People wondering how to drink whiskey are probably looking for the method to obtain the most flavor from the whiskey. Of course, you can shoot it or put it in a beer bong and chug it, but this is not a fair treatment for a nice single malt. If you’re going to be drinking the good stuff, you might as well drink it right.
How To Drink Whiskey – Preparation
At minimum, you should have some glasses and a whiskey. Lots of whiskey tasters like to have some still water as well to very slightly dilute the whiskey. It is not considered unmanly to add a touch of water to a very strong whisky, as burning the roof of your mouth off does not make for a pleasant experience. A touch of water will not ruin the flavors in a whiskey.
How to Drink Whiskey – Nosing
Nosing is the process of smelling the whiskey and appreciating its flavors. Smell can influence taste and it is thought to be an important process in appreciating a whiskey in full. Ideally, nosing is done by using a nosing glass, which looks a bit like a wine glass. Whiskey glasses such as an old-fashioned glass and a rocks glass are not ideal, but they’ll suit most people’s purposes.
How to Taste Whiskey
Pour a small amount of whiskey in the glass to suit your needs, and add a bit of water to dilute if needed. Beginners might want to dilute it a lot, or use a number of ice cubes to cool the liquid and dilute it. Over-cooling whiskey limits the flavor of it, so many hardcore whiskey drinkers frown upon it.
No matter the glass you are using, make an effort to not hold the glass near the liquid inside. Overly warming up whiskey can also affect the taste, so it’s a good idea to keep those warm mits as far away as possible.
Whiskey can and should be swilled around the mouth as much as possible to appreciate all its flavors. This is guaranteed to make a new whiskey drinker spit it out, or possibly projectile vomit in a worst-case scenario. It takes a bit of practice for new drinkers to be able to do this, so dilution may be required during this period.
After the whiskey has been swallowed, take a good breath of air in through the mouth. This can add new flavors due to the air moving through the mouth and releasing new tastes.
And that’s it! Spend some time drinking different whiskies, and try not to get caught up on the Johnny Walkers and Jim Beams of the world. Blended scotches are a good place to start before moving on to single malts and other more expensive varieties.