How To Taste Liquor Like A Pro

If life is good, you will one day find yourself at a liquor tasting — scotch, bourbon, brandy — what have you.

And when you’re in that moment — the moment before you take a sip — you’re going to want to look like you know what you’re doing.

So Business Insider recently asked an expert how it’s done. Grand Marnier’s master distiller, Patrick Reguenaud, recently held a tasting in New York City. There he explained that taking your first sip of liquor is actually three step process.

First you use your eyes. “Look at the colour and describe it,” said Reguenaud. Colour will tell you about how long and where — as in what kind of barrel — the liquor was aged.

Then you use your nose. “Smell carefully and identify the aromas and flavours… find the right word for each flavours,” he said. In other words, you want to be precise. Don’t use general words like ‘sweet.’ Get specific, think: vanilla, toffee, chocolate — flavours you would actually taste.

Lastly, taste the liquor.“With your first impression, taste and confirm the description you gave after you used your nose,” Reguenaud said. “Be descriptive. Then wait a few seconds to get a second impression of the taste and describe that. At the end you’ll have a global description of the spirit like a conclusion. For example — you could say that it’s a good product with a mellow taste, or an exceptional spirit with a very long after taste.”

Just be honest, and be literal. Tasting a spirit is a creative, sensory activity.

Plus it’s fun.

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