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New to whisky

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New to whisky

Postby ilsoo » Wed Sep 04, 2002 6:51 pm

Hi,

I'm fairly new to whisky, mostly due to my age, and was wondering if anyone can help a whisky rookie out.

1. I understand that whisky stops maturing once leaving the cask, but is it possible for spirits to lose flavor or to go 'bad' leaving them sealed for a long duration, for example, a few years or decades? Also, after breaking the seal on a whisky, how long before the flavor alters or goes bad, if at all?

2. Are various types of glasses universal for all types of whiskies or are specific glasses preferred for specific types of whiskies?

3. I understand the terms 'neat' and 'rock' but I'm also having trouble deciphering between tumblers, neat, and rock glasses. They all seem identical to me. What are the differences? And what is the ideal size for tumblers, neat & rock glasses?

I apologize if I'm coming off half-witted. I'm pretty lost in the world of whisky! Thanks to anyone who can help me out! Also, just out of curiosity when did most of you folks start to take an interest in whisky? I'm only 21 and among all my friends, who love to drink, I seem to be the only one interested in the production process, history, lore, and taste of various spirits whereas all the seem to enjoy is the "getting drunk" part(which I enjoy too Image)

Thanks to anyone who can help a whisky novice out!
ilsoo
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:03 am

Hi ilsoo

Welcome to an interesting world! Whisky indeed stops maturing once in the bottle and provided the bottle is properly sealed and not exposed to extremes of temperature and light, the whisky will keep for a very very long time. Once the bottle is opened, oxidation will take place and the flavour will slowly start to change. Basically, don't keep a bottle open for more than, say, six months and you should be fine.

As to glasses, forget about tumblers and the like. If you want to really appreciate your whisky, go for a tulip-shaped tasting glass. Personally, I use the Glencairn glasses and those from Maison du Whisky.

And, most important of all, enjoy yourself!

Slainte, Lex
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Postby Gate » Thu Sep 05, 2002 2:06 pm

I started drinking whisky at about 18 (Dewars! The sight of a bottle of that still brings on a misty moment of nostalgia - beats a madeleine any day) but didn't start branching out until mid-20s, so at 21 you're on a solid start! On glasses, there was a good strand in the "Whisky Poll" on this website. I still hold that for drinking a whisky you already know and love, a good quality heavy crystal tumbler that feels good in the hand is favourite, but for tasting something new, or if you want to take some time over getting to know it, something tulip-shaped is better (the Riedel whisky glass is pretty good). Six months for a whisky to start changing through oxidation sounds about right, but I found a dusty bottle of Maker's Mark a few weeks back in the cellar with only about an inch left in it, which had probably been put there something like two years ago, and it tasted pretty good still (not just because I was thirsty, honest! !)).
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Postby DLion8888 » Thu Sep 05, 2002 4:15 pm

Say, Gate what the heck is a 'madeleine'?
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Postby Gate » Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:35 am

A madeleine is a small (and not, IMO, very exciting) cake - there's a passage in Proust's "A la recherche du temps perdu" where the taste etc. of his madeleine with tea brings back memories and makes him wallow in nostalgia. Pretentious, moi? But the real point was that Dewar's White Label has the same effect on me - it's not the greatest whisky ever, but every time I come across it, it takes me back to sitting in the pub at the age of 18 with a pint of beer and a dram in front of me. Aah, whisky nostalgia....
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Postby ilsoo » Sat Sep 07, 2002 1:29 am

Much thanks to lexkraai and gate for taking the time to answer my questions, your posts have been very helpful! I've looked into the Glencairn and Riedel glasses. Any idea where i can get Glencairn glass without the etching? Anyway, thanks again!
ilsoo
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Sep 07, 2002 2:11 pm

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