A colleague visiting from the US brought me a gift when she visited Tokyo HQ a little while back, and I've just cracked open the seal and had a sip. Whiskey is not something that I drink very often as it's not really something a person can enjoy in the park, but I have been known to have a glass every now and again. The last time was about a month before the boy was born. Reiko had gone to stay at her parents' home in preparation for the delivery, and I was at our apartment to look after Nozomi and travel to the office every day. I stopped by the store on the way home on Friday night and picked up a small bottle of Suntory's famous 80-proof "Fine Whiskey".
My experience today very closely matched my experience back then: I'm not at all able to handle whiskey.
My colleague brought a small bottle of Woodford Reserve, as seen in the stock image above. As with most bourbon whiskeys, the aroma hit my nostrils almost immediately after opening the bottle. There was the distinctive smell of smoke with a hint of vanilla. Given my previous experience with this sort of beverage, I poured just a small amount into my glass and tossed in ice cube to help dilute the 90.4 proof liquid.
The dilution didn't help.
Not one second after taking a sip there was the familiar burning sensation as the whiskey went down my throat. I felt it come into contact with my stomach and ignite1. The after taste was less pronounced than Suntory's popular offering, yet my nose started to tingle as though some of the potent drink had made contact.
Unfortunately this is all I am able to manage of the gift. There is no way I will be able to finish a glass, let alone the entire bottle. I am not at all a whiskey drinker.
This is a slight exaggeration, of course.