not a bunch, just a little. I've been told it decreases the flavors and it ends up watering it down too much. I tried to be a good boy and just add a little water but I never liked it as much.

Then, I saw this article and video. I just do what I want now.
https://www.distillerytrail.com/blo...fred-noe-explains-how-to-drink-bourbon-video/

I'm partial to bourbons too. My Scottish friends in Aus had huge collections of whiskey. The biggest thing I recall is depending on the part of Scotland different distilleries dry the barley with peat and so some is very "peaty" or smokey and some less so. I liked the peaty, about one, then I didn't want any more.
Partial to ice myself. I just tell anyone that complains the whiskey is not going to be there long enough for the ice to melt.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#13
Last edited:
Jul 5, 2020
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Broken Arrow
#14
Am new to the game of liking nice whiskey and exploring. Any advice?


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I’m not quite clear to what whiskey you refer, since both bourbon and scotch are both types of whiskey. If you’re referring to bourbon, I’d recommend starting with Woodford’s Double Oaked. If you’re referring to scotch, I suggest digging a little deeper in the wallet and going with an 18-year old Glenmorangie, a really smooth, nice tasting single malt.
 
Jan 14, 2006
2,348
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#15
My personal go to right now is a Knob Creek single barrel. Best under $50 bourbon I've had. They're store pick so they might vary from town to town but highly recommend. They're 120 proof so I need a little or ice to thin it out.

Some of the maker's store picks are really good too but they'll run you $65 or so.
 
Feb 6, 2007
4,347
4,569
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Ardmore, Ok.
#16
Whisky/Whiskey is a journey. Don't let anybody else box you in. I used to think I was strictly a Scotch man, but now enjoy Bourbon as well. Don't let anyone tell you that blended whiskys(eys) are inferior. Single malts/single distillery offerings and blended bottlings both span the full gamut, from great to bad. Let your individual tastes guide you.

Variety is the spice of life. Be adventurous; try many different styles and labels. Compare them side x side. Watch Youttube videos of reviews to help guide you, but let your preferences be autonomous of what someone else thinks. Your palate will change from day to day and depending on what you have eaten, and how long it has been since you ate it; so, a whisky(ey) you didn't like yesterday may appeal to you today. Don't let one sampling shape your opinion. Some change, for better or worse, with a small amount of water (a teaspoon or less).

Get some good glassware that enhances the experience of nosing and tasting. Glencairn glasses are the best I have used.

Like me, you will likely even find that you detest most bottlings from some distilleries, but like a particular bottling from the same distiller. For instance, I abhor Jack Daniel's No. 7 Black Label, and most anything else from them, but their gold label Single Barrel Select-Barrel Proof is, in my opinion, one of the most fabulous and underrated whiskeys to be had. It's like drinking Bananas Foster!

There has been an influx of new, small artisan distillers, and the consumer is the beneficiary. Their talents and creativity are not restricted by tradition, and they have forced long-established makers to expand their horizons. Geographical boundaries and location no longer have the cache or appeal of provenance they once did.

As you progress on your journey, come back and share your experiences and thoughts about particular bottles and we will indulge you in our personal experiences. We can enhance the experience of each other.
 

jetman

Federal Marshal
Nov 27, 2004
16,001
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Edmond Oklahoma
#17
Sep 3, 2009
401
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#20
All I can say is try as many Bourbons / Whiskeys as possible. I have become a big fan since moving to Tennessee about 4.5 years ago. It is amazing how much better the selections are here, compared to Oklahoma and other states I have lived in. I am frequently traveling back to Oklahoma or other states and bring a bottle or two to friends. Buffalo Trace as mentioned is a pretty good "everyday" sipper, but Buffalo Trace the company has many hard to find great bourbons. (my option of course) Blanton's (single Barrel and now Gold) Eagle Rare and or course Pappy (Old Van Winkle and Pappy Van Winkle) Pappy is hard to find, or at least around here, hard to find at a reasonable price. (Some liquor stores here will let you enter a raffle every time you buy a bottle of something and sell it for the suggested retail. (Ballpark $70 - $300 depending on the age) I would not suggest buying it ever if you find it but it is marked up 3X-5X as you will never want to drink it!! I would suggest having some tasting parties with some friends… Everyone brings a bottle and then do blind taste tests with the winner getting a bottle or something like that!! It is a fun way to taste and figure out what you like!! (If a lot of friends come over…. Plan on spending the night!! )

I have other ones I like but I do believe it is different for everyone… If you ever get a chance, it is fun to go to the distilleries in Tennessee and Kentucky. I hope you enjoy exploring new Whiskey's and Bourbons, let us know if you stumble on to something new that is worth trying!!