Whiskey is fantastic. When drinking it, it gives you the warm feeling inside (or at least it does for me!). Whiskey can be sipped neat, enjoyed on the rocks, or added to a cocktail. There are cocktails for all seasons, including fresh mint juleps in the summer, and hot toddys to keep you warm in the winter. Ordering whiskey has always been on trend – no one at the bar will judge the person ordering an old fashioned.
If you are interested in becoming a “whiskey person”, you will find another thing out pretty quickly – whiskey is expensive! With good bottles starting at about $30 a bottle, it costs quite a chunk of change to build a collection. Ordering whiskey from a bar, however, is even more costly. Your best bet to be able to enjoy different types of whiskeys whenever you’d like, and not break the bank, is to have a collection of your own. Here’s how I did just that.
Include different types of whiskey. My collection includes bourbons, ryes, American whiskeys, and Irish whiskeys. Bourbon is probably the first bottle that you’ll buy – it was for me as well. Mixing in other types along the way will add diversity to your collection. Eventually, you may even make your way into Japanese whiskey and scotch as well!
Eventually, pick a number to stop at. At some point, you’re going to have to find your magic number of bottles. Right now, my magic number is 12. At any point in time, I will have 5 – 7 bourbons, 2 – 4 ryes, and 2 – 4 whiskeys. If I purchase more than that, it feels like overkill to me. That bring said – my magic number will be different than yours. I know people that have hundreds of bottles, and I know people that just have one or two at a time. Any number is fine as long and you are comfortable with it.
Find a nice place to display your collection.
This is what my collection looks like:
There’s nothing better then being able to look at the full collection, all together at once. I am using a simple bookcase to display my bottles.
I also suggest having rocks glasses for serving whiskey inside this shelf as well.
Additionally, here are a few suggestions on whiskeys to start your collection with.
Larceny – This 92 proof bourbon is one of my all-time favorites. It has a smooth, buttery flavor with very little burn. This is a great whiskey for beginners that are still acquiring the a taste for some of the bolder flavor characteristics that some others exhibit.
Russell’s Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye – While bourbon is arguably the most popular style of whiskey, rye carries a entirely different flavor profile. This 90 proof whiskey has been aged 6 years. It has the standard flavor profile of a rye whiskey, including a lot of flavor at the tail end, but is also very smooth and balanced.
Few American Whiskey
I am a little bit biased this last whiskey, having once met the distiller in a classroom setting at my local liquor outlet. I like all of the whiskeys that Few produces, but the American Whiskey is my favorite. This whiskey is 93 proof and has an awesome flavor profile, with many different flavors all well balanced and smooth. The most important thing in all of this is to not be afraid to try something new and learn along the way! I’ve bought a few bottles that I just don’t like – but appreciate the lessons that they’ve taught me. That being said, almost almost all of my experiences with whiskey have been good ones!