Hello, just wanted to introduce myself and see if I could pick up some tips and recommendations from some of the more experienced drinkers on the site. I am a senior in college and was initially drawn to bourbon through the traditional game day cocktail of a bourbon and coke. The more I was drawn to the drink, the more my tastes changed as I moved from using wells such as Beam or Kentucky Gentleman to brands such as Knob Creek, Makers Mark, and Gentleman Jack which I found to be much more pleasing. However, I began to feel that adding coke to these liquors may be disrespectful and I tried my first real drink recently, a Blantons on the rocks, which I really enjoyed. Since then I also have had Knob Creek on the rocks which I thought was very nice and a little sweeter with a little less bite then the Blantons. Yesterday I picked up a bottle of Woodford Reserve because it was on sale and I heard all different kinds of reviews on it and thought I would give it a try. I have tried it both neat and on the rocks and must say it is my least favorite of the 3, however, each time I try it, it seems to grow on me more and more. Iím really almost completely clueless to the world of bourbon but I really am here to learn. There doesnít seem to be much info on the web for total beginners but I was hoping I could get some help to the following questions:

  • Right now I am drinking out of a standard cylinder cocktail glass that is about as wide as it is tall Ė roughly 4 inches. Is this acceptable?

  • What is the proper amount of bourbon to pour in the glass? I find it easy to determine on the rocks by simply covering the ice but much harder to determine when drinking bourbon neat.

  • What specific brands of bourbon should I really try to determine what I like best? Also if you could spell out the name because Iím not familiar with all of the abbreviations. (remember I am a college student so Iím trying to stay away from any $100 bottles for the time being)

  • How much bourbon should go into your mouth on a proper sip?

  • Any tips for picking up specific flavors in the bourbon? I can really tell the difference between bourbons towards the front of my tongue however I struggle to pick out particular flavors.

Sorry if these are some pretty stupid questions but Iím really just trying to learn from scratch. If you could help me out, especially with some good recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated.