Right after passport control stood the smiling man, holding a cup of whisky in front of an astonishing view of a Scotch countryside.
“We're keeping the whisky flowing”
This is what I saw when I arrived to Scotland by plane. However, never before had I the chance to try it myself until very recently. It was my girlfriend who saw this whisky tasting organised for international students. We were looking for something funny to do, so we decided to give it a go.
It was a really nice experience. After a short presentation on how whisky is made, we had the opportunity to try 15-ml shots of 4 of the most representative whisky's of Scotland. Moreover we were given some tips to relish this precious liquid. They consisted in the following protocol:
- Heating the glass with your hand to release the aromas.
- Covering the glass with your palm while stirring the whisky to concentrate the aromas.
- Smelling the whisky vapours.
- Sipping a small quantity.
- Breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose to sense more of the aromas.
- Adding a few drops of water to notice more tastes.
The first shot was a “soft” whisky. As if whisky could be called soft! I proceeded with the tasting protocol. The smell was really nice, but once the spirit touched my lips, I could feel the burn right away and, due to my unaccustomed throat, I coughed slightly. It was then time for step 5. Breathing in... breathing out and... Ouch! That disinfecting feeling expanded throughout my respiratory tract, trespassed my nose and landed straight into my brain! It was intense! Now that I think of it, I probably did the whole thing wrong, but I was not going to repeat it at all for the rest of the night! Finally, upon addition of some water droplets, my numb tongue was able to appreciate more the taste of whisky.
The evening went on with the other three whiskeys. Each one with more flavour than the previous one. At first I was reluctant to believe that whisky could have different tastes with such a strong alcoholic portion. But I was completely wrong! For me, the stronger the whisky taste, the less I liked it, but as well the better the aftertaste... weird right?
In the end, I didn't love whisky. Probably because I am accustomed to softer and sweeter southern spirits. Nevertheless, the experience was worth it and I am sure everyone would enjoy going to a whisky tasting with their friends!