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• Whisky:                                                                                                                       
   Decide on "Vertical" or "Horizontal" Tasting (see below*)
   Obtain (1) bottle of the selected whisky per 20 attendees (based on      one a ounce pour for each person) 
• Tasting Mat:
   Have available on table in front of each participant - a guide to what    you're tasting. Click on the tasting mat below and print out a copy of    our tasting mat which can accommodate up to six whiskies:
                                 SMOOTH DRAWS RADIO SHOW WHISKY TASTING MAP    
• Tasting Glasses:
   Glencairn glasses are ideal for enjoying a variety of whiskies.
   They allow for optimal nosing and tasting of the whiskies.  
Small Bar Straws:
    For adding a few drops of water to the whisky if you elect to do so        for your tasting.  
• Pens
   For note-taking on your favorite whisky tastings so that you may
   purchase what you enjoy in the future. 
• Notepads
   For note-taking on your favorite whisky tastings so that you may
   purchase what you enjoy in the future.
• A Bottle of Water for each Attendee (room temperature)
   You want to keep the attendees hydrated and also to cleanse the          palate in between tastings. 
• Chunks of fresh bread or plates of plain crackers
   To help absorb some of the alcohol and also to cleanse the palate in
   between pourings.
• Optional: laptop with pictures of the whisky Provenance.
   It never hurts to be able to research more information about the 
   whiskies you are sampling. 

*Vertical tasting?

   All the whisky will be from  same region, for example - all Canadian Whisky, or from          one producer, as in 4 examples of Crown Royal, which could include Northern

   Harvest Rye, Crown Royal Monarch, Crown Royal Maple or Crown Royal Original.


*Horizontal tasting?
That’s where there is a mix of producers of one style of whisky or a mix of                

   different styles of whisky. This could be all bourbons or a mixture of different

   whisky styles, such as a mixed tasting. 




  • • Appearance - Look at the color. That might tell you the type of cask it was in.


  • • Nose the Whisky - Not to deeply. Try nosing with your mouth open and closed.


  • • Taste - Take a sip. Swish it in your mouth to expose the whisky to the taste buds. 


  • • Swallow or spit. You don't need much to get an "impression" 


  • • Finish - Does the flavor remain for a long time or dissipate rapidly?


  • • Balance - Are the flavours in balance with the alcohol?


  • • Complexity - Do you detect lots of flavors? Fruit, spice, sweetness, oak, earth.

  •    Or, is the whisky one-dimensional without many flavor notes?


  • • Describe what your nose and palate are getting from the whisky. 


     • Now, repeat the process with a few drops of filtered, room temperature, water

        from a small bar straw. Notice a difference?


  • • Share a dram with your friends!



Val Bradshaw is a highly credentialed and respected wine and spirits educator. She is available to conduct wine and spirits classes or tasting with Gary, Alan and Nick of the Smooth Draws Radio Show. To schedule such an event, visit our contact page

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