Proof vs. Liquor type?
I've been drinking more and more Scotch now for some time exclusively. I used to be a big gin fanatic, but now that I can afford a little more, I've discovered the unbeatable world of single malt scotch and am quite content sticking with it. I drink my scotch neat with a few drops of water.
Anyway, my question is this. Even though most of the scotch I drink is 80 proof, it seems like I get pretty buzzed, pretty quick and I don't ever get headaches.
This is kind of strange, because It seems to me that I can drink something like Bombay Sapphire, at 96 proof and it would take just as much to get me buzzed.
I hate to use the word "buzzed" but it fits. Anyway, so to break it down even more, I find that on certain liquors, I get a different kind of buzz too. Like Tequila. I can drink Tequila and I never really feel the same kind of "buzz" like I do when I drink scotch. I also get headaches with Tequila and Gin, where as I don't with scotch.
I don't know, but it raises a question for me at least. Maybe it's just my own body's chemistry, but all I know is that, with single malt scotch, I get a great relaxed, warm buzz with no side effects. Has anyone else experienced this?
I've been interested in this phenomenon for decades and started to keep track of my reactions. Both how it effects me in the buzz, and the hangover or lack thereof. I have also noticed changes in how I react over the years. Some steady and others immediate. Some a temporary change and others long term.
Everyone reacts differently. Also one persons normal night is another's binge. One thing to consider is the amount of water and other fluids consumed while drinking. Large fluid consumption while drinking can prevent hangovers by flushing the toxins out of the system faster. Some spirits are drunk with water or other fluids added, some with ice, a few with water on the side.
Another thing to consider is the base plant material that the spirit is fermented from. A third is the distilling process. Each causes different chemicals to be present in the final spirit. Some spirits have different drinking rituals. Some are sipped slowly, some drank quickly. Some with lots of fluids and some with little, some with other substances like salt, sugar, citrus, etc.
Lucky you, that you don't get bad effects from too much Scotch. It is one of the few spirits where they include almost the whole spirit run from the still. The heads, heart, and tail. The beginning heads and the tails are usually thrown away or recycled in making most spirits because they contain congeners, fusel alcohol, and other components that may cause hangovers, although they add flavor. Even though Scotch tastes great, it is in some ways a filthy spirit, literally. But very frugally made.
Gin and Vodka on the other hand are almost 100% hearts with no heads and tails, and so no congeners, etc. Also no flavor. (The flavor in gin is added later, at first it is neautral spirits.)
I can drink gin, especially Gordons, Tanqueray, Bombay original, and a few others all night long with no hangover. Scotch nails me, as does too much rum. American whiskey isn't that bad.
I get really buzzed quick and strong from strong ales. A real heavy, long lasting drunk out of proportion to the amount of alcohol. Champagne and sake hit me quick, but light, and I sober up fast. Gin gets me slightly buzzed, but I can handle it all night long and talk for hours coherently. Scotch whiskey makes me lethargic and mellow. A little is a good thing, too much and I want to sleep. American whiskey makes me slightly mellow but not lethargic, can talk and relax. For me white wine is an up buzz that hits light. Red wine is a slightly deeper buzz, that is a bit more mellow. Both make me talkative and engaged in what's going on. Most quality cocktails hit me middle of the road, and if I drink light to moderate I am up and together. Too much and I get quiet and mellow.