For those looking to host a little Whiskey Tasting or working to better your experience with good whiskeys, we’ve got a few tips to get you in the right direction. Canadian Club’s “Godfather” of Whiskey, Dan Tullio, has a few good tips to better your understanding of the brown beverage while also increasing your understanding of the whys of whiskey.
Most of the following steps can be applied to all styles of spirits from rum to tequila as they’re wise words on a practical level. Remember, if you want to appreciate the products you’re buying, especially the higher end expensive ones, you really want to understand the full roller coaster ride your palate will be taking along the way.
Step 1: Color
Use a clear glass with a narrow mouth and a wide bottom to pour ¾ oz of room temperature Canadian Club. Notice the color of the whisky – the darker the whisky the longer the product has been aged.
Step 2: Aroma
Some of the flavor compounds found in whisky are volatile, and the smell is part of the experience. Hold the glass in your hands to warm up the whisky. Put the mouth of the glass an inch from your nose and inhale the aroma. You are looking for fruity smells – take note of what you smell and try to describe it. Then put the glass closer to your nose (almost in the glass). You should now smell more spice, perhaps butterscotch.
Before you get ready to taste, add a tiny bit of room temperature bottled water to open up or release the flavor of the whisky. The water will also dilute the concentrated spirit somewhat, allowing you to taste the complex flavors more clearly without the burn from the strong spirit.
Step 3: Body
Take a sip of the whisky and notice the body of the flavor in your mouth. Is it aggressive; is it sharp, obtrusive? Take note.
Step 4: Taste
The final step is to really “taste” the whisky. Notice where it hits your tongue (tip – sweet, back – bitter, top – salty, side – acidic).
Step 5: Repeat and enjoy!
Hopefully this will open your eyes to a good tasting session. Considering our economic issues, you may find it’s a lot cheaper to enjoy and respect whiskey in the comfort of your own home with friends compared to going out to a bar. Don’t wait to get an invite to some exclusive party to train your palate, do it today. We’re all about saving you money here at EverydayDrinkers 🙂