I will be the first to tell you, I am not a whisky drinker. As a matter of fact all I fool with is the clear poison, I would not be able to pick out whisky if it was in a police line-up. Is is it whisky or coke? Nope I couldn’t help you. That’s why this little 101 is helpful because not everyone knows good whisky. Our friends at Just A Guy Thing broke down how you can tell if you drinking the goody good, or if it is just another garbage hooch.
Step 1: Color
Use a clear glass with a narrow mouth and a wide bottom to pour ¾ oz of room temperature whiskey. Notice the color of the whisky – the darker the whisky the longer the product has been aged.
Step 2: Aroma
Some of the flavor compounds found in whisky are volatile, and the smell is part of the experience. Hold the glass in your hands to warm up the whisky. Put the mouth of the glass an inch from your nose and inhale the aroma. You are looking for fruity smells – take note of what you smell and try to describe it. Then put the glass closer to your nose (almost in the glass).
Before you get ready to taste, add a tiny bit of room temperature bottled water to open up or release the flavor of the whisky. The water will also dilute the concentrated spirit somewhat, allowing you to taste the complex flavors more clearly without the burn from the strong spirit.
Step 3: Body
Take a sip of the whisky and notice the body of the flavor in your mouth. Is it aggressive; is it sharp, obtrusive? Take note.
Step 4: Taste
The final step is to really “taste” the whisky. Notice where it hits your tongue (tip – sweet, back – bitter, top – salty, side – acidic).
Step 5: Repeat and enjoy!