Irish whiskey comes in many different shapes, sizes and flavors.
The Irishmalts team wants you to get the most out of your bottle, which is why we’ve created this outline to guide you through the process of sipping whiskey like a pro! It is easier than you might think.
Location matters… just a bit. We don’t expect you to ship out to the Wild Atlantic Way to make the most of your whiskey. We simply recommend that you taste your whiskey in a neutral area. This means that it is actually best to avoid tasting whiskey in a bar. You don’t want any other strong smells mixing with the unique smell of your liquid sunshine, do you?
Obviously, you will need some whiskey. Whatever suits your fancy will work! We’ll recommend a few chart topping bottles for you at the end of the article. You will also need an average sized glass of clean, room temperature water. The water will be there for you to clean your palate between sips. You could also set aside a bit of water for diluting your tasters, but that is up to you.
Last but not least, you need a glass for pouring your whiskey into. We don’t recommend that you drink it out of the bottle (tempting as it may be). A sherry or wine glass would be good alternatives to traditional whiskey nosing glasses. Basically, you want a glass with a bowl for you to hold and warm the whiskey with your hand. The tall sides of these glasses will also help you work though the smells.
Pour about a shot’s worth of whiskey into your glass and give it a soft swill. Then, have a look at the legs, or the drips of whiskey that appear on the sides of your glass after being swilled. The longer the legs, the higher the ABV.
Hover your nose above the glass and give it a sniff to get the “nose” of the whiskey. Take a moment to think about what you smell. Generally, the more obvious notes come first. If you need to sniff again, take a step outside to clear your nose before coming back to it. You can also dilute your whiskey with a bit of water to release the smells.
Now you get to drink it! Take a small sip, don’t just toss it back. Pay attention to how the liquid feels in your mouth. Some whiskeys are light and sharp while others might be thicker and fatty. Good whiskey hits different parts of your tongue differently. You might feel tingles on the tip and a burn when the whiskey gets to the back. This is not your imagination, it is the whiskey at work! When you finally swallow the whiskey, pay attention to how it goes down. Do you get warmth in your chest? Maybe you get some shivers? All of these are good signs.
There you have it. Now you are a whiskey tasting expert. Let us know how you get on!