The best tasting tools or how to become a better taster to better understand spirits?
What is this page about?
What are tools?
Tools you need to learn.
Tools you need to taste properly.
And other suggestions to make your spirits-life better. From wearing the right t-shirt to having the right carafe. And also a selection of tools, found on other websites, or even amazon, that I recommend. Just to pimp it a little.
Your tasting set
Let’s start with examples of what you need to become a good taster. You need paper, a good structure and a glass. Quite simple right? You need to make your own systematic tasting sheets. You’ll find three examples below.
Example 1, from the King’s distillery tasting notes book. It’s made for whisky tasting, but it’s easy to adapt.
Example 2, in the middle from the WSET ex-Diploma Level 4 (spirits are not part of the Diploma like it used to be now) This systematic approach to tasting (trademark) is the most complete. Same feel free to adapt. What is important is to keep consistency. This is what I meant with « a good structure ».
Example 3, on the right hand side of the picture, a simplified version of the systematic approach to tasting spirits by WSET (trademark)
And you need a simple ISO glass. Which is the one with the feet on the left of the picture. Yes, it is more appropriate
As Difford’s guide writes it* ” A tulip shaped glass with sides that close inwards towards the top helps concentrate aromas, ideally a glass made to the ISO (International Standards Organisation) tasting glass specifications such as the Arcoroc Viticole 21.5cl/7.25oz (65ml diameter x 155mm high) stemmed glass. This is an ideal shape and size to hold a 25 to 50ml tasting sample. »
Yes, many other glasses are more beautiful. Tasting and enjoying are sometimes two different tasks.
*link to source: https://www.diffordsguide.com/encyclopedia/458/bws/how-to-taste-and-assess-spirits
And why not pimping it up?
The good brands are Riedel, Nachtmann, Spielgelau. And then it’s us to you to go through old person attics to and antique and beautiful glasses.
With other tools?
From the bartender tools, to weird whisky stones.
Here is a beautiful illustration* to create your own check list.