There are so many choices when it comes to whisky. Perhaps it feels a little overwhelming coming to it for the first time. We’ve got you covered.
What are the different flavours of whisky?
There are a lot of different flavour profiles for whisky. It can be hard knowing where to start. The best thing to do is know what you like. You must have tried a whisky that you enjoyed at some point, otherwise it’s be pretty weird for you to be on this page.
Was that whisky:
Maybe it was even a combination of several of these things. To help you find your next dram, we’re going to break these all down and recommend and whisky to follow up with.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Most casks that mature whisky will have some level of char on the inside and this is usually where the malt get its smoky flavour, unless the grains have been dried with smoke.
There are lots of different ways that whisky can be sweet. Oak wood can bring in caramel and vanilla notes, certain grains will impart fruity flavours and even peat can have sweet notes. Get to know your whisky a bit better and you can understand the intricacies of the sweetness.
Creamy/smooth: Smoothness often comes down to how well the malt has been distilled and how long it has been matured for. The longer it is matured for, the smoother it will be.
Peated: This is one of the biggest flavours in Scotch whisky making and you either love it or hate it. The flavours is imparted when the grains are dried using peat smoke.
Islay is the most famous region for its peated malts so we recommend most of the malts made there, especially Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Bruichladdich. If you want something off Islay then go for Highland Park, Tomintoul 15 Year Old, Compass Box Great King Street and Nikka Pure Malt Black.
Spicy: Similar to sweet notes, spicy notes can come from different things. Again, peat can bring in some spice but oak casks, especially if they have held sherry or bourbon before, will add spicy notes.
For a real taste of spice, we recommend Aberlour, Dailuaine, Dalmore, Craigellachie, Glen Garioch, Glenfarclas and Mortlach. Speyside is probably the region that creates the most spicy malts, so have a look around and explore the different malts from there.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat!