How to Spot a Whisky Nerd in 12 Easy Steps

Editor’s Note: Whisky is getting way too serious these days, or so our anonymous guest writer says. He’s penned a humorous exposé about the new breed of whisky drinker aka the whisky nerd and how to spot one in 12 easy steps. The piece is mainly unedited and I’ve left it in his own colourful language, well in most parts!

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Not long ago, the portrait of the average whisky drinker was one of an old man who wears tweed, sitting by the fireplace sipping his whisky while someone or his faithful hound fetched his slippers. Now a much younger generation of whisky drinkers have slipped into the slippers of their predecessors and we have a new breed of whisky drinkers: I give you the whisky nerd.

How to Spot a Whisky Nerd in 12 Easy Steps

How to Spot a Whisky Nerd in 12 Easy Steps

  1. The whisky nerd is male, in his mid-20s to late 30s (though this affliction has been spotted in the early 40’s) who once had an epiphany when he stared into his lonely Glencairn glass for too bloody long.
  1. He’s no brand ambassador (he’d like to think he is) but you’ll easily spot him wearing a tweed jacket even on a stinking hot day, a flat cap, a tie, and on occasion, a vest with a bow tie and a hanky in the jacket pocket.
  1. He will no doubt carry with him a moleskin (or equivalent) where he writes tasting notes, in calligraphy, that are a cross between poetry and someone who’s sniffed too much oak or other substances.
  1. He waxes lyrical about the right type of glassware for his dram and loses his shit when someone serves him a single malt in anything but his favourite glass.
  1. To be safe, he carries a Glencairn glass with him at all times. Soon, he will upgrade to a Denver & Liely glass. That’s what he will tell you.
  1. He’s a loner and on the odd occasion he goes to a whisky bar, he will complain about everything (noise, chit chat, background music, cocktail making and other patrons – how obnoxious!)  because it all gets between his indulgent self and his contemplative dram.
  1. In a masterclass, he is the one continually interrupting the brand ambassador, the distillery rep and lordy, even the master distiller when he bangs on about some ridiculous crap or starts a soliloquy of self-importance while everyone else rolls their eyes.
  1. He seeks out the most extinct drams to show off his whisky wankery nerdery. No Glenfiddich 12 yo for him after work, no siree. It’s always some small batch-cask strength-single cask or a Macallan 19-something-something from the last century that your average person can’t get their sweaty hands on.
  1. He’s most likely into sherry monsters, writing sonnets about the merits of Glendronach over Benriach or Glenfarclas.
  1. He will undoubtedly at some point in his whisky obsession, post a photo of a #bottlekill (that’s an empty bottle of whisky) on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (the whisky nerd doesn’t get Snapchat yet), crying over the finished dram and blaming it on angel share.
  1. He’s a proud member of the anti NAS brigade flaunting his badge of honour at every new release of a NAS whisky, lamenting how today’s whisky is “not made the same” and loves to get into arguments with whisky professionals about new age whisky and wood policy. Side note: the term “wood policy” turns him on.
  1.  He can’t get his hand off it. The bottle that is. And the more obscure the whisky the better. He’ll hold it in his hand and post a photo on his insta to make other whisky nerds cry unicorn tears in their empty glasses.

Do you know a whisky nerd? Share this article and dare him to deny it!


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