As to beer, I rarely switch to beer after I have begun to drink whiskey. I sometimes start with a beer, maybe two, especially if I aim to feel the effects. My first pour of the night might take me an hour to finish, my second almost as long. At that rate my liver can process it almost as fast as I am drinking. If I drink a beer or two I can drink whiskey faster. I drink water while I am drinking my pour. Maybe that is one reason that I don't mind drinking before eating even though that flies in the face of common sense. The rate at which I drink beer, well, let's just say that my beer never has a chance to get warm...
I have tried crackers and didn't like them as a palate cleanser. I ate the cracker and thought, now I need to cleanse my palate of the cracker. I ended up brushing my teeth with a dry toothbrush. I might try plain white rice sometime. The flavor isn't as 'strong' as crackers or bread, it doesn't stick to your teeth and there is always some about the house, this is Japan after all. I will let you know how it works out.
I have tried coffee, both rinsing out my mouth and smelling it, just sniffed my container of coffee grounds now. I can't report that it really helps me. No, "Oh, that's much better!" experience anyway.
Water is the best for me. Drinking more than sniffing. It clears most of the alcohol from the mouth and nose without adding any competing flavors or scents. The main reason that I don't sniff is that I often drink tap water. I don't think that sniffing chlorine would be of any help. When I quickly drink a glass of tap water I don't really get that much chlorine. It is down the hatch before I have a chance to smell it. Mr TattieHeid, you told of your aversion to chlorinated water earlier, do you get much of an aftertaste from it? Or is it just the nose as opposed to the finish that bothers you? For me swimming has only pleasant associations so I don't particularly mind it as long as it is not too strong.
I always clean my glass between different whiskies. A rinse is enough if the two pours are similar or not strongly flavored. If they are different I will wipe with a clean cotton cloth that is reserved for that task. I nose the glass afterwards to check that it is clean enough. If it is not or if it is a really smoky Islay I have a spray bottle filled with vodka that I use. A few quick squirts of that and wipe, then rinse with water. That is how I clean my glass at the end of the night as well. No detergent.