3 Things You Should Never Do When It Comes to Bourbon

Contributed by

Appears in 26 Collections

From our Friends

Discussion (15)

  • gadflyonthewall posted 1 month ago

    Sigh of relief! I thought you were about to tell me not to mix it with vermouth and bitters!

  • biggary4545.f4109c3 posted 1 month ago

    I also do not believe you have to shell out over $50 for a good Bourbon. There are many Bourbon for less, that I find better. Basil Hayden'S is outstanding, so is Russell'S Reserve, Blanton's, Beam small batch 12 yr old, Weller's, Eagle Rare, Bulleit, Buffalo Trace, to name a few of my favorites, and many others. For me, half of the enjoyment of Bourbon comes in finding a good one that I haven't tasted yet. Just enjoy it. Some people like it in cocktails, but don't care for Scotch, vodka, gin, or any other spirit at all. Let them drink what they like...although at my house I will mix a less expensive bottle for them.

  • biggary4545.f4109c3 posted 1 month ago

    Fred Noe (of Jim Beam fame) says drink Bourbon any way you enjoy it. He says his wif drinks hers with a splash of ginger ale. I prefer neat or on the rocks, but it'S not for everbody.

  • lemikamgmailcom1056550092 posted 5 months ago

    Item 1: don't spend money on bourbon. Item 2: put everything in your bourbon, and put your bourbon in everything. Item 3: ignore items 1 and 2.

    Seriously now, great bourbon sometimes costs money, and you should at least TRY it neat to get a sense of what it actually tastes like. If you don't want to spend the money, don't. But some of my favorite, most rewarding bottles have been well north of 50 dollars, never mind Pappy. (I like how there's an exception to the money rule made for the poseur-fancy bourbon that you've probably heard of even if you don't know what you're talking about.) And if you don't like your bourbon neat - i.e. IF YOU DON'T LIKE BOURBON - then don't frigging drink it. Nobody's gonna judge you. Seriously, why would you buy a thing if the only way you enjoy it is by drowning it in other stuff? If you like bourbon cocktails, but don't like neat bourbon, bully for you - you don't need to spend more than 50 bucks for a bottle that'll get that job done. Heck, you don't need to spend 30. But let's not pretend like there's not enjoyment to be had drinking a quality bourbon neat out of a nosing glass. If that's not your thing, fine, but it IS a thing for other people.

    And by the way: "graduate to scotch"? Seriously bro, some of the best whiskies on the planet are bourbons. As if scotch is somehow for grownups and bourbon is somehow for children. There is as much if not more diversity, quality, and creativity in bourbon as there is in scotch. And if you take American whiskey as a whole, there's no contest. American whiskey does more different things with more different ingredients at just as high a level as any scotch-maker does. And oh, by the way, there are some pretty downright dreadful scotches out there.

  • docmena@att.net posted 6 months ago

    i agree. when you want a better whisky than $50 will buy you its time to graduate to scotch

  • BoozeExpert posted 6 months ago

    By the way (and sorry about the duplicate post), since bourbon is corn whiskey and corn whiskey is the non-malt component of blended scotch whisky, the snobbery surrounding "single malts" comes from the idea that mixing bourbon (corn whiskey) with a blend of single malts is somehow to ruin the taste. I know of a very expensive ($60 per shot) scotch that is mostly grain, not malt, whisky. It all depends on the aging, the casks, and the master blender.

  • BoozeExpert posted 6 months ago

    The bourbon orthodoxy you all spout is prepackaged and few people are applying any sort of independent thought. First of all, a small amount of ice is probably optimal, and I'll prove it. 1. Ice is made from water, geniuses. 2. Ice displaces more volume than it's constituent water, which means a small amount of ice (1-3 cubes,depending on size) melts into an even smaller amount of water. 3. Ice is often made from filtered water which retains its original mineral content (NEVER use distilled water, it tastes terrible - the taste of water comes from the mineral content. Just about nobody will buy a bottle of spring water just to splash their whiskey. 4. A couple of cubes acts as a self-adjusting temperature regulator: if the whiskey is served too warm (it often is) the ice melts faster. If the ice doesn't melt, there is little or no water in your whiskey. 5. In a few minutes, the ice is melted and you have a glass of temperature-adjusted whiskey with just the right amount of water in it. The value of any other "whiskey rules" appears to be that these enable snobbery. For a bit of real snobbery, try asking for your ice on the side!

  • BoozeExpert posted 6 months ago

    The bourbon orthodoxy you all spout is prepackaged and few people are applying any sort of independent thought. First of all, a small amount of ice is probably optimal, and I'll prove it. 1. Ice is made from water, geniuses. 2. Ice displaces more volume than it's constituent water, which means a small amount of ice (1-3 cubes,depending on size) melts into an even smaller amount of water. 3. Ice is often made from filtered water which retains its original mineral content (NEVER use distilled water, it tastes terrible - the taste of water comes from the mineral content. Just about nobody will buy a bottle of spring water just to splash their whiskey. 4. A couple of cubes acts as a self-adjusting temperature regulator: if the whiskey is served too warm (it often is) the ice melts faster. If the ice doesn't melt, there is little or no water in your whiskey. 5. In a few minutes, the ice is melted and you have a glass of temperature-adjusted whiskey with just the right amount of water in it. The value of any other "whiskey rules" appears to be that it enables snobbery. For real snobbery, try asking for your ice on the side!

  • DrInsomnia posted 6 months ago

    Whiskey was never intended to be had straight. The reason it was made so strong was so that it could stand to be diluted. Most distilleries, including in Scotland, the granddaddy of it all, recommend having it water.

    Ice is another story. Too cold, and flavors can be diluted. With bad whiskey, ice is a must. Same with bad beer needing to be ice cold, and wine, for that matter. But dilution is not an issue. The spirits are made to be diluted, and anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't really now anything about spirits. It's simply ignorant machismo attitudes that convinced people that spirits were meant to taste terrible and thrown back so you don't have to taste them. Good spirits are meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed, and a splash of water helps with that.

  • zhuatclfk.67fb1 posted 6 months ago

    @mousepumper.b8053 It's a matter of taste. The idea is to tame the alcohol a bit and allow you to taste the more subtle flavors in the whiskey. People also speak of this as "opening up" the whiskey. For me it's just about a thimble full of water in a rocks glass with about 3 fingers of Bourbon, but it depends on the proof. Something like Booker's, which is bottled at "cask strength" (somewhere around 133 proof), will require more water. In any case, it's a lot less water than a couple of ice cubes, which I find dilutes it too much and the cold kills too much of the taste.


Are you smarter than
your bartender?

Think you know the booze?
Let’s start with some basics.