Let’s get this straight. The right way to drink whisky is whatever way you like it. Having said that, adhering to some whisky drinking conventions will enhance your overall experience and save you from treacherous mistakes, like mixing your single malt with coke.
Here’s how to savour a drink made with considerable skill and several years spent pining away in a wooden cask. Cheers!
What’s in a glass, you may ask. A lot. There are some vessels that are better than others to really maximize the flavour. And let’s be honest, some glasses just look better than others. Presentation can make a difference. Always serve whisky in a rocks glass, also known as an Old Fashioned or lowball glass. A clear, tulip-shaped glass is another option. The long neck successfully catches the fragrances of the Scotch before they escape. This way, the drink is more robust, fragrant, and ultimately enjoyable.
It’s always on the rocks or with a dash of water
We do understand that if you're new to single malts, it's hard to enjoy the flavours and aromas of the whisky when you drink it neat. The punch of the alcohol can be overwhelming. If that’s the case, add a dash of water to your drink. The theory being (test it sometime) that the splash helps release some of the aromas of the malt. The trick is not to add too much and to make sure it’s at room temperature. Add an ice ball for extra swag. But never, ever mix your whisky with coke, or any other mixer for that matter.
Nose your whisky
Yes nosing is not just for fine wines but also for fine whisky. Single malts have complex and delicious aromas. Take some time to savour them with your nose. Hold your glass slightly below your nose and try to identify the aromas that greet you. You may only get the alcohol on your first sniff, so take a second and a third. After some practice, you'll be able to notice hints of vanilla, citrus, spice and even green apple. Use your imagination.
Take little sips
Don’t be greedy and just knock it back. The point is to appreciate the whiskey for all its fiery nuances. At first, it will just taste like tongue-numbing liquor. But you'll gradually get used to this and start tasting all those things that whiskey lovers talk about: spicy notes, vanilla, caramel, peatiness, smoke, and more. It's a great big whiskey world out there, and now you're ready to enjoy it.
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