What Is The Best Whisky For Beginners?

By: Neelanjana Mondal

red label whisky

Whisky is one of the drinks marketed with such gusto that it gives off the impression that it is only reserved for certain kinds of individuals. Don’t get swayed by them to believe you cannot try this marvellous drink, and who knows when it might earn a permanent spot in your home bar. Whisky’s brilliant shade of amber awaits your first sip and you will soon grow to appreciate this drink with a complex profile. We got you with this guide to picking your first whisky. Let’s start with the most common ones so you can start easy with the smoother ones that don't make your eye water. 

Scotch Whisky

This is the most popular version of whisky, at least in India and from the name you might have guessed it is from Scotland. These whiskies boast a complex flavour profile and vary based on their region. Scotches would be anything between floral, fruit, peaty and smoky. 

Irish Whisky

Like all whiskies, this one too earns its name because it is produced in Ireland and very different from Scotch. Irish whiskies are triple-distilled making them light with a smooth aftertaste. The flavour profile has notes of honey, vanilla, grain and citrus. Another good option for your first whisky drink since there is a tinge of sweetness to this well-rounded whisky. 

beginners guide to whisky

American Whisky

The American kind encompasses a wide range of whiskies, most popular among them is the bourbon. It has a rich flavour profile with a tinge of sweetness to it, not a bad drink to break your way into the world of whisky. The rest of the stuff aside from bourbon can have any flavour profile ranging from spicy to the more punchy varieties. 

Japanese Whisky

The Japanese learnt their whisky-making skills from Scotland and over time they produced their own distinct form of whisky. Japanese whisky typically is mild with a light flavour profile and is perfect for beginners who love their liquor on the lighter side. 

johnnie walker red label

The Whisky Blends

The more common and more affordable whiskies are the blended kind, some are aged for longer for a richer mouthfeel and make for an aromatic blend with a pleasant taste. Check the labels and take your pick whether you would like a lighter or a deeper well of flavour and the flavour profile from floral to a more sombre smokier note. These are perfect for you if you dislike the burn that is associated with whisky. Blends are significantly milder. 

Blended whisky combines grain and malt produced from different distilleries. As for the blended scotch, it's a mix between malt whisky, aged in a barrel and another whisky from a different grain, barley included. Better blends only use whisky and no other spirits to dilute the flavours. So a higher quality blend should be your go-to novel whisky; and how do you notice this? The label will mention the whiskies used in the bottle – something like bourbon and scotch blend. The tasting notes are explicitly mentioned on the label for these finer whiskies, brands like Johnnie Walker are one of them.

The best part about this kind of whisky is, that it is a blend of multiple whiskies, and the taste remains consistent throughout their different bottles. This is unlike any other single malt or single grain whisky where no two bottles are the same.

whisky tasting tips for beginners

The Best Way to Enjoy Your Whisky

By now you might have a hazy idea if not a clear one, and we are confident you will be able to navigate the whisky aisle or a complex bar menu of an upscale establishment on your next night out. If you are trying the whisky at home, we are here for it and if you are still petrified, we got you, here is how to make the experience even smoother. Most whisky snobs will pull a face at some of these, but rules were made by man and are sometimes meant to be broken.

Craft cocktails, grab a highball glass add the whisky and different liqueurs to sweeten the drink further, and follow a recipe to get the best results. But if you want to brave the burn and enjoy the masochism promoted by this drink, we applaud you. Pick a sweeter one and flavours you really enjoy and sip carefully instead of throwing it back like a cowboy. Drink judiciously and share a peg or two with your fellow whisky lover who will be delighted at you. 

This content is not available in your location