You seriously spit out whisky?

Was the incredulous response when my partner described to a new acquaintance our ‘ritual’ in blind sampling whiskies.

Spit your 1st sip…?

When our monthly group first started our tasting adventures in February 2011, we had a ‘rule’ to spit out the 1st sip.

Now, I must admit, somewhere along the way we mostly abandoned this rule. However, there is a very clear rationale behind it.

Why spit?

It is all about acquainting your palate with the high alcohol content. In short, you let the first sip go so it helps clear the way to enjoy the real flavours. Think of it as calibrating the palate for the delights to come.

Keep it coming…

As most of us whisky aficionados taste whiskies for fun not funds, if you have lined up more than three whiskies in an evening, a certain amount of healthy pacing is in order too.

Psychologically using the spittoon for the 1st sip helps you slow down, distill the different elements before you have that 1st swallow that coats your throat with whisky goodness.

Whaddya do?

Any others adhere to this recommended approach or merrily abandon it in favour of gleefully gulping the 1st quaff?

Whisky sipping...

Whisky sipping…

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8 thoughts on “You seriously spit out whisky?

  1. While we have given up the “spit out the first sip” step, we do take a very small sip to avoid to much alcohol coating our mouth. I think this works quite well too – especially if the second sip is delayed a bit, which always happens with us, as we discus threadbare our first impressions, thus giving our palate sufficient time to clear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not tried spitting the first sip but it sounds logical. I’ve yet to attend an official tasting, which is why it’s not been drummed into me. I had a tasting at a whisky shop but the samples were so small that to spit would have left nothing to drink! 🙂 I find that the high alcohol tends to get me at the back of the throat which I wouldn’t be able to prepare with the first sip unless I start gargling with it. Now there’s an idea! I will have to experiment.

    Liked by 1 person

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