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The Beginner's Guide to Liking Whisky

The wonderful world of whisky drinking can be intimidating for someone new to whisky. Between different types, flavors, blends or single malts, casks, ages, regions and ways to drink it, it’s hard to know where to start! So, if you’re new to whisky, look no further! We’ve created this beginner’s guide for how to start drinking (and liking) whisky.
1. Learn About It, But Start Small
It’s easy for someone new to whisky to go all in with trying to learn everything there is to know about it, and get overwhelmed. Start with learning about the different flavor profiles, because it’s easy to know what you’re likely to enjoy based on the flavors you already like in food and drinks.
Typically, if you’re new to whisky, you’re going to want softer flavors and probably won’t like anything casked or heavily peaty. Start with a blended whisky; they’re softer on the palate and easier to drink. One of our favorites is Texas Crown Club. It’s got a buttery caramel finish that’s good on its own, and mixes really well with just about anything. Plus, it’s affordable and easy to find, so you can experiment with lots of different ways to enjoy whisky to see what you like!
2. Add Water - A Little Or A Lot
Depending on how much you add, water can either enhance or subdue the more robust flavors of whisky. For those new to whisky, start with a 70/30 ratio of water to whisky, which will help soften the drink. Sip it slowly, and try to identify the individual flavor notes. Since they’re toned down, it won’t be quite as jarring and you can work your way up to liking them. Adding just a few drops of cool water will help a whisky “bloom”, which brings out some of the citrus and barrel spice notes, giving it more of a bite.
In Texas Crown Club, the 70/30 ratio will bring out the buttery finish, and a few drops of water will bring out the spicy caramel notes. Play around with the amounts to see what you like!
3. Soften The Body And Finish With Ice
For a lot of people who are new to whisky, drinking it at room temperature is the hardest part. The flavors tend to be heavier on the oak, and the finish is more earthy. Chilling your whisky is one option, though it can mask the delicious flavors you’re trying to bring out! Add ice instead. The temperature change and added water will bring out more of the vanilla notes and makes the body and finish smooth and velvety.
4. Make A Cocktail!
No, it’s not cheating. If you’re new to whisky, you’re new to liking the distinct bold flavors and sometimes that takes covering some of them up! Whisky mixers are by far your most flexible medium for manipulating the flavors of whisky, and can be a lot of fun to play with!
Be careful, however. Not all mixers work with whisky and can clash flavors, taking you from delicious to disgusting. Here’s a fantastic article on popular whisky mixers, how they affect the flavors of your whisky, and cocktail suggestions for each:
https://www.texascrownclubwhisky.com/12-whisky-mixer . Our personal favorite is Texas Crown Club and cream soda.
5. Jump In With Both Feet, And Drink It Neat!
This is a bold move for someone new to whisky, but you’re a bold person, aren’t you?! Drink it neat, until you don’t hate it! Start by smelling the whisky, then sip it slowly. Let it roll across your tongue, and pay attention to the body and flavor notes that jump out at you. Look for these flavors with each sip, and with each new whisky you try.
Joking aside, once you get past the initial shock and acquire the taste, you’re bound to love it!
Don’t let whisky scare you! With this guide, the wonderful world of whisky is now your oyster.
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