There was a time when I tried to drink whiskey neat but I could not get past the unsmooth flavor. I had a strong, moral, Christian upbringing and I was afraid of trying any alcoholic beverage because of the possibility of being labeled as a…sinner. However, once I noticed my family members indulging in the occasional drink or smoke I came to the conclusion that an invisible force from the heavens would not snatch me up and punish me for immoral behavior. So, as I mentioned in the “About Us” section of the LoversofWhisky website, my late father-in-law, Malcolm, introduced me to one his favorite whiskies, Jim Beam Bourbon. When I took my first sip, I wasn’t expecting my reaction.
I coughed and felt the roughness catch my throat. Malcolm asked me “smooth huh?” well, I didn’t think “smooth” at the time. I needed to catch my breath and have a sip of something to quench the burn of the whiskey. I mentioned that I would need to mix it with some Coca-Cola and ice to make it smoother for my taste buds and throat. Malcolm was a bit upset with me about mixing the Jim Beam with cola because he thought it was sacrilege to add anything to whiskey.
Since the Jim Beam didn’t go down well, he offered me some Glenmorangie 10 YO. The Glenmorangie was smoother than the Jim Beam. I later learned about the differences between bourbon and scotch whiskies. If you are wondering what this has to do with adding coke to whiskey, I learned that some whiskies can be ruined by cola. If the whiskey is 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) it has already been diluted during the maturing stage. The sweetness of the cola can overpower or dilute the whiskey even further to the point where you cannot taste or savor the whiskey.
If you have a cask strength or barrel strength whiskey the ABV is probably around 60-65 percent or more. The barrel strength whiskey could probably hold up to the sweetness of the cola because the whiskey in the barrel or cask is a higher ABV prior to the maturing stage. If you are looking at mixing cocktails I would recommend going for the cask or barrel strength whiskies as they have a higher proof of alcohol. If you still want to add a soft drink to your whiskey I suggest you try some ginger ale.
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