How to Taste Single Malt Scotch

on 28/10/10 at 12:56 pm


There are many kinds of single malt scotch whiskey in the world. They are of differing levels of quality of single malt scotch whiskey, like the many different kinds and qualities of kosher wines. To a scotch connoisseur it is easy to see this but for a novice scotch drinker it may be difficult. This article will help you if you are just beginning to learn about single malt scotch whiskey.

There are American whiskeys, like bourbon, blended whiskeys from Canada and Scotland, and single malt scotch whiskey from Scotland. There are differing levels of quality among all kinds of whiskey but scotch has the most expensive kinds. Single malt scotch whiskey is what whiskey connoisseurs drink for its variety of flavors. Like kosher wines, scotch is very valuable when aged.

1. Buy a glass: A tulip glass is the best glass for scotch tasting because, like a wine glass, it allows for the aromas to air. Tumblers and snifters are also acceptable glasses from which to drink single malt scotch whiskey.

2. Pour: You don’t need very much scotch, unless you are an avid drinker. Pour a finger or two at the bottom of the glass and turn it so that the scotch rolls around. The more glass covered by the whiskey the more surface area and the stronger the aroma, which means a better taste.

3. Nose: Smell the glass from a few inches away. Try to pinpoint the flavors you smell, then smell a little closer and try to define it again. Get as close as possible with the alcohol burning your nose. Open your mouth slightly while smelling to better determine the flavors.

4. Water: A good glass of scotch may taste better with a few drops or almost half water, depending on your preferences. Cask strength whiskey ranges from 46% to 60% ABV and the higher the percentage the more water you can use. Don’t use tap water since the added minerals can clog the taste’s purity.

5. Marriage: It takes time for the water and the whiskey to marry. Twirl the glass, nosing it again, as you did the first time to discern new elements in the nose now that water has been added.

6. Sip: Take just enough to swirl around your tongue. Note the consistency. The “mouthfeel” may be gritty, slick, oily, and may be different on different areas of your tongue. Hold the single malt scotch whiskey in your mouth to absorb all the flavors.

7. Swallow: Breathe through your nose to let the aromas rise into your sinuses. The finish of the whiskey will change its flavors. Pay attention to how the taste of the single malt scotch whiskey differs over the course of your drink. Enjoy!


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