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How to Taste Fine Whiskey

While downing green drinks or beer cocktails is a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, sipping a fine, Irish whiskey is a low-key way to mark the occasion. Like wine, there is a special technique to enjoy the potent caramel-colored spirit.

Here's how:

  1. Make sure the whiskey is at room temperature. Pour into a clear glass with a narrow mouth and wide bottom.
  2. Examine the color of the liquid. The darker the whiskey, the longer it has been aged.
  3. Warm the glass with your hands and smell the whiskey's aroma. Note any fruit, spice, or other flavors, like butterscotch.
  4. Before tasting, add a tiny bit of water to dilute the concentrated spirit. You will be able to better taste the whiskey without a harsh burn from the strong alcohol.
  5. Finally, sip the whiskey like you would a wine, and be aware of its body and flavor.

Do you enjoy whiskey? Have you ever been to a whiskey tasting?


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emalove emalove 8 years
Gross--me either.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Not a whiskey girl...
wiggle wiggle 8 years
I really like whiskey and the smokier the better. My Dad taught me to drink it and savor it.
poissondujour poissondujour 8 years
I was always taught by the pros that you taste the whisky before opening it up with water, then taste again after to compare.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've tried to appreciate whiskey, but it just makes me cough a lot when I drink it. I do appreciate a nice cognac, though.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
I don't like whiskey. I've tried sips over the years and I still haven't aquired a taste for it.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
I went to a Scotch tasting in Scotland! It was a lot of fun and I gained an appreciation for fine Scotch (single malt only, please!)
Food Food 8 years
You know what's really fun? Comparative tastings between Scotch, Bourbon, and Irish Whiskey. The whole idea is kind of reminiscent of a horizontal tasting.
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