Whisk(e)y Wisdom

Advice For New Whiskey Drinkers

One of my favorite questions to ask Whisk(e)y Warriors is, “What advice would you give new whiskey drinkers?”

Below is a collection of wisdom from Nine Whisk(e)y Warriors as each of them answers that question.


What advice would you give new whiskey drinkers?...


I would give them two things. Taste everything and have an open mind and then don’t let anybody influence what you like. I think the way we make this industry accessible is we allow people to explore.” – Christy Cates, January 2018 Whisk(e)y Warrior


“Imagine your favorite food. What’s your go to? Whether it’s a dessert or an entrée, whatever it is, there’s a whiskey out there to match it. Savory or sweet, what do you lean towards? There’s a whiskey out there that has those characteristics that’s going to make you appreciate it even more. So find your flavor, find a region, a type, whatever kind of whiskey you can that matches it and just start there.  Explore it. See what opens up to you and what you appreciate about it. Then move on to the next and continuously challenge yourself. And just appreciate it because at the end of the day, your drinking whiskey.” – Jake Cain, December 2017 Whisk(e)y Warrior


“Try drams at restaurants and bars before you buy a bottle. Find friends who want to share and make them friends for life! Try lots of flavors! Try everything (in moderation, of course)!” – Kate Van Name, November 2017 Whisk(e)y Warrior 


“Take it easy, relax, and be at ease with the Water of Life.” – Joe Van Name, November 2017 Whisk(e)y Warrior 


“If you have the luxury, do things out of curiosity and because you love to. Form your own opinions and find out what you do like before you tell everyone what you don’t.” – Erik Hasselgarde, February 2018 Whisk(e)y Warrior


“I would say try anything and everything. You know it doesn’t necessarily have to be bourbon. It could be Scotch, could be rum, could be tequila. Just find what you like and get into the different iterations of that.” – Seth Brown, June 2018 Whisk(e)y Warrior


“Don’t be afraid to try things. And do your research.” – Brodie Whitlock, May 2018 Whisk(e)y Warrior


“I would say learn a little bit about the spirit, about what you’re drinking. Take a little bit of time to educate yourself prior to going out and trying to buy that one specific bottle because there are so many different types of bottles that might be best suited for beginners vs. somebody who has a more mature pallet.” – The Bourbon Girl, July 2018 Whisk(e)y Warrior


“I think I would say that if you try something and you don’t like it try to come back to it in about a year or two and also take everything slow. So, if you drink a Scotch or whiskey and you still think it’s still harsh start with cocktails or ice drinks and you know just try to get use to the flavors. And also, if let’s say you have the whiskey deductive tasting notebook, and you look at all the flavor profiles that it gives you, try to actually go and try those things in real life. So, if it says cherry or prunes or raisins or something go try those things and try to remember that flavor and how it tastes, and when you try the whiskies you can actually pick those things up better.” – Pavel Ispravnikov, April 2018 Whisk(e)y Warrior

Wow. Nine people from different areas of the world asked a question months apart from each other. The harmony of those answers is a testimony to the culture surrounding whiskey.

Educate yourself. Empower others. Explore. Experiment. Stay curious.

Aren’t you glad to be a part of this?

— Zac Smith

P.S. Do you have a curious friend who should experiment and explore whiskey but needs empowered to educate themselves? Forward this collection of advice to them and give the gift of our whiskey culture.