I try to be perceptively positive when it comes to trying new whiskies, any whiskey. I like to experience new flavors, learn new things about the whisky industry, compare, discuss, and get other whisky lovers opinions. I find it not just interesting, but that’s a great way to learn about new products, and/or obscure brands, or even old standards I haven’t tried. One thing I’ve learned for sure, is that everyone’s palate is individually unique, and when sampling bourbon, scotch, rye, or Irish whiskies, the imbibers should trust their taste buds.
Everything trends, be it fashion, food, or even booze, and whiskies of all kinds are very popular right now, especially among women. Just like with fashion, trends aren’t flattering to all figures, and just because someone says it’s all the rage, or the same outfit is popping up on magazine covers, and celebrity behinds, does not mean it has to suit you too. There are some whiskies that get over hyped, win awards, but disappoint and fall short of expectations because they honestly don’t taste good. Again, taste is a very personal, individual thing, but just because it’s the oldest, or the most expensive, or the highest awarded, does not mean it’s the best tasting. As with people, some will love it, others not so much, and it’s okay to voice your dislike, or opinion. Nor do you have to drink it.
I like peat when it comes to scotch, that’s my preference, but I don’t limit myself to those flavors. I also like a nice woody, fruity finish, a little sweetness at the end, so I also enjoy some Highland, and Speyside whiskies, especially those extra aged or finished in sherry, bourbon, or port casks. My bourbon tastes are a little different, as I prefer a heavier oaken tang, with a smooth, sweet finish. One thing I expect from any type of whiskey is a distinctive flavor, something that stands out, and makes that particular batch, or bottling shine. When that doesn’t happen it’s truly disappointing, especially if a whisky has been highly touted, recommended, or awarded. Even though I stated in a previous blog that I would never discuss the poorer quality, or brands I deem unworthy in this blog, I’ve changed my mind. I can do that, I’m a woman and it’s my frigging blog.
There are songs, and stories about it, and its black label is legendary, but Jack Daniels just leaves me flat and blah. Sure, I swilled it like a frat boy in my younger, wilder, less discerning days, but with so many higher quality Bourbons on the market, like Gentleman Jack, why waste money. Another more recent disappointment was Yamazaki 18 yr single malt. While I will admit that I had preconceived notions regarding a Japanese made single malt scotch, I was truly expecting to be pleasantly surprised. I was not. There was nothing extraordinary about it, nothing even nominally outstanding about it, just flat and flavorless. Smooth is the most positive thing I can say about the stuff. There are a few others I will only mention, no need for negativity here by detailing their short comings. Dewars, Cutty Sark, Canadian Mist, Crown Royal, and Seagrams 7. Enough said.
Discussing whiskies can be like religion and politics, some folks get riled when you bad mouth their favorite poison, but for the most part, us whisky peeps are lovers, not fighters, and as long as we are talking about the subject we hold most dear, we can agree to disagree, but don’t expect us to get the next round. The key is not to allow my opinion, or anyone else’s to sway you when it comes to what you like. You know what flavors you enjoy, and just because everyone else is sipping some fancy cocktail doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Revel in your independent tastes, because you can’t always trust a man, or a friend, but when something is nasty, it’s nasty, and you can always trust your tongue…. Ok, yeah that’s fodder for a totally different kind of blog. Damn!
Always, drink responsibly, don’t drink and drive!