Add a Drop of Water
The perfect way to drink whisky has long been debated, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Whether you prefer it neat or on the rocks is up to you, but whisky experts and novices alike both attest to the benefit of adding a drop of water to your beverage. All you need is a drop of water and this will ‘open up’ the whisky, which means you will be able to taste more of the depth of flavor as they merge to become more evenly balanced. Without water, you tend to be able to taste the elements individually as opposed to simultaneously. Also, the addition of water also prevents throat burn – a definite plus if you’re a whisky drinker newbie!
Look at your whisky in a glass, preferably against a white background, and note the color. This can indicate the age of the whisky, for example older whiskies tend to have a deeper tone due to the barrels they were aged in. However, if you know that the whisky is only three years old, yet it has a deep color, this could be a sign that artificial ingredients were added.
Take small sips and swirl the drink around your mouth to get the full flavor. Some whiskies will taste completely different to how they smell, so make sure to take a couple of sips close together to get the full nuanced spectrum of flavor. Once you have tried the whisky, as mentioned earlier, you could always add a splash of water to open up the flavors and also enjoy a slightly diluted drink.
The taste left on the palate after you have drunk your whisky is called the finish. At this point, you may notice a different taste to what you experienced initially, and you may also pick up different notes. The longer you can taste the flavors equals the longer the finish, which tends to mean that the whisky is more complex.
Whether you’re new to the whisky game or want to find out the best way to enjoy the spirit, follow this simple guide and become a fully-fledged whisky drinker. Don’t forget to share your journey into whisky drinking with us using @TheGlenlivet #BreakTheStereotype.