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Porthos

Bourbon Question

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Among the Bourbons I received for my birthday was a bottle of Wild Turkey 101. I mostly sip Bourbon neat but I am wanting, after my first glass, to cut it a bit. Water or something else?

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I guess the sticklers will say make a "Bourbon & branch" with water from whatever local creek was used by the distillery, but I'd start with any decent water. 

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I like a single small ice cube.

Maybe two if its as hot as WT101.

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I'm not that much into Bourbon, myself, but I'd say man up and enjoy the Bourbon neat.  I'm downing a glass of uncut Absinth at the moment.  Myself, I know no use for water.  Ice is for mixed drinks.  Not that there is anything wrong with mixed drinks, mind you.

 

Is the Wild Turkey really all that rough?

 

Though something can be said for dancing with the green fairy rather than for dancing with a turkey.

 

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Good water, or perhaps an Old-Fashioned without fruit? Depends on how you feel, but, a little sugar makes a drink easier on the stomach. I said Old-Fashioned because it's the simplest cocktail I can think of.

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One is torn between adding just a touch of water - it works wonders with Scotch so should open up a Bourbon just as well - and going for a 'proper' mixed drink such as the Old Fashioned Lisa suggests.  Personal preference is for a mixed drink, but since your preference/habit is neat Bourbon I'd have to suggest water.  But who says it's either/or?  Have one version tonight and another tomorrow and decide what you like best.

 

Quote

I'm downing a glass of uncut Absinth at the moment

 

Jo, I learned recently this was known a century or so ago as 'smothering the parrot'.  The parrot is a reference to the green of the absinthe.   But what a marvellous phrase!

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I don't much like flat water and prefer carbonation in just about anything,  In fact last night I was wanting a dram of Maker's Mark, I had an opened can of club soda that was flavored with grapefruit.  Tasted mighty good to me.  (And, by the way, the soda had been opened in the fridge for at least three days and still held some of its carbonation.)


Edited by lindag (log)

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Here's a good calculator to figure out how much water to add to get it to a proof you prefer.

 

http://homedistiller.org/distill/dilute/calc

 

Don't have to be that exact, but if you'd like to get 2 oz of WT101 down to say 90 proof you add approximately .25 oz water. As lesliec says, a bit of water can sometimes open flavors in addition to reducing the alcohol heat, certainly no shame in that.

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I try overproof spirits at bottle strength and titrate* down to something without excessive heat and still with a nice mouthfeel. Often that's 80-100 proof for me. If the spirit is still hot or rough at 60 proof, make cocktails with it. Or Bananas Foster or something. Some old spirits can be surprisingly mild even at high proof.

 

* Or, as autocorrect prefers, "tit-rate".

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There is only one consistent rule for drinking bourbon (or really any spirit for that matter). Drink it the way you like it! If that means a drop of water, a splash of water, an ice cube or two, club soda or a freakin' Red Bull then so be it.

 

For me I generally do as @EvergreenDan does and start off by trying most everything that is new to me at bottle strength first and going from there. Indeed I tend to do that almost every time I having a whiskey or other brown spirit neat as even my own palate can vary over time. My preferred drinking strength for most things tends to be either original cask strength if I can get it (after all I can provide my own water! Brands that claim they have cut the spirit down to the perfect drinking strength for your enjoyment are just selling BS along with that water as far as I am concerned) or just a bit of water. If I find I need to add water (something I do with most spirits that are new to me any way just to see if the spirits improves or "opens up" with water) then I will titrate it down. For high proof spirits I usually add water to no lower than about 110 proof or so at most as needed. If 110 is good enough for Chartreuse it is good enough for me! Although as with everything there are exceptions. I tend to avoid buying spirits at less than 90-100 proof these days unless the full cask strength is lower than that or there is some other compelling reason to try them.

 

WT101 tastes like a nice glass of tea to me as a result!  :B

 

But YMMV.

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There is only one consistent rule for drinking bourbon (or really any spirit for that matter). Drink it the way you like it!


Exactly!

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17 hours ago, lesliec said:

Jo, I learned recently this was known a century or so ago as 'smothering the parrot'.  The parrot is a reference to the green of the absinthe.   But what a marvellous phrase!

 

Or, it would seem:  "strangling the parrot".  As much as I strive to be correct in my usage of culinary terms, I think I prefer the metaphor of "dancing with the green fairy".  Then perchance reposing with her on an alpine meadow. 

 

Be that as it may, in the case of absinthe after one or two or three the nomenclature doesn't really matter much.

 

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22 hours ago, gfweb said:

I like a single small ice cube.

Maybe two if its as hot as WT101.

 

Pour it over ice and start sipping. If it is too weak by the time you finish, drink faster or pour less next time.

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Started with the simple, poured it over one ice cube. That worked well.

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If I'm tasting a new aquisition I'll start neat and titration the proof down to find the sweet spot.   To me the Old Weller Antique proof of 107 is a sweet spot for a lot of pours.  

 

I've been enjoying some of the Booker's Round Table selections which are ~ 125 pf +/-.

Some of these I enjoy with an ice cube or two and enjoy all the different flavors that develop as the ice melts and the proof comes down.  I don't think the proof goes lower than 100 before I'm ready for more.  

 

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Use a dropper with care. Ice is too unpredictable and too much water dulls the flavor profile of any whisk(e)y. 

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The whiskey is 55.5% abv. If you are not used to it, it will be too strong. There is no shame in cutting it back to 40% abv, which is US 80 proof. This is something of a sweet spot for spirits, not diluting out the flavour esters while making it more drinkable.

 

Ice kills flavour. If this is the effect that you want, fair enough. If not, I'd steer well clear.

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