Key Flavours and Aromas:
Learning to appreciate the range of flavours and aromas in Scotch whisky takes practice, and we've developed this tool to help you identify the primary and secondary aromas that can typically be found by master blenders and new aficionados alike.....
The nasal effect is the sensation felt at the back of the nose when alcoholic spirit is sniffed.
The mouth effect refers to the texture or intensity of the whisky in the mouth, for example a whisky may be creamy, smooth, fizzy or astringent.
This is a smoky or medicinal characteristic, derived from the phenols and related compounds, which are produced from burning peat duringthe malting process.
Malty: Hay-Like: Husky: Bran
All malt whiskies have a cereal characteristic, such as malty or husky, which originates from the malt.
Leafy: Fragant: Heater
Floral characteristics, such as fragrant, perfumed or grassy notes, arise from thefermentation process and are sometimes related to fruitiness.
Citric: Solvent: Honey: Fruity (Fresh, Cooked, Dried)
Fruity characteristics are produced by esters, which develop during the fermentation process.
These characteristics, which are often described as rubbery or meaty, are largelyformed during the fermentation process.
Leathery: Sweaty: Tobacco
Feinty characteristics are produced during the distillation process.
The ‘feints’, or last section of spirit which condenses from the pot still, is full of heavier compounds, such as fusel oil, which are acceptable only in small quantities.
Extractive (Vanilla, Toffee, Spicy, Nutty):
Prevous Use (Sherry, Bourbon, Rum, Brandy)
New Wood (Resinous): Old Wood (Stale, Musty)
There are many different types of woody influences in whisky, which will depend upon the type of cask chosen for maturation, and the length of the maturation.
Vanilla and caramel notes largely result from the extraction of vanillin and sugars from the oakwood during maturation.
Flavours from oak
Whisky that has been aged in oak barrels gets a number of components from the wood.
One of these is cis-3-Methyl-4-octanolide, known as the "whisky lactone" or "quercus lactone", a compound with a strong coconut aroma.
Commercially charred oaks are rich in phenolic compounds. One study identified 40 different phenolic compounds. The coumarin scopoletin is present in whisky, with the highest level reported in Bourbon whiskey.
The 12 tastes of single malt perfection
Smoky, honey, body, sweetness, medicinal, tobacco, spicy, winey, nutty, malty, fruity and floral.
This describes the prominent aromas that can be identified when one smells the whisky.
Some 70% of flavour is down to its smell/nose.
This describes the flavours that are recognised in the mouth when drinking whisky.
This describes the way the whisky feels in the mouth and how long the sensation lingers.
Each whisky has been assessed using the elements described and the process followed rigorously to ensure a fair comparison.
Resiny / spicy