All About Whiskey Tasting

Whiskey TastingIf you are like most guys out there nowadays, you might think that whiskey tasting consists of drinking it straight from the bottle and going “bubbles up,” instead of mixing it with your favorite carbonated drink.  If you do not fall within this classy set, congratulations!  That means you have been paying attention to everything we’ve been saying to you.  Nonetheless, there is a substantial segment of the population who do not realize that you can taste whiskey in pretty much the same way that you would taste win.  These are the men who believe that Jameson and Wild Turkey are the same, the guys who feel that it is a “shot” anytime a little bit of whiskey is set down before them.

No matter how you might have enjoyed it the past, the best way to drink whiskey is to savor it, the same way you may do with high-quality wine.  We are here to help you take those first steps into a wider world by advising you how to go about setting up your own whiskey tasting. Be sure to include some of your homemade flavors from your Red Head Oak Barrels.

Whiskey is a generic label for many things, as within whiskey you also get ryes, Canadians, bourbons, blended Scotch, and single-malt Scotch.  Thus, whether your preferred poison is luxury whiskey or something else, you must take the same steps to set up your own whiskey tasting.

Things You Will Need For A Good Whiskey Tasting

– Friends.  The more friends you invite the more fun you will have.

– Various different whiskeys.  The more you have to taste the better time you will have.

– Tulip-shaped tumblers.  These glasses help to contain all the desired whiskey aromas.

– Spring water at room temperature.  This is because tap water has various chemicals in it that interfere with the aromas and flavors of the whiskey.

– Unsalted crackers.  You need these to clear and cleanse your palate between tasting different whiskeys.

What You Should Know About Whiskey

Before getting into the specific steps required to set up your own whiskey tasting, you must be aware of what to look for as an amateur whiskey taster.  It’s primarily about taste accessibility.  Although flavor and taste are crucial, it does become somewhat more complicated and you will be looking for three or four different notes and factors such as flavor complexity, and its finish.  Thus, the flavor and the nose are both very important, but the long finish and flavor complexity are the things that people look for.

Although many whiskey variations exist, as an amateur, the Number 1 thing you must know about them is the difference between one and another and perhaps something about their heritage as well.  You should know about the various categories and types of flavors you can expect from one or the other.  Because blends are frequently complicated due to their constitutions, however, choosing from the single-malt category is a safe introduction to whiskey.

Whiskey Tasting Step One:

Depending on how many different whiskeys you will be tasting, you will need to arrange an equal number of glasses in front of each participant.  After setting the table, pour 1 1/2 ounces of whiskey into each glass.

Whiskey Tasting Step Two:

After pouring the whiskey, your next step is to avoid drinking it as you ordinarily would.  You should now lift the glass up to the light and look at the clarity of the whiskey.  Per the people at Canadian Club, the whiskey should have a sparkle and be “brilliant to the eye.”  Any murkiness is also an indicator of inferior craftsmanship.

Whiskey Tasting Step Three:

You will now want to look at the color of the whiskey, which may range from very light (like apple juice) to a deep, rich amber hue.  The reason for observing the color of the whiskey is to assist you in determining the intensity of its flavor.  Lighter-colored whiskeys also have lighter flavors, while darker-colored whiskeys are typically more full-flavored.  Also, the longer a whiskey is aged, the darker it typically is.

Whiskey Tasting Step Four:

Before smelling a whiskey, you should add a little bit of room-temperature spring water to it.  You should not use cold water, as it depresses the very aromas that you want to savor and evaluate.  You might wonder, however, if you should bother to add water at all.  Ian Milar says that if you add a “wee drop of water,” you are essentially neutralizing the alcohol’s impact and thereby be better able to nose far more of the whiskey’s character.

Whiskey Tasting Step Five:

It is during this step that the “magic” happens.  You actually get to bring the tasting glass to your nose and get a whiff of the aromas.  First, swirl your glass gently in order to release the whiskey’s aromas.  After nosing these aromas, part your lips slightly and, (as Ian Milar suggests) look for spicy, fruity, leather, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and numerous other aromas.

Whiskey Tasting Step Six:

Imbibe.  When you actually taste the whiskey, look for the flavors you detected when you first nosed the glass.  Such flavors might include green apple, fruity, pepper, dark chocolate, etc.  Never forget that you cannot be wrong.  Everybody will experience a different taste, as all of our palates are different.

Whiskey Tasting Step Seven:

Repeat the above-described procedure with the next whiskey you want to taste.  Be sure, however, to cleanse your palate with an unsalted cracker before going forward.

Whiskey: A “Go-Go”

To the uninitiated, whiskey can seem rough around the edges.  Having an understanding of what you are looking for and the knowledge that your observations are not “wrong” makes all the difference in the world, however.  After finding a whiskey that you thoroughly enjoy, keep it in stock and conduct some research to find out more about its heritage and its origins.

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