How to Drink Whisky Properly
How do you drink whisky properly? First, you pour your whisky into a glass, swish it around and throw it away because that is a waste of whisky. You’re here because you want to drink whisky properly so you need to take this seriously. That means paying attention to all of the steps. Otherwise, you’ll never understand your whisky enough to be able to appreciate all that it has to offer. Learning to drink whisky can be a love story and like every love story, it begins with the first meeting.
Every time you try a new whisky, think of it as the first date. You wouldn’t take a date to the kebab house down the road so don’t drink whisky from whatever glass is convenient. Invest in a Glencairn glass. It’s designed specifically to give you the best tasting experience and it adds a touch of class. Then, pour your whisky and start swirling. Swirling prompts the drink to release its first flavours: it’s how your whisky says hello.
Now that introductions have been made it’s time to get nosey. It’s tempting to drink straight away but don’t, because this is where the Glencairn glass will work its magic. Bring the glass slowly up to your nose whilst smelling. The narrow funnel will point the smells directly to your nose allowing you to notice different aromas: from far away you will be able to smell fruitier notes and as the glass gets closer, the smell of the alcohol will get stronger revealing earthy smells. This can seem tedious but think of smelling your whisky as equivalent to the annoying small talk you have to do before you get to know someone properly. It’s worth it in the long run.
Once the small talk is over, things can personal. Sip the whisky and swish it around so that it coats all of your mouth before swallowing. If it burns don’t let that put you off, the first time is always a bit awkward. The second time, when you’re prepared for what’s coming is when things get interesting. Add a dash of cool water then repeat the whole process again. Swirl, smell, smell again and swallow. By adding water to the whisky, you dilute the potency of the alcohol, allowing the more subtle flavours to emerge. These subtleties are like secrets that the whisky confides in you. That’s right, you got past the small talk, got to know each other, you’ve been intimate, and now you’re sharing secrets. Love, scotch soul mates, liquid lovers – whatever you want to call it, you and I both know you will be back for another taste. You can thank me later.