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  1. #1
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    How to serve a fine bourbon?

    I got a MM neat from the Cookhouse Restaurant. There top shelf. Talk about your advertising campaign. It came ice cold in a plastic 1 oz ,what looked like a thimble, cup. I was disgusted but somehow got my fingers around the little thing without squishing it and drank it slowly, held it in my mouth and pretended that there was more than there was and then switched to Bud. MM is already very smooth but being chilled you barely knew that you had a bourbon at all. I like shots and snifters. For the ultimate bourbon experience how would you present your pour. temp,glass, gulp vs. sip, etc. Thanks Scott
    Last edited by Empty Glass; 12-15-2006 at 19:28.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    My typical pour is room temperature, either neat or with a small splash of filtered water, in a Glencairn glass. This is true for me whether it's bourbon, rye, Scotch, Irish, Canadian, or Japanese whisk(e)y.

    For cocktails, I generally use the classic cocktail ("martini") glass, except for Sazeracs, which I put in a rocks glass (without ice).
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  3. #3
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, in my opinion the best way to enjoy bourbon is in a snifter. I begin drinking after nosing for a minute or two and I find that the taste is optimal after Iíve held the glass in the palm of my hand for about 15 Ė 20 minutes, to me it has more flavor slightly warmed. Iíve used the Glencairn glass that CrispyCritter mentions and it is a pretty nice glass, definitely alot better than a rocks glass (which is the way every bar I've been to will serve me unless I'm specific), but I prefer my snifter because the way you have to hold it causes the spirit to warm up a little bit.
    Iíve only ever considered adding water to some of the whiskies I have that are of a really high proof (120+) but Iíve never actually done this because even though some burn more than others they have all always been drinkable and, more importantly, enjoyable to me at full strength. Iíve read that spirits should typically be watered down to ~100 proof though so maybe Iím missing out.
    /\../\

    "I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . ." - Dylan Thomas

  4. #4
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    Indeed, I generally reserve the splash of water for high-proof pours like Stagg or A'Bunadh.

    I ought to get a true snifter to try out, though. The Glencairn is fairly snifter-like, but not quite the same. It would also be interesting to try out my Armagnacs in a real snifter.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  5. #5
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    I just saw a picture of a beautiful Glencairn crystal glass holding a pour...beautiful. You reminded me that I received two crystal glasses with a bottle of Blanton's last fall. They look like a stemless martini glass on steroids. Heavy lead crystal with a solid square base.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    Don't know if this qualifies as ultimate but it's ultimatly how I drink every bourbon, whiskey (including rye, scotch and irish), and vodka. Remove bottle from cabinet, pour a couple ounces into a rocks glass with 1 ice cube. I have always preferred my drinks to be served cold.

    Some will suggest putting the bottle in the fridge but that's not really an option without knowing which bottle you will be drinking from at least an hour prior. The vodka, however, is always in the freezer so I'm not really sure why it gets the cube treatment. Habit I guess.

    Chris

  7. #7
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Glass View Post
    I got a MM neat from the Cookhouse Restaurant. There top shelf. Talk about your advertising campaign. It came ice cold in a plastic 1 oz ,what looked like a thimble, cup. I was disgusted but somehow got my fingers around the little thing without squishing it and drank it slowly, held it in my mouth and pretended that there was more than there was and then switched to Bud. MM is already very smooth but being chilled you barely knew that you had a bourbon at all. I like shots and snifters. For the ultimate bourbon experience how would you present your pour. temp,glass, gulp vs. sip, etc. Thanks Scott
    I hate those little plastic thimble sized cups. When ordering a drink of whiskey in a bar (whenever I think the server might use one of those silly things) I generally order a double. It precludes them from using the tiny cup and gets the point across that I want to drink my whiskey not shoot it past my taste buds.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    Quote Originally Posted by ILLfarmboy View Post
    ...I generally order a double. It precludes them from using the tiny cup and gets the point across that I want to drink my whiskey not shoot it past my taste buds.
    Yeah, I'll say. At this one bar the bartender gave me this tiny pour of WT101 and said 'That'll be $6' so I looked at the glass and said 'Umm, why don't you go ahead and make that a double...' which resulted in him actually tripling the amount in the glass. I've been fortunate, the one bar I've been in that didn't allow you to order doubles (Any bar in Foxwoods in CT) actually gives you a good sized pour and has good prices. Nice glasses too although they don't let you take them back to your room... :/
    /\../\

    "I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . ." - Dylan Thomas

  9. #9
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    I was in one semi-upscale bar during happy hour, where I ordered a Basil Hayden neat, and was presented with a Basil Hayden and Coke. After explaining what neat meant, I was given a Basil Hayden in a large shot glass filled with tiny cubes of quickly melting ice. Having to explain a third and final time that I wanted nothing but the bourbon, I was treated to the same drink that had the ice in it, only strained into a different shot glass, so that shards of ice could still be seen floating in the glass. That level of incompetence always leaves me dumbfounded, and I've never quite figured out how to deal with it.
    I've always ejoyed my bourbon in a large snifter. I like to be able to stick my nose in the glass and get a nose full before sipping. My "liquor cabinet" is above my stove, and I find that I have a much more pleasurable experience when it has been warmed to slightly above room temperature. I always pour just to the curve in the glass, since this exposes the most surface area, and makes it breath better(I think). I also find that some flavors in the bourbon are more pronounced depending on whether I sip, or I gulp, so I do both. I don't think any of this matters too much, since we will all have our own unique ways of enjoying it, but this is the ritual that I have settled upon in my few short years as a Bourbon fanatic.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to serve a fine bourbon?

    I have usually had far better luck in upscale joints than the hick bars around which I grew up. I am forever having to explain what neat means. The bartenders are more often than not just kids. Seventy percent of the patrons are drinking beer. The other thirty percent are usually drinking CC and 7up, JD and Coke etc. If I were to order a Manhattan in a joint like that blank stares would be all I would get.

    I suppose I'm being a bit rough on my neighbors and fellow small town people. After all I was in my late twenties the first time I went to a truly upscale nightclub and saw the barkeep lay a brandy glass on it's side and fill it till the liquid just reached the lip. I asked him what that was all about. He explained that was the right true and proper way to pour the correct amount.

 

 

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