4 Questions about Whisky
With Max Gilbert
Founder of WhiskyExplorer
1. Why is it important to add a splash of water when drinking whisky?
- Water is a brilliant tool when tasting and nosing whisky and adding it to a dram after first nosing and trying it neat is a great way to open up the whisky and allow you to pick out other aromas and flavors. It’s also great for bringing down high ABV drams, so that they aren’t too ‘hot’ on the palate.
2. How do you slowly adjust your palate to whisky?
- I suppose it’s like anything, it takes time and you have to learn what you like and what you don’t like. Start with low ABV whiskies, 40% is huge for a palate that may have been used to 12% wine or a 5% beer, add some water to it, take it right down to the point that you enjoy it. Drinking whisky is all about how the individual enjoys it. I have a colleague who will drink a dram at full strength and then take it down to about 50% of it’s original strength by adding water, that’s just how he enjoys exploring his whisky.
3. What are the health benefits of drinking whisky?
- Whisky or “water of life” as it is often referred to, has been rumored to have a number of health benefits from reducing your risk of strokes and heart attacks right up to preventing cancer, some of these claims are even backed up by studies! As with everything, this is based on drinking in moderation. Alcohol is after-all a poison.
4. Why is whisky not meant to drink it with your meal?
- Drinking whisky with a meal is generally frowned upon as it’s thought that the flavors from the food will distort your palate and make the whisky taste different. For example, eating a strong spicy curry and drinking a gentle dram, might mean the whisky has no flavor at all. There is however a growing notion of whisky and food pairing whereby the whisky is paired with a small food item that either compliments or contrasts the whisky, in order to highlight different characteristics of the whisky.
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