the budget friendly guide

The Budget-Friendly Guide to Being a Whiskey Connoisseur

The First Date in Your Love Affair With Whiskey

The sparks are already there: You enjoy drinking whiskey and feel special ordering it “neat,” but you don’t really know how to drink whiskey properly and how to best appreciate the much-revered spirit.

You wonder if you are selecting the best option and have a lingering feeling that you don’t really know the answer to the question, “What is whiskey?”

Any good relationship takes time and effort, and a willingness to sit down and learn, so you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to get into a long-term relationship with this spirit.

It can be hard to sort through the many facets of whiskey on your own. Is it more important that the distillery has been around for 150 years or that all-natural well water is used? Does a good beginner whiskey need a master distiller name on the label? Is scotch the same thing as whiskey?

You’ve heard people talk about scotch, sipping whiskies and bourbon, but what you really need is a beginner guide to whiskey and you’re too embarrassed to ask. Even the best budget whiskeys, with varying levels of alcohol content, can be smooth and delicious — especially if you age and flavor your spirits at home for extra enjoyment. And bragging rights!

This guide to drinking whiskey on a budget is like couples therapy for you and your crush. It will move you beyond the “bottom’s up!” approach to whiskey to an understanding of how it’s made, flavored, aged and best enjoyed. Simply put, at this point in adulthood, you should be acquainted with this delicious spirit and willing to take your relationship to the next level.

Don Draper and a Third of American Spirit Drinkers Pour Whiskey. You Should, Too.

The cool factor of whiskey was solidified long before “Mad Men” star Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, was seen drinking it in seemingly every scene, but the hit show didn’t hurt whiskey’s reputation or sales. In fact, Draper’s reserve whiskey of choice saw a 23% increase in sales the year after the show aired, after many years of stagnant sales.

Whiskey clearly isn’t just for handsome TV stars. You’ve probably noticed whiskey bars and speakeasies with whiskey tastings and whiskey pairings at your favorite restaurants. Americans drink over 460 million liters of whiskey every year, which accounts for nearly 30% of the spirits consumed in the United States. This beginner’s guide to whiskey will help you join your fellow countrymen and women, and will teach you the difference between whiskey vs. whisky. That extra “e” is important, as you’ll find out.

americans drink liters of whiskey

Soon your love for whiskey will be matched only by Anchorman Ron Burgundy, who can sing about his love for scotch in melodic tones. This whiskey guide will educate you about the basics of ordering whiskey so you don’t look like a fool and don’t waste your money, the types of whiskey so you know what you’re drinking, and how to enjoy whiskey on a budget. Even if you’ve decided whiskey isn’t for you, but you’ve got some whiskey-lovers in your family and want to treat them to unique gifts, this guide is for you.

So pour yourself a couple of fingers — a common whiskey measurement leftover from the Wild West when men would wrap their hands around the glass and pour to the height of one or two fingers — and study up!