By a nose.

Last night I got a text message from a whisky drinking friend asking what the term for the “smell” of whisky and how he just can’t enough of Glenmorangie.

The way a whisky smells is for some as important as the taste, the second you pop the cork the air is filled with that smell a smell that says “I’m here, I’m whisky and now the fun is really about to begin”, well it does to me.
After you’ve poured your whisky always take a big sniff and then when you add your water take another, here you will smell everything from leather and honey to cleaning fluid and salt and everything in between. Take your time though and think about the smells, close your eyes and imagine and then read the tasting a nose notes on the bottle or online and see if your sense of smell is the same as mine or the distiller.
Glassware is important for getting that smell right into the old olfactories as anything else so I thought I’d do a wee list for you, I’m just that nice.
1. Clencairn. This specialist glass was created by Raymond Davidson for the Clencairn Crystal Company and allows you to swirl the whisky without it flying everywhere and you can get your nose right in there. The glass is used all over the world now by master blenders and is seen as the best glass to smell whisky from.
2. Sherry glass. No, not that tiny little thing your Grandma used to take her Bristol Cream in but the taller sherry copita. Easy to get the nose into and good for swirling and they are more readily available than the Clencairn.
3, Snifter. You’ll see these being used for Brandy as you can warm the liquid by getting your hand under the main bulb of the glass but works well with whisky, the clue is in the name of course.
Now you can drink your whisky in any glass you like, I use a heavy crystal low ball or old fashioned glass but that’s just because I want to be Clint Eastwood.

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