If we ever overlook the fact that 80% of taste is first experienced through our smell, the time to fix that is before your first sip of Scotch. To exploit this Scotch aroma, it is imperative to use a glass with a bulbous bottom. They range from fancy and award-winning, like The Glencairn Glass, to simple sets of tulip-shaped glasses. This large bottom gives you a great first view of any imperfections in your Scotch, but more importantly it gives ample space for all those flavors to collect.
The tight neck allows the taster some leeway to swirl their Scotch, a practice that releases the collective flavors intermittently, and allows them to sniff and sip without interrupting the integrity of the Scotch that remains in the glass.
What about that scotch in the glass – do we water it down? Add ice? Drink neat? Chemically speaking, a splash of water removes the punch of “immature aromas”, according to a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. But ultimately, ice, water, or pure is a personal preference. A bit like the spelling of whiskey, you might say, since the spelling differs according to the preference of various parts of the world. Canada and Japan spell it “whisky”, according to the award-winning bottler Oak&Edenwhile “whiskey”, on the other hand, is distilled in America and Ireland.
For Scotch Whisky, the chosen spelling of distilleries in Scotland, drop the “e”, grab a tulip-shaped glass and sip your Scotch, nose first.