What is the best thing about whisky? That is a question that kept me occupied for quite some time now. Did you ever wonder? The first thing you see of course is the bottle, that’s logical, but next to the label and brand, you see the color of the whisky. It is the first thing you see when filling a glass and color is not that unimportant, as some might think. The color says something about the whisky, about the smell and the palate it will give you.
There are dozen of even thousands of stories about whisky and the experiences people are having when drinking their favorite. But is the very best thing about whisky, color? The more appealing the color looks, the more interesting whisky might be? The color can give you a lot of information about whisky, a darker color could mean the liquid will be more intense for the taste buds.
Or is it the smell? Not a weird thought if you think about it, you have to smell whisky before nipping, no question. Let your nose play, and when your nose doesn’t like what its receiving, it is definitively a no go? However, as you might know some cheeses smell horrible, but taste magnificent. People and animals judge scents with their sense of smell and can be very precise doing so. Smells can bring back memories of the past, even more than images or sound do. This is because our sense of smell is in direct contact with our inner system where our memory and emotions are. Scents are therefore often associated with mood. It can cause flashbacks in different directions, positive and even negative.
The palate, also an important stage of whisky drinking. Fact is, that what you smell and taste determines how something tastes in the end. Most peopl know that there are five primary flavors, sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Our tongue contains thousands of taste buds, what makes it an interesting adventure to nip the whisky. There is so much to discover in the combinations, the complexity and the hints for the palate.
And there is also the big finish, how will the whisky end for you. Will the finish be easy, complex, mellow, smooth, sweet, oily, dry or will it linger for a long, long time. This whole package is the influence of your brain, bringing the color, the scent and taste together in the big bang. The finish will determine if you will drink the whiskey again in the near future or that you will choose another whiskey next time.
All this information was the reason to do some research and ask fellow whisky enthusiasts about their opinion using a poll on Twitter. The outcome wasn’t that surprising, and there were a couple of replies that were interesting to read. Food for thought, as they say ….
Heeeey, I can’t choose more than one!
— 🥃Scotchology (@scotchology1) April 4, 2019
People….. Sharing a dram with others, sharing knowledge, experience, comfortable and appreciative silences…whisky is all about the people…
— Claire Vokins (@CEVokins) April 4, 2019
Completely agree! It’s all about the people, stories, memories and history for me. The fact it smells and tastes amazing is an added bonus 😉
— Steve Rush 🥃 (@TheWhiskyWire) April 4, 2019
In some cases it’s the smell of the glass once the dram is finished 👍
— Cathal (@whiskeyfodder) April 4, 2019
The effects 😁
— Aunt Lucy’s Hot Toddy Mix (@AuntLlc) April 3, 2019
A combination of Nose and Palate for me. But it is a journey. You need all four to enjoy the trip. ❤✌
— Viktor Bjarkason (@Elfarinn) April 6, 2019
Like many other whisky enthusiasts, I also have my best thing about whisky. First there is foreplay, imagine looking at the the color, smelling the whisky and discovering loads of interesting things to trigger your mind. Then, the climax, the palate, it can be so powerful, giving so much joy and closing the eyes can make it even more interesting, just like letting the whisky linger in the mouth for a couple of seconds. The finish, there it is, amazing … or not. But If I had to choose the best thing, I choose the palate for sure for I like a good climax.
The conclusion is that the best thing of whisky is personal, different for everyone. The most important thing is that you enjoy the dram of your choice and spoil yourself with pleasure and complexity! Alone or with others and share the information for we are all here to learn.
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