At some point in my illustrious drinking career I realized that I didn’t want to be the guy that does nothing but hammer beer all the time. Sure, beer is good. . .hell, beer is GREAT, but there comes a time when you start to wonder, ‘What am I missing?’
In my case, it was whiskey. Straight up, on the rocks, with a bit of water or a splash of club soda – it doesn’t matter, I love whiskey. Below are my five favorite whiskeys, how I prefer them and when I like to drink them.
- Johnnie Walker Black Label – My standard. I can have a glass of Johnnie on the rocks at any time for any occasion. I’ve had it to celebrate and mourn, but always with a couple ice cubes. As the ice melts and the whiskey chills it completely changes flavor from that first sip. Ideal time to drink? At home while reading a book – about as classy as I’ll ever get.
- Yamazaki 12 Year – Great whiskey doesn’t just have to come from Scotland and this Japanese import is a prime example. Full-bodied with a hint of clove and honey, it leads with a slightly peppery bite but finishes sweeter than you’d expect. I’ll have a pour straight up or with a TINY bit of water. Ideal time to drink? On a cool night on a patio with friends and family.
- Jack Daniels – I may be a man now, but I’m a man that went to college (several of them). Jack Daniels is a staple of any red-blooded drinking man’s college diet. On a dare I once actually put it in my cereal (not good). Shot form is the best way to get that rush of blood to the head that lets you know you’ll probably end up in a ditch before the end of the night. . .just make sure that shot’s got a beer back on it. Ideal time to drink? With your bros at the bar, bro. . .especially if your bro gets the tab.
- Jim Beam – The poor man’s Jack Daniels. The source of many a bar’s whiskey drinks during happy hour when wells are $2. The only time I’ve ever had a whiskey hangover was drinking Beam. Cut it with some club soda and a twist of lime, however, and it takes on a flavor that is surprisingly similar to cream soda. Ideal time to drink? When you want 10 drinks and you’ve only got a $20.
- Early Times – The Jim Beam for alcoholics. My grandfather (and my namesake) drinks Early Times by the plastic gallon. I only recognize I consume this swill because of its sentimental value. Ideal time to drink? When no one’s watching, as fast as possible, with a good pour of Sprite. . .it also helps if you’re in West Virginia sitting outside a cabin and this is your view.
What are your favorite drinks and when do you prefer to enjoy them?