Let’s Talk Whisky!

May 14th, 2010 | by highlander |

Since the beginnings of Scotch Whisky a long time has passed and it evolved into what could easily be named queen of beverages. It is the best selling alcoholic drink in the world and not without reason. Since the first mention of whisky in 1494 (oddly enough, found in notes of Inland Revenue), distillers had the time needed to perfect brewing procedures.

Scotch Whisky

One of the things that are not common knowledge is that whisky is actually colourless in the beginning. It only gains its rich colour after either seasoning in sherry casks or adding caramel, that is supposedly not influencing the taste. While tasting of whisky, its age and the cask it’s been brewed in. You can know an aged whisky by thin trickles slowly making their way down the sides of the glass.

Another way to know if the whisky we’re tasting is one of a higher shelf is to savour its taste, more specifically, how long does it stay on the tongue. Good, aged whisky taste will linger for a long time, bringing out the more subtle tinges like the wooden aftertaste of the cask it has been or the buttery aroma that is a bit more prominent in whisky than it is in other alcohols. Some say that adding a bit of water brings out the taste better.

It is worth to mention  that while whisky nosing and tasting, one should not use the popular tumbler glass but rather the more slender tumblers. They help to enjoy the aroma better, while tumblers tend to neutralise it – that is why they are commonly used for blended whisky, which are a combination of rich malt whisky and grain whisky that, unfortunately, gives it a strong, unpleasant smell. Also, to enjoy it even more, one should prepare the room, so it is devoid of any other smells.

In truth, there is no ‘right’ way to taste whisky. Different people have different tastes, enjoy different things. Some like their whiskey rich and extravagant, spending thousands of pounds per bottle, like a bottle of 50-year-old Macallan sold for a record £12,350 at the world’s biggest whisky auction in Glasgow. Others prefer to focus on in the company rather than what they are drinking, buying drinks in a local pub, or even taking part in whisky drinking competitions. Housewives might prefer their whiskey in a pudding, fruitcake or lamb chops. A journey to discover the best flavor and way of tasting is solely decided by the one holding the glass.

[credit: Ivan Walsh, ryuu ji]

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