Whether you are new to whiskey or just looking to find more enjoyment out of the spirit, there are some basics you need to know. From whether you should be using personalized glasses etched with your initial to whether you should go on the rocks or neat, this guide will help you build a foundation to help you get more out of your whiskey drinking experience.
Which Glasses to Use
There are several glasses used for liquors, but which is right for whiskey? For some, the short answer is “anything will do”—but that is also doing a disservice to the whiskey. You can certainly drink whiskey from a disposable cup, but it is nothing like the enjoyable experience of using personalized whiskey glasses. There are a few common choices, including the “rocks” glass, a short tumbler also known as the Old Fashioned glass or lowball glass. Specialty glasses are wider at the bottom and curve up to the rim, focusing vapors and flavors. This lets you nose the whiskey, much like wine. The most well-known and used by the Scotch Whisky Association is the Glencairn glass.
Water, Ice, or Neat?
Neat, or just whiskey in your drinking vessel of choice, is how the distiller originally wanted it to be tasted. However, especially with higher alcoholic percentages, the whiskey can numb the taste buds. Adding a splash of water can lower the alcohol by volume (ABV), softening the kick. It can also open up the flavors, as the alcohol isn’t overpowering the flavors. Try adding a very small splash, taking a sip, and seeing if you need more water. Too much water isn’t actually a mistake, as the solution is adding more whiskey. As for ice, or “on the rocks,” if you want a chilled glass of whiskey, use a large chunk of ice, such as a cube or sphere, as it won’t melt as fast and dilute the whiskey. Whiskey stones can be used in place of ice, but remember that they will not help dilute the whiskey.
Sipping, Smelling, and Savoring
Now that you have the whiskey in engraved glasses and properly proportioned to your taste, now what? Like wine, there can be a bit of a ritual. Since taste is intrinsically linked to smell, pretend the whiskey is a wine and take a sniff. The first sniff will likely just smell of alcohol, so try another sniff or two to get the actual whiskey aromas. Take a small sip, roll the liquid around your mouth, and try to pick out the different flavors. Whiskey is usually aged in wooden barrels, which can impart vanilla, toffee, or caramel flavors. Depending on the quality, age, type, and origins of the whiskey, many different flavor notes and combinations are possible.
About Crystal Imagery
When Eric Schuchart started Crystal Imagery in 2000, it was a hobby, and he made engraved gifts for friends and family. In 2013, Crystal Imagery was incorporated, with co-founder Sherri Blum joining as a partner. The company thrived, growing by leaps and bounds and expanding from a garage to a full 10,000 square-foot facility in three years. Crystal Imagery uses a deep carved technique to create a 3D relief, far superior to a laser or rotary etching. It gives depth and shadow to a 3D etching in products such as personalized whiskey glasses, beer mugs, decanters, and more. With Crystal Imagery, you are giving a truly unique gift they will never forget.
Get custom engraved glasses to help you further enjoy your whiskey at crystalimagery.com