Everyone has an old favourite whisky, their "usual", the drink that they discovered one night and refuse to give up.
Whisky is such a versatile drink that it can be an exciting journey to find your favourite. But the key thing to remember with Whisky is not to get too attached to the same thing. Open your palate, and you can discover great things.
Here are ten reasons why you should start branching out and exploring all that the whisky world has to offer.
1. You can discover whole new countries
Maybe you’re a huge fan of Scotch, or Bourbon, or Irish Whisky. Wherever might be your favourite whisky, don’t tie yourself down to one country. Just like with Scotch regions, each country has its own flavour profiles and tastes. Limiting yourself to just one country will greatly reduce the amount you know about the Whisky world at large.
So get out there and try some Kavalan from Taiwan, some Mackmyra from Sweden or some Amrut from India. Who knows what you might discover about your own tastes along the way!
2. You might find something with a similar flavour profile
So it’s clear that you’ve got a favourite Whisky, and what does that tell you about your preferred flavour profile? You’ll know your favourite flavours, whether they’re light and floral, sweet and spicy or smoky and peated.
This can give you great insight into other drams that might be new-found favourites or improvements on your current selection. Broadening your horizons doesn’t have to be about falling in love with a whole new flavour, it can just be about expanding your current choices.
3. You'll learn more about whisky in general
Not only is branching out beyond you’re favourite drams a great way to learn more about your personal preference, but it will also give you insight into what else is available from the Whisky world.
Trying different drams and exploring different distilleries will give you a wealth of knowledge, not only about taste but also processes and production methods. Tasting new Whiskies will allow you to learn more about the effects of things like chill filtration and maturing on the taste of Whisky.
4. You'll broaden your perspective
With more knowledge on different flavour profiles and what goes into making each one different, you’ll be able to discern what a Whisky may taste like before you even open it. Your perspective of different Whiskies will change as you understand more about them and why they taste a certain way.
Trying lots of different drams gives you the perfect base for comparison, which will open up a whole new side of Whisky appreciation for you.
5. You'll be able to discuss the merits of each flavour profile in more depth
Sure, everyone has their favourites, and everyone knows why they have their favourites, but with more knowledge on different flavour profiles, you’ll be able to discuss the merits of Whisky beyond your own preferences. Your knowledge base around what makes an exceptional dram will grow as you experiment and try new things.
Of course opinions are always subjective, but with knowledge and experience you’ll be better placed to discuss your points in depth.
6. You'll never get sick of your favourite whisky
Having the same thing over and over again will get boring and eventually you’re favourite will no longer be quite as brilliant as it used to be. This is why you need to try new things all the time. Even if they’re terrible and taste more like dirt than Whisky, you’ll always have our favourite to go back to.
If you don’t reach out, your favourites will become the same old thing and you’ll lose the simple enjoyment we all get of coming home to a drop of the good stuff.
7. You might just replace your favourite whisky
While your favourite dram is your go to now, at some point it wasn’t, and you had a different favourite. Exploring and experimenting might just be the best way to find something new that will become your regular. And you never know, it might even have a completely different flavour profile to what you’re used to.
Like with point 6, the best way to keep enjoying your regular drams is to keep trying new things so you never get board, and what could be better than finding a new favourite to add to your list!
8. You'll open up a whole new world
Whisky is so diverse and varied that going beyond the same old thing will give you a more globalised perspective. Rather than only trying one new country, why not go on a global Whisky adventure?
There are distilleries all over the world, with more and more popping up all the time. This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about how things like environment, weather and place can effect the flavour of a dram.
9. You’ll refine your tasting skills
As you explore different Whiskies your tasting skills will improve constantly. This is the best way to get to know new drams, as well as opening up Whiskies you already enjoy.
Tasting skills are an important part of enjoying Whisky and learning new flavour profiles by trying new Whiskies will have you tasting like a pro in no time.
10. You will become an aficionado in no time
You think Whisky legends like Dave Broom or Charles Maclean got where they are today by sticking to the same thing over and over again? Of course not! They honed their craft and got to know every different flavour profile and variation of Whisky out there.
With time and practice, you can become well versed in the world of Whisky and everything that it has to offer, especially if you’re trying new drams and experimenting with new flavours constantly.
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