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A Beginner’s Guide to Sipping Whiskey

We consider whiskey an important part of history – the history of Scotland, where it is believed to have been created, and also the history of America (or at least Kentucky), where bourbon was created and then perfected. Likewise, we view sipping whiskey as an art with its roots in tradition. Read on for our expert tips on how to properly pour and sip a fine whiskey.



Vesselwhiskey carafe

The best type of glass for whiskey is made of glass, since it won’t taint the flavor of the whiskey. A rocks glass is the classic choice – a short tumbler with a wide rim. For an old-fashioned experience, you can opt to sip your whiskey from a tin cup, like the mountain men of long ago. No matter which vessel you choose, we think it’s always better to have whiskey from any cup than to have no whiskey at all.



Having your whiskey neat means no ice and no mixer. This is room temperature whiskey, the way the maker intended it to be enjoyed, and the way to fully taste the true flavor. However, there are a multitude of other ways to have your whiskey – with water or ice, straight, and so on. If it’s your first time trying whiskey and you find the taste overpowering, try adding a few drops (at most, a teaspoon) of water. Ice can also help dull the flavor by chilling your drink and diluting it slightly. Some experts say they always prefer to drink their whiskey on the rocks, so don’t feel like having it neat is the only way to go. (For reference, one serving of whiskey is 1.5 oz.)



Three sniffs…whiskey

We recommend not one, not two, but three good sniffs to fully experience the complex aroma of a whiskey. Slowly bring your glass to your nose. At first, alcohol might be the only scent you are able to pick out – but not to worry, once your nostrils recover, you’ll be able to pick out some of those true whiskey flavors, including but not limited to: vanilla, toffee, caramel, smoke, spice, and even floral or citrus.


…and a sip

Make your first sip a small one, and allow the whiskey to cover the surface of your tongue. Move it from one side of your mouth to the other, then back again. This way, you’ll pick out flavors you may have missed or flavors that have evolved. After this initial sip, feel free to sip on your whiskey any way you choose, although we do emphasize sipping. We recommend enjoying one to two drinks per hour, and always in pleasant (and preferably good-looking) company.


For a sophisticated, upscale experience, visit one of BLEND’s locations in Indianapolis or Nashville. Our hand-stitched leather seating, 40-foot bar, and premium wines and spirits make our lounge and bar an experience unlike any other you’ll find. Our experienced wait staff can help you find the perfect whiskey suited to your tastes or to pair with your cigar or meal. Brands like Balvenie, Pappy Van Winkle, and Johnnie Walker Odyssey can often be found next to rare blends from Blanton’s that have been handpicked and blended exclusively for BLEND.

BLEND With Davidoff-Final 0715BLEND Bar • Cigar with Davidoff Cigars® is Indianapolis and Nashville’s premier cocktail lounge and cigar bar. BLEND’s selection of premium cigars is second to none, and our walk-in humidor is one of the largest in the US. BLEND is the only appointed merchant for Davidoff cigars in Indiana, so cigar aficionados are sure to find what they are looking for.

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