New to Bounty?
By Dennis Malcolm, Master Distiller at The Glen Grant
Glen Grant isn’t a job for me, it’s a way of life. I was born on the distillery site and my father and grandfather worked here before me, so it always felt natural for me to follow in their footsteps.
Everyone has different taste profiles, so whisky tasting can be a great activity to experience with others. This Father’s Day, why not try your very own whisky tasting experience at home using the pairings below.
Dennis Malcolm, Master Distiller at The Glen Grant shares how to create a bespoke whisky tasting experience at home this Father’s Day.
Begin your experience by setting up the food pairings below …
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the most popular food pairings for whisky.
For sweeter dram’s like our new release, Arboralis, the dark chocolate contrasts the sweeter flavour of the liquid and brings out more citrus notes.
2. Soft & hard cheeses
Cheese and whisky are a match made in heaven.
We recommend tasting sweeter whiskys with a soft and creamy cheese like a Brie or Brillat Savarin cheese.
These creamy cheeses help elevate floral and citrus tones which may be present in the liquid’s flavour profile.
If your whisky has more spicy undertones, try a harder cheese like a Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
3. Apple pie
A sweet whisky and the rich, cinnamon filling of an apple pie will by no doubt make the mouth water. An apple pie is a perfect match for fragrant whiskeys with lighter undertones.
If you’re good in the kitchen, you can also combine the two by incorporating the whisky into the recipe for a full-bodied hearty dessert.
I can almost guarantee is a gift your Father will never forget this September.
4. Dried fruit
Mix and match your favourite whisky and dried fruit to see what flavour profile it activates.
For those drams with floral and fruity aromas, lighter fruit flavours such as pear and apricot will enhance the citrus of the drink.
If you taste them with a darker fruit, like sultanas or raisins, you’ll start to taste the nutty and dried fruit influence of our Spanish sherry-oak casts that the liquid is aged in.
1. Invest in glassware
Before you begin, consider your glassware and how it may enhance your tasting experience. The preferred tasting glass for Glen Grant whisky is a Glencairn glass. It is shaped with a bulbous bottom and narrow length, to concentrate the aromas.
If you don’t have access to a Glencairn glass, try a simple rocks glass, where the wider-mouthed shape allows the fumes to dissipate and bring the aromas forward.
2. Observe the colour
Hold your glass up to natural light to properly observe the whisky’s colour. Whisky can range from a pale amber to a deep brown, where the darker the colour, the more concentrated the flavour.
3. Distinguish the aroma
Gently smell the liquid with your mouth slightly open to savour the best of the whisky’s aroma. You can also use an in and out movement where you put your nose into the glass and then back out again to waft the aroma to your nostrils.
WATCH: Toast Pudding with Rhubarb and Whisky. Continues after video …
4. Take the time to taste
The key to a proper whisky tasting is sipping small mouthfuls at a time to allow all notes of the flavour to unlock on your tastebuds. Give your palate a chance to adjust to the alcohol content upon your first sip, then take another sip to properly digest all flavours. You can also use a spit bucket to assist with multiple tastings.
5. Consider the finish
Something that makes whisky so special is the aftertaste. After you swallow or spit the whisky, the flavour lingers on your palate and evolves before fading away. Dissect how long the finish is and the notes that develop within this.
6. Expand your horizons
Tasting whisky becomes even more exciting when you begin to recognise the nuances between different bottles and categories. Try for yourself the difference between an 18-year-old whisky, verse, a newer variance and how this affects the taste, aroma and finish.