Hello from St. Louis

  • ToneMastaG
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    Member ToneMastaG
    Joined: 31.12.2015Posts: 4CollectionToneMastaGs CollectionRatings: 5

    I'm 32 and just tried my first whiskey. It was such a positive experience that I feel like I should start an open journal to record my journey into this (undoubtedly soon to be) obsession. Is this a good place to post it? Regardless, this would be my first entry:

    In retrospect, this year has been incredible! We bought our first house, had our third child (and first boy!), and to top it off, I just got an amazing job. I feel it has been a year of finding myself, both in light of and in spite of my upbringing (a little late at 32, but better late than never). I have been the type that would enjoy a good craft beer once every couple months, but the taste of alcohol disgusted me. I blame an incident when I was younger where I mistook a cup of Isopropyl Alcohol my sister used to clean her earrings as a cup I left in the same spot (she had dumped my water out to use the cup, then left it in the same spot forr some reason). When I was finally old enough to drink, I bought some cheap rum, it for some reason tasted exactly the same. I was so turned off by it I only drank the occassional beer till last week. Brandy and Scotch have always been the epitome of class in my mind. So, out of curiosity, I searched the web to see if I was doing something wrong. I found tutorials on how to drink Whiskey (some really informative stuff out there today) and researched good starters. I settled on a Basil Hayden 8. The price was lower than scotch, was highly recommended online, and figured if I didn't like it, I could just use it in some spiced tea every now and then. I got a wide bottomed wine glass (will be getting a proper snifter ASAP!) and some nursery water (it was $1... but I know now :p) and gave it a shot. My mind was blown! I got a nose of vanilla, apple peels, and at the top of the glass wood with a hint of leather. On the tongue there was the rye, but smooth rye. The finish lasted almost 15 minutes, but was full of all the flavors hinted at in the nose. I was hooked. Over 4 or 5 glasses I have dialed in how much water to use and find I am using less (the first few were very dilluted, almost 2 parts water 1 part Bourbon). Though as I read about where to explore next (most likely Auchentoshan) I find that if I try to impose what I want (i.e. I'm thinking about certain flavors I would like in a drink) on the Whiskey (the butterscotch of the Auchentoshan for instance) it is less enjoyable. I am also interested in what to pair with the dram. I am an ex-smoker, but was gifted an electronic pipe. I may delve into some NETs to pair. I also for some reason feel the need to eat something light when drinking it, so any advice there would be appriciated. Thank you for reading! Here's to an adventerous new year for us all!

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  • Sharon Member Sharon Joined: 27.12.2015Posts: 4CollectionSharons CollectionRatings: 10
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    Happy to see another newbie here . . . I haven't had much experience, but I'm hoping to open my mind to new and different flavors.

    Always looking for a good highland Whisky. As many of my ancestors came from the Aberdeen area of Scotland, I long for a taste of home.
  • hwchoy Member hwchoy Joined: 28.07.2015Posts: 359CollectionHeng Wah’s CollectionRatings: 3
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    welcome! be sure to watch all of Horst's whisky knowledge series of videos, and put the player on repeat. :wink:

  • ToneMastaG
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    Member ToneMastaG
    Joined: 31.12.2015Posts: 4CollectionToneMastaGs CollectionRatings: 5
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    I just watched "Tasting whisky" 1 and 2. Horst is a great host! I feel that episose 2 may be one of the most important videos ever made given the subtext. Great life advice, not just whisky advice. I'm beginning to feel that whisky is a metaphor for life (though I may be over exagerating in my new found zeal lol)

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  • ben Member, Administrator ben Joined: 01.07.2014Posts: 272Collectionbens CollectionRatings: 92
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    Welcome to the Forum.

    I work for whisky.com
  • andyb01 Member andyb01 Joined: 21.08.2015Posts: 65Collectionandyb01s CollectionRatings: 0
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    welcome to the forum

  • horst_s Administrator horst_s Joined: 01.07.2014Posts: 402Ratings: 704
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    @ToneMastaG

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Most often connoisseurs speak of their first hit with a whisky bottle and how that hindered them to enjoy whisky for the next decade. And then they have this big experience, that good whisky is something completely different.

    The most important thing about whisky is, that you shall not rush it. There is a thousand times more to smell than to taste and swallow. So having a dram (ounce) of whisky for a complete evening is nothing unusual. Also dilution with water is ok. Don't let you talk into 'not to water down your Whisky'. The ethanol is paralysing your taste buds and you stop tasting.

    If you watch my videos you can see by my shirts, that I do not taste more than three different whiskies in an evening (no rule without exception). And I taste far less than an ounce. Most often only a third of an ounce. But after those three sips I can no longer separate the influences of the different whiskies, because the aftertaste of the first has an influence on the last.

    Therefore I also avoid pairing foods, drinks as well as foods with drinks. If you are attending a wine class than you will have most often bread, cheese, and butter with the wine. The residual bread crumbs in your mouth will ferment over the upcoming hours. And you will taste the resulting sugar. And the butter (aka fat) will intensify the taste. The cheese will add a lot of salt, which is also an intensifier.

    In the end you finish with a completely artificial experience in your mouth, which has only little to do with the (probably) mediocre wine you may had.

    Kind regards, Horst Luening, Master Taster, Whisky.com
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  • ToneMastaG
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    Member ToneMastaG
    Joined: 31.12.2015Posts: 4CollectionToneMastaGs CollectionRatings: 5
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    Thank you Horst! That is very good info! I have not been tasting every night, and I at most have an ounce in light of your "mood" video. I tried some chocolate with the Basil Hayden, and found it completely blocked the nuance of the whisky. I aim to just enjoy it from now on when I have company or when I am writing. Thank you all so much for the warm welcome and the good advice. I am excited about learning more from you all :smile:

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