How you organize a whiskey-tasting event at your home will depend on the serious intent of the tasters as well as your own whiskey knowledge.
- TIP: Teach your guests the step-by-step basic process of tasting whiskey if you consider yourself knowledgeable.
- Step 1: Smell the whiskey aroma before tasting. Connoisseurs call this "nosing." "Nose" above the glass rim for the first whiff; move your nose almost into the glass and inhale deeply.
- Step 2: Sip the whiskey. Roll the small sip up, over, and under your tongue before swallowing. Inhale slightly. Cleanse your palate between sips by eating unsalted crackers or drinking distilled water.
- FACT: Francis Scott Key wrote lyrics to "The Star Spangled Banner, but the tune came from the English drinking song "To Anacreon in Heaven."
- Step 3: Buy 4 to 6 bottles of whiskey. If there isn't a connoisseur at your local liquor store, pick from a variety of world whiskey regions and distillation methods.
- Step 4: Visit a local fine wines and spirits store. Don't hesitate to ask for advice from a knowledgeable salesperson. You'll want regional and taste variations between bottles.
- TIP: Scotch is typically made entirely from malted barley. Straight Kentucky bourbon is made from at least 51 percent corn.
- Step 5: Buy clear tulip-shaped whiskey glasses with a narrow lip. Experts claim that this glass shape allows whiskey drinkers to best experience the aroma.
- TIP: Whiskey purists prefer clear glasses to observe the whiskey's color and the liquid's viscosity.
- Step 6: Learn the primary regional and distilling differences between whiskeys from online guides. This can help if you're a novice.