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Anything Else Forum

Offtopicland. This still isn't the place to discuss politics, religion, or hot-button social issues, however.

Whisky 101: How to do a Tasting

AndyVance's picture
August 1, 2014 at 10:48am
54 Comments

I know several of us are fans of various adult malts and beverages, so I thought I would share this video from Highland Park Whisky on the proper way to do a whisky tasting. If nothing else, it's a great excuse to actually go taste whatever spirit you have in the cupboard, and to listen to the Scottish brogue.

Admittedly, I've not tasted the Highland Park, so Hodge or one of our other resident experts will have to give a more informed opinion. Also, if you're not sure how to pronounce your favorite Scotch (The Macallan 18 Year is my preferred weapon of choice), Brian Cox will teach you to pronounce all of the essential Scotches.

Oyster's picture

Did you attend the AG breakfast at the State Fair this morning?

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Alas no - first year in many that I haven't attended. One of the great events at the Fair for sure.

+2 HS
Oyster's picture

Because you were too busy thinking about drinking?

+2 HS
hodge's picture

Highland Park is the divine breast milk of angels.

+4 HS
Catch 5's picture

OK, between this video and that description, HP will be my next whisky purchase (if I can find and afford it).

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

+3 HS
AndyVance's picture

Ditto - with a sales pitch like that, how can you not try it?

+2 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I was going to say the same thing. I'm slowly getting into whiskey (I'm a craft beer connoisseur) and I'm completely sold on this already.

...

+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Anyone know of a price?

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

hodge's picture

Round about $40-50 for the ten twelve year.  For the eighteen, you'l spend close to $100.

+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Seems about normal... Do they have a 12?

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

AndyVance's picture

Their "Core Expressions" include a 12, 15, 18, 21, 25, 30, 40 and 50-year-old editions. They also have a "Valhalla Collection," which is apparently out of stock, as well as a newer "Dark Origins" bottling that looks interesting enough.

hodge's picture

When my buddy was in England, he offered to pick up a bottle of Scotch for me and my fiancee at the duty-free.  Though we wound up going with Talisker 57° North, we took a long, hard look at Highland Park's Einar, from their Warrior Series.

jeremytwoface's picture

I'll have to give it a try sometime....

Me and my wife are planning on going back to Manifesto soon so I will have to try it there. I think they have the 12 year for $5 at happy hour.

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

Unky Buck's picture

he offered to pick up a bottle of Scotch for me and my fiancee at the duty-free

And somehow you won the coveted 9Route Best Grammar Award...

...

+1 HS
Catch 5's picture

Loved it, thanks for posting Andy.

I'm a Crown Royal guy but Bulleit is making a serious push for that top spot.  Of course I don't turn up my nose at any of it.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

+1 HS
PAWEST1202's picture

I'm generally a scotch guy but Bulleit Bourbon is good stuff. When I make it back home, my buddy and I sit on the porch, light a pipe and enjoy some Bulleit

jeremytwoface's picture

I just ran out of scotch the other day and I'm all depressed about it. I really can't afford to go out and buy anymore right now. *sad face*

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

BierStube's picture

You should do your discount double check ... sure to find some extra cash that way!

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+4 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

when are we all going to get together and drink whiskey and smoke cigars?

Does anyone know if BucksFan changed his icon?

+2 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Premium Lounge, my friend.

Keep working on those helmet stickers...

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+6 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

I'm trying to find that sweet spot of sarcasm that people love but not so sarcastic that I'll get DVed. I need to be a premium member. I NEED IT.

Does anyone know if BucksFan changed his icon?

+3 HS
Oyster's picture

Are you familiar with the use of Sarcasm Dots?

I'm getting ready to leave for the day, so I probably won't be able to fill you in.  Earle usually checks in during the afternoon, when he shows up, ask him. He can tell you all about them.

Thank me later.

+2 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

Are those anything like Dippin' Dots...

Does anyone know if BucksFan changed his icon?

+2 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Nothing like Dippin' Dots.....

And you probably don't want to go down this rabbit hole, Urbz...

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+1 HS
Oyster's picture
+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

I'm trying to find that sweet spot of sarcasm that people love but not so sarcastic that I'll get DVed. I need to be a premium member. I NEED IT.

I'll help you with a couple +1's

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

brandonbauer87's picture

Don't listen to Oyster. Perfect sarcasm needs no identifier. Dots and italics are for amateurs. 

Edit: You need to change your avatar (icon). Default photos are not welcome in the Premium Lounge. 

+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Edit: You need to change your avatar (icon). Default photos are not welcome in the Premium Lounge. 

Is that sarcasm or no? I can't tell.... 

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

Earle's picture

If you could use a little MS Paint and deck out Colonel Sanders in Scarlet and Gray, that would be pretty sweet.  Or maybe do Urban as the Colonel if you have real skills.

Italics are for emphasis.

+1 HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

I have absolutely no idea what to use as an icon, gotta be something unique

Does anyone know if BucksFan changed his icon?

