Anyone who knows me knows I love a good whisky. I was inspired to write this after recently buying one and reading the back of box it came in.
I have to assume the back of the bottles and boxes aren’t lying to me and there are people who can distinguish a dozen distinct flavours in a glass of whisky. I for one cannot and frankly I have a hard time believing that anyone can. I mean take the following from a cheap-ish one I’ve had recently.
I’m not a moron. I know what those flavours are. I could identify each one if I tasted one at a time, but as “subtle notes” inside a bunch of other flavours all mixed… well it just a single taste to me. I’ve drunk my fair share of quality whisky, and an even fairer share of not so quality, and the things that distinguish them for me are:
- Do I like the flavour, and
- Does it have that sharp alcohol burn or is it more subtle? In other words, can I drink it straight, mix in a drop of water, or mix it with soft drink?
Even the ones I use in my mixers though are still decent drops. I used to buy the really cheap hooch for mixing, I’m talking Johnnie Walker red label here, but found after looking around for usually only a few dollars more I could pick up a single malt, or blended malts, which made even the mixers that much nicer.
The one thing you hear all the time from whisky snobs is about not mixing whisky with anything. Some even give you shit over adding a drop of water. They just bang on incessantly about having them straight.
Well fear not, I’m not he to tell you that. In fact, I’m here to offer the opposite. If someone gives you shit about it, ask yourself this question:
Who paid for this?
Was it you? If so, drink it anyway you please. Whichever way you find the most enjoyable, drink it like that. Don’t let other people hassle you into drinking it the way they enjoy it. Conversely, if you didn’t pay for it, you’ve got two options:
- Give them the benefit of the doubt and at least try it like they want you to.
- Then if you’re still not a fan mix it like you like it.
Worst they can do is not give you any more, which in of itself is terrible as it’s never a bad thing to get another one, but:
- A – you’ll get over it, and
- B – discover this person you thought is a friend is actually a jerk.