Thursday, 12 April 2012

Tasting notes for the casual whisky drinker

I must have been drinking single malt whisky for seventeen years now. I love the stuff. But I'm a casual drinker. I don't have a big collection: currently it stands at two full sized bottles, one 35cl bottle, and a gift set of miniatures I got at Christmas. Usually I drink common-or-garden malts of the kind readily available in the larger supermarkets. But I'm lucky enough to have one or two friends who also like whisky and have decent collections of more interesting and obscure malts, and I live close enough to central London to attend the occasional tasting event or visit a well-stocked whisky bar. In short: over the years I've probably tasted a fair few. And now I'm getting tired of not remembering what a particular malt tastes like, or even whether I've tried it before. The great ones I remember of course, and the awful ones too— but there have certainly been some quirky inbetweeners that deserve to be acknowledged.

Hence these online notes.

I don't generally go in for long flowery descriptions or complex star diagrams— sometimes the most coherent thing I can say about a malt is "like" or "don't like." But at least that's something. Generally I'll try to stick to the nose, mouth and finish format, but reserve my right to go off on weird tangents, whisky-related or otherwise.

Another thing that I think is very important for casual whisky fans like me is context: whether the tasting is solo or with friends, at home or in a pub or bar, at a formal tasting, after a busy day at work, on a cold winter's evening or a warm summer afternoon. I believe my perception of a malt's qualities varies with mood and setting. So where relevant, I will make a note of the context of the tasting.

For now, these are my notes for my benefit. But if you want to read and comment, please feel free.

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