Nosing & Tasting Guide
Whisky is a versatile distillate. Every Scottish Single Malt Whisky has its own
distinctive features…… By carefully analyzing your glass of whisky you will
learn to appreciate the experience even more.
The right glass
We have composed a Nosing & Tasting Guide to help you explore the sensational world of Scotch Single Malt Whisky. First of all its important to select the right glass . A tulip shaped glass tends to be the best and MO ÒR has its own glass. This kind of glass will trap the aroma’s in the bulbous bottom of the glass and release them through the narrow area at the top of the glass. Whisky is often drunk from a crystal tumbler and is in fact perfectly acceptable for drinking, however, the tulip shaped glass is better for nosing purposes.
The colour of the whisky can tell you a lot about the whisky, however never trust your eyes alone and make sure you confirm your assumption with your nose. Colour can give an indication of age and wood finish, as the spectrum goes from very pale via golden to dark amber. Single malts matured in bourbon barrels are usually light coloured. When sherry casks are used for storing the whisky it tends to be much darker coloured. Normally whiskies grow darker with age.
The bodyweight of a dram of whisky can reveal some signs as well. Swirl the whisky around the glass, coating the sides thoroughly. Then wait, and watch the teardrops run down the side of the glass. If the legs run quickly, there are a lot of them, and they are quite thin then it is probably a light-bodied whisky and/or a younger whisky. If the legs take a long time to start running, then run slowly down the side of the glass, there are very few of them and they are quite thick in appearance, than it maybe a heavy bodied and/or an older whisky.
Although the tongue plays a big role in whisky appreciation as well, the nose tells us the most about the malt. While tasting the human brain can register four different primary tastes; sweet, salt, sour & bitter. But with nosing the whisky there are over 30 primary aromas. However, in Scottish Single Malt Whisky there are over 450 different aromas perceptible. Over time and with lots of practice you will be able to indentify countless different fragrances and several layers of aromas in every whisky! Another recommendation is to take your time while nosing and tasting. You will notice that the bouquet will often change considerably after you allowed the malt to ‘breathe’ for some time. By adding a couple of drops of still water to your dram you can also “open” up your whisky. It will reduce the alcohol content, and raise the temperature releasing more of the aromas.
Tasting the whisky
Taking a sip of the whisky is easy, but actually tasting the whisky can be a bit more complicated. Things like texture and the “mouth feel” of a whisky, the development over time and the different parts of your mouth that are affected. The various flavours that you register and the length of the finish all add up to the overall experience. Find out for yourself as every nosing & tasting is unique and so is MO ÒR!