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The Art Of Appreciating Whisky

Whether you’re a seasoned single malt whisky aficionado or you’re new to the category, the following tips may help you attain ever greater appreciation of your single malts.

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Whisky, popularly referred to as ‘water of life’ has continued to grow its consumer base, generation after generation. As appreciation of single malt Scotch whisky continues to raise around the globe, people are starting to enjoy it in more exciting and diverse ways. As the Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich in India, I’ve discovered ways to truly enjoy this drink. 

Whether you’re a seasoned single malt whisky aficionado or you’re new to the category, the following tips may help you attain ever greater appreciation of your single malts.

  • Experiment with your single malt

Purists argue that adding ice dilutes whisky and causes it to lose flavour. While distilleries recommend adding a splash of water, which they claim brings out the aroma of the beverage. The trend however with the new whisky drinker is changing. The target audience for the whisky industry is now shifting from the traditional ‘cigar in one hand, whisky in another and politics/business in mind’ imagery to be a drink of choice for the younger generations. They want to become more aware and conscious of the history and drinking notes relevant to the whisky they drink. 

With this change in demographic, there is a surge in innovative whiskies. Experimental whisky is gaining acceptance with brands innovating with age old variants. The cocktail industry has fuelled this demand further with the growing trend in creating new and innovative whisky-based serves. Highly skilled bartenders are helping fulfil the experience consumers are looking for today. They are using the best of whiskies paired with ingredients that are of higher or equal value. 

So, while you might have your single malt favourites, keep a look out for experimental variants and play with different flavours. 

  • Pairing in the key

Consuming your single malt with food opens a world of aroma and flavour opportunities. The goal is not just to find things that go well together, the goal is to create a match where the food brings out something new in the whisky, or the whisky brings out something new in the food. In other words, the idea is to create gastronomic synergy. 

Anything very spicy, bitter or laden strong spices could kill some of the flavours in the whisky. These flavours can stick to the tongue and reduce your ability to appreciate the subtleties in your dram. Think about pairing based on aromas, as well just matching the core flavours of sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Our experience of food and drink is far more than just the flavours that we experience on our tongue. 

Single malts surprise you when it comes to pairings with desserts. Some of the most popular ice creams, chocolates and gelatos are created with whiskies as a key ingredient. Drinking tea with whisky is yet another great pairing. 

Now that you know these tricks, relish your food with your favourite dram. 

  • Enhance your experience 

Using different senses, one can enhance the whisky drinking experience. You must have heard about the importance of nosing a whisky. Nosing the whisky is very important to enhance your overall tasting experience.  

Your palate is composed of a series of taste buds, tongue, the interior of your mouth and the most important sensor of all: your nose. Through our tongue and taste buds we are able to detect the well-known tastes of bitter, sour, sweet and salty. Our sense of smell is more advanced. Our noses are extremely sensitive and can detect many different aromas including fruity, floral, smoky and earthy.  Being aware of this partnership between the nose and the tongue can help us assess the whisky better. By nosing and tasting we can gain a greater appreciation of the complex flavours in the glass. Our sense of taste can also be heavily influenced by what our eyes see. Glassware is another important factor in enhancing your enjoyment of the whisky. 

The global trend of drinking less but better has led to a boom of single malt whisky in India and around the world. The world is seeing a drink-less-but-better trend now, and it is exciting for us in the single malt world. However, the most important thing is to enjoy your whisky and drink it how you like it! Slainte! 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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whisky liquor

Angad Singh Gandhi

The author is Glenfiddich India Brand Ambassador

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