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The Language Of Whiskey

The Language Of Whiskey
The Language Of Whiskey

The Language Of Whiskey

The Language Of Whiskey, Whiskey is heavily influenced by Geographic’s, whiskey still, grains, and cask used.

Articulating its flavors can be a challenge, particularly when you’re tasting for the first time. What is this that’s tickling your tongue, what is this unique flavor to this bottle where does it come from, is it geographics, the whiskey still, the grains, the cask.

Once you master whiskey’s “language” you will find expressing your love of flavor is natural and cool.

Key Words

Zesty, Peaty, Soft, Chewy, Sweet, Spicy, than you move on to more descriptive such as chocolate, vanilla, sweet dry, and finally you will go to more descriptive such as the first feel and the finishing feel the burn and warmth.

Learning The Lingo

Before you start, remember: What you are doing is tasting, not drinking. You’ll be looking for words to describe flavors, aromas, and more, in order to understand and enjoy your whiskeys to their fullest and of course impress friends.

As everything you do, in the begging you might struggle with your description others may laugh and say you are over the top or that you are dead wrong. But this is how you’ll learn how to identify the spirits’ flavor elements. Just let yourself go. Express yourself!

Taste Is Personal

You just got burned by a friend who said you are just imagining the flavors friends are laughing. Guest what you will taste things your friends don’t, and vice versa, because people’s palates and experiences are all different.

I mean does everybody like the same baked goods or drink the same type of drinks palates are different and so is all of life experience.

So don’t worry if your descriptions are different then those of your quote and quote “expert friends”. I mean are you not two different people? Tasting whiskey like everything in life is a personal experience.

Tasting Notes

The best tasting notes are those that are describe directly how you feel about the whiskey.

Don’t just sit with a checklist and tic the boxes you need to have the freedom of creativity of describing your current feelings always use the checklist only as a guide.

Start by using simple, broad terms, such as: Fresh, Fruity, Malty, Spicy, Smoky Zesty, Peaty, Soft, Chewy, Sweet. Yes grow this basic list yourself till its comprehensive and share it with us.

The Simple Rule Of Thumbs On How To Grow Your List

These basic flavors will be found in whiskeys you taste. Once you have identified a whiskey’s flavor category try exploring that category further.

For example, if you’ve detected a fruity flavor in your glass, which fruit does it most resemble? What is the dominant fruit flavor? Try thinking: • Apples • Bananas • Peaches • Pineapples

A simple tip to help you categories whiskies is obviously by distilleries most distilleries create one basic mash recipe and create variations from this mash. You can alter a still only so much same for warehouse temperature. Barrels to can definitely add a shade or to but more than that please let me know which distillery you are talking about!

Record Your Tasting Experience

There is no formal way to taking tasting notes because if there was than God save us (I hate formality) .

List Tips
  1. Taste blindly but make sure which shot is which by writing it down.
  2. Write down the name of the whiskey you taste and when you tasted
  3. how the whiskey looked
  4. its aroma commonly referred to as nose
  5. its taste or palate
  6. The length or otherwise of its finish
  7. Finally your personal experience, of course make mention if you tasted the whiskey with something that can alter your tasting capabilities.

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To spirits and cheers,

Binyomin Terebelo, Master Distiller and Drinkologist

Image by Elzer2016 from Pixabay

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Written by Binyomin Terebelo
I love hearing from you about why you love something I wrote or published or a recipe I don't know. I am Master Distiller at Terebelo Distillery, Love all things alcohol. Freelance for Grogmag and blog recipes for Weekend Rabbi too.
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