At last I hear you cry. But let’s not rush this stage either. Whisky, or at least good whisky, is not a drink to be knocked back in one. It is not wine either and requires a different approach. Drink whisky like wine and you will miss out and regret it. There are people who taste professionally and will taste 1000’s a year. For their own survival they can not swallow every one and will spit out. I am not one of these people and I swallow, it is part of the experience in my world.
Make a small cup in the shape of your tongue and take a sip of the whisky to fill that cup. Then slowly raise your tongue so that the whisky disperses over the whole of your mouth gently swirling it around. Do not swallow but hold on to it for a while as you feel it changing in texture and different flavours emerge. The older the whisky the longer to hold it – but I do not subscribe to any fixed rule on how long this is.
Now swallow it and rest, and whilst resting consider how your mouth feels and what flavours are still coming out, I have had whiskies where I am still tasting it an hour after I have swallowed.
I am not writing much about this important stage because it will be self explanatory as you do it, you will naturally pick up oily textures, peaty smoke, heathery tastes, chewiness or dryness as they happen. It has been said that there are over 400 different flavours in whisky and more to be discovered – good luck in finding them all.