10 Expert Tips to Do a Whiskey Tasting Like a Pro
Every year, the industry for whiskey and bourbon distilleries in the United States alone is worth more than $5 billion! That is just one indication of how much value people get out of quality whiskey.
However, a lot of people could get a lot more value out of their whiskey tasting. Experts in whiskey tasting have developed a long list of tips that can help people enjoy their drinks more.
So what exactly are these tips, and how can they improve your whiskey tasting experience? Read on to learn all about the most important expert tips to follow to help enjoy your whiskey tasting as much as possible!
Find the Right Glasses to Taste Whiskey
If you are going to get the most out of your experience of tasting whiskey, it is important to have the right tools. Many people underestimate how much the right glass can affect tasting whiskey.
Generally speaking, you want to use Glencairn whiskey glasses for your tastings. These glasses are specially designed to make sure that the aroma of your whiskey is focused in the middle of the container.
It is essential to enjoy the full range of aromas available to make the most of your whiskey tasting. If you don’t have the right whiskey glass on hand, you may be able to use alternatives.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the lid of the glass should be narrower than the rest of the glass. That way, the aromas will not escape too quickly.
Learn How to Taste Whiskey Better by Looking at It
Every piece of information you can get about your whiskey can inform your tasting experience. That includes looking carefully at it.
In fact, if you look at your whiskey, you will eventually learn how to get a sense of how sweet or thick it might be when you taste it. You can also learn to tell which colors in your whiskey indicate if it came from port barrels or oak barrels instead.
Practice Tasting Other Flavors
At the end of the day, learning how to discern flavors of all kinds has a lot in common with learning how to discern the flavors in whiskey. Although whiskey tasting has its own idiosyncrasies, you can learn a lot by practicing with other flavors. For example, one great way to learn how to know these tiny nuances in flavor is to try eating a high-quality jelly bean.
In particular, you should try tasting jelly beans or other flavors while plugging your nose. This will help you learn to isolate which parts of your tasting experience are coming from your mouth and which parts are coming from the aromas in your nose.
Many people are amazed to find how much of their tasting experience disappears when they close their noses. There are even stories about people who cannot tell the difference between an onion and an apple when they cannot smell it.
Learning to carefully isolate which parts of your tasting experience come from the taste itself versus those that come from your sense of smell can help you better enjoy the wide variety of experiences that come with tasting whiskey.
Use Your Sense of Smell for the Best Tasting Whiskey Possible
Once you have learned to isolate tastes and smells, you will want to emphasize both whiles actually drinking your whiskey. Before you take a drink of your whiskey, lift the glass to your nose and inhale.
It can also help to waive the glass back and forth a little. Make sure not to inhale too carelessly. Whiskey can have an intense aroma that can overwhelm you.
Drink Your Whiskey Slowly
During your whiskey tasting, make sure to take your time. Take just a little bit of it at a time and try to pay attention to the variety of flavors and aromas. Give yourself time between sips so that you can appreciate the full development of the experience across time.
Consider Adding Water to Some Types of Whiskey
Adding water can help you experience your whiskey tasting smoother. It can help you pay more attention to the flavors and less attention to the intensity of the alcohol.
Chew Your Whiskey
Make a chewing motion while you have a sip of whiskey in your mouth. This will help spread it throughout your mouth and make sure that it is reaching all of your taste buds.
Many people still believe that the tongue has different spots for detecting different kinds of flavors. The truth is that the entire tongue is capable of tasting a whole range of flavors.
Clean Your Palate Between Drinks
Make sure to clean your palate between types of whiskey. That way, you can fully appreciate what makes each kind of whiskey unique.
Water is an ideal way to clean your palate between types of whiskey. Some people also use plain crackers to try to eliminate the flavor of earlier drinks. However, make sure that you do not have any crackers with salt.
Make Cocktails With Your Whiskey
To really understand a whiskey, you sometimes have to combine it with other ingredients. Making cocktails with your whiskey or bourbon can help you fully appreciate them both as drinks and as ingredients.
Focus on Enjoyment
People sometimes spend a lot of time learning to properly enjoy whiskey. However, don’t overthink the process in the beginning.
More than anything else, focus on enjoying your experience. Your skills will naturally improve over time. You don’t need to force things when you are starting out.
Follow the Most Important Tips for a Great Whiskey Tasting
We hope learning about the tips you can use for a great whiskey tasting has been helpful. Many people learn to taste whisky better through a long process of trial, error, and experimentation. Taking just a little bit of time to learn more about the tried-and-true techniques for tasting whiskey can revolutionize your experience.
To learn more about tasting whiskey and where you can find great venues for a tasting, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!