Last week I bought my first bottle of an Islay. I bought the 16yr Lagavulin. I have had about four or five drams over the last week. I chose it to get my first taste of a smoky whisky.
Over the week my opinion of the flavour has changed from almost too much smoke to enjoyable and interesting.
Last night I sat down with my newly purchased Bill Murray's Whisky bible and followed his described method of tasting. In particular, the act of cleansing the palate with some 90% dark chocolate (which is something I eat daily anyway). Tasting the Lagavulin after this was a little more enjoyable, I do feel as though I could taste a bit more of what is described in the Whisky bible but I also will admit I still do not taste some of the flavours described.
My questions to the more experienced: Is it common to cleanse the palate before tasting? Is it required? What is the best method?
Thanks in advance for any replies.
I would also recommend that if tasting a number of different whiskies, you start with the lightest flavoured one and end the evening with the "heavy hitter" with the most flavour, or highest alcohol content. (Say Laphroaig or Laggy for example for flavour and Aberlour A'Bunadh for both flavour and alcohol content)
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