Practical Tips for Leading a Whisky Tasting

The setting doesn’t have to be perfect…just the whisky.

Whisky was not always my passion. It found me when I wasn’t looking. Thank all that is goodness! Over the course of the last ten years whisky has emerged as the one consistent playtime activity that I simply keep going back to. I enjoy drinking whisky, talking about whisky, searching for that special bottle, and sharing what I have found and enjoyed with others. My knowledge has expanded exponentially, yet still only fills a thimble. That’s the beauty of a whisky passion, there is always so much more to explore and learn.

Like wine, I prefer to start with light whisky and work my way to the robust and peaty.

As my passion and the number of bottles in my scotch cabinet grew, I found a real kick in sharing my whisky with others who were new to the spirit. Offering tastings in a controlled environment for small groups of people became what I am now known for in the local charity fundraising community and with friends. The natural progression was to write down what I was learning, sharing, and experiencing at the tastings. The result is my ramble of a self-published book Whisky Tales: Tastings and Temptations. Of course, friends said this blog was a “must-do” next step. So every week or two, I reach out to the world through social media and ramble some more.

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As with unusual or rare whisky, buy if you see it. Stay on budget!

 Drawing on experiences leading tastings and building my collection of whisky, I have compiled a few tips for those of you in the early days of fueling your whisky passion and considering offering a tasting. The key at the end of the day, though, is follow what is right for you!

Tastings with a bottle brought by each guest gives one a chance to try a whisky that might be out of price range or hard to find. Sharing with a small group of fellow enthusiasts is my preference.

 Practical Tips When Preparing for a Tasting:

  • Four different whiskies is an ample amount to offer.
  • Have enough glasses for each whisky pour. This way participants can save a sip from each for comparison.
  • Don’t serve whisky in cheap plastic cups of any sort. Ever. (Just me saying.)
  • Have plenty of water for hydrating and to rinse glasses if you only use one per person.
  • Gauge about four ounces of cheese per person whether for pairing or nibbling.
  • Whatever you choose to serve don’t select food that is sweeter, smokier or bolder than the whisky. Whisky is the focus here and should be the shining star.

To explore this in more depth, I blatantly suggest you peruse my book for additional tips and recommendations that include:

  • Examples of whiskies used for tastings
  • Tasting Rules for Friends and Clients
  • Be Prepared: Establishing Your Whisky Tasting Set-Up and Flow
  • Crafting a Splendid and Balanced Tasting Experience
  • When Speaking in Front of a Group
  • And so much more…

I raise a glass to living life in the world of whisky!



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