Note taking and company
First a little note about company. Should you drink alone or with others? Of course that is entirely up to you and why you are drinking it – it is hard to party by yourself but likewise I can find it hard to concentrate on the whisky when someone is constantly talking to me. To really taste the whisky I find it good to be with a small group of people who can also take the time to be quiet and taste before then sharing thoughts and views. The advantage is that this can expand the experience as you hear others describe what they get out of it and then look for it yourself. I have a friend called David H who once told me of the gentle peatiness he was picking up in a non-peated whisky, It was one of the first whiskies he had seriously tasted and I explained to him that there was no peat in it – he disagreed and I repeated my explanation. A few moments later when by myself I suddenly began to notice a slight peatiness emerging on my aftertaste. I returned to him and told him about this – we both learned from the experience, he learned that he had a good palate and to have confidence in himself – I learned, or was reminded, that there is always more to pick up on and not to be so cocky. Over a year later, in discussion with the brand ambassador of the distillery it was explained to me about how different forms of peatiness may enter the whisky without it being directly peated at the malting stage.
Note taking is very important, it is the only way to have any chance of remembering a whisky, especially if multi tasting. It also gives a good record of your own development and shows how location and mood can alter the experience.
What to make notes about –