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How to Taste Whisky like An Expert (I)

  • 11-1Some people consider that the whisky tasting is one of the most interesting way to enjoy this drink. In order to taste whisky as an amateur it is better to learn the basic steps slowly, in order to gradually begin to differentiate the inherent flavors of each whisky.
  • Charles MacLean (principal writer on whisky in Scotland and whisky magazine editor) published a lesson to taste whisky, in order to learn the correct way to taste a whisky while understanding the signs that our own nose gives us to recognize the differences between them.
  • According to McLean, the 5 Steps of a whisky tasting are: learning to recognize the signs of smell, sensory evaluation, language of tasting, whisky classification, and rating whisky by both region and flavor.
  • Recognize the signs of smell: If you want to taste a whisky the first thing to know is that the taste is of secondary importance when making a sensory evaluation of whisky.  First comes the nose, the organ that allows us to capture most information about the drink we are trying. The best time to conduct the tasting is mid-morning, this is because the mouth is fresh. The glass to use is ideally a tulip shaped glass, preferably in crystal to make a correct analysis of the drink.
  • To continue, the water is a factor to take into account. Add up 30% by volume of whisky. For this step you have to be very careful because too much water can ruin the drink, and to simplify your life a little, you can add only one teaspoon per cup pouring gradually until you feel that the burning sensation in the nose disappears. The temperature of the water should not be cold; an ideal temperature would be 15 degrees Celsius.
  • When tasting it is ideal to choose a room without strong smells. If you are creating a group, attend preferably without perfumes or creams, in order not to alterate the aromas of whisky. Try not to smoke hours before the tasting, or it will affect the nonsmokers’ smell.


By: Sarah R., Uvinum blog