So you’re new to the wonderful world of Whisky drinking. Or maybe you’re not, but you just can’t seem to choose between so many different drams when you reach the bar.
Imagine the scene, walking up to a bar, knowing how cool you’ll look when you order a Whisky, Neat but getting there and realising, oh gosh, what do I choose? Why are there so many? Why did I not consider this more carefully? How to order the right whisky?
This is not an isolated incident. Many people are suffering for an inability to choose the perfect dram for them.
But there is a solution and Great Drams breaks it all down right here!
Firstly, rather than approaching the bar and being blindsided by the amount of drams they have to offer, consider the ones you have already tried.
Then put them to the back of the list.
Bars are great places for trying new things and exploring your taste a little. And don’t just take a look at the bottles behind the bar and order the first thing you see.
Talk to your bar tender. Ask them what they would recommend and tell them the kind of Whisky you like. You never know what you might discover!
Now that you have an idea of which dram you want, why not consider how you want it.
Do you want it neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail?
If you’re going for a cocktail then keep in mind some of the most famous Whisky cocktails around: the Penicillin, the Old Fashioned and the Whisky Sour.
These are all good cocktails and are made even better if you have the right malt to go in them.
You can even ask you bartender what they’re signature Whisky serve would be and maybe discover something you weren’t expecting.
But maybe cocktails aren’t for you and you’d prefer something neat or on the rocks.
This is where your list of favourites should come back in, not so you can buy from that list, but so you have an idea of what to try.
Use your favourite drams as a way to discover more malts. If you like smoky expressions with big bold flavour profiles, then look towards the islands of Scotland, but you may also want to try peated malts from distilleries that usually create only unpeated malt. This may include Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey or Scapa Glansa.
Peat might not be your taste at all and you might enjoy something a little sweeter. This opens up the international market more than peated malts, especially when we’re talking about Bourbon.
Bourbon is deliciously sweet and smooth, as are Irish Whiskies.
So maybe venture outside your comfort zone and go for something more exotic like Maker’s Mark or a Jameson.
Sweeter Scotches include things like Auchentoshan or Ancnoc, which are not the most popular drams but are full of flavour and a great deviation from the norm.
Another flavour profile that goes hand in hand with sweetness is spice.
There are plenty of spicy Whiskies to choose form, especially if we’re talking about Speysiders, but again, look beyond Scotland and try something in the Rye category for wonderful spicy notes.
Wild Turkey or George Dickel Tennessee Rye are great malts, bursting with flavour and spices.
Knowing what you like is a great way to discover new things. This is even better when you’ve only just started drinking Whisky as there is so much to explore.
Ordering the right Whisky for isn’t necessarily about getting it spot on every time, but it is about enjoying your dram and appreciating something different every once in a while!
Also published on Medium.