Case in Point: A guest is accustomed to drinking in night clubs and dive bars, where taking shots is par for the course. They ask for a round of Blanton’s shots.
Taking shots of bourbon defeats the purpose of drinking bourbon – olfaction and gustation. In laymen terms, bourbon should be enjoyed in three steps: smell it, taste it, let it finish on your palate.
Bourbon shouldn’t be treated like a chore that is to be rushed through on your way to getting so blasted that you wind up in a Mexican prison cell. Save that for tequila.
There are some bourbons made for shooting, and there are some bourbons made for sipping. Sipping bourbons are high quality, high proof, and are hand crafted to be enjoyed slowly. I once poured a guest a Booker’s bourbon neat. She had downed the shot like it was some cheap vodka. For those of you who don’t know, Booker’s is a small batch uncut, unfiltered, straight-from-the-barrel, 129+ proof connoisseurs bourbon.
The right way to do it: Grab a nice Glencairn snifter, sit back with a fine whiskey, sip, and enjoy life. If you must take a shot of bourbon (God only knows why you would), there are bourbons out there that are for that. Or, if you must do a shot of bourbon…
Ask me for a shot of Jack Daniels.
Ask me for a shot of Old Crow.
Ask me for a shot of Benchmark.
In other words, ask for “well” bourbon. This is the bottom of the shelf stuff that your bartender uses to make mixed drinks.
I’m one to keep the bourbon snobbery to a minimum, but I have love for the art and craft of fine whiskey consumption. A good bourbon bartender or consumer will always appreciate guests who have the same amount of love and appreciation!