Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 37
  1. #21
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    140

    Re: How To Get Started.

    I'm just a novice, or an "advanced beginner" at best. The first bourbon I had was I.W. Harper and I thought it was awful, more or less. Just based on that experience I was determined to find a better bourbon. I did a lot of research on the internet (I couldn't ask friends because almost no one knew anything about bourbon) to find something better.

    I figured out I should try Blanton's. So I tried that and W.L. Weller Centennial and bought a whole lot of other bourbons either in bars or in liquor stores, in mini-bottles or pints whenever possible. (Including ryes and scotch and J.D....what the hell it's all whiskey, right?) I'm still buying and trying, probably always will be.

    I appreciate all the advice about how to go about things systematically, but that isn't always possible. You're in a bar and you order something you've never tried before, and that's your experience of that particular whiskey. You form an opinion based on that experience. It's an entirely human thing to do.

    The process of finding out what you like and don't like should be--or at least can be-- chaotic and random and haphazard. Systematic tasting may have its place but don't discount the beauty of random experimentation.

    I do agree that it's good to use some lower-shelf stuff as a basis for comparison. I try to keep the I.W. Harper in my liquor cabinet even though I don't like it just so I can remind myself from time to time what drove me to seek out something better.

  2. #22
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,227

    Re: How To Get Started.

    I agree, Rob. Overthinking it is a mistake in my opinion. Let your natural curiosity be your guide.

    I also feel that there's nothing wrong with finding one you like and sticking with it for awhile. You'll get to appreciate nuances in a deeper way and when you do branch off to other brands you'll ideally have a better comparative sense.

    Above all, just enjoy it and appreciate that bourbon is one of the best things in the world. It's one of the very best things made in America too.

    Cheers!

  3. #23
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    677

    Re: How To Get Started.

    Good words, Luna.

  4. #24
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,227

    Re: How To Get Started.

    Well, thanks!

    Cheers!

  5. #25
    Novice
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Fuquay
    Posts
    2

    Re: How To Get Started.

    I started with Evan Williams single barrel, not knowing anything about Bourbon at all. Bought it as it was on special and wasn't bottom shelf. It was ok, but it seemed to me to leave a scent of butter in my nose. Always neat - water destroyed the flavor. On a recommendation I picked up some Knob Creek... well now that stuff was dang near incredible. Currently I have some Woodford Reserve.

    Wish I had seen this thread beforehand, but I guess I'm lucky my tastes hit something good with Knob Creek. I know these are some of the lower proof bourbons - I'm working that intentionally. Now to find a decent set of glasses...

  6. #26
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    321

    Re: How To Get Started.

    Quote Originally Posted by redneckmatt View Post
    Wish I had seen this thread beforehand, but I guess I'm lucky my tastes hit something good with Knob Creek. I know these are some of the lower proof bourbons - I'm working that intentionally. Now to find a decent set of glasses...
    I wouldn't call Knob a "low proof" bourbon. When I hear that term, I think of 80 proof budget bourbon. If you like the Knob Creek, try the Single Barrel expression of it -- IMO it's quite an improvement on "regular" Knob, or at least the bottle I tried. Remember that if the proof is too high for you, knock it down with water as needed -- that's basically all the distillery does on their end anyway. As far as glasses, I don't know how you can go wrong with the Glencairn, bought from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Glencarin-Crys...7066083&sr=8-3

  7. #27
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Swaziland, Africa
    Posts
    1,481

    Re: How To Get Started.

    I made up a bourbon tasting list for a friend. Here is what I gave him.

    1. - Learn Wheat Vs. Rye Vs. Ryed Bourbon
    • Ritt BIB (with some water) - Rye
    • Very Old Barton 90 (or EC12, AAA10, 4RSmB from below) - Ryed Bourbon
    • Weller SR - Wheat


    2. - Learn Distillery Profiles
    • Elijah Craig 12 - Heaven Hill
    • Ancient Ancient Age 10 (or Old Charter 10) - Buffalo Trace
    • Knob Creek (with some water) - Beam
    • 4 Roses Small Batch - Four Roses
    • Wild Turkey 101 (with some water) - Wild Turkey
    • Woodford Reserve - Brown Foreman


    3. - Taste an Old Bourbon and a High Proof Bourbon
    • Elijah Craig 18
    • Old Grand Dad 114


    4. - Some Personal Favorites
    • Elmer T Lee
    • Weller 12
    • Evan Williams Single Barrel
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  8. #28
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    1,419

    Re: How To Get Started.

