The gift of whisky: A true taste experience

It’s not possible to know everything that Johnnie Walker’s Master of Whisky Steve Wilson knows about the spirit. And, sadly, he also can’t follow you around to every Christmas party you attend. But Wilson was kind enough to share his tips on how to pick a bottle of the good stuff and enjoy it through a tasting of your own. So, at the next get-together, share the holiday spirit by sharing how to truly experience whisky.

1 When giving the gift of whisky, think of their individual tastes. “If you have someone you need to give a special gift to, then Johnnie Walker Blue Label can’t be beat, but Gold Label has always been a whisky for celebration,” says Wilson. Still can’t decide? Then go with what Wilson considers the best-all-around option: “The Black Label has always been the definitive scotch.”

2 Pick the right glasses. “The Glencairn is my preferred glass, but anything like a snifter or a high ball — where you can concentrate on the aroma — is a great way to experience it,” Wilson explains.

3 Pour it neat and then check out the color. “The color of the whisky comes from the barrel or the cask that it’s aged in and varies from whisky to whisky,” Wilson says.

4 Smell it. “Bring the whisky up to your nose and dive in there and enjoy the wonderful aromas,” he says. Then take a sip to get the full- bodied experience.

5 Don’t be afraid to experiment. Wilson says the key to enjoying the spirit is about “finding the right flavor.” Do this by adding a bit of water to see how this “softens” the whisky. Then try it out with ice.


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