Frat Essentials: Whiskey

“You drink like my Grandpa.”

This is far and beyond one of the best compliments I’ve received during my days as a young boozehound. It is a compliment because most peoples’ grandpas know their way around a bar, and they don’t see quality spirits as an expense, but a necessity. Today, I take a page from the men who taught us how to drink by celebrating a liquor that truly defines the spirit of a Fraternity man; Whiskey.


Dark in color, its opaque caramel tones mask a bittersweet smoky taste profile that begs to be uncorked. Whiskey’s deep-rooted history spans many countries, and with that kind of diversity it easily takes the crown as America’s drink. In fact, there are so many different variations of whiskey that men of lesser merit will get into heated arguments about the actual classification of a given brand. These people obviously have nothing better to do. Save me the noise pollution at the bar and Google it when you get back to your mundane existence at home. However, I’m not here to teach you a lesson, I’m here to drink. So whether your taste is American Bourbon, American Rye, Canadian Rye, whatever the fuck people in Tennessee decide to call their whiskey (depending on the month and how the sun is shining), Irish whiskey, or Scotch, your bar will never be complete without at least 3 variations of this dark firewater. I personally prefer a nice mix of American Bourbon, Irish whiskey, and of course Scotch.

My American Bourbon of choice usually swings back and forth between Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve. The iconic wax-top bottle of the Maker’s is easily one of the most identifiable objects in any fraternity house, and the taste is just as classic, complimented by both sour and sweet mixers (if you have to mix your whiskey). Woodford Reserve is another great Sour-Mash American Bourbon from Central Kentucky that, much like Maker’s, goes well in most cocktails.

Moving on to Irish whiskey, I cannot praise the name of John Jameson enough. The Irish are an esteemed group of people that helped build America. However, everyone knows the Irish stereotype of drunken belligerence, and Jameson Irish whiskey may as well be nectar from the blackout gods. One of the easiest whiskeys to pull, Jameson’s sweet taste keeps you coming back time and time again. Mix it with ginger-ale and it will keep you slurring and fighting like your last name is O’Doyle.


Normally at this point I’d say “last but not least.” However, this next Whiskey is too good for clichés. Words like quintessential, premium, pinnacle, and greatest all seem to fall short of describing just how important Scotch Whiskey is to any man’s arsenal of dark liquor. I don’t care if you drink Johnnie Walker Blue, Glennfiddich, or Chivas Regal, the only mixer that truly accompanies Scotch is frozen water, and sometimes that’s even iffy. Normally I like to keep a 12-year Macallan on deck, and the true reason for that is because that’s what my father drinks. You really can’t go wrong with Scotch. Whether you prefer the blended varieties of Johnnie Walker or the traditional single malt, one glass will have you feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. It numbs the forehead, takes away the edge, and will keep you warm in the winter. If you have an ailment, Scotch is probably the cure, and I think of it as the wonder-drug.


So, next time you find yourself on that weekly run down to the campus liquor store, keep your priorities in line. Your back to school shopping list should somewhat resemble the following: whiskey, whiskey, and more whiskey. And by the way, pick up a few back up bottles. There is nothing cool about an empty bar. Let’s face it, you’ll probably need them now that the fall is here.

Join the “Everything Whiskey” discussion »

  1. NotAGDI

    Solid column. Would have liked to see a few more names that aren’t already all over this site, but it was a good read.

    13 years ago at 3:33 pm
    1. ThinkThereforeFRAT

      Indeed! The bit about Whiskey most likely being a cure for what ails ya a’int too far off. My grandpa would always complain of a “tight back” when ever he fancied a fine glass of bourbon when ever he’d drive up.

      13 years ago at 4:57 pm
  2. 1844_The_Win

    My only problem with the column is the whole “weekly run” part. Seems a bit low but I’ll assume your picking up a lot and will let it slide. ha

    13 years ago at 3:39 pm
    1. ACHTUNG

      Spoken like a true fraternity gentleman. That spherical bottle is a nice addition to any home bar.

      13 years ago at 9:26 pm
    2. Gov_Lester Maddox

      My dad bought a bottle of blantons when I was five and we cracked it on my 21st. Very underrated Bourbon.

      13 years ago at 9:47 pm
    3. Fratus Maximus

      Give Basil Hayden’s a shot. Not too many people know about it because it’s small batch, but it is truly excellent.

      13 years ago at 1:29 am
  3. Bcs 1

    Whiskey: easily the most iconic aroma of college football season. Gat damn I can’t wait

    13 years ago at 3:43 pm
    1. FrederickHermanJones

      Yeah, a nice plate of charcoal does sound pretty damn good right about now.

      13 years ago at 8:13 pm
  4. Fratters Gonna Frat

    Scotch and Canadian are both spelled “Whisky”, not “Whiskey”.

    13 years ago at 3:49 pm
  5. irishriot33

    I must say that I am a fan of the Irish whiskey, especially since they did invent it.

    13 years ago at 4:22 pm
  6. Strait up Fratstar

    I wanted to see Knob Creek get a mention. Their single barrel (120 proof) is one of my favorite bourbons. Still a great column.

    13 years ago at 5:48 pm
  7. Phratter

    For bourbon, I recommend going through the small batch collection. Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Booker’s, and Baker’s.

    13 years ago at 5:59 pm
    1. InFratdel

      If you like those try the Pappy Van Winkle 12yo. The 20yo is probably the greatest thing I have ever tasted… and yes, that is compared to pussy

      13 years ago at 6:33 pm
    2. Fratus Maximus

      Glad there’s another true fan out there. Bought the small batch collection for my 21st. And quite glad someone else mentioned Basil Hayden’s. All four small batch collection bourbons are excellent, but Basil happens to be my favorite.

      13 years ago at 1:37 am
    3. Phratter

      Basil Hayden’s is great. It was the first drink my father and I had after my initiation.

      13 years ago at 8:08 pm