View Full Version : How to drink bourbon

05-14-2002, 20:57
I'm sure this topic has been addresed befor, but I wasn't sure where. How do you drink your bourbon and why? I almost always drink it with a few drops of water in a Pure Glass (from Maison du whisky, see my paraphanalia post). The drops of water seem to open the nose and to a lesser extent the palate. Room tempurature and the glass seem to greatly expand the bouquet. My palate seems to go a little dead with cold spirits.

I'll occasionally have it in a perfect Manhattan on the rocks or mixed with ginger ale. This is usually when there is not a bourbon I really like.

But that's just my taste. What's the best way for you?

05-14-2002, 22:05
I like Different One's Different ways it seems, Heres how I Like the ones I have at home right now:

(I almost always drink it in my favorite heavy bottomed old fashioned glass I like the heft it has)

Blanton's & Woodford Reserve - Neat (they just coat the throat so well)
Old Forester & EWSB '90 - one ice cube per 2 oz (they seem more refreshing that way)
Jim Beam Black - 3 ice cubes per 3 3/4 oz ( i dunno i just like it http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/smile.gif)

the old forester is good with ginger ale as well thouh the weather hasnt been too conducive to that recently (BRRRRRR. . . .Chilly).


05-15-2002, 05:10
Hi John!

For serious tasting I use a whisky blender's glass that I bought from PubGear.com that was imported from (ACK!) Scotland. http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/blush.gif

For slow contemplative neat sipping I use a snifter.

For pants slingin' drinkin' I've got a variety of bourbon glasses from various distilleries. I use a splash of water with three cubes of ice and three or four fingers of bourbon depending upon glass size.

Sometimes I just take a slug straight from the bottle. Bleeeee!http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/laugh.gif

Is anyone actually stocking and selling the Pure Glass now?http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/cool.gif

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

05-15-2002, 07:08
Hi folks!

I always have my bourbon or rye neat at room temperature, in a small, heavy snifter that holds 4 oz., about half-full (or a drop more). I found three of these snifters at a local thrift store - they had been packed with processed cheese spread in one of those gift packs. I also smoke a pipe with my drink - the interplay of flavors between bourbon and tobacco is a never-ending set of surprises. There should be more posts in the "smokes" section, come to think of it.

Ralph Wilps

05-15-2002, 10:05
You are soooooo right Ralph! People just don't understand how vitally important tobacco is to one's spiritual well being. Bourbon is a health tonic delux. My co-workers wonder why I never catch cold or get the flu -> bourbon that's why! Others become melancholy; dissatisfied with their lot in life, vindictive, petty and back biting -> thrashing about in a spiritual void. In their empty tizzy they work out and eat healthy 'organic' foods downing expensive vitamins and hearbal supplements; drinks & 'power bars' to the tune of several hundred dollars a month. - yet still they wonder why they feel poorly. They've turn'd their backs on the greatest herb of all -> TOBACCO!

For physical and spiritual well being nothing beats bourbon & tobacco. They're gifts from GOD.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

05-15-2002, 11:25
Normally, I drink my bourbon neat, at room temperature, in an on-the-rocks glass. Sometimes I will throw in an ice cube or two, especially if the bourbon is extremely high proof or a less than distinguished brand. If I am drinking for the purpose of writing a review, I usually use a snifter and will add room temperature water after an initial tasting neat. Water does tease out flavors not detectible at full strength.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

05-15-2002, 14:17
Always at room temperature and never with ice or anything diluting my bourbon. I do drink lots of water as i'm drinking though. besides collecting old whisky, i also like to aquire old whisky or distillery glasses, but never on the rocks glasses. it seems to make the OLD FORESTER 100* taste better out of OLD FORESTER straight glasses, just an example. life is good--den

05-15-2002, 15:09
I normally like my bourbon neat, with a tall glass of water or ginger ale, back. I believe in chasers, a few glasses of water or soda at cocktail time helps prevent dehydration overnight.
I'm not too particular about glassware, unless I think the quality of the bourbon calls for a snifter. I'll make a Sazerac, Old Fashioned, Julep or Manhattan on occasion, particularly if a guest asks for one, serve all of those in 'Old Fashioned' glassware. But left to my own devices, I sample an ounce or so of Bourbon A, then another ounce or so of Bourbon B, then a shot of my almost-daily pour of Knob Creek while slurping away at my tall glass of water and ice, and call it a day. With a fairly good supply of whiskey to sample, I don't burn out on any one bourbon this way.

For everyday chasers, I use Schwepps or Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and I'll sometimes mix rye with Stewart's Ginger Beer. Let me recommend Stewarts Ginger Beer, it's very spicy, somewhat sweet but it's the ginger-bite that I like. About twice as strong as the ginger ale's mentioned above. I find it in 4-packs at my grocery store, it's not cheap but it's good stuff.

