How To Drink Whisky?

In Whisky by Whisky Monster7 Comments

One question I hear most of the time in my mentoring events is  ‘How should we drink whisky?’. The answer is quite easy, ‘As you like it!’. It is important to enjoy whisky, in the end that is why you are mainly drinking it. I admit we are snobs to tell you to add water or ice or to throw that whisky glass at some point but the aim is to enjoy it.

In this article, I will try to give you some tips to enjoy your whisky in different ways and create your path to answer the question, how to drink whisky!

Selecting Your Whisky

Whisky Or Whiskey

This step is really damn tough. How to select of whisky or whiskey among all those attractive bottles, unicorn names and stories? Try reading my article ‘Whisky or Whiskey? – Whisky 101’ to understand different styles of whisky. Then choose your potion, a single malt Scotch, a bourbon, an Irish, rye, Japanese, Indian or Taiwanese?

Selecting Glassware

Whisky Glasses

Now you picked your liquid sunshine and you need a glass. How is your mood right now? Will you just taste the whisky or cool off after a long day? Are you going to use ice or not? These are all impacting our glassware choice.

Generally speaking (which should be assumed for every fact in this business), if you are just tasting, it is better to use a Glencairn glass or a copita glass since they are optimal for tasting. But if you just want to have a big sip with a charismatic glass, I would definitely choose a tumbler or Denver & Liely glass. Glassware information can be found to a higher extent in this article. 

Ice or Water?

Water in Whisky

Now comes a popular question of the last few years. Should I add water or ice in my whisky? What will happen? Again, the answer is pretty simple, drink it as you wish. Let’s elaborate it.

Ice

If you didn’t start drinking whisky in the last 5 years, you should have experienced blended whiskies, bourbons, Tennessee whiskeys and rye whiskeys with some ice at least once in a lifetime. The majority of whisky drinkers still prefer ice over neat.

Clear Ice

Using ice smoothens the sharp edges of whisky and brings out an easy drinkable spirit. Though continuous dilution is probably the most negative impact of ice. Also, temperature decrease blocks a huge amount of aromas and flavors. If you can’t give it up, I should advise you to use large chunks, spherical ice since they have the smallest surface area to volume which decreases the rate of dilution.

Water

Before talking about water, let’s remember one thing. Water is everywhere in the whisky. Germination, fermentation, distillation, dilution… Water is magical!

Angel's Share
Angel’s Share Droplet

In any whisky, a few drops can change the character of the spirit drastically. In simple words, adding water helps breaking the bonds of chemical compounds like esters, phenols, etc to create different chemical compounds, resulting in the release of new aromas and flavors. A lovely, small dilution will also happen, offering you an easier experience to drink your whisky.

During tastings, when we taste cask strength whiskies, I tend to add water step by step and see different impacts of water.

Whisky in Cocktails

Mint Julep
Mint Julep
Photo Credit: Andrew Scrivani

Whisky can easily be the base for cocktails. There are legendary whisky cocktails around the world with incredible stories. Though, choose your bartender wisely! A good bartender will change your day and cheer you up, a bad one will be a bitter part of your life forever. My favorite whisky cocktails are Rob Roy, Mint Julep, Manhattan and Whiskey Sour. What can I say? I am a boring classic cocktail guy! I can’t tell you to stay away from whiskey & coke, even if I don’t fancy it!
Check my Cocktails Page for some cocktail history and recipes!

Whisky & Food

We have exaggerated this concept. Yes, whisky can be a good pair for some culinary items, but in my honest opinion it hardly makes a pair for your elegant dinner. In general, if I am having any whisky with my food, I will keep the whisky light. Though, there are some amazing pairs I have encountered through my journey.

Lagavulin & Meat
Lagavulin & Pastrami

Roasted nuts and chocolate are some fitting options. In my pairing events I have encountered magical pairs like Jameson Black Barrel and hummus. Others include Lagavulin 16 with home made pastrami, Balvenie 12 Double Wood with sea bass, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel with chicken pate.

Most Important Thing About Whisky

You can choose between many whiskies, glassware, water, ice, food and so on. Though the only thing you really need is good company. Friends or family will make you enjoy your dram more than ever!

Tullamore Dew – The Parting Glass
Johnnie Walker – Dear Brother

Comments

  1. Merhaba sizi uzun süredir takip etmekteyim ve keyifle yazılarınızı okuyorum bende kendimi İskoç Malt viskiler üzerinde geliştirmeye çalışıyorum geçen Cumartesi akşamı bir arkadaş ortamında Talisker içtik yüksek alkol oranına rağmen sert ama dolgun bir tada sahip ben şahsen keyif aldım Bu haftasonu ise Macallan Single Oak Malt içeceğiz ben daha öncede içmiştim ve diğer viskiler bir yana bu bir yana alkol oranı Talisker’e baka biraz düşük ama aroma sonsuz geliyor bana size sorum Ben genelde sek be yanında bişey tüketmiyorum sizin bir tavsiyeniz veya yanına ne yakışır ilginize şimdiden teşekküre ederim Saygılarımla…

    1. Author

      Macallan sherry fıçısı kullanımıyla öne çıkan bir viski. Buna uyumlu olacak tatları öneririm. Kuru incir, kuru üzüm, üzüm pestili, fındık, kajun, badem gibi eşlikçiler kullanabilirsiniz.

  2. Sayin keyif adami, blogunuzu keyifle takip ediyor ve birçok şey öğreniyorum. Cumartesi gecesi için sakladığım Dalmore Valour için yanında neler yenebilir size sormak istedim. Teşekkürler.

    1. Author

      Kusura bakmayın biraz geç görmüşüm. Valour’da üç değişik fıçı kullanılıyor. Özellikle Sherry ve Port fıçılarının verdiği kuru meyve ve baharat aromalarını beğeniyorum. Bu doğrultuda yanına kuru meyveler(erik, incir), çikolatalı tatlılar(çok bitter olmaması gerekir diye düşünüyorum) ve narenciye aromalı tatlılar uygun kaçacaktır.

  3. merhabalar, Türkiyede Macallan hangi serilerini bulabilirim ve hediye etmek için hangisini tavsiye edersiniz? ben elegancia düşündüm bulabilirsem ama sizin fikrinizi de merak ediyorum.

    1. Author

      Merhaba Tuğçe Hanım,

      Türkiye’de var olan Macallan çeşitlerini bu yazıdan bulabilirsiniz.
      Ancak en yaygın olarak Macallan Amber ve Sienna satılmakta. İkisinin arasından Sienna’yı tavsiye ederim

  4. Bir sürpriz hazırlamak istiyorum. Chivas Regal 12 yıllık 50lik yeterli olacak mıdır 3 kişiye? Çikolatayı elbette alacağım, yemek olarak ne önerirsiniz? Ve çerezler ne olmalı?

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