View Full Version : New to Bourbon...

12-27-2005, 11:55
Well after being a long time JD fan I recieved my first bottle of bourbon for Chritmas. It is Booker's True Barrel. I was just curious "how to" drink it. I was reading that people mix it with water, ice, ect. If you mix with water what ratio do you go by? Also, is there anything else I should be aware of being new to the club.

Thanks for your help!

12-27-2005, 12:11
I am relatively new to bourbon as well, but I'll add my 2 cents. I always try to drink my first snifter of a new bourbon neat. If I deem it too harsh or it has too much burn, then I would add a little bit of spring water to it to open it up and lower the proof, but I use very little. I attempt to drink it as a master distiller would want me to, which I assume is neat.

Booker's is a perfect example. My first few drinks of Booker's I drank neat. Now I add a little bit of water to it. On the other hand, I can handle Stagg and WL Weller 19 without any water and yet the proofs are similar if not higher.

12-27-2005, 12:52
Booker Noe himself was known to enjoy his namesake 1:1 with water -- preferrably, alongside one of his famed country hams http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif.
Most of us enjoy at least some bourbons -- often the higher-proof ones, and Booker's certainly qualifies -- with some water (it's also true most of us at least try each bourbon neat a few times, too). Add a couple of drops at a time until you find what pleases your palate. You should enjoy it the way YOU like it. And, expect that to change as you sample more and more, and develop a sense of discrimination for the alcohol heat and varied flavors.
Enjoy, and welcome to the board.

12-27-2005, 13:40
I have had Booker's one time, on-the-rocks. It was very good that way, but my recommendation would be to start with very small sips of it, straight. If that is not to your taste, cut it with cool water in very small amounts until you find what you like. Do not add more than 1/3 water (e.g., if you poured 1 oz whiskey, do not add more than 1/2 oz water).


12-27-2005, 13:56
Thanks for all the good advice. I think I will try it straight and see where that takes me. As far as glass ware is there anything I should buy that will enhance the experience?

12-27-2005, 14:07
...As far as glass ware is there anything I should buy that will enhance the experience?

See these discussions:
Glassware Poll (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/18408/an/0/page/0#18408)
Riedel Glass (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/37860/an/0/page/0#37860)

12-27-2005, 18:23
Inspired by what I had just written, I followed my own advice, this afternoon, with a bottle of Knob Creek I have been having a lot of trouble enjoying. As I said recently, I used to love KC about three years ago, but this bottle just has not hit the spot for me. I don't know if I've changed or the whiskey, but I think its the whiskey.

I measured 50 ml of KC and added 25 ml of cool, filtered tap water. It was the best drink I have had from this bottle, so far. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif


12-27-2005, 21:45
IMO, Booker's is too high a proof to drink neat. Above 100 proof, I think you need a bit of spring water to properly enjoy the intricacies of the bourbon. I enjoyed a bit of Booker's tonight, in fact. Very enjoyable bourbon to me. I had it in a Riedel bourbon glass with a bit of water. I add a few drops at a time until the nose is pleasant without burning my nostrils. Then I know it's ready. My guess is that I get it down to 90 proof to enjoy.

12-28-2005, 00:11
I will join you as a longtime JD man who decided a few months back to return to my roots. JD is not what it used to be http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif and I long for the original stuff & good ole days! Anyhow, I have been on sort of a binge the last few weeks. Today, I found a 1994 EWSB and a WT RR101. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif It will go nicely with my 1993 EWSB, EC12, Maker's & BT. At this point, I am about broke...but happy! And, plan to stay that way as long as the Ms. does not find out http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif about my new obsession!

12-28-2005, 02:37
As you can see, it's all what you like. Personally, I prefer my bourbon uncut and I actually enjoy the "nose burn", same way I enjoy hot sauces on almost everything I eat! All part of the experience! Tom V

12-28-2005, 12:05
I like Bookers but it is a bit odd to me. I have no problems drinking Stagg, Larue Weller, Noah's Mill, Pure Kentucky XO, and others neat but Bookers neat ruins my taste buds for anything afterwords. Weird.

12-28-2005, 15:41
I drink my Booker's neat, or with just a couple drops of water.


12-28-2005, 16:08
I drink Booker's neat, and Old Grand Dad 114 neat. Now in my new Riedel bourbon glasses, I might add. But as I mentioned on another post, Geo. T. Stagg works at about 2:1 ratio. It is in the eye of the beholder, or more accurately the palate of the taster, but I feel adding water to "anything over 100 proof" is too broad of a statement. I LOVE weller Antique 107, Pappy 15 yo 107, and as mentioned, OGD 114 all neat. So just try it neat first then add gradually as Tim mentioned. And if a Riedel isn't in your near future, a short rocks glass will do quite nicely I think. And so many are available in gift sets right now!Chaz

12-31-2005, 22:12
I think ice or water can open up flavors you would miss in higher proofs and make a more enjoyable experience. That said I always try a new bourbon neat the first time. Sometimes I want a strong drink and go neat.

Fact is there is no wrong way to drink bourbon.

Mad Mac
03-20-2006, 17:22
I always add a good splash of water when I drink Bookers. The alcohol burn kills my tongue otherwise and I can't pick up any of the more subtle flavors. Plus, I think I'm probably a bit of a lightweight...

03-24-2006, 00:38
Welcome to the world of Bourbon! I am a red wine fanatic that likes to drink bourbon now and then. I switched from scotch to bourbon after discovering Maker's Mark, and now have begun to build a small collection of bourbons. I find that my favorite way to drink bourbon is on the rocks. My friends give me grief because they think it's not a "manly" way to drink, but I enjoy it far more that way than I do neat, and the last time I checked enjoying the beverage was the entire point...


03-24-2006, 05:44
the last time I checked enjoying the beverage was the entire point...

Joel, you are exactly right. BUT you MAY find (as I have) that your tastes change over time. In my twentys I enjoyed mixed drinks alot. I'm not talking about some of the amazing cocktails you'll find described here. I'm talking coke & 7up. In my thirties the soda pop fell away but the ice stayed. For the last 15 years it's 90% neat. As you say, it about enjoyment and that is what tasted right to me then. This is what tastes right to me now. Primarily because "neat" doesn't hide or dilute the flavor.


The Duke
03-29-2006, 20:10
I'm new here but I'll jump in and add $0.02 to the conversation. My experience it like others have stated. There is no Wrong way to drink bourbon (although for the life of me I cannot imagine mixing it with anything other than water). I prefer mine with a little clear ice in a nice wide crystal glass. I let the ice melt a bit to cut it slightly and then sip.
Ahhhh Heaven in a glass...

03-30-2006, 06:41
Oh man, another guy from Indianapolis, no wonder the stuff I knew was on shelves is disappearing fast! That's two newbies from Indy in the past month.....I think we need an Indy bourbon social gathering.....I'll have to check my daughters softball schedule to find an open weekend!