Beginners Guide To Irish Whiskey For A Memorable First Sip

So you want to learn the ins and outs of Irish Whiskey? You’ve come to the right place. Here you will find an Irish Whiskey for beginners guide so you can tell your single malt from your blended scotch and you can get to know how beginners drink whiskey, what your go-to recipe should be if you’re looking for a hot whiskey and how to drink whiskey for the first time… so let’s get into it.

What’s the best Irish whiskey for beginners?

What whiskey is the best to start with? We’d recommend something smooth, and as Jameson has been triple distilled, it’s as smooth as you can get and blended to perfection. We might be biased, but Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best sipping whiskey for beginners as they set off on their whiskey exploration journey. Did you know that John Jameson coined the triple distillation process, and it was met with such fascination and appreciation that many other distillers followed suit so you’ll see a lot of Irish whiskey producers and whiskey brands offering this option.


How to drink whiskey for the first time?


So now you know that a smooth whiskey is good for beginners, how do you start drinking whiskey? Here’s our step-by-step guide which will have you understanding the taste, nose and aroma like a pro in no time.


  • First, a good start is getting the right glassware (who doesn’t love an excuse to add to their collection). We’d recommend a good tumbler glass for the best experience as it can work well if you’re drinking your whiskey neat, on the rocks or in a quintessential whiskey cocktail.


  • Next, make sure to pour the right amount of whiskey, around 30mls to 60mls is a good serve of the spirit. This pour allows you to understand the flavour and the taste, especially as a beginner.


  • A good way to get to know whiskey is to take in its appearance. Hover your nose above the glass to understand its smell, swirl the glass slightly to get a sense of its appearance. Different whiskey made in different whiskey distilleries will all have subtle or striking differences, so this is a handy place to understand how it varies.


  • Now it’s time to take your first sip. Jameson Irish Whiskey is known for being the best sipping whiskey for beginners, and that’s because it reveals spicy, nutty and vanilla notes with a hint of sherry—and everyone is different, to some it’s more sweet and to others it’s more spicy. So sip it slowly and let the taste cover your palette. If you’re curious, you can learn more about how to sip like a pro here.




  • So you have an understanding of the nose and the taste, that’s a big step, now it’s time for you to decide if you’d like to add water or ice. Both have their benefits—for different reasons depending on who is drinking it. A drop of water can help release the flavour of the whiskey, but sometimes people prefer a more diluted version for sipping. Over time you’ll learn if you prefer it neat or on the rocks and you can level-up your game in time with the likes of whiskey stones, which add the perfect coolness to the liquid without watering it down. The more you know, huh?


Now, what’s the best whiskey cocktail for beginners?


You’ve trialled and tried your first whiskey, congratulations! We hope you’re as passionate about it as we are. Whether you’re into it neat, more a fan of it on the rocks or you prefer a classic cocktail—it’s your whiskey journey, so we think you should try different styles and serves to see what works for you.


To start, we’d recommend looking through our online recipe book of whiskey cocktails, each better than the last. If you’re looking to try the quintessential whiskey cocktail, we’d recommend an Old Fashioned, a Whiskey Sour or the classic Jameson, Ginger & Lime. If you’re not too fussed with making a cocktail and you’d enjoy your single serve to be paired with something refreshing, whiskey goes well with a range of mixers.



Irish Whiskey beginner FAQ


Now you have the details, we’ll fill in a few gaps and give you a run-down of the most frequently asked questions we’ve heard on our distillery tour. Whether it’s ‘why does the year matter’, or ‘how does this compare to straight bourbon’, if we don’t answer your question here, you can always visit us in Bow St. or Midleton.


What’s the best Irish whiskey for a hot whiskey?

We’d have to recommend Jameson Irish Whiskey, just try it in a Hot Toddy during those cold times of the year and you’ll see why.


Should Irish Whiskey be served on ice?

The best thing about whiskey is that you serve it whatever way you like, you’re in control of your taste preference.


How does Irish Whiskey make you feel?

If it’s a Jameson Irish Whiskey you’re sampling, we’d have to say you’ll be feeling like a cheekier, more Irish version of yourself… what more could you ask for?


Is Jameson a scotch or a bourbon?

No, Jameson is an Irish whiskey produced, distilled and matured in Ireland. However, some of our whiskeys use Bourbon barrels, such as our Jameson Black Barrel.

Now you know what whiskey to start with, are you ready to embark on a whiskey adventure? Discover the smooth flavours of Jameson Irish Whiskey that can be served to suit any taste profile and begin your tasting journey. Cheers to new beginnings in the world of whiskey!