About Town

The Novice’s Guide to Bourbon

John BrockmanSpirits Manager, Colonial Wines & Spirits

Bourbon’s popularity is soaring as people around the world discover this uniquely American expression of the distiller’s craft. If you’re a newbie, finding a bourbon you like can be a little intimidating. Tasting is the key, and here are a few pointers to get you started.

RECOMMENDED BOURBON: Maker’s Mark; Woodford Reserve; Old Forester 100 proof

GLASSWARE: Many people associate drinking bourbon with shot glasses, but a Glencairn glass or a brandy snifter are your best bets. These glasses concentrate bourbon’s aroma so that you can properly nose it.

POURING: For your first tasting, pour the bourbon sample with no ice, water or other mixers.  Keep the sample size under an ounce; you want to avoid getting so buzzed you can’t discern flavors.

NOSING: The best method is to put your schnozzle above the opening of your glass, keep your lips parted and inhale gently.

TASTING: Take a sip. Move that sip around your mouth and coat your tongue. Take note of the flavors – the sweetness, saltiness or bitterness – as you “chew” the bourbon.

FINISHING: Like other potables, each bourbon has a finish. Notice the length, or shortness, of the finish. Notice also any unique flavors that arise in the finish.

Tasting knocks the intimidation right off of bourbon, and is incredibly rewarding when you find the bourbon that’s right for you.

Call or come by Colonial and we’ll get you on the path to bourbon bliss!

11200 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72211
(501) 223-3120 | Colonial Wines & Spirits

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