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Old 02-18-2017, 10:25 AM
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Please help me find a good sipping alcohol.

I'd like to find a nice "warm" alcohol to sip on cold evenings.

What should I try?

I don't care for wine at all. I enjoy a good margarita, but I don't like the taste of tequila for sipping.

Are there other questions I could answer that would help you in a recommendation?

Thanks in advance.
Old 02-18-2017, 10:35 AM
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a good Cognac fits the bill.
Old 02-18-2017, 10:44 AM
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Sherry. I like Great Western dry sherry, not very sweet, a lovely warm nutty taste. They say all alcohol has the same effect, but wine gives me a headache, hard liquor makes me ill, beer revs me up. But sherry, like putting on warm fuzzy slippers.
Old 02-18-2017, 11:02 AM
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I occasionally enjoy sipping a tumbler of amaretto.
Old 02-18-2017, 11:44 AM
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Spiced rum or a Canadian whiskey.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:45 AM
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A good whiskey or bourbon can be a joy to sip, but they generally aren't the cheap stuff.
Old 02-18-2017, 11:46 AM
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Single malt scotch.

Most people think of it as a cocktail-like drink, but it's best appreciated without ice and with a few drops of water -- much like a liqueur.

Blended is acceptable, but doesn't have the personality of single malt.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
Spiced rum or a Canadian whiskey.
Exactly my choices, though not necessarily spiced rum.

Ron Zacapa Centenario is an outstanding, relatively inexpensive high-end rum (under $40).

Spiced, I just go with simple cheap Sailor Jerry ($15), but you can look up a more prestigious brand if you like.

Canadian whisky, I like Canadian Club Reserve ($20). Sometimes I'll spend the extra few bucks and get Canadian Club Classic ($30).
Old 02-18-2017, 12:18 PM
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Someone not particularly used to the taste of even fine liquors is probably going to find whiskeys and bourbons a little... harsh. Liqueurs are probably a better choice.

But try a decent cognac in a bar or restaurant setting to see if it suits, first. If it's too strong or "medicinal," amaretto/Tia Maria/Kahlua/Chambord or another liqueur with a stronger flavor-flavor over alcohol might be a good choice for the next step. Then cognac. Once you're accustomed to that, try a few varieties and eventually try a good bourbon.

I don't care for liqueurs myself - my rule has pretty much always been "if you can't drink it straight, don't drink it." So getting away from blender drinks that are mostly fruit juice could be seen as saving a soul, here.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-18-2017 at 12:20 PM.
Old 02-18-2017, 12:43 PM
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Sambuca, with three coffee beans (health, happiness and prosperity) and set alight is a nice sipping drink. I'm not saying this is the perfect drink for you, just that the options are very wide. Another nice sipping drink which isn't drunk widely is Chartreuse - yellow or green - flavored with over 100 herbs, spices and flowers. It was initially produced in Voiron, France from a mixture prepared by Carthusian monks, the recipe was given to the monastery in 1605, although the first batch did not come out until 1737. That recipe has long been shrouded in mystery and, to this day, one of the monks who was asked what goes into that base elixir said "hamburger and goat cheese." In other words: we're not telling.
Old 02-18-2017, 12:55 PM
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Bourbon for me. Knobs Creek, Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark.


mmm
Old 02-18-2017, 01:36 PM
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I like to sip a shot of Hendrick's gin poured over one big ice cube, but that is the opposite of warm.

For warm, consider absinthe.
Old 02-18-2017, 01:41 PM
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I'm not normally fond of sweet alcoholic beverages, but I do have a taste for Drambuie. It can take little getting used to, but I prefer it over coffee, mint, and other flavors.
Old 02-18-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
Sherry. I like Great Western dry sherry, not very sweet, a lovely warm nutty taste. They say all alcohol has the same effect, but wine gives me a headache, hard liquor makes me ill, beer revs me up. But sherry, like putting on warm fuzzy slippers.
Agreed. Or a good 10-20 year old Port; I'd recommend starting with Taylor Fladgate 10 year tawny. Wonderful aroma and nice fruit.
Old 02-18-2017, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Agreed. Or a good 10-20 year old Port; I'd recommend starting with Taylor Fladgate 10 year tawny. Wonderful aroma and nice fruit.
Boom! Sherry or port both fit the bill quite nicely.
Old 02-18-2017, 02:37 PM
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I have found a beautiful "French Single Malt Whisky...may I introduce you to...

