Whisky Assignments: Training Wheels

by Randy Murray on November 12, 2012

If you’ve followed my advice and purchased a VERY expensive bottle of whisky, you’ll need something else that’s less expensive and hopefully easier to learn to enjoy sooner.

And to do that, especially for Americans, I recommend starting out with bourbon.

Bourbon is an American form of whisky, born in Kentucky. Bourbon can be sweeter and smoother than Scotch whisky. And here in the states it can also be much less expensive.

You’ll likely be able to find one of my favorites in your local stores (I’ve found it across the US and in the UK as well). It’s Bulleit Bourbon. It comes in a flat bottle and labels itself as “Frontier Whiskey.” It’s excellent and inexpensive.

Use it to start your training. Use only a wee dram and a proper glass as I’ve recommended. And consider trying it with a notebook at hand. As you smell and taste, what do you think of? What are the initial smells and what comes to mind after smelling it a second and third time? What comes with the first taste and then what comes as you breathe after swallowing? What comes with that second sip?

And after you’ve tried this bourbon, you can move on to other brands of bourbon, or perhaps, onto your first true Scotch whisky.


More Whisky Assignments

Copyright © 2012 Randy Murray. All Rights Reserved.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Corey Quinn November 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

Not to be overly / obnoxiously pedantic, but it’s a common misconception that bourbon has to be from Kentucky– it does not. The requirements (in the US at least) around it are that it be aged in charred new oak barrels, it be 51% or more corn, and there are some proof restrictions that are neither here nor there.

Great series– I’m actively enjoying it!


Randy Murray November 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

Thanks – that’s why I said, “Born in.” You can make bourbon anywhere, but its spiritual home is in Kentucky!


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