You’re a man. A man who is past the childish days of slamming soco and lime shots at the bar. Past chugging  jack and cokes like it’s your job and you’re looking for a promotion. It’s time to approach whiskey with a grown man’s attention to detail. To begin to love the subtle nuances of whiskey instead of the ham-fisted brashness of your old college whiskey drinks. There are four things every man should look for in a good whiskey, and here they are.

Before you even open the bottle the first impression you get is the color of the whiskey. For a Scotch or standard whiskey a yellowish hue is most desired. For bourbon, a deep brown can cause most men to give up their possessions and only drink bourbon for days on end. There are even “new” whiskeys that are un-aged and take no color from their barrels. But unless you really want to down the firewater our forefathers drank, these are best avoided.

You’ve chosen your whiskey already on color. But what color can’t tell you smell can. While some Scotches smell distinctly of the outdoors, and bourbons smell of smoke and fire, all whiskeys worth your time should a defined noticeable aroma. A good whiskey knows what it is and smells like it. Effortlessly manly, these drinks will tell you upfront what kind of flavor you should expect and what kind of man you are for drinking them.

Whiskey in a glass is a beautiful thing. A large part of that beauty is the viscosity of the liquor. While other spirits are just fine being rubbing alcohol thin, whiskey is all about body. Make sure your whiskey fills your mouth, has weight on your tongue. Because cowboys don’t drink light bodied spritzers, they drink real man’s liquors. And those have weight.

Finally you are actually drinking the whiskey. Whether it’s straight, on the rocks, or with just a touch of spring water this is the time where you get to really know what you’ve gotten yourself into. While whiskeys very greatly in their intended flavor a few constants are always there in the best brands. They should have bold flavors. Not the Guy Fieri big flavors (let’s put garlic on everything) but they should absolutely be too pungent to do anything more than sip. Why? because that’s how they are meant to be drunk. Your whiskey should take time to finish but should never leave you feeling like you need more flavor. Like a dark chocolate any good whiskey should have to develop its flavor on your tongue. Each passing moment in your mouth building in flavor and complexity. A true man’s flavor.

-Winston Carter