You know what really grinds my gears? People telling other people they’re enjoying their whisky wrong.
You don’t need to go far to find them, the loyal lieutenants of the whisky police, they are everywhere, like the grown-up version of your high school bullies. But where they tend to annoy me the most is online (because maybe I’m spending too much time on Facebook rage quitting the whisky collector groups where they all gather…), behind their computers, sometimes as straight-forward as one can be, sometimes hidding behind polite discourses, they join forces to tell “the less educated” mass “how to”, explaining the(ir) best practices of whisky drinking.
Once and for all: don’t let anyone tell you you’re drinking whisky the wrong way, there’s no right or wrong way to sip a beverage of enjoyment.
I can’t of course go all “fuck you purist twats”, they do have some points… I mean, if you ask me, I would be the first annoying person to recommend drinking your whisky in a sniffer glass without putting those stupid whisky rocks in it. But hey, if you like your Balvenie 21 in a tumbler with a mountain of ice, I don’t really give a single shit. That’s your drink in the end. I’m not telling you how to eat your beans or wipe your ass, why should I tell you how to drink your whisky?
The whisky patrol also likes telling you what to buy and what not to buy, because they may feel like they have “universal taste” and that what’s to their liking will automatically suit all whisky lovers’ taste buds. Don’t you feel that’s a bit pretentious? It is, but don’t blame them, they have turned the heads of many, and now feel a kind of legitimity acting as patronizing morons.
My main advice to newcomers would be to try and try again, that’s the only way you’ll find what you really like – There’s not even a single way to enjoy your whisky but hundreds (in a cocktail, neat, over ice, with food or without, at the beginning or the end of a meal, alone or with friends…), we’re all different, what works best for me might be disgusting for you and the other way around.
A second advice, avoid the whisky police, because unlike the real one, they don’t have authority upon you and your best move would be to ignore their law. Stand up and fight!
I have of course nothing against whisky education, I actually think it is key to whisky appreciation and the future of the category, as long as the willingness to learn comes from the whisky noob and not the other way around. Newcomers do need to learn a thing or two, but spitting your (sometimes deeply incorrect) whisky science out of the blue won’t be of any use… Don’t you hate it when someone comes to you with his big “know-it-all” shoes and tells you what to do and what you should like?
Btw, to all whisky police officers out there: don’t you realise people only starting their whisky discovering journey may feel a little put off when you approach them with your “whisky code” logorrhoea? Maybe simply wait until they actually ASK for advices. Oh and if you really have nothing better to do and enjoy annoying people behind a screen, you’d be more useful chasing everyday online homophobia, sexism or racism (which you can also easily find in your Facebook whisky collector groups) rather than this poor Jack Daniel’s collector.
Like the whisky-loving version of NWA would say….
F*CK THE WHISKY POLICE!