Becoming a spirit-taster can be a difficult process because you need to recognize each aroma, taste, finish, and color to be able to determine the quality of a spirit or liquor. Becoming a connoisseur, however, is a fulfilling one. Not only do you gain more information about the liquor, you also gain status as one of the respected people in the wine and spirit industry because of your expertise.
The first step in spirit tasting is to check the color of the spirit. Is it clear, cloudy, or murky?
The second step in spirit tasting is to smell it. You may swirl it slightly, but wait for a moment before lowering your nose slowly. Swirling also brings out the alcohol from the spirit. As you sniff the spirit, pick out the aromas. Note each aroma and try to check for distinct smells, as each spirit has its unique smell.
The third and most exciting step in spirit tasting is to actually taste it. Pour about an ounce of the spirit into your mouth and observe as it moves around your tongue. Breathe in a bit of air through your clenched teeth. Identify the origin of the spirit (Fruits? Grains?). When you have determined it, spit it out, and then re-taste it.
Finally, check the finish. Is it long-lasting or goes out easily? Is it rich or weak? Even though aged spirits last long, it should be always clean. It is best to have several liquors and spirits available for spirit tasting. This is to be able to make a distinction on several liquors and spirits and be able to familiarize with the flavours and aromas associated with them.
Different Types of Spirits
Distilled liquors are the base ingredients for the majority of cocktails. Knowing and understanding these differences between various liquors gives us an idea to come up with different combinations of drinks. Each person's taste is different than others; hence, spirit-tasting is subjective.
Found below are examples of liquor that we can try and let our taste be our judge.
What you need to check
Color depicts the purity and age of a spirit. When the spirit is clear, it is regarded as being pure. When the spirit's depth is lighter, it is young, whereas when it is darker, it is old.
Most of the taste sensations come from the nose. If you don't believe on this, try pouring a small amount of Scotch whisky into your mouth while holding your nose. You may taste it as being salty and sweet, but until that only. When smelling, let the alcohol go past your smell and identify the aromas that associate with it. Naming them might be difficult at first, but as you grow your flavour distinctions, it becomes easier. The most common scents are fruits, flowers, spices, and herbs. Master the flavours and aromas found on them. Know the differences between a cocoa and a chocolate, different fruits (citrus or berries), various spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), and assorted herbs (oregano, thyme). When you encounter a scent that you don't know, check and discover its origin.
Taste is the easiest part in checking out the spirit, but don't just taste it. Look for the aftertaste (also known as the finish). The finish can tell you more about the quality of the spirit. Look out for balance.
Where You Can Learn about spirit tasting
There are lots of online sites where you can learn how to do spirit tasting, ranging from average spirit tasting to spirit connoisseurs. There are also spirit tasting events being held several times a year. You should consult your events directory to learn if there are spirit tasting events near your area.
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