Smoke & Water
Do you remember the first time you tried whisky? If the memory is anything like mine, it was as a child sneakily taking a sip out of my father’s glass and then proceeding to splutter and choke as it burnt it’s way down my throat. Far from a pleasant memory, right? Sadly, this poor first experience could have easily been avoided by a: not trying whisky as a kid, and/or b, not starting with a smokey Scotch!
Now we have already addressed what the differences are between, a Scotch and a Bourbon. But where should someone who is completely untrained in the ways of whisky begin? Christopher Osburn gives a fantastic outline of this in his article “The Road to Smoke: How to Train Your Palate to Appreciate the Peatiest Whiskies”.
Osburn gives a detailed guide on how to navigates the pitfalls of having non-matured taste buds and where to start from to work your way through the whisky ladder. He also raises the often overlooked opinion, that not all whiskies will suite an individual, just like not everyone enjoys the same types of cheeses, or wines. If you ever give a whisky a taste and it doesn’t tickle your fancy, the best thing you can do is put it back on the shelf and come back in a few years time. With a little luck, your taste buds will have matured and so will your love of whisky.