Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tasting Whiskey and RedBreast 12

Ok I'm a big Scotch and Whiskey fan, thanks largely due to my last boss. He showed me the way, from that first smell of what I thought was death in a glass, to my first bottle! So for anyone who doesn't know much about whiskey it is a hard alcohol matured in a barrel, basically. There are different ingredients, distilling techniques, aging processes, and barrels. There is a huge variety in the smell, color, and flavor in whiskey. I feel that this is the reason why people taste and collect this fine drink. So how does one "taste" whiskey? This is a shortened version;

  • Pour the drink into a whiskey glass, I use Glencairn glasses. Any glass will do but it should have a slight tulip shape to concentrate the vapors into a small area. Notice the color as there are actually many different colors in whiskey.
  • Swirl the glass and watch the whiskey settle, look at the "legs" that form on the glasses. This tells a lot about the viscosity and age of the drink.
  • Smell the drink, gentle sniffs, three times. The first sniff you usually just get that smell of alcohol and nothing else. With each progressive sniff you notice more smells. I often smell honey, vanilla, smoke, and berries. ( I like Highlands and Speyside scotchs)
  • Now actual raise the glass to your lips, take a small sip and make sure the drink hits the middle of your tongue. This is possible by sticking your tongue out a little bit on the rim of the glass. This helps relieve the bite of liquor (you can do this with all drinks too). Hold the liquid in your mouth and "roll" it from side to side and notice its sweet/sour/spicy taste. When you feel ready, drink it down and feel its presence drift up your throat and you get another "taste" of the vapors as it travels down. You can add water to the drink but be careful it can alter the taste but also release a whole new level of smells! Use the same water each time.
That is how you taste whiskey/whisky! O and when you see "whisky" with no "e" its a Scotch.

OK so here is the Redbreast 12.
Color: Soft Melted Gold
Nose: It is very sweet smelling with a soft honey linger to it, hints of vanilla and light smoke
Taste:A very sweet start, with a very complex transition to a spicy honey, it ends with a smokey vanilla taste!?
Overall:It has a great lingering taste that is a pleasure to smell in your mouth. I had this with a oatmeal cookie after a spicy dish and it was AMAZING. It was a spicy pasta dish and the sweet whiskey cancelled the spicy out completely for a few minutes, then slowly let it take over my mouth again. It was truly a great pairing.

So if you couldn't tell I like whiskey/scotch! I do not abuse this fine drink as it would be dumb to waste a whole $60 bottle to a drunken spur. So enjoy and I definitely recommend this drink to others! The Irish did well with this one, I'm impressed and I normally drink Scotch only. I will have more tasting to come! I give this whiskey a 7 of 10.

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