You may have seen or come across wine tasting at some point in your life. However, there are certain things between wine and scotch tasting that are quite different. In this post, I will highlight the several steps one can consider taking to further enhance their scotch appreciation process:
Pour yourself the desired measure of scotch into a nosing glass. Now, what is a nosing glass you may ask. A nosing glass is shaped like a tulip: narrower at the top than the bottom is. A nosing glass helps concentrate the flavors and aroma up your nose. Other glasses are perfectly fine for drinking scotch, but to truly appreciate the drink, a nosing glass is ideal.
A perfectly-formed nosing glass:
Checking the Color
Next, hold the glass up to the light and observe the color. The color of the whisky can be an indication of its age (although some companies add caramel to the whisky to give it a darker appearance) as well as the type of cask it has matured in. A dark whisky does not mean that it is better than a lighter whisky - it is simply darker.
Check out the legs on that thing
Hold the glass at 45-degrees and rotate it gently, coating the walls of the glass with the whisky. Hold the glass up straight, and observe the line of whisky that appears across the top of the glass, forming the "legs" run down the walls of the glass.
Typically, the younger the whisky, the faster and closer together the legs will run down. An older whisky tends to have thicker legs and run more slowly. In addition, the older the whisky, the further apart the legs generally are.
Nosing the Scotch
All you are doing at this point is preparing your palate. You are sending signals to your brain and creating expectations on what flavors to expect from the scotch, so your nose and mouth will go seeking these flavors.
What you never want to do is to swirl your scotch. You swirl wine. Wine has between 12 - 14% alcohol content, and you swirl the wine to agitate the liquid so that the alcohol can evaporate and carry the smells and flavors to your nose. Scotch is 40% alcohol; it does not need help evaporating. Swirling your scotch risk overwhelming your nose with too much alcohol. This is why when you enter a room where there is a wine tasting being carried out, it is hard for you to pick up the smell of wine. However, if you enter a room with just one glass of scotch, you can immediately detect it.