Whether you’re well aquainted with whisky or are keen to try it out, there’s no time like the present to get tasting and exploring one of the world’s most popular spirits.
We spoke to Keith Geddes, Master Blender at Tullibardine Distillery in Blackford, Perthshire, to hear his top tips on how to dram.
When tasting whisky, a clear, tulip-shaped or sherry copita glass is recommended as these are best suited to capture the aromas of the dram you’re pouring.
This specific shape allows the aromas to gather and be directed through the narrow aperture towards the nose, thus improving the drinker’s enjoyment of the treasures the whisky has to offer.
Try holding your glass up to the light and gently swirl the whisky around to appreciate its beautiful colour. We refer to Tullibardine single malt as ‘a drop of pure highland gold’, and it’s easy to see why!
The whisky colour spectrum is amazing and it’s worth comparing the differences in
appearance between whiskies finished in different casks.
A single malt matured in a bourbon cask will be pale in appearance compared to darker whisky, which will typically be older and may also have been extra matured in sherry or burgundy casks, infusing the liquid with a deeper colour.
The wood is very much a key ingredient to the whisky making process.
Gently nose the whisky to appreciate the aromas on offer. It’s worth remembering that when nosing whisky at bottling strength, typically 43 per cent abv or even higher (cask strength), the aromas may seem very strong or ‘prickly’; a good tip is to gently breathe in through the mouth at the same time to fully appreciate the array of aromas present in the glass.
Take a small sip and hold for a few seconds over the tongue before swallowing and repeat to appreciate the flavours.
Adding a splash of still water at room temperature, say fifty-fifty, will enhance the
assessment experience by revealing a new combination of flavours and augmenting those already present.
Whisky is a highly versatile spirit and can be enjoyed in many ways, so if a traditional neat serve isn’t your thing, a cocktail is a delicious alternative to toast with on this day of global whisky celebration.
Why not try shaking up a simple whisky sour using our signature expression - Tullibardine Sovereign.
• 40ml Tullibardine Sovereign
• 15ml Spice Pear Cordial
• 25ml Lemon
• 2d Celery Bitters
• 20ml Egg white
Glass: Nick & Nora
Garnish: Star Anise & Nutmeg
Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain, garnish and serve.
Practice tasting different whiskies as much as possible to find your favourite flavour and style, but above all else, enjoy.