Whisky Tasting Guide

Whisky Tasting Guide

The day is here when you are visiting some chilly whisky distillers you have heard about that offers free tasting of their various whiskies. To begin with, the big question is it whisky or Whiskey? But it all depends on what is the origin of your drink. For Scottish products, it is Whisky but for America and Irish products, it is Whiskey. Tasting whisky is more than just pouring yourself a glass and taking shots. It takes more than the general knowledge and here is how to go about it:


This isn’t paramount, but the shape of your glassware will definitely improve your whisky tasting experience. This time turn to the snifter which has a wide base that allows you to swirl the whiskey around while the narrow opening concentrates the appetizing aromas for your sniffing delight. At your home most likely you don’t have the mighty snifter but instead, use a wineglass.

The Nose

Trying to sniff your whisky like it’s a glass of wine will make you feel woozy since whisky has a higher alcohol content than the latter. Just swirl your Whisky around a little and then keenly whiff the aroma at the top of your glass. Between the sniffs and swirls, make sure you observe the colour of your whisky. If you smudge the whisky around and then it takes some time to drip down the glass, it means that it’s more viscous. The darker the whisky, the more aged it is and your drink may turn out to be light gold or maybe deep brown and from this, it just signifies how aged the whisky is.
During the sniffing exercise don’t go looking for any one scent. The Olfactory system is nostalgic, so if you think of various memories, you might get different scents and vice versa. Tasting whisky with your friends? Don’t get carried away by the scents your friends are recognizing. For a better understanding, you need to smell the whisky more than once since the whisky’s nose will change with each sniff.

The Taste

Only when you think that you have sniffed the whisky more than enough, it is when you can taste the whisky. Take a very small sniff and then pucker your lips into an O-shape. Then gently move your tongue to your lips and suck in air. What you are doing by this time is gargling the whisky. A warning is that the first few times you do this you might gag and the strength of the whisky is the big factor to this. Again, don’t look for a specific taste, just try to passively observe the tastes you are picking up on. Thinking that you are tasting alcohol? That’s all fine cause it has alcohol in it. However, a few stabs at tasting might bring out a wide range of flavours for you. After you think that you have had a good taste of your whisky, now you can swallow it. The burning sensation you are picking up on is called the finish. Is it long, pleasant, icky or short? Take note of all that.

The water debate

Some say that you shouldn’t add water to whisky, but that is just a myth. Add a few drops of which might even open it up by adding new aroma and taste layers.


Point of Note

The whole idea in whisky tasting is to take it slow. Remember to drink water in between different whiskies or even between several sips of the same whisky. Also, with the complexity of whisky, you will need to note down some points at a given point. Another thing to keep in mind is not to consult anyone on the taste, just do your thing since people have different whisky tasting abilities.

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