Tasting Whisky can be enormous amounts of fun especially after you have tried several different whiskies. Try your Whisky with anything you want but take it from me its best tried neat to begin and preferably with a clean palate. One thing that it very good to do is to take a piece of very dark chocolate with a very high cacao content, this is an excellent way to cleanse the palate.
The glass is extremley important fact and probably one of the highest tips I can give about tasting and drinking your Whisky. The Glencairn choice is the number one choice or similar design.
The majority of single Malt Whisky on the market today already has water added to it prior to bottling by the distiller. This is done to achieve a desired flavor profile.Whisky at cask strength has not had any water added and will have a higher ABV. I still like to start out tasting neat but with some caution.
Adding water unlocks the full aroma and flavor potential of the Whisky. So how much water should you add to your Whisky? For me this depends on several factors, such as the whiskies unique profile and of course your personnel palate. I always recommend trying it neat first, then adding very small amounts small drops of fresh room temperature bottled water or similar. Add additional amounts until you fiind the flavor you most enjoy. Never add ice. Keep in mind that this does not equate to another Whisky.
Color: Hold the glass up to a neutral back ground and take a good look at the color and take a note. Is the Whisky pale gold, deep gold, copper or rich amber in color? Color can give you an indication of age and wood finish. A dark rich color may have been matured finished in an ex-sherry barrel or it may be an older Whisky. Any asssumptions made on color must be confirmed by the nose.
Body Weight: Does your Whisky have a light, medium or full body? Swirl your Whisky around in the glass, coating the sides thoroughly, then wait and watch the tear drops form and run down the side of the glass. These are known as legs. If the legs run quickly and there are a lot of them and they seem quite thin then its probably a more light bodied and or younger Whisky. If the legs take a long time to start running and they slowly run down the side of the glass and there are just few of them plus they are quite thick in appearance, then this may be a heavier bodied or older Whisky.
Nose: To properly nose your Whisky place the glass between your top lip and your nose, holding your mouth slightly open so you will take in more of the aromas. Which aromas do you recognize? Is it smokey, fruity, chocolate what do you sence? Add some water other characteristics will come out with each time you add another drop of water, of course there is an end point to how much water.
Palete: Which charastice do you notice when you first taste your whisky? Try to pick out the flavors you can recognize. Think about how the Whisky feels in your both both before and after you add water How does it change when you have added water?
Finish: Does the flavor remain for a long time or does it dissappear quickly? Is it long and warming or is it short, crisp and dry?
Is this a Whisky for you? The great thing here you can find the whiskies you enjoy.