BARREL AGINGLET'S TALK LACTONES
Whiskey straight from the still is a clear, potent liquor with virtually none of the flavors characteristic of aged whiskey. Many know this liquid by the name “moonshine,” a term coined in the 18th century when whiskey drinkers avoided taxation by making and buying whiskey at night. But it’s barrel aging that gives whiskey its familiar color and taste. The extent to which a barrel is charred prior to aging will have an impact on the compounds found in the wood.
BURN BABY BURNALL ABOUT CHAR LEVELS
Prior to being filled with whiskey, barrels are primed for aging by charring the inside of the barrel. Doing so alters the nature of the oak, allowing the distiller to manipulate the reaction between the barrel and the whiskey. The wood can impart a variety of flavors to the whiskey, like vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, coconut, oak, spice, or smoke, depending on the char level. Some distillers like to get experimental with charring, but in general there are 4 levels.
PRONOUNCED SWEETNESS NOTES OF VANILLA AND COFFEE
COMMON FOR DISTILLERIES EARTHY, SPICY FLAVOR NATURAL WOOD TASTE AND AROMA
ALSO KNOWN AS “ALLIGATOR CHAR” BECAUSE OF THE PATTERN LEFT IN THE WOOD DEEPER COLOR RICHER FLAVOR AND SPICE STRONGER OAK CHARACTERISTICS, RICH VANILLA
TASTINGMAKE A MASTER OF RYE PROUD
The ideal glass for tasting whiskey is the Glencairn whiskey glass. Unlike the snifter whose shape can encourage the alcohol vapors to dominate other aromas, the Glencairn is more suited for rolling, allowing the aromas to mingle as they travel toward the rim.
First, roll (but do not swirl) the whiskey to release the aromas. Next, carefully sniff the glass from the top of the rim. Avoid sticking your nose in the glass as done in a wine tasting—whiskey’s higher alcohol content can cause dizziness when breathing it in. Don’t try to pick out any one smell. Instead, let the experience dictate the aromas you notice.
Taste the whiskey by allowing it to roll over your tongue before swallowing. The more you taste whiskey, the more accustomed you will become, making it easier to taste beyond the alcohol. When you’ve got a good feel for the flavor, this is when you can swallow.
The warm feeling after swallowing whiskey is called the finish. Pay attention to the length and intensity of the warmth. Notice any flavors that surprise you.
KNOW YOUR GLASSESFIND YOUR RYE THE RIGHT HOME
THE MOST COMMON WHISKEY GLASS. ITS TIMELESS DESIGN IS SUITED FOR ENJOYING WHISKEY IN EVERY FASHION.
RESERVED FOR COCKTAILS THAT UTILIZE MORE MIXER THAN SPIRIT. A REFRESHING WAY TO ENJOY WHISKEY WITH SODA OR GINGER ALE.
ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED AS A CHAMPAGNE VESSEL, THE COUPE IS A SPECIAL OCCASION GLASS WELL SUITED FOR STRAINED COCKTAILS LIKE THE MANHATTAN OR THE BOULEVARDIER.
PERFECT FOR LEARNING HOW TO ROLL WHISKEY, THIS GLASS IS DESIGNED TO OPEN THE AROMAS OF WHISKEY FOR A TRUE TASTING EXPERIENCE.
ICE OR NO ICE?IT’S NOT ALWAYS COOL TO CHILL
- The warmer a whiskey is, the more you’ll notice flavors and scents.
- Adding ice softens these flavors and scents, making the whiskey easier to sip.
- Some whiskey purists believe ice takes away from the true whiskey experience.
- If using ice, avoid diluting the whiskey by using a large block of ice.
- The quality of the ice can affect a whiskey’s taste. Ice made from clean and freshly frozen water is best.