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Thread: 120+ proof help

  1. #21
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    I'm with the camp that says it just takes some time to build a tolerance. I can't offer a physiological explanation but something eventually changes in your mouth/tongue/esophagus, and you no longer feel a burning sensation. I personally love the concentrated flavors of barrel proofers -- I just have to watch how much I consume...

  2. #22
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    Just add water until you find the taste you like. Remember professional tasters dilute the whisky down to 40 proof so you have quite a lot of leeway.

  3. #23
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    Addition to above, I've been drinking bourbon for 40+ years and over time I've used less water and have enjoyed higher proofed bourbons.

  4. #24
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    I'm going to make 2 points:

    1. you can do whatever you want. you can add water to see it that works for you
    2. water never worked for me, it just drowned the flavor. I think what I did was worked my way up. First with a bottle of knob creek 100 proof. Anything at 100 or 101 proof will work. once you get used to that find something at 107 or 108. I did it with wild turkey rare breed. after I was used to that I think I had a bottle of Noah's Mill at 114 proof. You can also use OGD 114, a great bottle. There are also some good four roses private select bottles between 110 and 120. By the time you've gotten used to these whiskeys you should be ready to tackle the big stuff. I guess you can look at it like weight lifting.

    third point: If you have a cold bourbons will taste "hotter".

  5. #25
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    I powered my way through the first half of my first pour of GTS. It hurt. Then something flipped and the second half was pure butterscotch heaven. I was fine drinking high proofers ever since.

  6. #26
    Disciple
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    The alcohol seems to bother some and not others. I drink everything at bottle proof and find that water only takes away from the flavor. It's just a personal preference.

    There seems to be somewhat of a correlation between handling spicy food and high proof bourbon, but it's still just my theory.
    I think you're onto something with your theory. My spicy food/hot sauce tolerance is down from my younger days and 107 proof is now pretty much my max... I even add a few water drops to that 114 proof elixer of the gods you know a bit about .
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  7. #27
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    I LOVE high proof bourbon I think in part because it is like a Transformer. If I want it hot and bold, I can sip it neat - but if I add just a bit of water and let it work its magic, it changes. And a bit more - it changes again! With a lower proof bourbon, I find that a bit of water may still open it up, but there are way fewer levels before it loses my interest.

    Having said all that, I prefer the small sip/neat method with higher proofs, with maybe just a few drops of water. The first time I took a sip of GTS neat and held it for 20 seconds, I was just floored!

    Absolutely nothing wrong with adding water to high proof bourbon. I look at it like "Hey, this is MY bourbon, so if I enjoy it with water - I'm doing it! Hell, if I want to mix it with ginger ale, I'm doing it!" There aren't any rules . . . and as Joe often says, if you ain't having fun - you're doing it wrong.
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  8. #28
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    Quote Originally Posted by Special Reserve View Post
    Addition to above, I've been drinking bourbon for 40+ years and over time I've used less water and have enjoyed higher proofed bourbons.
    Wow, I'm just a pup............40+ years ago I wasn't even cutting my own food.

    Sorry, Will, I couldn't resist.

  9. #29
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    If the burn of drinking it neat seems to be a bit much, I will take small sips and let the drink go all of the way down before inhaling. The method works for overly bitter IPAs as well.

  10. #30
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    Re: 120+ proof help

    Quote Originally Posted by darylld911 View Post
    I LOVE high proof bourbon I think in part because it is like a Transformer. If I want it hot and bold, I can sip it neat - but if I add just a bit of water and let it work its magic, it changes. And a bit more - it changes again! With a lower proof bourbon, I find that a bit of water may still open it up, but there are way fewer levels before it loses my interest.

    Having said all that, I prefer the small sip/neat method with higher proofs, with maybe just a few drops of water. The first time I took a sip of GTS neat and held it for 20 seconds, I was just floored!

    Absolutely nothing wrong with adding water to high proof bourbon. I look at it like "Hey, this is MY bourbon, so if I enjoy it with water - I'm doing it! Hell, if I want to mix it with ginger ale, I'm doing it!" There aren't any rules . . . and as Joe often says, if you ain't having fun - you're doing it wrong.
    Too right, Gary. Drink it whichever way suits you, especially when tackling the super high proof whiskeys. Things like GTS and WLW can reveal all sorts of new flavors/aromas with the addition of small amounts of water after a few initial sips neat.
    "I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet

 

 

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