Are There Ideal Temperature, Glass and Serving Order?

Selecting the right Whisky can feel like manoeuvring a (marvellous) minefield; so here’s to making sure once you’ve found your dram, you get the most out of it.
What is the best Temperature for Whisky?
Whisky is at its optimum taste is at room temperature, 15-18 degrees Celsius (60-65 °F). This goes for Scotch, Irish, Japanese Whisky and Bourbon…Whisky is Whisky.

If you’re in a hot country you might want to cool your Whisky down, but it is far better to try and store it in a cool place and whip it out at the last moment than to try and crash the temperature using ice.

Ice will obliterate some of the malt’s flavour notes, and therefore change the drink you have chosen…so favour cellars and cupboards over freezers. You could always mellow a peated Whisky using ice, but why would you do such a thing?

The same goes for heating Whisky but if you’re sipping a dram in the North Pole then a quick flash on the stove will release some of the flavours that may have seized up in the cold. Plus, you will be in dire need of a hot toddy.

Order For Tasting WhiskyThe order in which you should drink Whisky is simple; kick off with the subtler palates and graduate to the medicinal pangs of peat.

If you’re experimenting with various Whisky origins, you will tend to find Irish malts a delicate pre-drink to Islay Scotch, for example. Save the big punches for the final round.

What is the best glass for Whisky?
Generally a simple glass with a wide brim ideal for nosing is a safe bet.

Glencairn Whisky Glass - Photo: Flickr/binary-zenThere is some preference towards tulip shaped glasses that concentrate Whisky aroma towards your nose and work really nice for swirling.

Glencairn glass for instance, is popular among single malt connoisseurs who drink Whisky neat or with a drop of water.

The shape and quality of the glass make some difference, but at the end of the day, the real business has happened in the barrel, so don't make too big of a deal about the glass.

The crafted complexity of Whisky production renders Whisky drinking a simple pleasure.

READ MORE ABOUT: whisky, whiskey, spirits tasting

By Greg


Greg is a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. His mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about Whisky, Whiskey, Gin, Beer and fine dining through his website, GreatDrams.com, writing, brand building and whisky tastings.



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