05-15-2002, 15:38
I cut mine with a little branch water, on the rocks, (except when I have a really good Bourbon, such as the Blantons the fine people on this site turned me on to, which I drink neat.)

05-15-2002, 16:47
Amen, brother...In some recent very bad times it's meant a lot to puff smoke from the pipe of peace to the four directions, and to lift a glass full of the spirit of the grains of our country at the center of the circle. All made in this dear land by people who care about their craft.


05-15-2002, 17:35
That fairly resembles what I remember reading in a single malt scotch article (several years ago, before I came back to bourbon). I distinctly remember it saying it should be had at room temperature, mixed 1/3 water and 2/3 whiskey. It also said something to the effect that the water doesn't only dilute the whiskey, but that it also serves to release additional flavor and aroma elements that are not apparent without the water. And I distinctly remember that one of these additional elements was referred to as "esthers".

However, I almost always have my bourbon "on the rocks".


05-15-2002, 17:45
We have a very spicy local ginger ale in Alabama, Buffalo Rock. The packaging proclaims it to be made by an original, Civil War era recipe, but that makes no sense, to me. Maybe the base formula is a recipe that old, but I just don't believe they had carbonated beverages that long ago. Maybe I'm wrong, though.


05-15-2002, 17:56
I drink it neat at room temperature. I too like to have spring water at hand as it goes along . I don't do the ginger ale and bourbon thing but I like Vernor's the best. Aged in white oak barrells for 2 years used to be on the bottles I don't think I've seen an age statement lately I'll look next time I get some.

Bobby Cox

05-15-2002, 19:23
I'll watch for that Buffalo brand, and I know I've seen Vernors but haven't tasted it. Root Beer, Spruce & Birch Beer and Ginger Beer predate 'carbonated soda' that's made with a syrup and carbonated water, you can find some good root beer, birch beer and ginger beer being made at microbreweries these days. One of my brewer buddies in Washington state makes the best root beer I've ever tasted. FWIW, I helped my Junior High Science Club brew Root Beer and sell it at football games to earn enough for field trips way back in the day (ours was mildly alcoholic, 1% perhaps, we leaked word on the fact that it had alcohol and it sold like hotcakes).

If you're interested, I'll post a recipe for making your own ginger beer over in the recipe section.

05-15-2002, 19:57
Here, Here:

I dont necessarily chase but when I am through with the alcohol its a steady diet of ice water for at least 1/2 hour before bed. Keeping from dehydration is a must (even if you have to piss at 3 am) and because of it, I never suffer ill effects http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/wink.gif.


05-15-2002, 20:01

All it says now is "That Barrel Aged Taste",
for whatever that is worth.


05-15-2002, 20:20
I like the Whisky Blender's glass by Glencairn. In fact, it is what I usually drink non-bourbons in (shhh).

I had to order my Pure Glass from the Maison du Whisky in Paris. I (thought I) ordered through their web site but never got anything. After trying several times over 5-6 months, I sent an email and ordered that way. The glasses are great but expensive.

05-16-2002, 05:20
If you're interested, here's a link to 'the pure glass'


05-16-2002, 05:45
Yeah It seemed to me the claim of 2 years in a barrell was long gone. The flavor is still there they probably developed a powder to dump in it during their process.

Bobby Cox

05-16-2002, 16:12
At first i would drink everything in a regular glass with a bit of crushed ice (which would cool it and melt pretty quickly, leaving it diluted...) Now, i have most things undiluted with no ice in a snifter ($5 'wild turkey rare breed' one from the bourbon festival last year)... When not using the snifter i like to use these glasses from a jim beam black gift set... They have a nice heavy bottom, yet they aren't too big...

I prefer to have the water and the bourbon seperately... I hardly ever add any water to my bourbon, I usually drink the bourbon slowly, (to 'savor' it more, altho i have to hear about it from my friend who is usually on his second or third before i am done with my first...)

05-16-2002, 20:03
MMmmmmmm. . . .

essence of 2 year oak barrel,

Thats gotta be one TASTY powder http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/tongue.gif.


05-17-2002, 05:46
YUCKKO! MUCKKO!http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/tongue.gif

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

03-21-2005, 18:34
Oh, this is an old topic, but I have a relevant response.

Yesterday, my wife bought me a half-case of the local Buffalo Rock ginger ale, just so I could have something "different".

So, I got home from work this afternoon and made myself a highball. Filled a large tumbler with ice cubes, measured 50 ml (1.6 oz) of Wild Turkey 101 (thanks again for the flasks, Cliff http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif ), and filled the glass with the strong, spicy ginger ale. It was wonderful. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif