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Expert tips on where to start with whiskey

We asked Buffalo’s whiskey experts to offer some advice for those getting started on their journeys in whiskey. These tips are great tips for beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike.

“Ease into it in small doses. Taste the whiskey straight up, with a little ice or a splash of water to soften your entrance and get a handle on the flavors and feel that make it different.” - Andy Wegrzyn, Buffalo Distilling Company

“Don’t get caught up in the hoopla regarding ratings and high prices. There are many whiskeys that are moderate in price and high in quality. Let your palate develop at its own natural pace. Accelerating it by drinking only the finest whiskeys immediately, is an inauthentic shortcut.” - Pete Orfanos, Crabapples

“Try at a bar first, ask questions and don’t be afraid. Some whiskeys can be quite an investment these days so I would advise having a dram at your local whiskey bar first and seeing if it is something you want to keep around the house.” - Timothy Stevens, Lucky Day Whiskey Bar

“The best place to start is to find a whiskey taxonomy chart. Understand what whiskey is as a category. Then learn the sub-categories, like Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Canadian, etc. Next, tackle the production methods, like what makes a bourbon a straight bourbon versus just bourbon or the difference between a single malt Scotch and blended Scotch. Get tasting and take notes.” - Bobby Finan, Tommyrotter Distillery

“Try something smooth first - I just started, and so I try to find the smoothest whiskeys and then branch off from there." - Kevin Keller, NEAT

“As your palate starts to develop, you’ll start to go toward harder, more full bodied types of flavors.” - John Rainelli, NEAT

 

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