10 things you should NEVER say to a whisky drinker

let’s begin

Being friends with an enthusiastic Whisky drinker can be trying at times, especially if you’ve ever mistaken a Speysider for an Islay malt.

Being friends with an enthusiastic Whisky drinker can be trying at times, especially if you’ve ever mistaken a Speysider for an Islay malt.

Fortunately, we’re here with a handy guide to 10 simple things that you should never, ever utter in front of a Whisky drinker.

1. Do you want ice in that?

The answer to this question will be a swift and simple NO. Don’t be surprised if it’s spoken through gritted teeth. Ice does not improve Whisky, but mars the taste slightly, something you should remember if it’s ever your round and you want to maintain your friendship with said Whisky drinker.

2. This [brand] is the best whisky I’ve ever had

It’s probably not.  If you’re going to say something along these lines, make sure you have evidence. You’re Whisky loving friend will be there to tell you every little detail of why you’re wrong and why you need to branch out. This is especially true if you’re drinking in a bar with not much by way of Whisky choice.

3. Add some coke and that Whisky would be great

Like with the ice, don’t even go there with offering your Whisky drinking friend a coke for their dram to go with. This is sacrilegious and on a par with not bowing to the Queen, which is basically treason. But that’s how serious it is. Don’t be that person.

4. [Insert country here] make the best Whisky, right?

If you don’t know a lot about Whisky, don’t make assumptions. There are so many differences between Whiskies, even on a regional scale, that it would be ridiculous to try and argue one over the other.

5. It all tastes the same to me

Does this even need explaining? You run the risk of a swift right hook to the face if you even dare to utter these words. It does not all taste the same and the nuances between Whiskies can be massive.

6. Isn't Whisky for old men?

Definitely not. Despite the image that has been built up around Whisky, it is not just for old men. It is for everyone. Literally, EVERYONE, even people who ask questions like this.

7. I'll just have a Scotch

But what kind of Scotch?! Scotch is a category that leads to more choices, not just a single drink. Don’t ever ask for a Scotch from a Whisky drinker, you’ll either be thrown out of the room or mercilessly laughed at.

8. All I taste is peat

Try a little harder. Just a tiny bit harder. You’ll definitely taste something other than peat and you’ll avoid getting glared at by your friend all night.

9. Isn't Whisky just distilled beer?

It is so much more than that. It is incredibly complex and nuanced. Suggesting this will effectively end your friendship with any Whisky enthusiast within earshot, so be very careful. If you want to appreciate Whisky more, understanding how complex it is is a great way to start and is the perfect way to bond with any Whisky lovers in your life!

10. Whisky is so boring

Again, it’s not if you try. It has lots of depth and character and learning more about it is the perfect way to get to know both the subject and your Whisky loving friends better. Whisky is the best way to bring people together, and asking better questions than these is a great place to start!

Buy the Limited Edition BenRiach 5 Year Old Single Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky by clicking here

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat!

Tags: Islay maltSpeysiderWhisky Drinker
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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3 thoughts on “10 things you should NEVER say to a whisky drinker”

  1. Great list for people new to the world of whisky, I can’t help but fell points 1 and 2 seem a little unfair. While I agree with them in principle, to a new starter this could be seen as gatekeeping. In my early days I used to drink bourbon with ice (and still would if outdoors on a hot summers eve), even single malt with ice can help a new starter handle it a bit better. Yes it kills the flavour but a lot of people new to whisky have difficulty getting used to the abv.

    While I’ve witnessed a few whisky cardinal sins in my time, I do my best to try and rid the stigma we have that the whisky world is elitist – if you’re enjoying it then your doing it right.


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