10 Tips For Hosting Your
own whiskey tasting

If your dream trip to world famous distilleries has been postponed, why not host your own whiskey tasting at home? You can take pleasure in researching your favorite blends and sharing them with your friends.

It’s a great way to spend a fun evening in and there are plenty of resources online to help you. You could even attend a whiskey tasting event. There are a few important essentials you’ll need for your whiskey tasting to go smoothly, however.

It’s worth investing in the proper glassware and accessories so your guests can really appreciate the finer notes. Serving the right snacks is key as well. Here are a few tips for hosting a whiskey tasting.


Invest in proper glassware 

You’ll need the right glassware to ensure you get the most out of your tasting. Smaller glasses such as mini-tulips are good for tasting as they make it easier to note the aromas and take the right amount of sip.

Related: How is Bourbon Made?

Make sure the glasses are sparkling clean and at room temperature before you use them. It’s worth investing in a set if you don’t want to keep washing them. Here are some of the best whiskey glasses according to the experts.


Select a wide range of whiskies

There are different styles of whiskey, so it’s important to choose the right selection. This depends on your preferences and the overall goal of your tasting.

If you’re planning on educating your guests about the difference between types, scotch, bourbon, or rye, for example, get a range of types. Perhaps you’d rather test a range of prices instead. Bear your guests in mind and plan an interesting selection for them.

Worldwide, whiskey is a little better regulated. Scotland, Ireland, and Canada all require that whiskey is aged for at least three years in wooden casks.

Decide on a budget

Decide on the budget you want to spend. You may want to ask your guests to chip in so if you’re planning the party together ensure everyone is on board with the price. You can host a whiskey tasting on any budget.

Check out the best bourbon you can get for under $30, for example. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend on the night. You will also need to factor in food and accessories.


Cool down with whiskey stones

Some whiskey accessories that won’t break the bank are whiskey stones. These are used to cool down the whiskey in place of ice. Ice will melt and dilute the whiskey.

Related: Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer

Whereas water helps reduce the harshness of the alcohol and enhance the flavor of whiskey, you ideally want to control the amount. Here are a few tips on how to use whiskey stones.


Use a decanter

If you really want to impress your guests you could use a fancy decanter. One of the main reasons for using a decanter is aesthetic appeal. It will make your whiskey tasting more special.

You don’t necessarily need to spend much either, you could look for a second-hand one online. Whereas whiskey doesn’t need to aerate before serving like wine, storage is important. Check out this complete guide to whiskey decanters with more information.


Serve the right snacks

Your guests will get hungry after all that whiskey so it’s a good idea to line their stomachs  with the right snacks. Carefully choose snacks that work as palette cleansers or that can be paired well with whiskeys.

You could arrange a different snack per tasting if you prefer. Cheese, dark chocolate, and deli meats work well, for example, with crackers as a palette cleanser. Here are some of the best snacks for a whiskey tasting.

Provide pen and paper

If you want to take your whiskey tasting seriously then it’s a good idea to provide pen and paper for your guests to make notes. You could even give them a criteria or questions as a guide. You could include things like body, nose, and after taste, for example. This will help them to analyze and rate the different whiskies.

You can then compare notes at the end. It will also help you to remember each one clearly, especially after a few drinks. You could even get your guests personalized notebooks and pens as a special souvenir.


Take your time

There’s no point rushing a tasting. Take your time to really savor each whiskey and encourage your guests to do the same. You could give a quick tutorial on how to taste a whiskey if your friends haven’t been to a tasting before.

First of all, you should examine the whiskey in the glass to check out its clarity and hue. Then swirl the whiskey and take in its aroma. Get your guests to comment on color and aroma before tasting as well. Add a splash of water to neutralize the alcohol and you’re ready to taste.


Do your research

Your guests will likely appreciate a bit of history about each whiskey so do your research beforehand. You could even try using one of the many whiskey apps available. Describing each whiskey in detail will also give your guests some clues on how to identify different whiskies which will be useful in the future.

Ideally, you want them to learn something interesting to take away, as well as sampling your favorite brands. In the future, you could even consider planning a trip to a distillery to broaden your knowledge of whiskey and its production.

Related: The 11 Health Benefits of Whiskey

Consider attending an online event

If you aren’t able to visit a distillery in real life at the moment you could consider attending an online whiskey tasting event. This way, all the planning will be done for you. You can find virtual events online. They are done in different ways. You could book a virtual tour of a distillery, order a whiskey tasting kit, and more.

Find the event that works best for you and your friends. You could even attend remotely and chat over video conferencing software if you want to share your whiskey tasting with faraway friends. With a few essentials and organization, you can host a fabulous whiskey tasting that everyone will be talking about.

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