Jim McEwan (ex-Bowmore, now The Bruichladdich), has spoken of body as the descriptor for the speed of the legs of a whisky walking slowly down the glass sides, after the inner glass surface has received a full and even coating of the whisky.
Jim likes to show how to achieve a regular evenness of the whisky on the glass by holding the glass at an angle which brings the whisky inside almost to the lip, then he places his forefinger inside the glass, touching the top of his finger to the underside of the upper lip of the glass. He then turns the glass one full rotation. The glass should now have an even coating of whisky, with no peaks or valleys to disturb the legs' race back into the dram.
Jim says you can assess the heaviness or lightness of body by the speed of the legs. Slow, for full bodied, and the faster, the lighter bodied.
BTW, some glasses can be laid on their side without any dram spillage, and then, turning them on a flat surface, you can achieve the same evenness of coverage ... however, the above manual style can be impressive amongst others, if you go for that sort of thing.
[This message has been edited by St.Peat (edited 09 April 2002).]
Body can be determined by sight and taste. This is where viewing the "legs" of a drink comes in. Thin, fast descending legs indicate a lighter body; fat, slow descending legs, a fuller body. On the palate, a drink that tastes and feels "watery" is said to be light bodied. The less a drink tastes and feels like water on the tongue, the fuller bodied it is considered.
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