Below is a rough guideline on how I nose and taste each sample I blog about. At the end of the day everyone has his or her own personal “technique” to enjoy whisk(e)y. So please do not see these bullet points as a strictly to follow instruction but just as a reference point on what works best for me and on what basis I write my tasting notes.
- After the tasting is before the Tasting. Make sure to clean your palate from everything that has an impact on your taste buds. Eating dark chocolate (the more cocoa the better) and drinking lots of water before you start with the tasting is helpful.
- Our environment influences our tasting adventure. A noiseless and odor-free ambience is best to give each sample the amount of concentration it deserves.
- The right glass. It is best to use an upwards rejuvenating glass. The alcohol is cumulated at the bottom while the flavors are rising to the top where they can be better captured thanks to the tighter opening.
- True beauty lies in purity. No ice cubes, no whisky rocks, no water – no water-downed experience. Just the pure whisk(e)y how it comes right out of the bottle and nothing else.
- Time does not matter. Whisk(e)y needs time until its whole flavor unfolds so give it all the time it needs. The flavor unfolds best when you toss the glass slightly tilted in order to wet the inside of the glass. Also make sure that whisk(e)y is hand-hot temperate. Only then start nosing until you can assign as many flavors as possible – take your time! The same is true for tasting. “Chew” every single slug because some tastes need some time to unfold. So do not judge a whisk(y) after the first swallow! Sometimes I need several attempts before you get the right idea about a certain whisk(e)y.
- Enough is enough. Enjoy consciously! If you can not differentiate between one sample and another just stop immediately.