Oyster's picture

Hey Brandon, I take umbrage at your notion about my sarcasm dots...

buckeyedude's picture

You DO understand as a Newbie in the Premium Lounge that you have to pay your dues by cleaning the shitters for the first year?

And no, Jeremy, Brandon is serious. UrbsandSpices needs to change his avatar. At least 100 people have that very one. It's a pet peeve of mine.

 

 

+1 HS
Zaphod Beeblebrox's picture

Rock gut whiskey & Swisher Sweets?

AndyVance's picture

I've spent entirely too much time watching these videos now, but I had to share this one. Listen to the Highland Park guy describe the tasting of what is more or less a $6,000 bottle of Scotch:

+3 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

I always have a fight with my inner self as to whether I would spend that much on a bottle of scotch if I had the money..... I can never give myself a straight answer.

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+1 HS
Boxley's picture

Great post Andy, but I will never find myself in a position to purhcase a 5K bottle of whisky, dammit. Of course if fifty guys got together and paid a $100.00 per  slug, that I could get in on, maybe even a few slugs. Or 25 guys at $200.00 etc, etc.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

I'm right there with you. Even if I save my pennies for quite some time, I'm pretty sure The Stunning Mrs. Vance would not approve such a purchase (although she loved the video).

+1 HS
hodge's picture

My money says she loved the gent's accent.  English, Scottish, and Irish brogues have been known to melt the hearts of many a happily-married woman.

My solution?  Use this to your advantage.  Travel to Orkney and strike up a conversation with the master distiller. While your lady's transfixed by the distiller's accent, make your way to the distillery shop and by yourself a bottle.  Pretty soon you'll be swooning more than your wife.

+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

You're not married, are ya Hodge....

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Right on the money, Hodge. She loves, loves, loves listening to the Scottish Brogue especially, and the Irish more generally. And while your plan is pretty solid, I'm concerned about how she'd dispose of my body afterward. 'Cause I'm pretty sure she'd kill me, probably with the shards of the bottle after she smashed it over my head.

+2 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Yeah that's why I'm assuming he's not married...

My wife was pretty against me getting a 12 year bottle that was $50 some. Even if we were pretty well off, she probably wouldn't appreciate me spending a few thousand dollars on alcohol. 

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

hodge's picture

I jest, gents, I jest.  

You're correct in your assumption, but I'll be joining your (happy?) ranks this October.  I'm one of the bastards getting hitched on a college football Saturday, but I take solace in knowing that I won't be missing an OSU game and my UM-loving buddies will be missing their game.

For what it's worth, my fiancee's almost as voracious a Scotch drinker as I; but anything over $100 is the stuff of fantasy.

+2 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Congrats sir!! 

My wife is actually ok with the scotch thing... We went to Manifesto a while back and she got a glass of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and loved it... She would probably even get me a nice bottle around $100 or so if we had the money. But $6000?? No way...

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Mine doesn't quail at a bottle of 12-year Macallan, and I bought a nice Irish Whisky last year that didn't get me in too much trouble.

Speaking of that nice Irish single malt, I just went and did the nose/tasting the master distiller described with that bottle. The Redbreast 15-year-old, and wow, that was an interesting experience. Doing the tilting to see the tears and legs, doing the three sniffs, then the chewing... Pretty cool.

+1 HS
hodge's picture

That was a fascinating video.  I'd never learned how to properly smell whiskey, nor had I understood the significance of the legs; I've always "chewed" my drink, though, and I think it makes a whole world of difference.

+1 HS
Borrowed Time's picture

When I go back home I will definitely try out this new whiskey tasting technique

IslandBumBuckeye's picture

"...because they wouldn't let me go for three."

whiskeyjuice's picture

MMMMMMMMM, whiskey............or whisky depending on your preference.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture
I'll have the same, no ice.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

IGotAWoody's picture
For relaxing times

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

IGotAWoody's picture
OK, last one. I couldn't decide which, so I posted my 3 favorite.
Happy Friday!

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

GoBucks10's picture

I just got back from a business trip to Wales.  Try looking around to find:  Penderyn Welsh Whisky.  It was excellent.

www.welsh-whisky.co.uk

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

PAWEST1202's picture

If any of you travel through Chicago O'Hare, Diageo does a whiskey tasting in the United Lounges about once a quarter. I ran across it on my last trip back to the US and it was fantastic. You only get to taste the Diageo Labels but it is still a pretty good mix

http://www.diageo.com/en-row/ourbrands/categories/spirits/Pages/Whiskey.aspx

PAWEST1202's picture

Thanks for sharing the video. It has been awhile since I have done a formal tasting. The part the stuck out to me is paying respect to the whiskey while you are drinking it. The whiskey can take over a decade to create to perfection and a number of environmental conditions could destroy an entire batch.

On my bar at home I keep an Oban 14, Scapa 16 and the Auchentoshan Three Wood

+2 HS