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Booze Boy on Scotch

  Booze_boy_on_scotch
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with food, but even a Restaurant Girl gets thirsty and I’m quite fond of liquor.  Luckily, I met a boy who knows his way around the bottle – let’s call him Booze Boy.  He’s stopped by to share the wisdom of his scotch drinking ways:

Have you ever
heard someone walk up to a bartender and order their scotch
“neat”?   Hey, maybe you’ve even been that
person.  Did you ever notice that the first (and
 second and third) sip burn?

That’s
because neat translates to no ice, no water, nothing – just plain
straight up.  Most single malt scotches are anywhere between 42% and 50%
ABV (alcohol by volume), also known as 84-100 proof.  That’s almost
half alcohol – no wonder the stuff burns.  It’s not the same grain alcohol burn we all enjoyed/became temporarily blinded by in college, but still, it hurts.  

Here’s a
little tip that’ll actually change the way your scotch tastes (for the better).
  It comes from every Scottish person and every single malt distillery manager you
could ever meet:

Add a little
cold water before you drink it
.   Not only will it open up all the
aromas that are packed into the single malt during 12+ years of cask-aging, but
it will also soften the flavor. So your immediate reaction will never again be
to grimace like your foot just got run over by a cab while you
wonder why the hell dad likes this stuff so much.

To ensure that
the integrity of the scotch is maintained, use spring water.  Just like ice,
the type of water you use can greatly affect how a drink tastes.

The younger
the scotch, the more water you should use
.  For a 10-12 year old (YO) bottle,
consider a 70:30 scotch to water ratio.  Don’t worry –
nobody’s going to laugh or call you names.  In fact, any self-respecting bartender will most likely
throw you a little nod of respect for ordering the right way.  For a 15
year old (YO) scotch, you can get away with an 80:20, while a 17-18 YO bottle
is best with a 90:10 (just a couple drops).  Any older – (21, 25, 28, 30,
40 years old, and on) – you generally don’t need to add water because the
extended years in the cask have probably caused the spirit to mellow
considerably. 

Long story
short – just because some guy’s trying to impress his boss or girlfriend
by ordering a scotch "neat", doesn’t mean he knows what he’s
doing.  Ironically, he’s just wasting money and cheating himself of
the full malt experience.  So next time you go to a bar, order your
favorite single malt with some water, and taste what you’ve been
missing.

Scotch Suggestions:

  • Starter Scotches – Glenlivet or Glenfiddich no older than 12 YO
  • Intermediate Scotches – Balvenie Single Barrel or Macallan 18 YO
  • Advanced Scotches (Single Malt Sophisticates) – Glenmorangie, Glenrothes or Talisker

Until we booze again,
Booze Boy

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