Brenne

A very unique single malt, with secondary aging done in used Cognac barrels.

ymmv
Old 02-18-2017, 03:01 PM
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Bailey's. I like it on the rocks. If you want warm, you can mix it with coffee or hot chocolate.

If you start there, you can work your way up to the hard stuff.
Old 02-18-2017, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Bourbon for me. Knobs Creek, Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark.
You can buy me a shot any time.

Even as smooth and warm as a good bourbon is to an accustomed drinker, I think most fruity-drink drinkers will find it a tad "medicinal." But it's worth a try, especially something a little better than the JD tier of brown.

Just make sure SOMEONE drinks it and appreciates it.
Old 02-18-2017, 04:18 PM
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Basil Hayden's Bourbon. Insanely smooth.
Old 02-18-2017, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Purd Werfect View Post
Basil Hayden's Bourbon. Insanely smooth.
Ooh. Sounds good. I'll look for this.
Old 02-18-2017, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
Bailey's. I like it on the rocks. If you want warm, you can mix it with coffee or hot chocolate.
*Bailey's. Mmm... creamy. Soft creamy beige.



Old 02-18-2017, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Bourbon for me. Knobs Creek, Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark.


mmm

A man after my own heart. Good choices.

I will admit a co-worker of mine gave me a bottle of Jack Daniels Single Barrel about a year ago. That one bottle was some of the best whiskey I've ever tasted. Bought another bottle after I finished that one. Meh. I guess the single barrel thing means a lack of consistency.
Old 02-18-2017, 07:06 PM
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Bullit bourbon or rye in addition to those mentioned by MMM.
Old 02-18-2017, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Weisshund View Post
*Bailey's. Mmm... creamy. Soft creamy beige.



Don't forget sweet.
Old 02-18-2017, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by leftfield6 View Post
I will admit a co-worker of mine gave me a bottle of Jack Daniels Single Barrel about a year ago. That one bottle was some of the best whiskey I've ever tasted. Bought another bottle after I finished that one. Meh. I guess the single barrel thing means a lack of consistency.
Long time JDSB drinker, I found that 80% of the bottles were pretty good or better, maybe 15% were nectar of the gods, and 5% were actually worse than just JD black label. Kind of a crapshoot, unless you are lucky enough to stumble on one of the nectar bottles and buy several more from the same batch.

I still remember one that was... stolen from Valhalla. A bit more vanilla than most blended bourbons, warm and a tad sweet but all bourbon. (Yeah, I know, JD isn't bourbon, my ass. )
Old 02-18-2017, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Purd Werfect View Post
Basil Hayden's Bourbon. Insanely smooth.
I've never been an aficionado of 'smooth' in brown goods. I don't want harsh, or biting, or medicinal, but things that are so smooth you can hardly taste them are... uninteresting. I would buy a bottle of Gentleman Jack occasionally (in my JDSB days) and was always disappointed at how it was smooth to the point of taste-invisibility. I like my bourbon to make itself known on arrival.

Knob Creek does me these days, when I don't splurge a little on better. (Pardon me... sips... ahh.) And it is consistent.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-18-2017 at 08:31 PM.
Old 02-18-2017, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
I've never been an aficionado of 'smooth' in brown goods. I don't want harsh, or biting, or medicinal, but things that are so smooth you can hardly taste them are... uninteresting. I would buy a bottle of Gentleman Jack occasionally (in my JDSB days) and was always disappointed at how it was smooth to the point of taste-invisibility. I like my bourbon to make itself known on arrival.

