Beyond the Basics: Expert Techniques for Enjoying and Collecting Whisky

Whiskies are beloved spirits with a rich history and a wide variety of flavours. For those passionate about whisky, there are many techniques and tips to enhance the enjoyment of this complex drink. This article will provide you with expert techniques for enjoying and collecting whiskies, from choosing the proper glassware to building a collection.

Choosing the Right Glassware

The proper glassware can enhance the drinking experience and bring out the unique flavours and aromas of whiskies. Several types of glassware are popular among whisky enthusiasts, including the Glencairn glass, the tulip glass, and the copita glass.

The Glencairn glass is a popular choice for whisky tasting because of its unique shape, which helps concentrate the aromas and flavours of the whiskies. The tulip glass is similar to the Glencairn glass but has a broader bowl and a narrower top. The copita glass is a traditional Spanish glass commonly used for sherry, but it has become popular among whisky enthusiasts due to its shape and size.

When choosing glassware, it is essential to consider the shape and size of the glass, as well as the material it is made from. Crystal glassware is a popular choice because it is clear and does not interfere with the colour of the whisky. Still, high-quality glassware options are also made from other materials, such as lead-free crystal or soda-lime glass.

Tasting and Pairing Techniques

Tasting and pairing whiskies is a complex process requiring combining techniques and knowledge. Here are a few expert techniques for tasting and pairing whiskies:

Smell them: Before tasting, take a moment to smell them and identify the different aromas, such as vanilla, caramel, or smoke.

Add a drop of water: Adding a small amount of water can help to open up the flavours and aromas of the spirit, especially if it is a high-proof or cask-strength whisky.

Pair with food: Whisky can be paired with a variety of foods, including cheese, chocolate, or charcuterie. The key is finding a pairing that complements the whisky’s flavours.

Building a Collection

For those who are passionate about whiskies, building a collection can be a rewarding experience. Here are some expert tips for building a collection:

Start with the classics: Begin by collecting some classic whiskies, such as Scotch or Bourbon, and then explore different regions and styles.

Set a budget: Whiskies can range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, so it is important to set a budget and stick to it.

Keep track of your collection: Keep a record of the whiskies in your collection, including the age, distillery, and tasting notes. This will help you track what you have and what you still need to add to your collection.

Store your spirit properly: Whiskies should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and fluctuations in temperature. Consider investing in a whisky cabinet or cellar to store and display your collection properly.


Whiskies are a complex and fascinating spirit that offers various flavours and aromas. By using expert techniques for glassware selection, tasting, pairing, and collection building, you can enhance your enjoyment of this beloved spirit. So the next time you pour yourself a glass from your collection, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and history behind this unique and complex drink.