The drinking of whisky is part art and part science. Whisky is meant to be enjoyed and savoured, and the experience of drinking really choice whisky can be ruined if your environment, method or temperament is wrong. Through some minor changes, the entire experience of drinking whisky can be enhanced immeasurably.
Consider the environment in which the drink is consumed. In the most optimal situation you would be able to dedicate an entire room to this specific activity – your very own whisky sampling room - but of course that is not realistic for most of us. It is important to make sure that the room you do choose to drink in has some specific qualities as outlined below:
A good temperature - You do not want the room to be too cold or too hot because whisky will react with the air at temperature extremes.
Comfortable sitting area - Drinking whisky is one of the ultimate comfort activities and so the appropriate level of class and comfort in the seating arrangement is necessary. Treat the ritual of drinking quality whisky as something sacred and you will get more out of the experience.
Without unnecessary noise - There is no need for a television or a telephone in this area. Forget those modern distractions and simply focus on pure pleasure.
Without any odours – Much of the subtle taste of whisky comes from its aroma. You don’t want anything to overpower or distract from the taste of the whisky or confuse the subtle scents that have been oh-so-carefully brewed over decades.
The timing of your drinking is also critical in having a truly classy and enjoyable whisky experience. Of course to many drinking early in the day would be a no-no, but with whisky the boundaries are meant to be blurred. Just as long as you drink in moderation, feel free to drink whenever you have free time and are in need of pure relaxation. With that being said there are some other considerations in relation to time:
Allow the whisky to sit - After pouring your drink let it sit in the glass for at least 5 minutes. It’s probably been waiting for over a decade to get to this point, five more minutes seems a small price to pay.
Allow time for the whisky in your mouth – Don’t just throw it back – savour it. There are different tastes, smells and notes before you drink whisky, while it is in your mouth and after you have swallowed it. Concentrate on the different flavours as they engulf your senses.
Stick to your routine - Ensuring that your routine is the same each time you try a whisky will allow for more complex joys to come out when drinking and allow you to better taste the particular differences in each whisky you try.
OK, now you’ve read this guide we can finally say - tasting whisky and enjoying this incredible drink is much less about following a guide like this but much more about allowing personal experience to dictate the specific way in which you drink whisky! Take our advice, certainly, but adding in a little flair to let a personal style come out for this will make the entire drinking experience much more meaningful and memorable.
There are a myriad of different aspects to consider when trying to perfect the whisky tasting experience, and it’s important to trust the experiences you have and simply find the best ways to enjoy this wonderful drink the best way you can.
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