Knob Creek does me these days, when I don't splurge a little on better. (Pardon me... sips... ahh.) And it is consistent.
Agreed. I like Knob Creek or Buffalo Trace for something not too expensive with character. Marker's Mark for something not too expensive with a classic bourbon taste but with less character.

My favorite is Baker's 7, buttery with a good burn (at 107 proof).

ETA: I specifically remember being disappointed with Basil Hayden's after it had been built up, because it didn't taste like anything.

Last edited by Tinker Grey; 02-18-2017 at 09:45 PM.
Old 02-19-2017, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
I've never been an aficionado of 'smooth' in brown goods. I don't want harsh, or biting, or medicinal, but things that are so smooth you can hardly taste them are... uninteresting. I would buy a bottle of Gentleman Jack occasionally (in my JDSB days) and was always disappointed at how it was smooth to the point of taste-invisibility. I like my bourbon to make itself known on arrival.

Knob Creek does me these days, when I don't splurge a little on better. (Pardon me... sips... ahh.) And it is consistent.
I said it was smooth, I didn't say it didn't say hello properly.
Old 02-19-2017, 03:25 AM
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Pedro Ximenez sherry - nice on its own, great with desserts too.
Old 02-19-2017, 08:11 AM
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Tullamore Dew. Irish whiskey. Bought a bottle recently after not having it for many moons. Nice and smooth. Goes down nicely after a day of moving snow around.
Old 02-19-2017, 08:24 AM
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Try a lowland single malt scotch. Most are triple distilled, which gives them a little bit lighter taste. It's a good gateway scotch. You can put someone off scotch permanently by starting them with an Islay. You've got to build up to that. Try an Auchentoshan. I've gotten several non scotch drinkers started with that. Then you can work your way up to the Speysides, the Highlands, and the Islands.
Old 02-19-2017, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fleetwood View Post
Tullamore Dew. Irish whiskey. Bought a bottle recently after not having it for many moons. Nice and smooth. Goes down nicely after a day of moving snow around.
Seconded.
Old 02-19-2017, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. There are so many options, I guess I just need to start experimenting.

I'll have this thread bookmarked for my trip to the market today. Thanks again everyone.
Old 02-19-2017, 11:03 AM
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I have not tried Buffalo Trace, nor Baker's 7. Both are now on my radar.

And to correct my earlier post lest I look the fool, it is Knob Creek, not Knob's Creek.


mmm
Old 02-19-2017, 11:41 AM
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Evan Williams Honey Reserve liqueur - put in hot tea, is the perfect hot toddy. I think it's bourbon, very sweet.
Old 02-19-2017, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Try a lowland single malt scotch. Most are triple distilled, which gives them a little bit lighter taste. It's a good gateway scotch. You can put someone off scotch permanently by starting them with an Islay. You've got to build up to that. Try an Auchentoshan. I've gotten several non scotch drinkers started with that. Then you can work your way up to the Speysides, the Highlands, and the Islands.
Another vote for the single malts. My colleagues and I have compiled a decent collection of different single malts whiskies. As of this writing, we have tasted 108 different bottles and different ages, from a 8 year old Oldbury Sheep Dip ( drinkable if neat, but bad on ice ) to a 35 year old Abelour (very smooth but cost $345 ).

Another sipping alcohol you might try is an aged port. They are a bit sweet but tasty nonetheless.
Old 02-19-2017, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DrumBum View Post
Another vote for the single malts. My colleagues and I have compiled a decent collection of different single malts whiskies. As of this writing, we have tasted 108 different bottles and different ages, from a 8 year old Oldbury Sheep Dip ( drinkable if neat, but bad on ice ) to a 35 year old Abelour (very smooth but cost $345 ).
Eh. As a bourbon guy, I've been induced to spend far too much on single-malt shots that all tasted far too sharp and medicinal for my palate - like IPAs to a good porter. YMMV etc. but the OP is a fruity-drink drinker looking for something up the scale. Single-malts aren't likely to appeal without some development of taste. (If ever... )
Old 02-19-2017, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I have not tried Buffalo Trace, nor Baker's 7. Both are now on my radar.

