The Whiskey Straight Handbook: Embracing Whiskey’s Purest Form

If you know Jameson Irish Whiskey, you know that the way our spirit is a blended whiskey that is triple distilled means it’s so smooth some people can’t help but enjoy it straight. Whether you’re new to whiskey or you’ve tried it in many forms, there’s something special about whiskey when you sip it and savour the flavour that it holds—but first, you need to understand how to drink straight whiskey before we get into the details of the best Irish whiskey to drink straight. Keep reading to get the low down on straight whiskey made easy.

What is straight whiskey?

Straight whiskey is exactly what it says on the tin—it’s when you drink whiskey on its own, with no mixers, no ice, and when you don’t add water. While we know you can appreciate a good whiskey and choose not to drink it straight, for the whiskey connoisseurs out there or the people looking to learn a bit more about the flavour profile of their favourite whiskey, experiencing a whiskey straight is a nice to-do to tick off the list.

When you’re first getting to grips with knowing your straight whiskey from your straight whisky, things can get confusing. With so many varieties of whiskey and what goes into making it, from single malt and mash corn to charred oak barrels and flavour profiles, if you want to get to know the ins and outs of how to drink whiskey, you can find out how to drink whiskey like a pro here.



What’s the difference between drinking whiskey straight versus neat?


So you’ve heard people say they’ll take their whiskey neat and others that talk about only liking it straight—so, what’s the difference? Well, there’s actually none. Straight is to neat, what neat is to straight. They both refer to pours of whiskey on their own, no ice, no mixers, no fuss. If you’d like a little bit more of a rundown of the different terms, you can read our guide to whiskey neat vs on the rocks.


The basics of drinking straight whiskey


So why would people even drink whiskey straight? Well, there’s a few reasons but first and foremost, it’s all about appreciating the whiskey’s true flavour and character. When you drink whiskey straight it’s been poured and enjoyed from bottle to glass, you’re getting a sense of the flavours, the aroma—and some may say the power (well it is a higher proof spirit)—of the whiskey. Straight whiskey is served at room temperature, nothing added, nothing taken away. While how you take your whiskey is completely is completely up to your personal taste preference, there’s something really special about understanding whiskey in its truest form.


How to drink whiskey straight


So you want to give it a go and you’re wondering the best way to drink whiskey straight? Well, here’s your go to guide for Jameson’s recommendation for enjoying a whiskey straight.

  • First up, it’s all about the glassware. There are different types of whiskey glasses, we have a guide for how to choose your whiskey glass, but we’d have to recommend going with a tumbler. We’ve created our tumbler glass to be simple, stable, durable and allow heat protection so your hand won’t heat up your whiskey—because a neat whiskey is best at room temperature.
  • When you have the right glass, it’s time to get the right whiskey. We’d recommend Jameson Irish Whiskey, especially for beginners looking to get to grips with drinking whiskey straight. Jameson Irish Whiskey is known for its smooth finish, thanks to the triple distilling method we use, so it’s a great go-to for those just getting started or those who know and enjoy their whiskey.
  • Next up, how to drink whiskey straight is all about understanding why you’re doing it. A straight whiskey has an impressive depth of flavours that are hard to experience when you’ve added other things like ice and mixers. While there may be guidelines on a website or the bottle, everyone can get a different taste or aroma from the serve, so try and figure out yours.
  • So how do you figure out what the whiskey is all about? The most important thing about drinking whiskey straight is all about how you drink it—make sure to sip. Enjoying a whiskey straight isn’t about suffering through or shotting it, it’s about taking a sip and experiencing all that the whiskey in front of you has to offer. Whether it’s understanding if it has good body notes, realising if you’d prefer your straight with a dash of water, drinking Irish whiskey straight is about your personal preference. Now as you sip slowly, get a sense of the nose and aroma, understand the taste and try and figure out how it lingers on the palette for the best Jameson-approved experience.


Why do people like whiskey straight?


Just like people prefer different foods and flavours, whiskey is a ‘different strokes for different folks’ situation. How you serve whiskey can affect the flavour, so some whiskey drinkers like to indulge in the full experience of a straight whiskey as they believe it has a ‘purer’ flavour, while others believe that some ice or a bit of water actually enhances the flavour. So ultimately, people drink whiskey straight because they like it, and others don’t drink it straight because well, they prefer it another way.


Is drinking whiskey straight bad for you?


Listen, too much of anything is bad for you—and the same goes for whiskey. While we live and breathe what we do, we definitely recommend you enjoy your whiskey in moderation. Whether a Jameson, Ginger & Lime helps you relax with your mates on a Friday night or Sundays are more relaxing with a straight whiskey and a good book, just make sure you’re enjoying your whiskey responsibly.


Does straight whiskey help a cold?


While we’d love to say yes, there’s no evidence that straight whiskey helps a cold, but if you’re feeling under the weather a hot drink can really help and when that hot drink comes in the form of a Hot Toddy… well, we think that it can help you feel a little bit better.


What’s the best Irish whiskey to drink straight?


If you’ve gotten this far into the article, you’re surely a pro at knowing how to drink whiskey straight, but you may still be wondering what’s the best Irish whiskey to drink straight? We may be biased, but we’d have to say the best whiskey to drink straight for beginners is Jameson Irish Whiskey. Even to the unbiased wondering what is the smoothest Irish whiskey to drink straight or what is the easiest whiskey to drink straight, Jameson Irish Whiskey always comes out on top. Don’t believe us? Well, we guess you’ll just have to try it for yourself to see.

After learning the ins and outs of how to drink whiskey straight, we’d say you’re eager to embrace the boldness of Jameson Irish Whiskey straight up? Discover the unmatched flavours and smoothness for yourself. Raise your glass and explore the world of Jameson today. Cheers!