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New2Whiskey
01-21-2008, 06:35
Greetings from Chicago!

I am 'learning' whiskey. 30 years old. Always prefered to drink spirits without dilluting them. "Drunk" never my intention or results. I believe spirits are meant to be enjoyed like a great meal.

However, I am not a seasoned pro by any means. I don't go to bars. Don't drink habitually. Just a regular joe. So any knowledge I have is mostly from forums. At present during my learning phase I only have tasted Dewar's 12 Year Old Scotch. And Old Grand Dad Bourbon.

Regardless...let me quickly ask these questions:

GLASS - Target has the Reidel line on clearance. Would this be a good start? Which glass? I've read Single Malt glasses or bourbon glasses in the forum. I currently drink my whiskey in a rocks glass. I assume I drink it neat.

NEAT - Ok. I pour 2 ounces into a rocks glass and sip. What is 'standard' amount to pour? When you all refer to 'nosing', does that mean you just smell it and don't drink from that glass?

I have more questions but I'll start gathering my thoughts and posting them in the appropriate area.

barturtle
01-21-2008, 07:18
Welcome. Learning whiskey is something that, up until now, hasn't really been explored. So at this point rules are pretty flexible, but here are some of my basic guidelines:

Glass: honestly almost any glass will do. The Reidel line makes some nice glassware, but you really don't have to spend that kind of money to enjoy whiskey. Some small to medium sized snifters or other 5-7 oz rocks glass will work just fine. I've even used 1-1/2- 2 oz glasses with excellent results. Make sure you have plenty of them, so you can try multiple whiskies side-by-side, and make sure they are clean(now is the time to ditch the scented dishwashing liquid). Bang for your buck, I use IKEA REKO glasses, 6 for $2.00!!!

Pour: While 2 oz is a pretty standard pour in a bar these days, you don't need that much is your glass to explore whiskey. If you really want to enjoy it and maybe try more than one in a night, you definitely don't want that much in your glass. 3/4 to 1 oz is plenty.

Neat: Yes, neat is traditionally the way whiskey has been drank. But that may not be the best way to taste. Especially with some of the barrel proof bottlings that are available now. While I recommend sampling whiskey uncut to get the experience of what the bottling was intended to taste like, professional tasters are known to dilute with clean, room temperature water to about 60 proof. Personally I shoot for about 100 proof.

Suggestion: since you are new to whiskey, might I suggest that you start by hitting the 200-375ml bottles. There are a wide assortment of quality whiskies that are available in those sizes, from nearly every distillery. It's a good way to start your explorations in the whiskey world without breaking the bank.

ggilbertva
01-21-2008, 11:47
Timothy makes all good points.

As to your nosing question, yes, you "smell" or "nose" the whiskey and then sip. There are basically four stages to trying a whiskey.

Color
Nose
Taste
Finish

There are other terms folks may use but they are interchangeable.

Welcome to SB.com

spun_cookie
01-24-2008, 07:41
Welcome new 2... will toast to you with some Four Roses tonight.. :drinking: