You’ve probably heard that whisky means the “water of life”. While it was first billed as a medicinal substance — it soon gained popularity and became one of the most popular drinks in the world! To truly appreciate the heady characteristics and subtle nuances of a good whisky, our subscribers joined us in an informative night of whisky-tasting, courtesy of The Writing Club.
Home to over 700 hand-picked labels of collectible and unique whiskies, The Writing Club, nestled in the heart of Orchard Road, provides beverage programmes crafted by their team that cater to discerning palates and whisky lovers.
Before diving straight into the tasting, the women of Style Theory were taught about the history of this simple drink, made from malt, yeast, and water. All Scotch single malt whiskies are distilled from only malted barley, and have to be matured for at least three years and one day, and produced entirely in Scotland. Next, they were taught the differences in style and taste of Scotch single malt whisky by the 6 main production regions. They also managed to identify their whisky palate based on their preferred choices from the 4 whiskies they’ve tasted.
With such a wide variety of flavours and brands, the world of whiskies may prove baffling and even daunting to any beginner, but with the 3-step guide by The Writing Club’s experienced whisky expert, appreciating the drink isn’t as tough as you think!
Step One: Nose the whisky…
… or in other words, give it a good sniff! This is the key step that will reveal the whisky’s characteristics straight to your nose. To nose it correctly, swirl the whisky around the glass — this releases the aroma of the whisky. Then, bring the glass to your nose and take in the aroma.
Pro-tip: Opening your mouth slightly while inhaling allows the alcohol vapors to bypass your olfactory sense — allowing you to smell all of the individual notes.
Step Two: The first taste
Take a deep breath through your nose, gently hold your breath, take a good sip of the whisky, and swallow it without exhaling. The first sips will help to warm up your tongue, especially if it’s your first drink of the day. On your second sip, you should be able to taste the different flavours! The sign of a high-quality whisky is one that lingers and allows you to keep tasting new notes long after the sip.
Pro-tip: You should hold the whisky in your mouth as long as you can to see how the flavours continue to develop.
Step 3: Relax and unwind
Don’t stress about learning individual aromas! With a little practice and patience, you’ll start recognizing aromas on impulse — all adding to the experience. There is no one right way to drink all whiskies. Instead, enjoying this beverage is a personal journey that could easily change from drink to drink.
Pro-tip: A few ways to cleanse your palate between different whisky tastings – consume food or drink that is sour, bitter or bubbly, such as beer, bitter chocolates or soda water.
If you’ve missed this chance at our Community event or want to read more about community sharing, follow us at @styletheorysg to learn more top tips from our workshops!