MAR 3, 2017

Whiskey Tasting the Right Way

Whiskey tastes wonderful when you can savour the delights of a dream dram. Enjoy the fine intricacies of a truly faultless malt and this is one of life’s great pleasures. Knowing the name of a good malt whiskey is one thing, being able to appreciate a glass of something that is smooth and satisfying simply by taste is an acquired skill. Do this and you can distinguish a decent whiskey from a bland, blended variety and spot an imposter straight away.  

Take Bushmills 21 year old single malt whiskey for example. This is slowly aged for 19 years inside sherry and bourbon seasoned casks then transferred into Madeira casks for a further 2 years. By doing this, the malt has a unique depth of flavours that any fan of whiskey is sure to love.

If you want to appreciate a fine whiskey, a few basic skills are required. You can enjoy tasting experiences at whiskey distilleries where you learn a wealth of information, or if you are sampling whiskies at home, make sure you follow these guidelines.

Use a special whiskey glass

Whiskey glasses are available in many guises but to really appreciate the taste of the finest malts you will need a special type of industry shaped tasting glass. Equipped with a bulbous base and a narrower neck, whiskey sampling glasses are shaped like this so you can truly appreciate the aroma of the whiskey after giving it a quick swirl. 

Acknowledge the smell

When you are assessing a malt whiskey you should let your nose be the judge. Give the malt a slight swirl to release all those wonderful aromas and bring the glass up ever so gently to your nose. Part of the appreciation of fine malts is to enjoy the smell before you taste them. Your nose is a good judge and it will tell you a world of information before you even taste a drop of whiskey.  

Let your palate taste the whiskey

You can gain a good impression of whiskey simply by smelling it but the proof of the pudding is always in the tasting of the malt. Explore different sensations such as how does the whiskey feel on your tongue, would you say the malt was sweet or bitter, are there any distinctive flavours you notice after taking  a sip?  Once you shallow the malt, what type of aftertaste does it leave in your mouth? Most importantly, consider whether the whiskey has left you with a positive or negative feeling. 

Add a few drops of water

Once you have sampled a whiskey the experts recommend you repeat the process but on the second tasting, add a few drops of water. This helps to open up the whiskey and it is meant to reveal a few additional flavours you might not have noticed on the initial tasting.

Of course, some people already have their favourite malt whiskies and they simply appreciate a nip or two whenever they get the chance.  

If you’re a fan of whiskey, we have some brilliant Bushmills Gifts here at Giftware Ireland, simply order them online or contact us for more details.  

Created on 3rd March 2017
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