Monday, January 13, 2014
Three Things You Don't Need and One Thing You Do Need to Enjoy Whiskey
It's easy to lose sight of what really makes a great whiskey tasting experience. When I talk to novices, I try to emphasize keeping it simple, but sometimes it's worth reminding even us old hands. Here are three things you don't need, and one you do, to really enjoy your whiskey.
Three Things You Don't Need to Enjoy Whiskey
1. Expensive Glassware. Sure, most whiskey geeks use Glencairn glasses, most industry people use copita glasses and lots of people will happily sell you really expensive glasses they claim were developed just for whiskey. But you know what? A standard wine glass works as well as anything, and though the geeks might gasp, you can drink whiskey out of a tumbler just fine (people have actually been doing it for years).
2. Tasting Charts. Do you really need a chart to show you what flavors you're tasting? I always laugh at the ridiculously complicated flavor wheels and graphs that are supposed to help novices with their complicated coordinates and weird categorizations of totally subjective flavors. Just drink and taste. It's a beverage, not a scientific experiment.
3. Paper and a Pencil (or a laptop or ipad, etc.). You don't need to take notes! Really. Think of the other really, really fun activities you engage in. How many of them benefit from taking notes? None.
One Thing You Do Need to Enjoy Whiskey
Now, none of this means you can't enjoy fancy glasses or taking notes, but it's worth keeping in mind that all of that is really secondary. Drinking whiskey is really much less complicated than it sometimes appears.