Whisky appreciation tips

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Jason Duganzich, Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Jason Duganzich, Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky, shares some tips on how to truly appreciate a good single malt.

Duganzich is a whisky master at this year's Whisky Live Festival.

He says: “When it comes to enjoying your whisky, there are no rules really, drink it how you enjoy it”.

“Sip it solo and you get the explosion of flavours and alcohol together; enjoy it on ice which cools down your taste buds and the whisky becomes more palatable in a gentle way; or enjoy it with a splash of still mineral water which helps to release the aromas and flavour compounds,” says Duganzich.

On how to taste whisky, Jason advises both nosing and tasting the whisky and recommends the addition of a bit of still mineral water to reduce the alcohol strength which helps with both nosing and tasting. The nose at bottle strength can be a bit too spirity to reveal its essence.

“The sense of smell is the most important assessor and far more accurate than the tongue. One’s nose can detect 32 primary smells, whereas the taste buds can detect only four primary tastes. Nosing helps one to identify the elements in, and style of the whisky, be it floral, honeyed, peaty and so on. When nosing, look for overall fragrance, is it light, fresh, mellow or perhaps warm? Is it smooth or harsh? Can you detect specific smells? Take the Glenfiddich 12 Year Old; it has a fresh and fruity nose, reminiscent of walking on pine needles in a forest. While Glenfiddich 15 Year Old has a full and fragrant nose with delicate honey and bitter chocolate notes,” says Duganzich.

“Tasting is as important and gives the palate the opportunity to confirm many of the characteristics that one will have already identified through nosing. It enables one to assess more accurately the texture and smoothness, and essential parts of the whisky's personality. The tongue also identifies the mouth feel. Is it heavy or light? Is it smooth or sharp? Can you detect specific flavours? And then there's the finish, which would describe the depth and intensity of the flavour and the length of time that the flavour stays on the tongue. Take the Glenfiddich 18 Year Old, a complex and intensely smooth malt; it has rich fruity-spicy flavours, a good measure of oak, with a long, warming and ultimately satisfying finish.”

The Glenfiddich range of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, each with its own unique character and distinctive taste includes Glenfiddich 12, 15, 18, 21, and 30 year old. The Glenfiddich Vintage Reserves include Glenfiddich 40 Year Old, and Glenfiddich 50 year old and Rare Collection 1937 available in extremely limited quantities.

*Catch Jason Duganzich and his lively and entertaining thoughts on whisky at the exclusive VIP Whisky Lifestyle Lounge at the Whisky Live Festival, which is celebrating its 10th year and showcasing 180 whiskies from around the globe.

Whisky Lifestyle Lounge tickets provide exclusive access to 25-minute interactive workshops hosted by well-respected whisky connoisseurs in the Boutique Bar Tasting Room. For more information and the complete whisky workshop line-up visit www.whiskylivefestival.co.za

The 10th Whisky Live Festival takes place in Durban 1-2 November and Johannesburg 7-9 November and promises to be spectacular. Don't miss out! Book now at www.webtickets.co.za

* Please follow us on Twitter @WhiskyLiveSA and on Facebook /FNBWhiskyLiveFestival

+ The FNB Whisky Live Festival promotes responsible drinking. No persons under the age of 18 years old will be allowed into the Tasting Hall, and designated driver tickets are available. Discounted food vouchers and a bottle of Valpre mineral water are included in the ticket price, and taxis will be on hand to ensure that everyone in your party is able to have a good time.

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