As a starting whisky drinker, how do you choose the right whisky? And how do you drink it: in which glass, at what temperature and with or without ice? This article helps you on your way.
Last week you could read all about the origin and production process of whisky. Nice facts, but now you still don’t know which bottle to choose when you’re standing in front of the whisky shelf. So this week we really get to work: what should you pay attention to when choosing a whisky? And what is the best way to drink it, with or without ice? Let’s find out together!
Part I – Drinking Whisky for Beginners
Part III – 5 Tips For Your Own Whisky Tasting Session
Look, smell and taste
Start with a lighter whisky, The Famous Grouse Finest for example is very suitable for a first whisky experience. Take a good look and ‘sniff’ the whisky first. What color is it? What substance is it? And what smells can you discover when you smell it: citrus, honey, herbs? You really don’t have to be able to name it exactly, but you do take it all in deliberately.
Next, take a small sip and let it go around in your mouth. Absorb that feeling and taste. Do you think that first sip is a bit too sharp? Then feel free to add a few drops of water. This will cause the alcohol to break so to speak. The stinging of the alcohol on your tongue will be less, but it will also release more odors.
On a voyage of discovery
Ideally you should try some different whiskies that very first time. In addition to the first light whiskey, try a slightly sweeter whisky such as The Famous Grouse Bourbon Cask. By trying a lot you will find out what you like, see it as a voyage of discovery.
Ideally you should try some different whiskies that very first time
As you’ve tasted more different whiskies, you’ll learn to recognize the different characters more and more. Then you can also try the smoky whiskies. The Smoky Black from The Famous Grouse is one of those smoky whiskies, perfect for the novice whisky drinker. This Smoky Black has a refined, complex taste with a little bit of smoke for some extra character, but without skipping straight back.
An important component of this premium blend is malt whisky, which is dried over peat fire with a high proportion of malt. This results in a complex taste that is full and spicy, but also very soft. The Smoky Black reminds you of a campfire at a distance, the smell of a fireplace in the street. Perfect for these dark days. And a tasteful gift for yourself or someone else.
Okay, time to pour a nice glass at home. But which glass will you take? And do you drink it with or without ice? As far as glass is concerned, the straight, somewhat wider glass is of course best known as whisky glass. Still, there are no ‘rules’ in this area. The most important thing is that you find it a nice glass to drink out of. So you can also use a wine or water glass. But of course you can make the whole experience just that little bit more fun and special by buying some nice, festive glasses.
On the rocks
Whisky on the rocks is something we mainly see in American movies, but is ice in your whisky advisable or not? If you like it, just do it. But please do it well. That means: first about three or four ice cubes in your glass and then add the whiskey. And don’t pour a glass of whisky first and then put one lump in it. That way that one ice cube melts too quickly and your whisky becomes too watery.
High time to get to work, and try a first glass. Next week we’ll give you tips to organize your own whisky tasting, with a very small group at home. Slàinte! (toast in Scottish)