The 3 Must-Haves For Every Whiskey Connoisseur
The 3 Must-Haves For Every Whiskey Connoisseur - You love whisky and want other people to trust your opinions about it? Well, as long as you add some simple items to your knowledge, nose and natural sense of superiority, you can be a whisky connoisseur. A few easy to find purchases will help you elevate your whisky game.
A pre-step: know the 'e'. Whisky spelt without the 'e' is any whisky produced in a country that does not have an 'e' in its name (Japan, America, Scotland, etc.). Whisky with the 'e' is, of course, produced from any country that contains the letter in the name (think Ireland, New Zealand). This simple tip immediately places you in front of most 'experts'.
The place where most people start, so don't feel bad getting a guide for yourself. If your tasting palate isn't quite right - use a knowledgeable tasting guide to begin honing your whisky skills. You will learn things you never knew; a true connoisseur always wants to know and taste more. Check your work, challenge your nose and make sure what you are tasting and smelling is accurate.
Whisky, like wine, needs to breathe. Years (for the better drops, literally decades) spent in casks or barrels then transferred to a bottle, means that to appreciate the flavours on the tongue and nose, you must let it breathe. A decanter set is, therefore, essential. You don't store an Aston Martin in cheaply made, fibro-shed - you give it the home it deserves.
To further enhance the flavours, whiskey needs to be served in the right glass. Glassware has evolved over the years, from the table weights to the sleek and smart design. Choosing the right glass for your whisky is important - you don't want to spoil the experience!
To Chill or Not to Chill
A point of debate for years and will remain so for many more to come. Absolute purists will swear that every dram needs a block of ice to enhance the taste and mellow the harsh flavours. And this is certainly true for a lot of whiskies. There is also a strong case for the 'neat' pour - some whiskies just taste better that way (and it is all a matter of opinion). So what to do?
The first step if you're unsure (and don't want to look foolish amongst friends) is to refer to your Tasting Guide; learn the beverage and its nuances. The second step is to try! Host a tasting night with friends (responsibly of course) - try adding a cube or stone to the more harsher drops and note the differences - there are many different styles (ice/ stone/ ball) to choose from. And if you're worried about whether or not to add a mixer, don't. It doesn't deserve to be in the drink if it isn't water, ice or stone.