At the prompting of recent well known visitor to these parts I have recently been hand warming my whisky to 'open' it up. It works amazingly well and generally the whisky does not need any additional water to open it up.
The only down side is that the Glencairn glasses are hopeless for this task and I've now pressed my nosing & blenders glasses back into service.
Any comments would be appreciated.
Yes, I regularly hand warm my drams before enjoying them.
But I don't have any problems with a Glencairn glass (my preferred drinking vessel). I find I can still cup the glass and envelope it with my hand to adequately warm it.
And yes, I agree, it certainly tends to open whiskies up.
‘Taste’ and ‘Touch’ of a drink are easier to assess, because its higher temperature has also a stimulating effect on the olfactory epithelium via the back nasal passage and I can get a better assessment of its texture. The congeners are much easier to differentiate, when the malt holds a temperature of around 25ºC.
My Eisch-nosing glass does a good job here. My Glencairn as well.
As I sit here feeling the cool draft from the window...I find it an interesting idea about handwarming your dram as a way of drawing out the flavours. I tend to cradle my glass in my hand but, never equated that it could possibly be enriching my taste experience. It is something to ponder.
Ardaíonn ár ngrá muid féin níos airde i gcónaí!
At some point it became populare with cognac warmers - a construction to let the cogac glass be warmed over a small flame. This is nothing but bullshit which destroyed good cognac and most certainly whisky for those who decide to try.
I do believe "handwarming" is a good thing in a glass suited for it. Like Lord Pfaffin said a snifter is a good choice, and a cognac snifter should be appropriate too. But one shouldn't mix up the small cognac snifter with that "large bowl" armagnac snifter who really isn't suitable. I imagine it would do the same to whisky as it does to cognac - making it too alcoholic when nosing.
I like the mouth feel of a cool whisky. (Note cool, not cold) The warming, for me, is done in the mouth. Let the whisky rest on the tounge and gain warmth that way. Then the true taste comes out. But, hey, each to his/her own.
anyway it depends on the occasion. In the colder months I warm the whiskey and the warmer months I leave it alone. I also change what I am drinking based on the weather though, with heavier malts in the cold and lighter malts in the sun.
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