Whiskey Talk

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ScooberJake

Territorial Marshal
Jul 13, 2004
5,708
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Denver, CO
#21
I'm also somewhat of a whiskey beginner, but have been drinking and exploring for a couple of years. My advice is:

  1. Don't go spending a bunch of money based on recommendations when you don't know yet what you like.
  2. No shame in water or ice. I always put in at least a dash of water (they say it helps open it up).
  3. I like to make and drink Old Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours, but you can't really judge the whiskey in those. I usually do that when I am bored with my current bottle and want to finish it so I can buy another.
  4. If you find something you like, be sure to learn who is the producer (not just the brand) as they will often have many different bottles with the same mash bill and similar taste.
  5. Buffalo Trace is respectable but is the bottom shelf of anything I would buy to drink neat, but that depends a bit on how often you drink it and how much you want to spend. Some other suggestions would be 1792, Longbranch, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Larceny.
 

UrbanCowboy1

Some cowboys gots smarts real good like me.
Aug 8, 2006
4,265
2,076
1,743
Phoenix, AZ
#22
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 shit. 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 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 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.
Dad?
 
Aug 16, 2012
3,524
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#24
Say what you will about brothers-in-laws, mine just gave me my Christmas gift. Like he was reading this thread. Heard good things about this one and it is even on the list @Jostate posted earlier.
8292.jpeg
 

CowboyOrangeFan

Mmmm, yeah.
A/V Subscriber
Jun 9, 2006
5,440
3,611
1,743
Florida
#33
To all:
If you are not sharing good whisky with friends and family, you are missing the purpose. You are allowed to drink by yourself only in front of a fireplace counting your blessings.
Truth.
Meh, I’m in Florida, I don’t have a fireplace.

Although, when I take that first sip from an expensive bottle of whiskey, I inevitably do end up counting my blessings. Unless I’m at the bar at the country club, where all I hear is the a-holes around me lying about their golf game that day.
 

OrangeSpidey

Einstein
A/V Subscriber
Dec 11, 2004
4,915
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Edmond, OK
#40
One of my favorite single malt scotches is Auchentostan. Pretty inexpensive and easy drinker.

Scored some Buffalo Trace the other day. They were unloading the truck at the liquor store and I got one (there weren’t any on the shelf)!

My go-to Rye is Pendleton 1910.