A Beginner’s Guide For Becoming A Whiskey Geek

Tasting whiskey (or whisky) can be fun as hell. First, there’s the excitement of getting to open a nice bottle. Then there’s the fact that you’re learning something new — expanding your knowledge of a great spirit while deepening your own palate. It’s the perfect combination of personal growth paired with semi-drunken revelry.

That said, whiskey tastings can also prove daunting. There’s a lot of terminology and geography involved. It can get pretty granular pretty damn quickly. So we’ve put together a concise beginner’s guide to give you a solid footing. We don’t go into the intense scientific and chemical analyses here. It’s just a foundation so you know what you’re walking into the next time you want to learn while getting buzzed.

Buy A Notebook

This is a crucial component to starting out on the path of a whiskey connoisseur. Writing down what you’ve drunk — what it looked like, how it smelled, how it tasted, and how it finished helps you solidify your olfactory receptors, palate, and sense memory. The way we taste is firmly rooted in nostalgia, but we also build receptors and grow as drinkers with each sip. Keeping a tasting journal offers great assistance in that process. Plus you’ll always have a record to refer back to.