Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekend Whiskey Buying Guide: the basics

I went to the liquor store yesterday under nearly ideal conditions. I had plenty of time, only a vague sense of what I had plenty enough of at home, and no particular budget.

It took me more than half an hour to pick out three pretty ordinary bottles, much of that time spent waiting for reviews of on-sale items to download from Whisky Connosr.
Tax preparation software.

While I was weighing my options, another shopper walked passed me pushing a shopping cart. Without breaking strike, he pulled a 1.5 liter bottle of Dewars White Label off the shelf.

This led to the creation of the following partial decision tree for buying whiskey:

Prudence in whiskey buying: You gotta start somewhere.

It also solidified my impression that I'm pretty solidly in the 90th percentile when it comes to whiskey. I'd expect to know more about, spend more on, and drink more (or at least better) whiskey than the other nine if I were in a group of ten random people. And I'd expect to know the least about, spend the least on, and drink the least and worst whiskey of everyone if I were in a group of ten whiskey fans. (A corollary: I'm about as ignorant a whiskey blogger as bothers to blog about whiskey.)

That works out pretty well, since the vast majority of whiskey fans (and whiskey bloggers) just like to drink and talk (and occasionally swap) whiskey, with whoever else wants to drink and talk and swap whiskey. What snobbery there is -- as against ice, or blends -- usually indicates ignorance, and the rest is along the lines of my flowchart above, more of an exhortation to drink better (which can usually be done for about the same, and sometimes a better, price) than a belittling of Those Not In the Know.