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Imagen Malts and ceremonies

Malts and ceremonies

Javier Reynoso

Javier Reynoso is Brand Ambassador of Diageo Reserve. In this article he gives some recommendations to enjoy a great malt whisky.

It's very important a Perfect Serve when we are working with distinguished spirits. The importance given by the client to that glass, willing to pay a little more but expecting for it something special. The spirit itself is already "something special" but the customer expects more ... a special service.

When we serve or drink a malt whisky we are facing a spirit with a lot of expertise, traditions, special landscapes, a specific climate, a lot of care .... years and years of this. And as such, it requires at least some minutes of attention.
It is true that we could drink it as many other drinks, lost in the vortex of fast times. But it's worth looking for the place and the time to enjoy it slowly. And a great host will offer to its customers the opportunity to appreciate it full extent.

As wisely said David Torres, in his book Agua de Vida (Water of Life), a Scottish malt whisky comes through the eyes. Amber tones, deep, smooth ones, are hallmarks of a great malt. And to appreciate it nothing better than a ball glass, a classic cognac glass, a small glass of sherry...
We can suggest that our client does not use the traditional whisky glasses, where a great malt won't be comfortable. The wide edge of these glasses lets the aromas escape when the narrow edge glasses doesn't.  
The highball type glasses, of course, are left far away from our precious malts. The glass has to be absolutely clean in order to appreciate the colors and distinguish the clarity of a Glenkinchie or a Cardhu from the dark mahogany of  an island whisky like Lagavulin.
The tasting moment matters as well as the place, it is better if is intimate and quiet with soft music. The ritual could follow with uncorking the bottle, with the sound of it and then the sound of the liquid running down the neck of the bottle and the glass falling.
f we turn the glass you can appreciate the tones we have talked, without shake it we can feel the predominate aromas. If we gently move the glass, the secondary aromas appear.
And our malt is so complex that will give us yet another phase of aromas if we vigorously shake the glass. There we will find the hidden notes.
In this phase of nose tasting, the ice should be away. So far it is an intimate moment between smell and whisky.

With the water the issue is openly debatable, even among famous experts. Some people strongly discourage it and others recommend it. It is possible that a small amount of water -mineral of course (if the water is from the distillery itself, even better)- will help to open the whisky, and will offer other facets of the malt. In any case, it should be first appreciate it in its "original" state and then, if we want, with some water.
When we have already enjoyed the sight, smell, mouth, throat and stomach, we can add a few ice, which would be added to the glass and not the other way round.

The the mouth we can discover flavors: mild, dry, sweet, hard, fresh, clean, rich, round... And if we are patient, we can expect to feel the length in mouth, persistent aromas and flavors.
Are we going to lose the opportunity of knowing more about Cardhu Special Cask Reserve, Lagavulin or Talisker telling us who they are and where they come from, minutes after the last sip? Cheers!

© Photo courtesy from Diageo Reserve.

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Imagen Carlos Martin Garcia

Carlos Martin Garcia think: 3

Qué pinta Javi! Muy buena la nota :D