I figure you're getting back to the bars, now that you're vaccinated or have those antibodies flowing, so I wanted to share a little bar science with you this month. Hopefully your favorite whiskey bar is still open coming out of the pandemic, but there are a lot of things that impact you when you're checking out a new spot, or a bar that you're less familiar with.
Say you're a cocktail person, You're past the whiskey and coke or bourbon & sprite phase of your spirits journey. You're a whiskey person! And I know it, because you're in at least ONE bourbon group and you're reading this blog.
Anyway, as a cocktail person, you should be paying more attention to what whiskey or bourbon in going into your cocktail. I'm one of those people that likes to watch my cocktail being built by my bartender, checking out the craft and the ingredients he or she is putting in my drink. If you're anywhere but a dive bar, (and I do love dive bars, especially in a new city)... But if you're anywhere but a dive bar, and your bartender turns that label away from you when pouring, SOMEbody's not proud of the spirit they're using as the base of your cocktail.
Know what you're drinking, and what's being covered up or enhanced by other ingredients. Ask them, inquisitively, "What's that whiskey you're using?" and see what you get. Their body language will tell you what THEY think of the bourbon they're using. If you what to dive a little deeper, get a neat pour of that whiskey by itself, and sip it side-by-side with that cocktail. Whether it's a bottle you've heard of or not, you may surprise yourself (positively or negatively) by the experience. As I've said in the past, side by side tests are the best way to increase your knowledge in your bourbon or whiskey game.