Sometimes, gatherings with our friends can get a bit monotonous. If you go to the same bar, or same house every time you meet up, and the activities and conversations may start to feel a bit repetitive. Bring together some of your favourite people and favourite drinks and switch up your social life by hosting your own whisky tasting party. If planning isn’t your forte, then follow our guide to discover exactly how to host the perfect whisky night! And no, it won’t have to do with playing casino games online.
You will need:
As a night themed around the tasting of whisky, it is pretty important that you actually have a few bottles of the stuff at the ready! The more bottles the merrier, but you will need at least three different types for a proper tasting party. When considering which whiskies to obtain, you may need to decide whether you want to go for the best quality or the higher quantity. Quality whisky can be quite pricey, so you may not be able to get as many top-shelf bottles for your budget. Presuming you are inviting over friends who are equally as enthusiastic about whisky, one way around this is to ask your guests to bring a bottle to share. That way, you won’t have to spend nearly as much money on whisky but will be able to sample a wide range of the incredible golden liquor. If you do decide to do this, make sure your friends have all co-ordinated though, as a whisky tasting party with 5 bottles of the same whisky will not work too well!
There’s no use hosting a fancy whisky tasting night if you don’t have the fancy glasses to match. Sipping whisky out of a cheap plastic cup just takes away the fun and sophistication of the night, so make sure you have appropriate glassware for all of your guests. Take the opportunity to invest in some new glassware, like tulip-shaped glasses which help to enhance your abilities to detect aromas in the whisky. Alternatively, you can stick to classic tumblers, which are perfect if you like to drink your whisky on the rocks.
You may like to drink your whisky straight, but some of your guests may prefer their dram over ice. It’s no good trying to freeze some water on the night, so make sure you are prepared for your guest’s requests. If you want to make the drink look more exciting, then you could also invest in an ice ball mould, or silicone ice wedges, which appear far classier than standard ice cubes!
As the main point of the party is to taste different kinds of whisky, palate cleansers may be required to refresh your taste buds after a particularly strong sip. Subtler flavours can get lost if your mouth is still overpowered from the previous dram, so make sure you have things like sparkling water and plain crackers to hand, as these are ideal palate cleansers.
How to run the night:
There are a number of different ways to decide to run a whisky night. While you could just sample a random selection of whiskies, you may want to pick a theme for the night. An interesting way to taste whiskies can be to pick bottles from each price range and compare the difference in complexities and qualities between more expensive bottles and cheaper bottles. Alternatively, you could choose a category for the night, such as only sampling whisky made from rye, so you can discover which particular distilleries you enjoy whisky from. Likewise, picking a region or country can be a great theme idea, for example, only trying Japanese whiskies or Scotch from the Speyside region.
How to taste:
Step 1 – Pour the first whisky you are sampling into glasses for everyone.
Step 2 – Look at the colour of the whisky and think of how you would describe it. Is it dark? Light? Caramel?
Step 3 – Nose the whisky. Give the glassful a sniff and see if you can detect any of the flavours present within it. This will give you a good idea of what to expect when you sip it.
Step 4 – Take a sip and let the flavours sink into your mouth, consider how the whisky feels on your tongue, then taste it as you swallow it.
Step 5 – Add ice or drops of water to the whisky to see how much the dilution alters the flavour, and if you prefer drinking this particular dram this way.
Step 6 – Repeat this process with the other bottles of whisky.
If you are hosting a whisky tasting party, then make the evening even more sophisticated and special by pairing your last glass with a quality Romeo y Julieta cigar for an incredible taste experience. Cigars and whisky work really well together and can help to enhance the other’s flavours. If you are going to host a whisky tasting session for your friends, let us know if you have any great theme ideas!