There are no wrong or right answers in whisky tastingon Apr 03 in Single Malt Whisky by James
As my knowledge and experience with whisky begins to grow (at a snails pace) one begins to ponder where this journey might end up. At the moment I am happy struggling trying to identify smells and flavours, to the point where I will go and buy some foam banana sweets to try and confirm or eliminate my suspicions. Is the end game to be able to nose a whisky, take a sip and then say something profound or is this my worst nightmare?
I think it is important to keep reminding myself that there is no wrong or right answer. If you feel a whisky smells like your grandfathers favorite brand of pipe tobacco. Or you can taste sherbet pips like the ones you bought as a child then good…no….awesome for you. Making connections between real life experiences, events and people is something far more important than someone telling you that a whisky tastes of varnish JUST BECAUSE they said so.
While you might enjoy reading this blog and what we have to say about the whisky we are tasting. I urge you to ignore what you read here, the back of a bottle or someones ‘tasting notes’. Explore the whisky and draw your own conclusions, enjoy it with friends and create new memories and associations. Don’t be afraid to challenge and stand by what you feel, taste and smell.
Some pointers (I know I told you to ignore me) to help you on your way.
- Try using a whisky nosing glass, the shape concentrates the aroma and should make it easier to ‘identify’ smells
- Add some water. This lowers the percentage proof, and unlocks the whiskys flavour.
- If you want to identify smells and flavours on the fly then you need to know what those flavours and smells actually are! Smell and taste spices, fruits, sweets, wood, smoke etc etc etc. Familiarise and immerse yourself in the wonderful aromatic world we live in.
- Taste the bloody whisky. Try as many as you can, at different times of the day, compare them, with or without food, people, different settings etc etc. (Be sensible, I am making the assumption you are able to interpret this point as intended)
- Enjoy it