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Is there a difference between drinking whiskey and tasting whiskey?

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

Yes! When drinking whiskey, do it which and whatever way you desire. Neat, a splash of water (or half and half as my dad likes it) on the rocks (aka ice…or actual rocks if you desire), with a soft drink, or straight out of the bottle! Drink it, however makes you happy (disclaimer #drinkresponsibly).

Tasting on the other hand is a little different. You wouldn’t ‘taste’ a fine wine by turning it into sangria or wagyu beef by making it into meatballs (another full disclaimer, I don’t eat meat!).

To taste:

- Relax, hang your coat up and take a load off!

- Pour a finger of whiskey, neat, stick your nose in and have a good smell. Take a breath of fresh air, splash it around a little (don’t go wild, it’s not wine!) and have another sniff. Try smelling at different distances to the whiskey: at the rim and also close up. See if you notice any aromas. Note, if you’re not enjoying the whiskey smell then it will be highly likely you won’t be fond of the taste!

- Now for the taste. Go neat for the first sip. See what it is like when poured straight from the bottle. Sure, there might be a fiery hit of alcohol but sit with it. Let the whiskey move around your mouth, can you distinguish any flavours? Breath out over it and taste it.

- Feel free to have a sip of water or beer to level out your tastes buds before diving back in.

- Do a few different whiskies in one sitting… and it’s always good to do it with friends.



Yaffe, D., 2013. Drink more whiskey. San Francisco: Chronicle Books LLC, pp.19, 20.

Whiskey Bicycle ~ access your spirit ~


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