Despite the changing tides when it comes to modern alcohol consumption, and the rise of fancy cocktails with equally imposing names, those who truly savour their nightcap will never steer from a quality bottle of whiskey.
Those who are lucky enough to live in areas where this divine liquor first came to be, meaning Scotland and Ireland, know even more about the art of sipping whiskey. However, the vast majority of modern men have yet to master this art. Some might even go as far as to say that you cannot consider yourself a true gentleman without becoming a whiskey connoisseur who knows the essentials of choosing, drinking, and enjoying a glass of this fine beverage.
The key whiskey selection
Scotch, aptly named after its birthplace, is the most famous choice worldwide, although it might not be a taste everyone can adapt to due to its powerful flavour. The key ingredient is distilled barley, although blended Scotch, unlike single malts, can be a mix of various kinds of the liquor.
Its neighbour, Irish whiskey comes as a close second for the most well-known taste, and much like its Scottish sibling, Irish whiskey ages at least three years in a barrel, and has a comparatively rich aroma.
Across the ocean, Americans make several distinct types, out of which Bourbon stands out as perhaps the most frequently chosen gentleman’s beverage, a classic smooth taste, made 51% of corn. Then they have Rye whiskey, while Tennessee whiskey is also distilled from rye, but it gets its uniquely earthy flavour as it’s filtered through charcoal.
However, there are other, novel whiskey blends and flavours starting to emerge all over the globe, and while a whiskey beginner might stick to an easy Canadian blend, these modern aromas are gaining more popularity as we speak. Think Japan, Australia, France, and Taiwan as the latest whiskey hotspots.
Discovering your favourite taste
Just like it takes time for the taste of whiskey to fully develop, the same goes for your own palate preferences. Many strong whiskey lovers stick to Scotch for years until they discover that a glass of Bourbon may be an equally delicious variety for some of their nightcaps followed with smooth jazz. Then again, novices who start too strong shouldn’t be deterred from exploring other aromas of different whiskey blends – chances are, there is something for everyone’s taste.
That said, it’s key that you leave your whiskey comfort zone and get acquainted with other fine flavours that the world has to offer. A hop over to the Land Down Under, and you can rest assured that you’ll find a renowned whiskey distillery in Sydney such as Archie Rose that will provide an ample selection of different aromas to tease your palate.
Give a chance to the more exotic bottles found in Japan, famous for their exceptional purity due to the access to local water springs and local production. They are as pure as a glass of whiskey can get, so do give them a try if you can get your hands on an authentic bottle.
The art of tasting whiskey
How you sip your blend of choice matters as much as the whiskey itself. In fact, it’s a very personal experience, as no two people will discover the same flavourful finesses, giving you a chance to enjoy your glass of Scotch through your own, unique lens.
If you can, opt for a glass with a curved top that will not allow the aroma to escape. Before you take a sip, let your nose absorb the fullness of the aroma before you let your taste buds immerse in the texture of your drink. You’ll notice that each and every bottle of whiskey comes with a unique scent, as well as a finish that is distinct to each bottle. In order to “open up” the full flavour of the beverage, add a few drops of water, although it’s not recommended to add more than a teaspoon to reduce the alcohol and bring out its most subtle nuances.
Features Writer; Peter Minkoff
Peter is a men's grooming & fashion writer at The Beard Mag & High Street Gent magazines from UK. Beside writing he worked as a menswear fashion stylist for many fashion events around UK & Europe! His future plans are in creating a personal blog for men's grooming!
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