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Thirsty Thursday — Whisky

Thirsty Thursday — Whisky

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By: Bil­low

The Jack and Coke; A Tenderfoot’s Whisky and Cocktail

 

The Leg­endary Collegian’s offi­cial sanc­tion is that whisky should be enjoyed straight. This is a ridicu­lous prod­uct with an amaz­ing amount of fla­vor, his­tory and sci­ence behind it. We drink it straight because at room tem­per­a­ture and with no addi­tives, the innate tastes and aro­mas of this incred­i­ble prod­uct are accen­tu­ated. They will bel­low at our palate instead of a sub­tle whis­per behind ice, sugar or carbonation.

Hav­ing none or near to no expe­ri­ence with whisky and sud­denly decid­ing that you will enjoy whisky straight is masochism. At this moment, as an ama­teur writer, I insert some sham and com­mon placed metaphor related to walk­ing before running.

SEE ALSOA His­tory and Whiskey Debate

Appre­ci­at­ing whisky is a process. And this process has cer­tain prac­ti­cal thresh­olds.  The intro­duc­tory stage is the whisky cock­tail. The Jack and Cokes, Jame­son and gin­ger ales, Seagram’s 7 and 7 ups and so on. The fla­vor of whisky will be car­ried to you on the crutch of sugar and syrup. This is muted some­what when we upgrade to whisky with a splash of soda or soda option. Ascen­sion to the third level, whisky on the rocks, is dra­matic as you begin to only dilute your whisky with melt­ing water instead of sugar. You can decrease the dilu­tion by grad­u­at­ing to the next level and enjoy­ing your whisky with a sin­gle ice cube instead of many. The whisky pin­na­cle is to enjoy your whisky neat. A naked whisky will tell you a story that seems both intu­itive and rev­o­lu­tion­ary at the same time– like a book you have never read before but the glo­ri­ous mes­sage is a friendly neigh­bor to your insides. Whisky neat, with the first sip will jus­tify beards, sto­icism, pipe tobacco and a healthy dis­trust of strangers. With that first taste of neat whisky, the devil him­self will aspire to sobri­ety out of appre­hen­sion because, ‘Oh shit, HE is drink­ing.

Favicon 1 Post Size1 Thirsty Thursday   WhiskyThe Leg­endary Col­le­gian says; adding 2 to three drops of water to your whisky neat will release aro­mas and taste not avail­able neat. This pro­ce­dure will also demon­strate that you under­stand whisky and appre­ci­ate a dynamic spirit as opposed to coca cola with a splash whisky.

I am an arro­gant man. Fre­quently this mis­con­cep­tion in the mir­ror leads to my social com­pro­mise on hilar­i­ous occa­sions. In addi­tion, just like any rea­son­able man, I appre­ci­ate a bright smile above amaz­ing cleav­age. My last year at my uni­ver­sity I was at our unof­fi­cial Greek bar and said smile and cleav­age was behind the bar and asked my drink order. After an exhaust­ing game of ‘Fuck me, where’s the whisky?!’ I rec­og­nized Cana­dian Club’s bot­tle and ordered as much on the rocks. My “bar­tender” was dumb­found, out­wardly (and inwardly) blind as I was just short of tak­ing the bot­tle off the shelf with my feral ges­tures at the white label. She had no notion what I was talk­ing about. Even­tu­ally I con­vinced her that Cana­dian Club did in fact exist, and when I thought vic­tory at hand, she pro­ceeded to fill a plas­tic sam­ple cup full­way with ice and halfway with whisky. And because I am a weak, weak man, I still tipped her well.

Assess what type of bar expe­ri­ence you are par­tic­i­pat­ing in and the expe­ri­ence of your bar­tender before you order. Whisky is not respected behind a liquor license until the estab­lish­ment has a menu with a sin­gle malt scotch divi­sion and a dou­ble malt scotch sub­di­vi­sion. Most of the bars that we can geo­graph­i­cally and finan­cially fre­quent will only be able to ade­quately serve a whisky cock­tail or a whisky with a splash. The best way to fos­ter a whisky edu­ca­tion is to buy your­self some­thing not asso­ci­ated with Jim Beam or Jack Daniels and enjoy it alone or in small company.

Balance Resize Thirsty Thursday   WhiskyThe Ine­bri­ate Econ­o­mist says; Beam Incor­po­rated also makes Maker’s Mark prod­ucts. The Jack Daniels dis­tillery is a part of the larger Brown For­man Cor­po­ra­tion which also makes Wood­ford Reserve prod­ucts. The for­mer listed whiskies are deli­cious and are noth­ing to be guilty about. But we encour­age you to explore out­side of these com­mer­cial prod­ucts and expe­ri­ence some inde­pen­dent dis­til­leries like Four Roses, Heaven Hill, George Dickel (qual­ity Jack Daniels) and Buf­falo Trace. In addi­tion, the best under­stand­ing of a whisky’s qual­ity is the age. This is because the longer a whisky is aged in a charred oak bar­rel, the richer and deeper the fla­vor. Jack Daniels is only aged for four years and Maker’s Mark five– rel­a­tively young in the whisky world and close to the aging of bot­tom shelf whiskies. 

The whisky cock­tail is the intro­duc­tion to whisky prepa­ra­tion. And Ten­nessee whisky is the gate­way whisky to the whisky world. Jack Daniels and most Ten­nessee whisky is an unde­mand­ing spirit. If rye whisky is a loaf of rye bread, and bour­bon a loaf of corn bread, than Ten­nessee whisky is a loaf of angel food cake. Ten­nessee whisky is the sweet­est style of whisky avail­able. The legal def­i­n­i­tion of Ten­nessee whisky is that it is a “straight Bour­bon Whisky autho­rized to be pro­duced only in the State of Ten­nessee” (NAFTA).  It is ‘more south­ern’ bourbon.

The only dis­tinc­tion is a ‘char­coal mel­low­ing’ process where the whisky is fil­tered through a ridicu­lous amount of sugar maple char­coal. That is the same tree that maple syrup comes from. Ten­nessee whisky is the brunch condi­ment of whiskies. What this process does is remove impu­ri­ties (called con­gin­ers in a liquor dis­cus­sion) leav­ing a very clean and very sweet whisky. And this is the bril­liance of the mar­ket­ing of Jack Daniels, The words used to ref­er­ence this process are very appeal­ing. Why wouldn’t you want a cleaner whisky? Impu­ri­ties sound yucky and the idea of char­coal mel­low­ing sounds bad ass. I con­cede that char­coal mel­low­ing does yield some­thing unique to bour­bon, but Ten­nessee whisky has not per­fected whisky with char­coal mel­low­ing. Con­gin­ers are not dirty ‘impu­ri­ties.’ They are the fla­vor that gives whisky its dis­tinc­tive pro­file and expe­ri­ence. Jack Daniels is the vodka of the whisky world as they try to sell the smooth sen­sa­tion of their pro­duc­tion as opposed to a flavor.

In sum­ma­tion, the Jack and Coke and Jack Daniels are ade­quate as a begin­ning to whisky. But we encour­age you to explore whiskies that Bluto and Kesha don’t binge in Ani­mal House and Tik Tok respectively.

Here’s to you,
Bil­low

 

*Your friends at the Leg­endary Col­le­gian remind you to drink respon­si­bly. Thirsty Thurs­day is intended for respon­si­ble adults of legal drink­ing age who wish to try new drinks, get infor­ma­tion about alco­holic bev­er­ages, drinks and cock­tails. It is purely intended for enter­tain­ment purposes. 

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