Blind Whisky tastings are a great way to experience the flavours and complexities of different whiskies without any biases. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to help you host a successful blind Whisky tasting event:
Choose the Whisky_ Decide on the type of Whisky you want to taste (Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, etc.), and select a range of bottles that showcase different flavour profiles, regions, and ages. Make sure to keep the bottles covered and labelled with numbers to maintain the blind aspect of the tasting.
Set up the tasting room_ Choose a well-lit room with comfortable seating and a table to serve the Whisky. Ensure the room has good ventilation to prevent the strong Whisky aromas from becoming overpowering.
Prepare the glasses_ Choose glasses that are specifically designed for Whisky tastings, such as Glencairn glasses, which have a narrow opening to concentrate the aroma and a wide base for swirling the Whisky. Make sure to have a glass for each participant, along with a water glass for rinsing and a spit bucket for any excess Whisky.
Provide food and water_ Offer light snacks and water to help cleanse the palate between tastings. This can be as simple as crackers and cheese, or something more substantial like small appetizers.
Prepare the tasting notes_ Provide a tasting notes sheet for each participant, which includes a list of the Whisky attributes to evaluate, such as aroma, flavour, finish, and overall impression. Make sure to include space for notes and scores.
Educate the participants_ Before the tasting begins, provide a brief overview of the different types of Whisky and the regions they come from. Explain the process of tasting Whisky and what to look for in terms of aroma, flavour, and finish.
Start the tasting_ Serve the Whisky in order, starting with the lightest and working your way up to the stronger whiskies. Encourage participants to take their time and savour each Whisky, evaluating the attributes and taking notes as they go.
Discuss the results_ After all the whiskies have been tasted, discuss the results as a group. Compare notes, talk about any surprising discoveries, and see if there is any consensus on the best whiskies.
Reveal the labels_ Finally, reveal the labels of the whiskies and compare the participants’ guesses with the actual bottles. This can lead to some interesting insights and can help build a deeper understanding and appreciation of different whiskies.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to host a successful blind Whisky tasting that is both educational and enjoyable. The focus of blind tasting should always be on exploring new whiskies, learning more about them, and having fun in the process.