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A Beginning

Updated: Jun 25, 2023


Hi and welcome to Whiskey, by George!


I have been on my whiskey journey for about 2 years now. Oh, I had dabbled a bit here and there, but I did not get serious about whiskey until I built my home bar in 2021. At the time, I just knew that I wanted to have a full bar with staple spirits and mixers to make a wide variety of cocktails. I bought some shelves, some glassware and started stocking the bar. Here's the first picture I ever took of my bar:


Notice the very small collection of bottles on the top shelf. I didn't even have all my glasses yet!

 

I quickly discovered that my favorite spirit was whiskey and that my favorite whiskey was bourbon! But I didn't just want to drink whiskey, I wanted to know everything about it...how it's made, how different whiskies were made, how they were different, how they were the same. I joined a couple bourbon groups on Facebook to help me learn about what other enthusiasts were buying/drinking. I read a few books, watched a documentary on bourbon, and started buying. I figured every bar had to have at least a bottle of Scotch, so without knowing what I was buying, I bought a bottle of 12 year old Islay Single Malt whiskey. I didn't like it at all. At first, I just figured that I didn't like Scotch.


In my reading, I discovered the differences between Scotches from different regions in Scotland. I discovered that most Islay scotches are made with peat smoked barley. That most Highland and Speyside scotches did not use peat or used a lot less of it. So I started seeking out Scotches that had little to no peat. I quickly found that I did like Scotch, I just didn't care for peat.


I quickly found myself buying much more bourbon, than Irish or Scotch whiskies. But I also figured out that different mash bills and regions of the US produced different tasting bourbons. I started with low proofs (80-95 proof). I remember thinking my first 100 proof bourbon (Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond) was very tasty, but a little strong.


Over the last 2 years, my tastes and my whiskey collection have evolved. I have gone from "I like this" or "I don't like this" to slowly evolving my pallet to better describe what I like or don't like. My method so far has been finding reviews (with tasting notes) of the bourbon I am tasting and comparing the nose, palate, and finish that the reviewer describes and see if I can identify any of what they are getting. Once I have "verified" certain smells and tastes, I find I have started identifying some of these in other whiskeys. Lately, I have started getting into cask strength and full strength bourbons, so I no longer think 100 proof is strong. LOL


A few months ago, I found a bourbon podcast called "Bourbon Real Talk" (it's also on YouTube, but I listen to it when I am busy or driving). I love that this podcast believes in "the power of connection, community, and love". I also found out that they host the "Bourbon Real Talk Community" on Facebook. This group has quickly become my favorite group on Facebook. It is "a troll-free Facebook group where whiskey lovers can come together to share their love for Bourbon and give back to the community." The podcast and the group have inspired me to expand my whiskey knowledge and accelerate my whiskey journey.

 

So, welcome! I thought this blog would be a fun way to share what I'm learning, what I'm drinking, and hopefully, meeting fellow enthusiasts along the way! I will be presenting whiskey topics such as it's history, the process, and other tidbits that I find interesting. There will be tastings, distillery tours, and cocktail recipes. There may not be a ton of content early, but let me get this train rolling! I'm happy that you are reading this and hope you will join me on my journey!


I will end this post with a picture of what my bar looks like today:


Definitely need more shelves, I have bottles everywhere! Bye for now!


Tony

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Lynn Nilsson
Lynn Nilsson
Jun 26, 2023

Congrats on the blog, good luck on your journey!

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Tony George
Tony George
Jul 01, 2023
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Thanks!

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