To begin, mastering the art of sipping whiskey calls for a few simple abilities and the willingness to expand one’s knowledge of a subject that may be familiar to them for a long time: whiskey.
Boot Camp Whiskey Consumption
Here are the main “Drinking Rules of Engagement” that will teach you the basics of whiskey tasting in little time at all.
The First Rule: Don’t Smell the Whiskey
If you’re nosing a fine whiskey, chances are good that you’re already making wise choices in life. First, keep your lips open and breathe in through your mouth and nose simultaneously to avoid having the heat burst into your nostrils.
Second, take a few deep breaths and focus on the aroma without trying to force anything. Does it have a sweet vanilla aroma? Caramel? Your grandmother’s cooker? The garage of a friend? Third, try to put a name to the smells you’re picking up and write down some notes to assist you pinpoint individual components. Remember that your sense of smell is always correct. It’s your nose and taste buds, so you should trust them. Count on it.
Whiskey Siping is the Second Rule
As you can see, we’re not in Cabo. Not that awful cheap stuff that tastes like boot camp floor polish; we’re not here to shoot the whiskey. The second rule is there to help you learn to listen to your taste buds so that you can hone them with practice. To start, take a sip of the whiskey and let it roll around your mouth and tongue. Your mouth will adjust to the whiskey’s heat after the first drink.
The second sip should be taken in the same manner as the first, only you should add a tiny chewing action and allow the whiskey to roll over your tongue. With this second taste of whiskey, you’ll be able to appreciate its subtler subtleties. How does it taste to you? Butterscotch? Cinnamon? The black cherries? Walnuts? Newly mown hay?
Your taste is unique, so please respect it. Have faith in your taste buds, figure out what you like and don’t like about the whiskey, then push yourself to the next level by trying to pick out each flavor component. Keep track of as many details as you can and focus on the things you can recognize rather than the ones you can’t. There is no such thing as a bad response; with practice, you will become adept at seeing even the most elusive markers.
Rule No. 3: Water and Moderation Are Your BFFs
Even though Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation,” I still think it’s a good idea to limit how much whiskey you drink at once so that you may savor what you’ve paid for.
To finish off your whiskey tasting, add a splash of water (filtered, if possible) to help the spirit breathe and reveal its full flavor potential. You won’t believe how even a drop of water can take the edge off that heat and bring out the best in the whiskey.
What Goes Better With Whiskey, Water or Ice?
We recommend you test it out both ways. Whiskey, like other spirits with a high alcohol by volume (ABV), benefits from being diluted with water. If you’re just starting with whiskey, starting a glass of it over ice will help mellow down the intensity and dilute it over time. The whiskey’s flavor will evolve as the ice melts.
Whiskey stones are an excellent way to chill your drink without watering it down. The more whiskies you try, the more words you’ll add to your vocabulary, allowing you to define every nuance of flavor in your beverage with precision.
To Shoot or to Sip?
Only if the bottle of whiskey is relatively inexpensive should you down a shot. You should sip it slowly so that its entire flavor can unfold.
The first item you need for serving neat whiskey is a tiny tasting glass. Aside from that, all you need is your preferred bottle or a bottle of whichever spirit you’re curious about trying. The first thing to do is fill the glass with whiskey. The second, have a drink on me! If you’re not a master mixologist, this is the way to enjoy whiskey.
Whiskey ‘up’ or on the rocks might be a more refreshing way to enjoy the spirit. To serve whiskey ‘up’ is to mix it with ice to chill it, but to do so before serving it to the customer. Whiskey is poured over ice in one glass and allowed to chill before being strained into a separate glass. Asking for your whiskey to be served “up” is a certain way to impress the barman with your knowledge of whiskey etiquette.
The Finest Methods of Sipping Whiskey
Now that you understand how to act around whiskey experts without offending them, you can devote yourself to learning about the nuances of whiskey. Learning how to drink whiskey properly is free, and it opens up a world of wonderful new tastes you’ll never want to miss out on again.
Many people who claim to like premium whiskey will likely ignore at least one of these recommendations. It’s not your business to criticize or educate them, but if you nose your pour, your experience will be far richer than that of someone who doesn’t. To appreciate whiskey, keep in mind these drinking habits:
- Put your senses to work.
- Sniff it
- Comprehend, elaborate, and talk about
From the moment the bottle is uncorked or the cap is unscrewed (pop!) to the moment you lift the glass to your lips and sip, drinking is a multi-sensory experience. The aroma of whiskey can be enhanced by letting it warm slightly from your body as you pour it into a specially designed glass. Whiskey takes on an iridescent quality as light refracts across the glass. Your empty glass will make a satisfying clink when you put it down.