Planning my first Whisky Tasting

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If you don’t already know then the 21st May is World Whisky Day (you can find out more about it here: World Whisky Day). So to mark the occasion I wanted to hold a small tasting session for a few friends. Although I’ve attended a few whisky festivals, been on a few distillery tours and recently attended a whisky tasting I’ve never actually run a session myself. So as with anything I do I’ve started planning the evening as best I can.

I started with a quick Facebook event and inviting a small number of people who I felt would appreciate a good dram (or 10). Next I looked through my personal whisky collection to see what I’d have to offer and created a ‘Whisky Menu’:

WWD Menu

Knowing that not everyone will share my passion for whisky tasting I’ve included some basic notes for each whisky to help everyone decide what they’d like to try. It also gives a starting point for anyone who wants to take notes. Unlike a normal whisky tasting where the number of whiskies on offer are normally limited to small number to enable participants time to taste each whisky fully I’ve offered up everything in my collection. This is partly to offer enough choice for everyone attending to find something they’ll enjoy, but also because not everyone will want to make notes. Some people will just want to enjoy a good dram with friends – which is ultimately what whisky is there for; enjoyment!

For those who do want to make notes I will also be providing a notes template:


Template taken from:

Along with this will be a colour chart and a quick guide to flavours to complement the flavour wheel. I’ll do my best to give anyone interested enough to listen a bit of spiel for each whisky they taste while trying not to bore them or put them off trying whisky tasting ever again.  I’ll have water on hand for those wanting to add it to their sample as well as for cleansing the palate between drams as well as some plain crackers for the same purpose. I’ll also have a jar coffee beans for cleansing the olfactory system – a trick I’ve been recommended but not tried as of yet.

For those not bothered about making notes or for when those that are have had enough of it I will also have a cocktail bar on offer. Obviously my primary goal here is to offer whisky based cocktails but I also like to add a hands-on element to my cocktail parties and will be giving people the chance to make a cocktail they know and love or to try and invent something new.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes and will write up a post afterwards. You can also follow my live tweets on the evening at @GentlemanGrimm Feel free to join in as well with any of the tastings using #GGtasting

I just hope my whisky collection  won’t be too decimated by the end of the evening!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Whisky Fiend says:

    That’s a large selection of whiskies for a first tasting. It’s a nice variety for friends to choose what they enjoy most. I personally prefer smaller quantities (say 6) where the tasting order is chosen, everyone samples together and the goal is for each person to write down some notes (they don’t have to be detailed), but that can be a bit structured for some people… especially with close friends.

    One tip I would suggest is to place some crumbled dark chocolate (80-90% cacao). The bitterness will clean your palate and get you ready for the next dram.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Next time I do a tasting it will certainly be a smaller selection with more structure to it. In truth this is a mix between a tasting session and a party but I’m hoping it will be a way of getting some more people hooked on whisky and make them want to do a proper tasting session in the future. Thanks for the tip, I’ll add some chocolate on the list of things to get 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whiskey Nut says:

    Good luck with the tasting event.
    I would have come along – but I’m hosting a walk and talk in Tullamore for World Whisky Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds good! I’ve not had any Tullamore DEW since I was in Dublin for a whisky live, probably 4 or 5 years ago. Need to get some more soon!


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