And to correct my earlier post lest I look the fool, it is Knob Creek, not Knob's Creek.


mmm
Definitely have some Buffalo Trace. It's cheap, relatively mild.

I'll add W.L. Weller 12 year and Antique 107. Tasty, and not pricey at all.
Old 02-19-2017, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JustinC View Post
Sambuca, with three coffee beans (health, happiness and prosperity) and set alight is a nice sipping drink. I'm not saying this is the perfect drink for you, just that the options are very wide. Another nice sipping drink which isn't drunk widely is Chartreuse - yellow or green - flavored with over 100 herbs, spices and flowers. It was initially produced in Voiron, France from a mixture prepared by Carthusian monks, the recipe was given to the monastery in 1605, although the first batch did not come out until 1737. That recipe has long been shrouded in mystery and, to this day, one of the monks who was asked what goes into that base elixir said "hamburger and goat cheese." In other words: we're not telling.
I'll second the green chartreuse.
Old 02-19-2017, 04:00 PM
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Ouzo over ice.
Old 02-19-2017, 04:12 PM
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Stroh rum. Austrian rum with a great butterscotch deep taste. two proofs available.

Also great for baking.
Old 02-19-2017, 04:29 PM
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Sipping a Ti' Punch right now. A popular Caribbean treat.

Rhum agricole, simple syrup, muddled lime. Ladies sometimes add ice. First sip burns, I've seen newbies have a coughing fit. So good.

Disclaimer: I have danced on the beach under a full moon on more than one occasion because of this drink.
Old 02-19-2017, 06:09 PM
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What do you like - if you like a margarita, do you like sweet. In which case a liqueur or a port would be an excellent choice. If you like the citrus nature of a margarita, you could try Grand Mariner (orange liqueur, pretty darn sweet) or Limoncello. I think for the winter months, a port makes a great sipping beverage.

I'd stay away from the whiskeys if you haven't been drinking straight booze. They are wonderful to sip, but your best bet is to not buy a bottle you won't drink, and instead find a friendly bartender willing to walk you through them. That's Irish, Canadian, Bourbon, Scotch - try those in a bar by the shot. Not infrequently, bartenders will pour little tiny tastes if you chat them up and tell them what you are looking for - last Spring we went through six tiny taster pours of gin at our local watering hole, we had spent a little (lot) of food and cocktails before then, but we started chatting the the bartender about gins, and he started pouring. Plus, the cheapest stuff is usually god awful. (In bourbon, we like Bulliet for the price to quality ratio - this was after trying 28 of them over the course of a month and keeping notes. https://masterofmalt.com/whiskie...vent-calendar/ )

The drinks by the dram folks might not be a bad place to invest your dollars if you don't want to meet your local bartender. But I'd really go make friends with your local bartender. Tell them what you are looking to do ("find something I can sip at home"). He (or she) should start talking you through what you like and what you don't like. Don't do this a TGI Fridays - you are looking for a good bar with someone behind it who sees alcohol as their profession. You'll be making several trips there on your journey to figuring out what you like. Alcohol isn't cheap (and if it is cheap, its seldom good) - and having a bottle of Laphroaig around is an expensive investment if you don't enjoy a taste reminiscent of band aids.
Old 02-19-2017, 06:30 PM
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I'll second the green chartreuse.
Thirded. The yellow is too sweet, IMHO.
Old 02-19-2017, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ZonexandScout View Post
I'm not normally fond of sweet alcoholic beverages, but I do have a taste for Drambuie. It can take little getting used to, but I prefer it over coffee, mint, and other flavors.
So a rusty nail may be the drink.
Old 02-19-2017, 08:09 PM
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Thirded. The yellow is too sweet, IMHO.
Fourthed. I splurged on a glass of the extra-aged V.E.P. green a few weeks ago. Now I'm on the hunt for a bottle of that.

I'll add one of my favorites: Cynar. Don't be afraid of the artichoke on the label. I'd also say that I do t think it's anywhere near as bitter as some people claim.
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