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New to whiskey. How to acquire a taste.

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New to whiskey. How to acquire a taste.

Postby capebreton@heart » Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:51 am

I am fairly new to whiskey. I have drank it on a number of occasions, but have never enjoyed it as much as I would like to. I have tasted most general types (rye, single malt scotch, Irish, blended scotch). I am looking for the best way to become more acquainted with the world of whiskey, and the best way to acquire a taste for it. Any help/suggestions is much appreciated.
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Re: New to whiskey. How to acquire a taste.

Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:16 am

capebreton@heart wrote:I am fairly new to whiskey. I have drank it on a number of occasions, but have never enjoyed it as much as I would like to. I have tasted most general types (rye, single malt scotch, Irish, blended scotch). I am looking for the best way to become more acquainted with the world of whiskey, and the best way to acquire a taste for it. Any help/suggestions is much appreciated.


Figure which of the four aforementioned expressions, maybe try some bourbon too, is the one wich you like the most and go with that for starters. Its a hands-on approach that is most rewarding. :wink:
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Postby capebreton@heart » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:36 am

Thanks for the tip. I would like to try bourbon. Are there any brands that are medium-priced I should look for?
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Postby Aidan » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:50 am

Just keep drinking it. if yo like it you'll like it. Nothing wrong with not liking whisky either. It's like smoking or Guinness.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:33 am

Hello, cb@h. I am at this moment sitting in Halifax, and will be in your homeland across the causeway the day after tomorrow. It is a beautiful place, and I can certainly understand you missing it. I have a night in Cheticamp and another in Baddeck--anyone I can say hello to for you?

As for whisky, it took me a couple years to get the hang of it. I could have used some advice! Lots of people here will have tasting tips--I'll start by telling you to take as big a sip as will coat your entire tongue, and no more. Let it sit there as long as you can, and inhale and exhale over it. Swallow when it reaches the back and you have to--not before. There's a start for you. Just be sure to use your whole tongue.

There are lots of Tronnans here, as you probably know. Think about attending Whisky Live in October, and more important than that, try to hook up with some of the good folks hanging out here. More than anything, whisky is people! Good luck.
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Postby Aidan » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:23 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:As for whisky, it took me a couple years to get the hang of it. I could have used some advice! Lots of people here will have tasting tips--I'll start by telling you to take as big a sip as will coat your entire tongue, and no more. Let it sit there as long as you can, and inhale and exhale over it. Swallow when it reaches the back and you have to--not before. There's a start for you. Just be sure to use your whole tongue.


I don't like broccoli - am I chewing it wrong?
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Re: New to whiskey. How to acquire a taste.

Postby Aidan » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:42 am

capebreton@heart wrote:I am fairly new to whiskey. I have drank it on a number of occasions, but have never enjoyed it as much as I would like to. I have tasted most general types (rye, single malt scotch, Irish, blended scotch). I am looking for the best way to become more acquainted with the world of whiskey, and the best way to acquire a taste for it. Any help/suggestions is much appreciated.


Are you used to drinking spirits? If not, it mightl take a while to get used to the alcohol content in a spirit like whisky. You could start by adding a good splash of water. Then try again with less water...

Also, the history of the whisky indstry is interesting in its own right. You could read up on that.
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Postby capebreton@heart » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:37 am

I am somewhat accustomed to the taste of spirits. I think it is mostly the taste of whiskey itself.

I just read another one of MrTattieHeid's post's, where he mentioned Glen Breton Rare. I actually just recieved a bottle of it not 2 days ago from my father, who just got back from Cape Breton. I suppose its the Scottish heritage mixed with being Canadian that makes me want to like whiskey. I should mention, having just turned 19, my experience with whiskey drinking is confined to the past year. I think this may have to do with my current dislike for the flavours or single malts and the like. Thanks again for all the comments.
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Postby Aidan » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:46 am

I'm sure it's something that will just grow on you. They do say add a drop or two of water to open up a whisky, but that's down to the individual, so maybe experiment a little.

Also, maybe it would be an idea to pick up a good introductory malt. I think Glengoyne might be a good one - the 17 is also an excellent malt.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:53 pm

Also try things like whiskey sours, whiskey cocktails, Irish/Gaelic coffees & hot toddies (Whiskey, slice of Lemon spoon of sugar & cloves) on a cold night to gradually get yourself into the whiskey taste.

Some people might laugh at this but if your finding it hard to get used to the whiskey taste you might be better getting half used to it.
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Postby hpulley » Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:50 pm

Just a tasting group or hang out with a bunch of people who do. The Toronto Chapter of the Companions of the Quaich is a good bunch. For me, it took a few years of guided tastings to really acquire a love of it and now it is pretty much all I drink, though I do have beer and wine socially on occasion. The Whisky Live show could be good for you to experience though it could be overkill if you aren't ready.

