Drinking whiskey? Gross.
When I first started drinking whiskey, I didn’t enjoy it. I was a freshman in college, and it seemed like every time I put the seemingly caustic liquid down the hatch, it stung my throat and lips. So, I started to mix the spirit with coke, and things got better. In those days, I was interested more in the effect, not the taste of the alcohol. I was also drinking well (rail, whatever you wanna call it) whiskey. Yes, there were multiple problems with my reasons for imbibing.
The difference between booze and fine spirits
Over time, I kept coming back to the caramel-colored spirit more for the culture and community (there’s probably an interesting marketing study to be conducted here) than the taste… until I met Johnny Walker. It was the first time that I tasted a whiskey that had interesting flavors that I enjoyed the challenge of discerning. It was the first time I understood that there was a difference between booze and fine spirits.
All whiskey has a story
Interestingly enough, my interest and enjoyment of Rye, Bourbon, and Scotch, has become more refined at the same pace and level-of-obsession, as my love for single origin coffee (though thankfully I consume much more coffee than whiskey). There’s something beautiful in the story of the process, care, and crafting of the finest whiskey makers and coffee growers. The prohibition story in the United States related to Templeton Rye, for example, is a story of secrecy, triumph, and ultimate success in venture and ideology. I love that.
I’ve decided to branch out a bit more, and might even start a little whiskey get-together in Austin to taste interesting local and international whiskeys to learn the stories of this rebel spirit, both near and far. I might even post a little about it here. Who knows.
What’s in the bottle?
As for the bottle in the image, I recently tasted Jimmy’s Texas Bourbon (made in Tyler, Texas). You can read the tasting notes here. In my opinion, this is the perfect desert whiskey with hints of a spiced rum. It’s interesting, smooth, and funky. It’s a good one to add to the collection, but probably more of a special-occasion fall or wintery spirit.
Do you have a favorite that I should try next? Comment like crazy!