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Nose Whiskey in 6 Easy Steps

Struggling to unlock the hidden notes in your dram? You don’t need exceptional nasal skills for nosing whiskey.

A bit of patience, an open mind, some good whisky and of course a little guidance is all you need.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting your nose in the game of whiskey sniffing.


Step 1: Know the World’s Whisky Regions

While taking the first step into the wonderful whisky world, it’s a good idea to get to know about the aromatic traits of world’s whisky regions.

Step 2: Take the Right Glassware

nosing whiskyZocalo

A tulip-shaped glass with the wide base tapered neck is bets for nosing whisky. It gives the dram surface space to breath and channels the aromas and alcohol upwards.

Step 3: Give It a Swirl

Now, just give it a little swirl but be gentle otherwise you will end up wearing your whisky. Agitating the whiskey opens up the aroma even more.

Or, just place your hand on the glass and give it a shake. Rub your hands and give them a smell. You will get the feel of a field of barley.

Step 4: Inhale

nose whiskyBestdecantersets

Next, get your nose right into the glass. Keep your lips parted while breathing to avoid nose prickle.

Step 6: Decipher the Aroma

How was the smell? Was it like a strawberry jam or something fruity or spicy?  Let’s get a bit more specific.

Scotch usually has 8 umbrella aromas such as cereal, fruity, floral, peaty, feint, sulfur, woody and winey.

Similarly, bourbon and other whiskeys have their own set of aromas. Guide your nose to feel the specific whiff.

Step 7: Enjoy

nosing whiskyHuffpost

Now you are ready to have a sip and enjoy.

Some drams may call for some specific attention, but you are not giving an exam. Just relax and don’t stress out about learning every aroma.

You can merely prompt your nose by following the above steps with a little practice and patience.

Pour yourself a dram and enjoy!

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