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How to Taste Scotch Malt Whisky

Time to Appreciate the Fruits of The Malt Whisky Trail

Discovering the sheer variety of the range of single malt Scotch whisky on offer is a journey worth taking. The Malt Whisky Trail distilleries produce an array of whiskies – from sweet and rich to smokey and oaty. To explore and appreciate the full gamut of Scotch, it is important to take steps to nose and taste these whiskies.

Step One: Take a Good Look

Begin by pouring a small measure into a glass of your choice. Scotch is best appreciated in a tasting glass. Take some time to look at the spirit, and swirl it around. Is it viscous and oily, or light and delicate? What is the colour profile?

Step Two: Nose the Whisky

Once you have considered the look and construction of the whisky, it’s time to consider its aroma. Begin by swirling the liquid to loosen it. Move your nose gently from the top of the glass rim to the bottom, repeating more vigorously as the alcohol vapours give way to the complex aroma of the spirit. Here, you can begin to establish the whisky’s flavour profiles. Is it a robust, heavy scent? Is it a lighter, more delicate profile?

Step Three: It’s Time to Taste

Once you are content with nosing the whisky, it’s time to taste. Begin by loosening the spirit and taking a small sip. Let it stay in your mouth. How does it feel? Is it a viscous or lighter mouth-feel? The full flavour of the dram will begin to reveal itself on the second sip, as your palate acclimatises to the complexity of the spirit. Can you begin to discern an overall flavour?

Step Four: Explore Further

Open up the whisky further by adding a small drop of good spring water, and try adding slightly more as you work your way through the dram. Do you notice the character of the whisky change? How has a small dilution altered the flavours?

Hear it from the Experts

No two people drink whisky the same way. Discover the personal preference of the master craftsmen and women of The Malt Whisky Trail as you explore malt whisky country.

Water or Ice?

It’s the question whisky lovers across the world continue to contend with. To enjoy whisky, adding water or ice is a personal choice with very different effects on the spirit. To appreciate whisky and taste the full depth of a spirit’s character, it is recommended to add small drops of water.

Discover Malt Whisky Country.