Luxebook May 2023

How to pick a whisky From flavour profiles to the colour and price, here’s how to pick the whisky that is right for you. BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA WHISKY TASTE CHART COLOUR CHART When many people begin their journey of appreciating single malt whisky, there are plenty of written guides, but very little that describes the terrain of whisky in terms of taste and aromas as well as colour and price point. What should you look for in a dram? What does the colour say about its age and what helps you identify how expensive a whisky is? LuxeBook takes you through the process of picking a whisky from the tasting wheel to the 20 point colour scale, helping you pick the right whisky. Of all the ways to enjoy whisky, sipping it neat reveals the impossible complexity of what is, by some measure, quite a miraculous spirit. Its recipe includes nothing more than a selection of simple grains, yeast and water, which is why whiskymaking is an art. From the flavour profile to the colour of whisky, these indicators help you decide which one is best suited for you. Here is a whisky tasting flavour wheel to help you appreciate everything that’s in your glass. The standard scale for describing whisky colours is based on a 20 point scale of colour intensity, that can be exactly defined by specific light absorbance measurements. The standard 20 -point scale gives us a visual reference to a colour chart for confirmation. In the absence of added colouring the following are usually indicative: (0-5) clear/pale gold young or refill cask matured, (6-11) medium to full gold 1st fill exBourbon or refill Sherry casks, darker gold (12+) well aged, any copper or bronze hue may indicate Sherry and darker (14-20) usually 1st fill ex-Sherry, crimson or pink hue may indicate Port or Red Wine maturation or finishes. The use of American white oak, European Sherry Oak or French Tannic Oak are likely to only introduce a variance of around 1 point on the scale. The industry uses a slightly expanded scale, either the Series 52 Brown Scale or European Brewing Convention (EBC) scale. Series 52 is the original Lovibond® Brown colour scale now currently used for the colour grading of whisky, honey and similarly coloured liquids or syrups. The standard version of this scale includes a series of 23 amber/brown glasses although other values are also available. Cereal One of the most common notes found in whiskies, cereal whiskies have aromas from the malted barley, which are usually modified by the later stages of production including fermentation and distillation. Floral Fresh and leafy scents that can range from blossoming flowers to the cutting of new grass. leafy, grassy or hay-like scents, sometimes like Parma Violets or gorse bushes. Woody Vanilla notes derived from American white oak with aromas that can range from cigar boxes, custard, caramel, burnt toast, or coffee grounds. Some aromas are directly related to age. Oak increases complexity, enhances fragrance and delicacy, lends colour and develops roundness. Fruity Desirable sweet, fragrant, fruity, solvent-like scents from citrus, apples, to bubblegum and paint. Peaty Scents from dried malt over peat fire ranging from incense, burnt wood to tar and dried shellfish. The scents are famously abundant in Islay malts and range from wood-smoke to tar, iodine to carbolic. Winey If the cask has previously been filled with wine (mainly sherry), the wood absorbs wine residues, which are extracted by the spirit and become part of its flavour. Here we refer to the more subtle aromas like grape skins, stalks, unctuous nutty oils and sherry notes that bring a winey edge to a whisky. 0.0 Gin Clear Jonguiripe Corn Deep Gold Chestnut- qloroso Sherry Henna Notes Pale Ataw Old Gold Deep Copper Tawny Old Oak White Wine Yellow Gold Amontillado Sherry Russemuscat Burnt Umber Pale Gold Amber Burnished Auburn, Polished Mahogany Brown Sherry Treacle 0.8 1.6 0.4 1.2 2.0 0.2 1.0 1.8 0.6 1.4 0.1 0.9 1.7 0.5 1.3 0.3 1.1 1.9 0.7 1.5 TASTING WHEEL WOODY CEREAL FLORAL FRUITY WINEY PEATY Medicinal, Smoky Oily, Nutty, Sherried, Chocolate Floral, Fragrant, Leafy Sweet, Dried Fruit Meaty cereal, Fresh fruit Woody, Vanilla, Toasted Teeling Single Grain, Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain Irish whiskey Ardbeg 19 Year Traigh Bhan Batch 4, Bowmore 15 Year, Dalmore 18 years Glenfiddich Experimental Series Orchard, Balvenie 14 Year Old, Highland Park 18 year old Hibiki Harmony, Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old, Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Chivas XV, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruben, The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve Selectively Finished in Cognac Casks Amrut Fusion Single Malt, Paul John Peated Select Cask, Lagavulin 16 Year Old WHISKY APPRECIATION 20|LUXEBOOK|MAY 2023 MAY 2023 |LUXEBOOK|21