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4 Tips for Hosting a Whiskey Tasting

Like many folks out there, you are probably looking for a way to make your “quaranteam” weekends more fun. Whiskey tastings can be a fun way to get conversation started and add a touch of sophistication to your gatherings. People are sometimes intimidated by the prospect of this type of get-together, but here are 4 tips for hosting a whiskey tasting.

Don’t feel responsible to foot the bill

Whiskey tasting can build a strong sense of community. One way this is done is by inviting each party guest to bring a bottle of whiskey, depending on their financial comfort level. One bottle per person or couple will suffice. For a tasting, keep the amount of whiskey to 3 to 4 bottles. Trying too many can be overwhelming on the taste buds and your sobriety. If people bring more, that’s okay, too. You’ll just have more options for next weekend’s tasting.

Don’t break the bank

Worried that you aren’t buying a “good” whiskey unless you spend a lot of money? Stop. There are lots of middle shelf and even bottom shelf options that are delicious. Whiskey bottles can range from anywhere between $12-$100+. Be comfortable in your price range. The goal of a tasting is variety and comparison.

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Have options for palate cleansing

You can’t truly have a good whiskey tasting experience unless you reset your taste buds in between samples. For this, you don’t need to go overboard. Your usual crudités will suffice. You can go as simple as a plate of crackers and as extravagant as a full charcuterie board. Get a sense from your guests whether or not they will have had dinner before the tasting so that you know what you should get. Also have plenty of water on hand. Staying hydrated while drinking is a great idea and helps rinse your mouth out.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel about whiskey

Gauge how the whiskey feels in your mouth. Consider its smell, how strong it is, and if it has an aftertaste. Sip the whiskey. Read the label of each bottle out loud to get a sense of the libation’s story. Relish in the camaraderie. Try the whiskey with a few drops of water in it. Try it with ice. Go back and forth between the bottles and discuss. Taste is subjective, so don’t feel bad if you dislike an option. Don’t be embarrassed if you like a cheaper version of whiskey than the high end one.

Above all, have fun with the tasting. With these 4 tips for hosting a whiskey tasting, you will be able to have a wonderful evening full of discussion, smiles, and perhaps most important of all: a new love for a classic spirit.

What do you think?

Written by Damien Cowger


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