Guys love it, Girls drink it. What is the deal with whiskey anyway?

March 15, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Posted in On this journey... | 2 Comments

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Whenever I cannot fully comprehend something, I find myself diving into an experiment to see what all the fuss is about. This is my current state of mind over the much loved and celebrated drink that is whiskey. Guys I know are obsessed over it, monogamous to it, and women I know can magically conquer it, drinking some veterans under the table. So are you telling me that the precise, scientific distillment of fermented grain mash is one of the greatest creations alongside sliced bread? Let’s see!

Over the course of one month, my research brought me to different places, new experiences, funny stories, obsessive homages, a special craving for pulled pork, as well as…well, you get the picture. More importantly, it brought me to realize how different the male and female experience can actually be. I hope you enjoy my first post.

Why does whiskey come in a wide variety? I mean, I have to choose between Irish, Scotch, and American (I’m not even going to get into Japanese and Canadian whiskey). It’s exhausting. I just want something that will give me a nice buzz and make me feel warm and fuzzy. How could something made of fermented barley, rye, wheat and maize be so difficult? 

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Anyway, I finally decided to take the plunge into American Whiskey, and resorted to a local Astoria bar, Sparrow, http://sparrowbar.com, for a night of Maker’s Mark. My co-worker told me she loves to sip it…on the rocks…so that is what I did. I don’t know if it was the sweet Kentucky aroma that brought me into a calm coma, or the fact that I hardly sipped it, but chugged it…I have to say…it was delightful. I concluded that evening with a baileys and coffee…and off to bed I went, sweet dreams and all.

Maker’s Mark worked for me! Did this mean I could actually enjoy a bourbon whiskey? This was unheard of…it seemed as though I wasted all of those ridiculous evenings of my early 20’s ordering cranberry vodkas and cosmos. Ah but I spoke too soon! One evening, while listening to some wonderful live music at Spike Hill in Williamsburg, I had two shots of it, followed by a Stella Artois, and subsequently passed out as soon as I walked into my front door. I literally felt like I was out of my body.whiskey-whiskey1

There I was in an awkward slumber, only to be woken up at 3AM by my own worst nightmares. This whiskey was bringing out the worst in me. I couldn’t understand how it was reacting with the chemistry in my body. I had to lay off of it for a while…but in the meantime took a wonderful survey from a bunch of young, hip, attractive men of the city…

So what whiskey brands do men drink? JAMESON, JAMESON, and more JAMESON. What is it with dudes and Jameson? They love it. On the rocks or straight up you will find them sipping the night away. Uptown, downtown, crosstown. I guess it’s safe to say that the Irish have done it again. They have perfected the combination of corn, malted barley, and water.In fact, John Jameson’s distillery, founded in 1780, is probably one of the most popular distilleries in Dublin today http://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/ojd/

Jameson is in fact good. It goes down smooth, and really does make you feel warm inside.  As I quickly discovered Jameson as the gold medal, silver and bronze definitely go to Johnnie Walker and Jim Beam. Additionally, many of the men I encountered seem to enjoy what they call a “red neck” special…which is a Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand and a Jim Beam shot in the other. Not sure if I will be ordering that in the future, but good to know.

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Funny to think that in studying drinking patterns and habits, one may have a better grasp on the complexity of men and women. After this study, I do feel like I have a better grasp on the male psyche–though I may just be fooling myself–I mean I still can’t explain to my friend why he didn’t text her back…in any case, I’ve realized that whiskey is in fact good-and I can now enjoy it. But I still wonder, do men drink whiskey because they love the way it tastes or because it makes them feel like the men they are, or yearn to be? I believe that every man has that inner cowboy in them, screaming to come out and whiskey acts as a conduit to make them feel a bit of nostalgia, pride, and fantasy. But that is just my opinion.

On the flip side, something still makes me wonder if they let their guard down, would more men be ordering frozen margaritas and colorful fruity drinks? In fact, I believe this has something to do with why men love to go to Mexican restaurants. In this setting they feel socially comfortable ordering a passion fruit margarita. Hey, they can live it up. But don’t worry guys, your secret is safe with me!

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So there we have it…my take on whiskey. I can walk away from this assignment stating that I do in fact have a new respect for the drink, and I will order it now in a bar, by choice! I want to send out a special shout out to all of the whiskey drinkers out there-of which I have the utmost respect…enjoy your drink…engage in some wonderful conversations with your friendly neighbors, and if you really can’t get enough, check out the Whiskey convention coming to town at then end of this month on March 30th at Chelsea Piers http://www.whiskylive.com/usa/newyork-2009/.

Time to detox…stay tuned for my next post on Green Tea!

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2 Comments »

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  1. I believe your assessment of men and whiskey is more often than not true. There is some unwritten, but much alluded too, appeal to a man holding a glass of whiskey, and dudes are clued into that. I’ve also experienced, first hand, the male’s aversion to ordering a fruity drink-for fear of appearing “fruity.” So, are we to think that if they order a whiskey they appear rough, strong, and will leave a burning taste in your mouth? 😉
    Great job ash-love the images, especially of my main Bond man Mr. Sean Connery.

  2. AHHhahahaha I love love love that jim beam ad with CONNERY!!!!!
    And if you arent gonna talk about Santori I dont consider this a 100% completed experiment!!!


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