Harry
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Postby Jon Barleycorn » Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:26 am

Getting back to your question about medium-priced bourbon, cb, I would recommend Elijah Craig if it's avaialble in Canada. Also Knob Creek, which is somewhat more expensive. My current favorite in this price range is Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old, but I don't know how widely it's available.
I would definitely suggest you give bourbon a try - I took to it more quickly than to single malts, probably because of its sweetness. Now I enjoy both.
I recently had a nice Canadian whiskey - Forty Creek Barrel Select, which would give you another good medium-priced option. Have fun!
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Postby bamber » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:23 pm

If you you don't like the taste of whisk(e)y, why not leave it for a while and come back to it intermittently. Maybe it's not for you: I've tried to 'get into' wine on many occasions and whilst I enjoy a nice red with my dinner, I don't really like it enough to care about it.

I used to drink whisky when I was 19 primarily to get drunk, although I did quite like Jack Daniel's and coke (I'm 36 this year). I also drunk cheap blends on ice or with a mixer. As time went on I gradually reduced the amount of mixer / ice, enjoying the spirit more and more. By my mid 20's I enjoyed, Jack Daniel's and blended whisky neat, but it was not until about 5-6 years ago (3 years obsessively) that I really got into tasting whisky and single malts in general. I very rarely touch JD or blended Scotch these days.

The point I'm making is it took 11 years of overindulging for me to appreciate, something which is expensive and bad for you. I'm not sure I'd really have wanted to accelerate the process !
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Postby pouranother » Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:31 pm

Try Buffalo Trace bourbon. Excellent value...Unless you drink the whole bottle in one night. :wink:

One should never read these boards this early in the A.M.,very appetising.
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Postby hpulley » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:29 am

bamber wrote:If you you don't like the taste of whisk(e)y, why not leave it for a while and come back to it intermittently. Maybe it's not for you...[snip]

I used to drink whisky when I was 19 primarily to get drunk, although I did quite like Jack Daniel's and coke (I'm 36 this year). I also drunk cheap blends on ice or with a mixer. As time went on I gradually reduced the amount of mixer / ice, enjoying the spirit more and more. By my mid 20's I enjoyed, Jack Daniel's and blended whisky neat, but it was not until about 5-6 years ago (3 years obsessively) that I really got into tasting whisky and single malts in general. I very rarely touch JD or blended Scotch these days.

The point I'm making is it took 11 years of overindulging for me to appreciate, something which is expensive and bad for you. I'm not sure I'd really have wanted to accelerate the process !


The question is, would you be where you are today without those 11 years??? [Cue the award show music... :D ]

My initial whisky days were similar, usually with coke (Canadian whisky) then later when I wanted to sound sophisticated (yeah right!) I'd order scotch on the rocks, not asking or caring what brand; what's a malt? Progressing from rye and coke to scotch on the rocks took about 5 years. I then went to structured tastings for 2-3 years before single malt scotch really took a hold of me. Look at me now... still spending more on whisky than I really should be, but enjoying every drop and even appreciating most of them ;) I don't think I'd have gone to those structured tastings if I was still just a beer drinker so those years of hiding rotgut Canadian whisky (Royal Reserve, et al) with cola had some value...

I also only rarely (when out and only malt available is Glenfiddich 12yo) have a blend these days though I really shouldn't be so snobbish; some of them are actually good but I just can't bring myself to buy a bottle of them when there are so many good malts on my shelf already that need drinkin'.

If you need to drink your whisky in coke or with ice to start for it to be enjoyable, that's OK; I forced down a 35cL bottle of Glenlivet 12yo neat (not all at once!) early on in my road to appreciation and it was not a pleasant experience (nearly put me off it) so I don't suggest it. You really can progress from mixers and ice to appreciating single malt whisky, neat.

Harry
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Postby bamber » Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:37 pm

Sounds like we shared a similar path Harry. Hmm I'm thirsty :)
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Postby chemicals » Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:02 am

I have two words for you: Maker's Mark.

I similarly wanted to move from beer to whiskey or scotch a few years ago... I tried crown, jack, chivas, and jim beam... and I kept going back to beer for taste. More recently, and mostly because beer is giving me some serious heartburn as I get older, I tried the switch again... this time going with Maker's Mark... and let me tell you. It's f-ing good.

I'm no whiskey expert, but Maker's has a shorter finish and a nice light taste that really agrees with me. I've finally switched for good. Any of you whiskey guru's have suggestions for brands similar to Maker's?? I'll gladly try them out.
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Postby nchan50 » Sat Sep 16, 2006 7:42 am

I'd second Buffalo Trace. Great bourbon and frankly it's only $20-25. Better than a lot that are more expensive. It's got a great spiciness to it.
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Postby JWFokker » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:53 am

If you want to get into whiskey, go to a tasting session. The more whiskeys you taste the wider your palate will be, the more flavors you can appreciate. If after tasting a couple dozen different whiskeys you still don't really like it, you may just not like whiskey. I recommend that you experience a wider spectrum of flavors before deciding whether or not you like whiskey, scotch or otherwise.
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