Think You Know Your Whiskeys? Think Again: Bourbon is much more than drinking it in brown liquor glasses!

Ah yes! It's that time of year again. The snow is nowhere melting, and you know what that means. Time to dust off your Chuck Taylors, break out the skanky flannels, and head down to the local bar for a whiskey tasting spree with your buds. This year we've decided to mix it up. So, before heading down to your local watering hole to meet the boys (or gals), remember these tips, and you are sure to impress your mates.

How to be the Best Bourbon Taster?

There's no denying that the world of bourbon is one of the most exciting areas in the spirits industry. And it's not just because you get to taste a bunch of different types of booze from all over the world but also because it's an area that has been expanding over the past few years.

For example, more and more distilleries are popping up all over the country—and sometimes even in cities outside of America—producing some excellent whiskeys! And even though we've seen some fantastic innovations in the last few years, there's still one thing that has been a mystery for many: how to be a good taster at a whiskey-tasting bar.

It starts with a good question: What is a bourbon?

If you've never fully explored whiskey bars, you might not know that there are three kinds of bourbons.

There's the plain ol' straight-up whiskey (which is what most people think of when they hear the word "bourbon"). Then there's the Tennessee whiskey, made from rye and corn with a small amount of wheat. And then there's Kentucky bourbon, which is made only from corn.

Here are the 10 Simple Steps to Becoming the best at Bourbon Tasting

1) The first step to becoming the star at Bourbon Tastings is to find out what makes bourbon great. And the best way to do that is by tasting as many different bourbons as possible.

2) If you're not sure, ask your bartender or server for help!  

3) Once you've determined that you want to become the best bourbon taster at the whiskey bar, now it's time to consider how you'll tell whether your next sip will be genuinely exceptional… and worth every penny of your $10/bottle price tag!

4) Bourbon can be made from any number of grains, but corn has traditionally been one of the most commonly used grains when making American-style whiskeys.

5) There are five main types of corn used in making whiskey: white corn, yellow corn, flint corn, blue corn, and sweet corn (which is made from sorghum).

6) Each type of grain has its own unique taste and aroma that becomes more pronounced with each sip, but it also means that each class will have its own unique flavor profile depending on the type.

7) Learn how to ask questions correctly so that your drinker knows precisely what they want (and when).

8) Make sure you know which glasses go with which type of whiskey before you start pouring them out on your table.

9) Always taste from both ends of the glass so you can compare notes with other people doing the same thing.

10) Last but not least, Have some real fun! Having fun while tasting whiskey is vital because it allows you to enjoy your whiskey even more. If you're not having fun, then what’s the point? So relax and enjoy yourself!

Finally, after you have your list figured out, it's time to attend those Bourbon Tastings in your city.


If you're trying to impress someone at your local bar who knows their stuff—or want to have a good time—the right thing to do is ask what kind of bourbon they're drinking. If it's Kentucky bourbon, then you're in for a treat! You'll be able to mix and mingle with other bourbon fans, sample some of the finest bourbons around, and even enjoy live musical entertainment. You'll be guaranteed a good time and new friendships with fellow whiskey connoisseurs.