Cold weather, crackling fireplace… time for a whiskey tasting!
Tommy Tardie, owner of the high-end whiskey joint The Flatiron Room tells us how to do it right – Camille Hunt
What are the essential tools needed to conduct a whiskey tasting?
You need whiskey — whether it’s bourbon, scotch, Japanese or Canadian; separate glasses for each whiskey to avoid any residual liquid carrying over; a pitcher of water to refresh your palate and cut the whiskey; labeled place mats so guests can keep track of what they’re drinking; and lastly, a pencil for taking notes. Don’t rely on memory __ you’ll be consuming a lot!
How does one decide which whiskeys to taste?
I like to conduct a ‘discovery’ tatting. I’ll feature a rye, a bourbon, a Japanese, an American single malt, a classic single malt from [Scotland’s] Speyside region and another heavily peated single malt. This allows guests to really see how diverse the spirit is. Also, I cap my tastings at six whiskies per sitting. Whiskey has three parts: the nose, the taste and the finish. If you consume too many you’ll numb your senses and you won’t be able to taste the subtle differences between the whiskies.
Should some never be tasted together?
You never want to start tasting with a heavily peated whiskey. Think of peated whiskey as a blue cheese. What would happen if you ate a piece of Roquefort and the sampled a light brie. You wouldn’t taste the brie because your mouth would still be exploding with the flavors of the blue.