It has come to my attention that a lot of the beer drinkers on this blog do not enjoy whiskey like they do beer. I think this is a shame, as many of the barrel flavors that many beers now have come from using whiskey barrels and integrating the flavors of the barrel and the whiskey into the brew. Why then would many beer drinkers not get the awesome connection that exists between the two spirits?
Of course there is the classic drink, the Boilermaker that adds a shot of whiskey to a beer like a depthcharge seeking its pray, however this drink has never tipped the scales on the popularity charts. It is, however an indication to the fact that the two flavors go together very well. For some having a “Whiskey Back” to a beer is a great flavor combination, and it is, but to others they just find whiskey too challenging. I was wondering why, then I received a comment yesterday on the blog that gave me a clue…
Beer all the way, just for the diversity and being able to drink several different varieties in one sitting (hard liquor hits me hard – yes, I’m turning into a lightweight in my old age).
And given that I have yet to find a whiskey that doesn’t make my throat feel like it’s simultaneously burning and closing when I drink it, I’d again have to go with beer.
So that’s two votes!
This was a comment left on the blog by Mark Siebler the other day, and it got me thinking. I wonder how many people feel the same way when they drink Whiskey. My Brother Jim had a similar problem. He used to say that all whiskey tasted like drinking paint thinner to him. Well in April we got together and I figured out his problem and now he really enjoys a good whiskey. It was simple to fix, but probably one that happens quite frequently.
See in the movies, especially the old westerns you would see John Wayne or other cowboy at the bar with a bottle and a shot glass just shooting whiskey down his gullet as fast as possible. Well this will set your chest on fire, and give you that pained expression he always had after drinking a shot. That is because whiskey wasn’t meant to be gulped but sipped, and herein lies the answer for many beer drinkers.
If you are trying to drink whiskey like you drink beer you aren’t going to like whiskey.
Think of it this way, you wouldn’t gulp hot tea, no this is the quintessential sipping drink. Why? Because its HOT! If you gulp it you will get some nasty burns. Well Whiskey isn’t hot, but it gets that way when you drink it, and if you gulp it you will more than likely experience the same sort of discomfort as you would gulping hot tea.
So to properly drink whiskey you want to take a sip, swirl it around your palate a little bit, then let the whiskey slowly make its way to the back of your throat and then swallow slowly. This allows the great flavors of the whiskey to open fully on your palate and keeps that fire tamed.
One other way to keep the heat down is to put an ice cube or two in your whiskey to cool it before you drink it. This kind of compensates for the fire. Some people like to put the bottle of whiskey in the freezer to chill it. One problem with this approach is if the whiskey has not been chill filtered it can become cloudy and thick like the consistency of maple syrup. No harm in it, but it is just a little weird. Finally you can add a splash of water to the whiskey to cool it down a bit if needed.
So there you have it. the antidote to whiskey fire, and a lesson for beer drinkers as to how to sip whiskey for maximum enjoyment. I’m sure that if you give it a try you will love the flavors of my favorite beverage. Have a great weekend everyone.