Firedogut wrote:I'll be hosting a whisky tasting and just about everyone is fairly new to whisky. Â I would like to put together a nosing kit that they can reference during the tasting. Â What would you suggest?
Whisky in order of tasting (order subject to change)
Welcome cocktail Grant's family blend with ginger-aleÂ
Lowland: Auchentoshan 12 Year old
Highland (Island): Scapa 16 Year old
Campbeltown: Springbank 10 year old
Speyside: Balvenie doublewood 12yrÂ
Speyside: craggamore 12
Highland:Â Glenmorangie Quinta RubanÂ
Islay: Ardbeg 10
A nosing kit would be an interesting concept depending on your level of experience and ability to field questions about nosing. I don't recommend it if you are all new to the game.
If you want to pursue some nosing for yourself, I would recommend you collect the following products:
Real vanilla extract (vanilla notes)
fresh mown grass/hay (vegetative notes)
a bit of sherry (Sherry cask notes)
slice up a bit of banana (Hint of banana in some whisky)
some peat (Smokey peaty notes)
some seaweed/kelp from a health food store moistened with water (Iodine notes)
These will give you a bit of a baseline to work from, but are by no means a complete range of all the scents you will come in contact with. The best personal experience is to sample as many flavours and aromas as you can, for example from doing some cooking.
I do not recommend a Grants cocktail for starters, the mix is far too sweet and may cloy the tastebuds. Better to just give them fresh clean water. I would recommend you start off with a light innocuous SM like a Glenlivet or Glenfiddich. Have them nose and taste it first, then have them add a bit of water with a straw (use like a pipette) putting just a drop or two into the SM. Then, have them nose and taste it again to see how the flavours open up.
I strongly recommend you; 1) arrange for a driver to get everyone home safely; 2) acquire some nosing glasses and measure out 1 tablespoon of each whisky into a glass, then cover it with an inverted paper muffin cup; 3) compile a couple of sheets for making notes on the whiskies, a map of the whisky regions and a bit of information on nosing and tasting for each attendee; 4) have plenty of water available with a separate water glass for both the addition of water and to cleanse the palate after each dram. NOT bread, it has the same ingredients as whisky, just mixed together differently.
If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me.