Some social functions and activities call for your knowledge and expertise on liquor and alcoholic drinks. Wine, for example, is the most commonly served beverage in formal social functions in European countries like France and Italy. Some circumstances can call for scotch whiskey. Whether wine or scotch, you wouldn’t want to appear ignorant or unsophisticated at these social gatherings. The good news is that you don’t need to be a real expert or connoisseur on scotch whiskey, but you can drink it as if you were one (and without letting others know that you actually aren’t). In this article, you will learn how to drink scotch whiskey like an expert.
- Gather some background knowledge about scotch whiskey. Your knowledge about scotch whiskey will prove to be precious in circumstances when you are compelled to drink scotch whiskey. For example, you are drinking scotch, which is a type of whiskey named after the place from which it was distilled—Scotland. You should know, too, that there are American, Australian, Canadian, Finnish, German, Indian, Irish, Japanese, and Welsh whiskeys—all of which are distinct, although quite similar, to scotch. Of scotch, you might want to read some background information about four Scottish regions that produce various flavors of scotch: Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, and Islands. The strength of the flavor can vary according to the source region. Another important piece that you want to include in your bag of information is the distinction between blended malt and single malt scotch. The most important distinction is that blended malt whiskey is less harsh and less potent than single malt whiskey.
- Examine the label on the bottle. Or, inquire from the bartender. The first thing you want to make sure is that you are drinking scotch. Then, you will need to choose between blended and single malt. Remember that single malt is very strong, so you might want to opt for blended malt, which is less harsh yet is still suave. The most common blended malt brands are J&B, Dewars, Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker, Cutty Sark, and Chivas Regal.
- Pour a shot-full into a glass. Short glasses are used for drinking scotch whiskey (also known as scotch glasses). Do not fill the scotch glass to the brim. Slightly raise the glass against the light and look at the color of the liquid. Scotch can range from bright to soft gold, from brown to yellow, and from dark to light color.
- Slowly swirl the liquid inside the glass. Doing so will cause the whiskey to splash against the side of the glass and leave so-called “legs” (the beads of liquid on the side of the glass). Observe how the beads flow downwards. The speed of downward flowing will give you a clue on whether your whiskey is heavy-bodied or light-bodied (thick and thin, respectively).
- Smell the whiskey. Swirl the glass one more time and raise it towards your nose. Sniff the whiskey vapor. You’ll smell different flavors.
- Take a small sip. Again, swirl your whiskey gently. This time, taste it after swirling. Let the liquor stay around in your mouth for a while so that your taste buds can identify the various flavors. Swallow the whiskey afterwards and take note of the aftertaste.
- Show a gesture of approval to the bartender or the host. You have just scrutinized the whiskey and have found it acceptable to your refined taste.
- Drink the rest of the whiskey. Ask the bartender or host to pour some more if you are up to it.
You can drink water as a chaser after drinking one shot. But, do not mix water into your whiskey; many whiskey experts consider it unrefined. You can also ask for scotch on the rocks, which means scotch whiskey served with ice.