Ask major whisky experts, and they’ll have different ways in tasting and appreciating whisky, but one would argue that there’s no correct way to appreciate it. For Richard Paterson, the Master Distiller of Dalmore, he swears by these directions:
Use a copita nosing glass, a tulip-shaped stemmed glass often used to distance the warmth of your hands. Tulip-shaped glasses are often used to concentrate the flavors to the drinker’s nostrils, as shown by its small opening. It is recommended to use this rather than a tumbler (a wide, stemless glass) to avoid warming the whisky and effectively distancing it from any other odors from your skin.
Swirl the whisky around the glass to release the aroma and note the legs formed from where the whisky has been. This indicates the body and the structure of the whisky. For Dalmore, it is indicated by thicker, slow running legs that shows its heavy bodied component and luxurious mouth feel. Paterson suggests nosing it thrice. The first whiff would mostly be alcohol. It’s best to get used to that scent before diving in for the second and third smell, which would be the different aromas the whisky holds.
When tasting whisky, it’s crucial to hold it in your tongue to be able to discern the various notes your glass holds. It’s advisable to add a few drops of cool water before you drink, though be careful not to add too much and water down the spirit. The most important part of tasting, however, is holding it in. Paterson explains, “The longer you keep it in your mouth, the more it’ll help to reveal the inner flavours of the whisky.” He describes some of the notes as chocolate, orange, marmalade spice, etc.
The best whiskys are the ones built up through unconventional ways. The Dalmore, from its distillery location to its whisky stills, made its name as a spirit that push the boundaries of excellence, and its collections are the sole proof of this. In every sip lies the story of heritage and bravery of its founders and successors, and an underlying note of hope for the future.
“The passion I have for whisky is far greater today than when I started because people are finally taking the time to learn about it.” – Richard Paterson