Ahhh,whisky. What a beautiful thing you are. Complex. Confusing. But beautiful nonetheless.
For those new to the wonders of whisky, it can be daunting to know where to begin.
With so many styles and distillers to choose from, and so many ways to enjoy it, knowing where to start or what you like takes some time.
Now that winter has well and truly made itself known, there’s no better time to sit down, enjoy a whisky and scrub up on some knowledge to impress your mates at the next get together.
Diageo’s national whisky ambassador, Katie Nagar, shares a quick step guide to her 5 top tips and tricks that will help you become the whisky buff you always wanted to be… no matter how much of an amateur you are.
Read up on different categories, production techniques, history, great distillery stories, and different ways to enjoy whisky.
Diageo recently announced the Australian arrival of the 2019 ‘Rare by Nature’ Special Releases Collection, comprising eight cask-strength, single malt Scotch whiskies from some of the world’s most renowned distilleries – no better place to start!
Virtual tasting experiences
Whisky tasting has gone virtual! I personally have been to several hosting tasting experiences during lockdown. With packages available online you can simply order a whisky kit to your door and go through a professional tasting with a whisky expert to understand the many different tasting notes, all from the comfort of your own home.
Get adventurous at the bottle shop
Thoroughly investigate the whisky selection at your local bottle-o and make sure to try something new with each visit. The world of whisky is large and diverse, however the Highball, a whisky cocktail served in a tall glass, is definitely trending at the moment and there are many bars pushing the boundaries of the Highball’s flavour and style. Try making a Johnnie Walker & Crisp Apple Highball at home for your friends:
Recipe: Approx: 1 standard drink
- Fill highball glass with lots of ice
- Pour 30mL Johnnie Walker Red label
- Add 30mL cloudy apple juice
- Top with 90mL Remedy apple kombucha
- Garnish with lime or apple wedge
No matter how good your memory is you won’t be able to remember every whisky you taste in detail. Start a whisky journal and take notes while you taste. Not only will it help for you to better remember your experience of each whisky, but it will also become a handy reference tool for you to best compare and contrast different whiskies and figure your which styles you like best.
Hit the whisky bars
When possible, make a point to get out and support your local specialty whisky bar. Tell the bartender what your flavour preferences and what experience you are looking for. They will use their expertise to help guide your selection, guaranteeing that you get to sip a delicious dram that you will enjoy and learn something new – like the differences in ordering a Johnnie Walker Red Label and a Johnnie Walker Black Label.