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Acquiring the taste

General chat and talk about whisky.

Acquiring the taste

Postby zarb » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:24 am

I remember discussing the old "what's your poison?" issue with some friends a few years back and one telling me he was a lager drinker, and saying that he was envious of anyone who was an "afficionado" of whisky, wine, real ale etc. He said he'd really love to have a go at acquiring the taste eventually, which seemed a bit strange to me as it doesn't seem to be something you can force- you either like a certain drink or you don't.

This could be because I grew up in a household of whisky drinkers- not all my family appreciate the single malts but they all drink whisky in some form- and for me the taste was pretty immediate. So, I was wondering if it was the same for the rest of you- was the taste of whisky immediate, acquired, or something you hated at first and came back to much later to find your tastes had changed?
zarb
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:35 am

I came to it late--in my forties--and I had to work at it, zarb. It took me two years to "get" it! I think it would have come more easily if I'd had some tutoring, but I was on my own. I had been intrigued by things I'd read, and figured it was worth getting into.

Of course, since I didn't really get it right away, that two-year learning curve involved very sporadic experience.

Before that, I was pretty much a beer drinker (and still am), and my tastes there evolved over the years, largely as a matter of what was available. I remember thinking bottled Bass was top of the line; now I think it's pretty awful.

I envy anyone who got the good stuff right away, but on the other hand, maybe they don't value it as much as I do! And I still marvel at all the folks in pubs in the UK shelling out for Stella.
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Postby zarb » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:53 am

That reminds me of a joke by Al Murray, Pub Landlord- he said something along the lines of "I sell whisky because it's disgusting- men who want to look sophisticated try it for a change, realise it's disgusting, and go back to spending their money on my beer instead." :)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:17 am

Rum and bourbon were naturals for me -- I find few (though they exist) of either in which I can't find a redeeming value. Single malt Scotch, to be honest, has been another manner. I don't care for many styles, but have found by experimentation that I quite enjoy particular Speysides, Lowlands and Highlands. Even well-aged (over 15 years or so) Islays and island malts possess a complexity I can appreciate.
Heck, I've even begun drinking a beer or two in the last year, after almost 50 brew-less years. Knowledge and experience adds much to appreciation. I don't know so much that you can acquire a 'taste' so much as you acquire a set of references into which you can comfortably place the whisk(e)ys. It's worth the effort.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:20 am

TNbourbon wrote:I don't know so much that you can acquire a 'taste' so much as you acquire a set of references into which you can comfortably place the whisk(e)ys.


That's an interesting way of putting it. Like trying to read a book in a foreign language, maybe? And if, like zarb, you grow up in a household where the language in question is spoken, you absorb it virtually without effort.
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