How do you drink single malt whiskey?

Answered by Robert Dupre

To truly appreciate single malt whiskey, it is important to understand how to drink it properly. Each person has their own preferences, but there are some general guidelines that can enhance your drinking experience.

1. Glassware: Choose a tulip-shaped glass or a Glencairn glass, which allows the aromas to concentrate at the top. Avoid using a tumbler or rocks glass as they don’t capture the full aroma.

2. Room temperature: Single malt whiskey is best enjoyed at room temperature. This allows the flavors and aromas to fully develop. Avoid serving it too cold, as low temperatures can dull the flavors.

3. Water: Adding a few drops of water to your whiskey can help open up the flavors and aromas. Traditionally, it is served with a side of spring water. Tap water may contain impurities that can interfere with the taste. Add water little by little to find your preferred balance.

4. Ice or no ice: While room temperature is ideal, some people prefer their whiskey chilled. If you enjoy your whiskey cold, fill your glass with ice instead of adding one or two cubes. This ensures a slower dilution of the whiskey as the ice melts.

5. Sip, don’t gulp: Take small sips of whiskey to fully appreciate its complexity. Allow the liquid to rest on your palate for a few moments before swallowing. This allows you to savor the flavors and experience the whiskey’s full body.

6. Nose it: Before taking a sip, take a moment to nose the whiskey. Gently swirl the glass to release the aromas, then bring it to your nose and inhale deeply. Notice the different scents and let them guide your tasting experience.

7. Taste it: When you finally take a sip, let the whiskey coat your palate and explore the different flavors. Pay attention to the sweetness, smokiness, spiciness, and any other notes that emerge. Take your time and savor each sip.

8. Pairings: Single malt whiskey pairs well with a variety of foods. Experiment with different combinations to find your own preferences. Dark chocolate, cheese, and smoked meats are popular choices that complement the flavors of the whiskey.

Remember, drinking single malt whiskey is a personal experience. Explore different brands, ages, and regions to discover your own preferences. Don’t be afraid to try new things and trust your own palate. Enjoy the journey of discovering the complexities of this beautiful spirit.