Buying a bottle of whisky for whisky tasting, should be an experience to remember. Not just a case of popping down to the local liquor store and grabbing the first bottle you see. Buying whisky should take time and careful consideration.
There are many factors that determine the aroma and flavor of Scotch whiskey. First of all, the used water coming from lakes and sources. The water mostly flows over granite and peat. Peat is used to heat the malted barley, and gives the whiskey a smoky flavor. This is very typical for Scotch whiskey. When the whiskey in barrels matures, the surrounding air from entering the vessel. Whiskeys on the islands, will have a somewhat salty taste by the climate there. The various features can be found in drinking a single malt whiskey. Here are some tips to enjoy whiskey tasting, and perhaps identify in the future:
Read the label of the bottle. This provides information about the type of whiskey, age, alcohol content and the location of the distillery. The region where the distillery is located sometimes reveals something about the smell and flavor you can expect.
Note the color. The vessel in which the whiskey has matured determines the color of the whiskey. This varies from pale to dark brown. The depth of color often depends on how long the whiskey is maturing lie, and how often the container has been used. But beware: some distilleries add after aging caramel allow to influence the color artificially. This caramel has no influence on the taste.
The aroma – nosing
First smell the whiskey (nosing). This is at least as interesting as the actual drinking of whiskey. The first time you hold the nose up to the glass, then you put the nose a little in the glass. Cover the glass and turn it slowly: new (heavier) aromas are so liberated. There are special tulip-shaped nosing slides that keep the flavors better. A cognac or sherry glass meets fine. Then add even a little water to the whiskey, new flavors are thus liberated.
Experience or whiskey is soft, or just tingling or sharp happens. Try to identify the aromas that you come across.
Flavor – tasting
Take a sip and let it roll over your tongue. The tongue is largely responsible for tracing the four primary tastes: sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Appreciate more or whiskey smoothly glides over the tongue, or just syrupy.
Swallowing (the finish) shows a new flavor dimension. In addition, the duration of the aftertaste (how long the flavor lingers?) For each whiskey different.
versus ice water
When you find strong whiskey, you can add water. Use bottled water (no bubbles). It can sometimes actually be desirable to add water because the alcohol flavor can outperform. At cask strength whiskeys this is often the case. In addition, the addition of water also has to be freed the effect of new aromas. Do not throw ice at a single malt whiskey! The cold suppresses the aromas and taste.
If you want to sample several different whiskeys in a row, from different countries, you can choose from canadian whisky, or Japanese and USA whiskey etc, then it is good to eat a slice of white bread in between, it neutralizes the taste in your mouth.
Finally, you can define the nosing and tasting in a test report.