Whiskey Tasting : The Novice Guide to Drinking Whiskey

When drinking the same set of whiskey becomes unappealing to you, it’s probably time to find a new brand to quench your thirst. Also, what better way to find new liquor than to do a whiskey tasting event. This guide will help you get through your search for a new go-to brand.

Before you start drinking every liquor there is, there are many things that you need to consider. Whiskey tasting is not just about drinking random alcohol. There’s a certain level of preparation that needs to be followed in order to enjoy this festive event.

This event will open new doors and opportunities for you to choose a unique new flavor of whiskey to indulge. So prepare for a new chapter in your drinking career as you will soar higher to the next stage of drinking.

For Starters

Before you start this event, the first thing that you need to do is to ask yourself “how do I do this?” Whiskey tasting is easier said than done. The reason for that is that there are various factors that might affect your tasting event.

One important factor that might affect it is your budget. Yes! This event is not cheap! If you’re thinking of buying different bottles of whiskey to start off your event for yourself, then go ahead if you have the money. Otherwise, you’ll be broke from the first bottle you buy.

I know what you’re thinking “If it’s that expensive then I’ll just go into a random bar and order shots” this would be the right approach if you were looking for a cheap way to take a shot of different drinks. The only problem with this method is that some bottles have already been opened for a long time.

Why is this a problem if it’s already open? The answer is simple. Whiskey loses its flavor over time, and it will taste different when it’s just been opened compared to the ones that are already opened and have been sitting on the shelf for God knows how long.


For starters, plan your event. Check your budget first and then decide whether you want to buy different bottles or simply go to a whiskey tasting event near you. Either way, make sure that you try only those that are fresh from the bottle for maximum flavors.

Choosing The Right Type of Whiskey

Whiskey types

Now that you have an idea on how things work, it’s time to know what kind of whiskey might be suitable for your taste. There are many types to choose from, each drink has its own unique flavor and texture.

Whether you’re a complete novice or a pro at this, there will always be something for you to discover. For some quick reference, here’s a detailed guide on what to drink and what brands to look out for.

1. Bourbon Whiskey

  • Novice

If you’re new to this and want to try Bourbon whiskey, we suggest that you try Knob Creek, Jim Beam, or Wild Turkey. These brands are perfect for those who are just starting out.

  • Advanced

For those who aren’t new to whiskey tasting, you might want to try Marker’s Mark, Basil Hayden’s, or Woodford Reserve. Advanced drinkers should already be familiar with the taste of this drink, and these brands will further broaden your horizon.

  • Semi-Pro

When you’ve entered this stage of your drinking career, cheap drinks might not be appealing to you anymore. So here’s our recommendation for the semi-pro drinkers: Pappy Van Winkle, Old Fitzgerald, and W.L. Weller.

  • Professional

Finally, for our veteran drinkers. There is still a lot of Bourbon whiskey that you can try to satisfy your quest for knowledge. You can try Hudson Baby, 1972 Ridgemont and Blanton’s.

2. Irish Whiskey

  • Novice

For those who are looking for a sweet and toasty flavor, Irish whiskey might be what you’re looking for. Some notable brands that beginners might want to try out are Jameson, Bushmills, and Powers. Novice drinkers could try out these brands if they want to taste authentic liquor.

  • Advanced

For our advanced drinkers, we recommend that you try out Tullamore Dew, Knappogue Castle, and Kilbeggan. These bottles are mostly easy to find in your liquor store so don’t worry about where to buy them.

  • Semi-Pro

Our recommendation for those semi-pro drinkers is Connemara 12, Redbreast, and Tyrconnel. If you like eating seafood, then Irish whiskey is the best drink to go along with it.

  • Professional

Professional drinkers might have a problem finding these rare bottles, but regardless of the location and price, here are our recommendations for you. You could try Midleton Very Rare, Jameson 18 Year, and Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt.

3. Canadian Whiskey

Canadian Club Whiskey
  • Novice

Canadian whiskey has a light-bodied and versatile flavor. Novice drinkers might notice the difference with other types when faced with this drink. For starters, we recommend Canadian Club 6 Year, Rich and Rare Reserve, and Ellington.

  • Advanced

For our experienced drinkers, our recommendations for you are Kirkland Signature, Bison Ridge, and Mountain Rock. Tasting events often serve this kind of Canadian Whiskey to their experienced drinkers.

  • Semi-Pro

When you’re already at this stage of drinking, you might already know how to set apart cheap liquor from the expensive ones. For our recommendation, try out Danfields, Alberta Premium, and Crown Royal Maple. Semi-pro drinkers might find satisfaction when faced with these types of Canadian Whiskey.

  • Professional

The pricier the better, this might be true when you speak of a bottle of liquor because old whiskey is surely not cheap. We’ll let our pros decide whether that’s true or not. Professionals might want to try Pendleton 1910, Lot no. 40 and Forty Creek Copper Pot.

4. Scotch Whiskey

  • Novice

As novice drinkers, we recommend that you start off with this type of drink. This is because not only is it easy to find, the price for each bottle is also fair. For starters, try Johnnie Walker Red, Glenfiddich, and The Glenlivet.

  • Advanced

Scotch whiskey has that smokey and fruity flavor you know if you’ve already drunk a couple of bottles. If you can’t seem to notice it, try Johnnie Walker Black, The Macallan, and Bowmore Legend. Advanced drinkers should be able to pick up that flavor, so try one now.

  • Semi-Pro

For those that are already at this level of experience, we suggest that you drink Speyburn, Aberlour, and Ledaig. The older the whiskey the more flavorful it gets, not to mention that the price also increases over time.

  • Professional

For our professionals, we would like to recommend you to drink The Glenlivet Nadurra, Glendronach 15 Year, and Aberlour A’Bunadh. Some bottles might be hard to find but when you do, it will all be worth it.

Preparing For the Whiskey Tasting Event

Whiskey tasting is not just about drinking random drinks. There’s a certain level of class that needs to be followed to enjoy and appreciate this event. For example, choosing your glasses.

  • The Glass

The glass that you use might be very trivial for this occasion. But there are reasons why the glass that you use should fit the occasion. The most notable reason is that you can’t smell the liquid as well if you’re using a regular glass.

Strange as it may sound, professional drinkers use a special glass called the Glencairn Whiskey Glass. Knowing the scent of the drink will give you an idea about its character and flavor. Professionals often use this method to flush out the cheap liquor from the expensive ones.

Having multiple glasses also helps in flavor tasting. When you use the same glass for every whiskey you taste, the flavor significantly changes. That’s why having numerous glasses for different whiskey will help you greatly.

  • Get Some Ice

The second most important thing when preparing for a tasting event is the ice. Ice is used in every step of the event. It’s important because most people prefer to drink their liquor on the rocks.

  • Stay Hydrated With Water

You will also need water because it has many uses during tasting events. One reason why water is essential is that you need to stay hydrated when drinking alcohol.

Another reason is that water resets your taste buds. Professionals use this method after drinking different types of liquor. This is to accurately measure the drink’s taste that they are trying.

3 Ways to Drink Whiskey

In tasting events, there are three possible ways for you to enjoy your liquor. The first method of drinking liquor is by drinking it raw or neat. Drinking it raw means that you drink a shot of whiskey without any water or ice.

The next method is by drinking it with ice or what they call on the rocks. When drinking it with ice, some people add water which is fine. But professionals prefer to drink it only with ice and they just let the ice melt to add water.

Finally, the last method is by drinking it with water. Drinking it with water might alter the flavor of the whiskey. Regardless, professionals still use this method in tasting events.

What is your favorite brand? Tell me below in the comments!

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