Hello, you Bourbon beginners!!! You Bourbon babies!!! You Bourbon newbies!!! You amazing people who want to get into Bourbon and are just starting out and have no idea where to go! I am here for you. (Honestly, this is one of my FAVORITE topics, I’m so excited.)
So, welcome to Bourbon! We are glad to have you. I’m going to talk about how I got into Bourbon and recommend some things for you to taste ASAP. Let’s start at the beginning…a long, long time ago…well, like 3ish years ago… I did not like Bourbon, I repeat I did not like Bourbon (or whiskey of any kind). The only experience I had with Bourbon was drinking some Jack Daniels on a New Year’s where I fell down a lot and had bruises the next day. (And, yes, Jack Daniels IS Bourbon.) So, yeah, not a lot of good experience. Bear in mind this was 12ish years ago… back to present day. Sorta. Kris has always enjoyed whiskey and I haven’t. I’m not exactly sure how or why Honey Whiskey from Wild Turkey came into my life, but I’m am ever so grateful that it did. So, I started drinking Honey Whiskey and really liked it. Hmmm… honey plus whiskey, I’m on board. Then, I’m sure Kris was getting annoyed by my “whiskey” drinking at this point. So, around this time we bought Basil Hayden’s. Hello, lovely, easy sipping, smooth drinking, delicious Bourbon. LIFE CHANGING. For real, Basil Hayden’s changed my life. It was the first Bourbon that I could drink neat, and enjoyed drinking neat. From there I started to try everything neat, and eventually started writing reviews for this site. Here, I am now a few years later, reviewer extraordinaire! But, really, I’ve got a list of great Bourbons for beginners and reasons why…
Any flavored whiskey: Because these are great gateway drinks. If you aren’t sure where to begin, a honey or other flavored whiskey is a great place to start. So, don’t feel bad. You do you.
Finished Bourbons/whiskeys: These are great for newbies because a little extra age in a wine barrel or something else will add a fun, different flavor and usually cuts out some of the harshness. I love finished whiskeys, but it’s not for everyone, so try it and see if you like it.
Town Branch, Jefferson’s Small Batch, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses Small Batch: Any of these are all easy to drink, consistent, and have flavors you can pick out fairly easy like vanilla and caramel. These are my favorite go-to beginner Bourbons, but also pretty great for the seasoned drinker too. Oh, don’t forget good ole Basil Hayden’s either. Always a great go-to as well.
If you are still having trouble add a couple of drops of water to your glass or an ice cube, or put it in a cocktail. In the end it’s all about you and how you enjoy what you drink, so drink it how YOU want, and don’t take anyone’s shit about it. Cheers! Here’s to your future with Bourbon!!!
Sidenote: If you see a review by me, I normally say whether I think it’s easy/medium/advanced before the rating.