    That's a great list! Doing direct comparisons like this is fun, but I think I would have to break this up over several evenings. Taking a friend through all of this in one evening would likely see both of you unconscious before you could finish!

    Quote Originally Posted by kickert View Post
    I made up a bourbon tasting list for a friend. Here is what I gave him.

    1. - Learn Wheat Vs. Rye Vs. Ryed Bourbon
    • Ritt BIB (with some water) - Rye
    • Very Old Barton 90 (or EC12, AAA10, 4RSmB from below) - Ryed Bourbon
    • Weller SR - Wheat


    2. - Learn Distillery Profiles
    • Elijah Craig 12 - Heaven Hill
    • Ancient Ancient Age 10 (or Old Charter 10) - Buffalo Trace
    • Knob Creek (with some water) - Beam
    • 4 Roses Small Batch - Four Roses
    • Wild Turkey 101 (with some water) - Wild Turkey
    • Woodford Reserve - Brown Foreman


    3. - Taste an Old Bourbon and a High Proof Bourbon
    • Elijah Craig 18
    • Old Grand Dad 114


    4. - Some Personal Favorites
    • Elmer T Lee
    • Weller 12
    • Evan Williams Single Barrel
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  9. #29
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Swaziland, Africa
    Posts
    1,481

    Re: How To Get Started.

    Quote Originally Posted by mosugoji64 View Post
    That's a great list! Doing direct comparisons like this is fun, but I think I would have to break this up over several evenings. Taking a friend through all of this in one evening would likely see both of you unconscious before you could finish!
    Oh, this wasn't an evening tasting list.

    My friend wanted to build his bourbon library but had only had a couple bottles and could never discern a difference. So, I made this as a purchase list for him to build his library from. Most of them are mid-shelf to upper-lower shelf bourbons so it won't cost him an arm and a leg. I wouldn't consider these best of the best (hence my last category), but all of them are enjoyable pours and I felt like he would learn a lot by being able to compare these.

    I expect it to take him at least a year to work his way through this. But, the point was to give him variety so he could "learn bourbon" rather than giving him a couple that would be his favorites.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  10. #30
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee
    Posts
    1,364

    Re: How To Get Started.

    It might be helpful to differentiate between between beginning Bourbon drinkers and beginning Whiskey drinkers. Also how dedicated (geeky) are they likely to be.


    A beginning Whiskey drinker who really wants to experiment and learn would do well to start with pours that are delicious but not too challenging. Some of the bottom shelf Bourbon can be hot, thin and is better suited to mixing than sipping. For me pours like Weller 12, ET Lee, Blantons, EC12, 18 and VW LotB kept me coming back every night for another taste even if I didn't fully appreciate them at the time. It isn't the most structured or considered method but it kept me enthusiastic about Bourbon. If a beginner gets as geeky as a lot of us have he will begin to branch out and do his tasting down and up the shelves on his own as long as the first ones he tried didn't put him off.


    Experienced Scotch and Irish drinkers experimenting with Bourbon will already have a sipping technique they are comfortable with and won't be put off by a little burn. They also have some experience in shushing out subtle flavors but anything TOO BIG will overwhelm them because of the pours they are used to. You want to convince them that Bourbon or Rye is worthy of a serious try. Proceed directly to the top shelf. Share some of your Saz18, Pappy 20 or perhaps LotB, pour it neat and suggest they nose it quite awhile then take very small sips to start. Watch their eyes get big in surprise at the richness and complexity that Bourbon and Rye can offer, it's not the hot nasty monster they remember from College. They don't have to pretend they enjoy sipping Iodine and band aids any more and you have a new best friend who badgers you constantly for recommendations.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. How things got started
    By mozilla in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-24-2009, 13:52
  2. Bourbon and Coke Started ... When??
    By Gillman in forum History
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-25-2007, 07:07
  3. What got you started
    By Isoflex in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 03-25-2006, 22:07
  4. Home brew - how to get started
    By kbuzbee in forum Non-Whiskey Alcohol
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-30-2005, 14:20
  5. Newbie questions - getting started
    By hokiedave92 in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-02-2005, 13:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top