Tasting - Tips for the perfect whisky experience

Tips for the Perfect Whisky Experience

How to enjoy St. Kilian Single Malt Whisky by all the rules of the art

A whisky tasting is the perfect way to enjoy whisky with all your senses and compare different bottlings. You can enjoy this alone in peace or celebrate it with like-minded people as an event.

Helpful and important are a few prerequisites, which we discuss in more detail here, so that the enjoyment is unclouded and the spectrum of fine whiskey flavors can be perceived without restrictions.

Which glass is best for whiskey?

The most suitable are so-called "nosing glasses" of good glass quality, with a wide opening upwards to capture all the volatile aromas with the nose. When tasting, the wide opening of the glass is advantageous so that it is first tasted with the front part of the tongue. This is because in the back of the palate we taste the oak notes, sometimes a bit bitter, which then come out when we swallow. The glass should be relatively thin-walled so that it can warm up when held in the hand, so thick little tumblers are ruled out for this. With a capacity of approx. 2-4 cl, nosing glasses are optimized for this purpose.

Nosing glasses from St. Kilian Distillers
Nosing glasses from St. Kilian Distillers

Of course, it is perfect to taste the single malt whisky from St. Kilian also in the appropriate glasses and not in glasses of other whisky brands. You can order St. Kilian mini nosing glasses directly in the online store. The glasses should be clean and undamaged, a clear glass is important for recognizing the color. The whiskey can thus also be "tasted" with the eyes and you can get an idea of the color of the distillate.

What else belongs to a proper whisky tasting?

The right food garnish at the tasting

Provide a suitable side dish when tasting - the spectrum ranges from fresh bread to small bites with a tasty spread to vegetable sticks. The taste buds are neutralised between each new spirit and are "ready to receive" again, so to speak.

Take notes during the tasting

Make notes so that you don't lose track while tasting and can record your impressions. The St. Kilian Tastingbook is perfect for this! Don't forget your writing utensils.

How many whiskies should be tasted at a tasting?

Several whiskies can be tasted at a tasting, but not too many, otherwise the sensitive taste buds will be overstrained; a maximum of approx. 4-6 whiskies is optimal.

St. Kilian Tasting Book

Water and whisky?

At St. Kilian, the New Make Spirit enters the cask at 63.5% and loses alcohol strength over the years during its maturation, so that after 3 years it still has about 59% volume. Trying a whisky at cask strength now would numb the tongue and greatly impair our sense of taste. Therefore, if necessary, the whiskey at cask strength can be diluted with water at will and taste.

For tasting, be sure to provide water - preferably still water from glass bottles. This is important so that you can rinse the glass after each whiskey. In no case "freeze" the whiskey with ice cubes, because the fine flavors come out optimally at room temperature.

The four steps in tasting:

1. take a closer look at the whisky

Hold the whisky in the glass against the light and observe the sparkle and glow . Streaks, or so-called "legs" that come from the whisky's viscosity, can be observed when carefully turning the glass. These are particularly visible in the alcohol strength range of 43-48%, when the whisky slowly runs back into the glass.

2. smelling extensively - the "nosing

Even if you can not believe it, the nose has many more receptors than the tongue! Let the whiskey circle and inhale gently, the liquid in the glass while always slightly rotating and swirling. Please do not put your nose too deeply into the rotated glass, otherwise the volatile alcoholic ingredients will primarily come to the fore and mask all other fine notes. Also, the "tornado in the glass" - that is, too violent circling of the liquid in the glass is not helpful to capture the desired aromas.

Also, similar to a fine perfume, you can press the distillate in the glass against your hand to capture the aromas that react with the warm skin.

Perceiving colour and smell with all senses

3. then drink the whisky

After extensive tasting through the nose, the next step is tasting through the tongue, over which the liquid is allowed to run slowly. This organ is a true marvel and distinguishes different flavours in different regions: rather sweet at the top, rather salty and sour in the middle and then the bitter notes at the very back. First let the whisky "roll" extensively over your tongue and do not swallow it immediately. The thoughtful "rinsing" in the mouth addresses all areas of the palate, lips and underside of the tongue and intensifies the taste experience.

4. enjoy the aftertaste at the end

How long do the different flavours remain in the mouth, do more emerge afterwards and is it rather the sweetness or the smoke that remains present after the consumption? You should then ask yourself these questions calmly and then, if necessary, note down your comments on the tasting of the whisky.

It remains to be mentioned that there are, of course, no fixed rules here on the subject of the perfect whisky tasting, because everyone should feel comfortable and, as we all know, tastes are different.

In any case, we hope you have fun and enjoy tasting your St. Kilian!

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