I wanted to be a whisky drinker, I always loved the smell but couldn’t stand the taste.
But still it was a cool and alluring drink… The drink of men, the drink of the wild west, the drink of Harry Pearce!
(The main bloke from Spooks in case you’re wondering… Haven’t seen it? I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave my site.)
I’m not able to drink beer as I am a coeliac (no wheat, barley, rye etc for me) and try as I might I’m just not gonna be a cider drinker, so I wanted to make a concerted effort to become a whisky man.
I did, and now I am, and here’s how you can be too
Buy a good bottle of whisky, nothing extravagant but something known to be a good tipple. I went for Original 10 Year Old Glenmorangie.
- Pour yourself a small glass of said whisky. No water, no ice.
- Take a decent sip.
- Hold it in your mouth as long as you can, swish it around a bit until it starts to burn then swallow it.
Now take a long breath in through your mouth and out through your nose. (What you have now done is got your senses (taste and smell) accustomed to the harsh alcohol which enables you to start to get through to the actual flavours of the whisky, which is what this drink is all about.)
Take your time and drink the rest, try to enjoy the smell and the taste although in all honesty, you wont… At least not on day one
Repeat stages 1 to 5 every night until you like whisky! It should take no longer than a week. For me by the 5th day I was genuinely enjoying the taste and the rest is history.
I generally only have the odd drink at the weekend these days but whisky is well and truly my drink. I only ever drink it neat unless its a cask strength whisky in which case I add water to suit, but on the whole I think water and/or ice spoils the taste and you might as well be drinking Teachers or Jack Daniels.
I’m very much a Scotch man, mainly single malts but there are definitely some very good blends out there. I find Japanese whiskies on the whole to be superb but I’m not so keen on the American bourbons that I’ve tried (with a few exceptions) or Irish whiskeys, but that’s just me.
I remember asking a bloke years ago the difference between Scotch and Irish whiskey and he said:
Scotch drinkers like to rattle on about the smell, the taste and the finish of the whisky whereas Irish whiskey drinkers tend to just drink, get drunk and have themselves a little dance
(I may have tweaked that quote over time, who knows)
The enjoyment of whisky comes from the massive spectrum of flavours you find… some whiskies taste of toffee and cream, some taste of orange peel and dates, some are sweet and syrup-like and some taste of fish and bonfires – get past this initial hurdle and its up to you to find what you like. There are thousands of sites on the net where you can read about tasting notes and distilling techniques but I’ll leave those for you to look into yourself.
Here’s one bloke who you’ll get along with though… check him out once you’re accustomed, he entertains while educating and helping you choose where your hard earned moneys go
Happy drinking folks, and in case you’re wondering… here’s how my whisky collection is coming along: