The four stages of whisky tasting

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How to drink whisky has been the subject of some lively debates among lovers of the drink. Experts agree though, that whisky-tasting has four essential stages through which to gain a true appreciation for a fine Scotch whisky.

1. Observe

Pour a healthy measure into a glass and hold it up against a white or light background. This is the best way to see the colour of the liquid. An older whisky will usually be darker in colour – some are amber and some are light gold – and this is how the experts tell which casks were used for maturing and the age of a whisky.

2. Smell

After a good swirl of the whisky in the glass to release the aromas, slowly bring the glass to your nose and take a sniff. It is important to take your time here, savouring and identifying each aroma for anything up to a minute.

3. Taste

Now for the taste. Take a small sip and roll the whisky around your mouth to prepare your tastebuds, swallow and then take another sip. Continue sipping slowly, focusing on the flavours that the whisky reminds you of, remembering that there are no right or wrong answers. Make a few notes as you continue tasting for around three or four minutes.

4. Add water

Adding a little water will really open up the flavour of the whisky, releasing even more aromas and allowing the true taste to shine.

Here at H Cooper Glass Engravers, we suggest you take your time to enjoy and savour your drink, using your favourite engraved whisky glass at the same time.

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