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The Art Of Drinking Whisky!

By Njideka Agbo 11 October 2018   |   5:00 pm

…the intricacies of mixing whisky and how best to enjoy it.

There is more to “drinking whisky” than just unscrewing a bottle, pouring into a DOF (Double Old Fashioned) glass and slugging the dram down your throat. Read on to discover simple ways to enjoy your whisky as we would be highlighting some old whisky-drinking habits you need to unlearn.

Mixing your whisky with Cola is an absolutely bad idea. Did you also know that it is absolutely wrong to mix your whisky with soda or add lots of ice cubes?

Drinking whisky is an art

The best way to get acquainted with whisky is to drink it in its neatest and natural form. Before we go into this minimal guide to drinking whisky, it is best to always keep in mind that with whisky, there are no rules; whoever owns the whisky determines how to drink the whisky.

That said, here are basic-not-punishable-by-law-ground-rules to guide you in this art.

  • Whiskies, Ice Cubes and Liquids?


Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation for Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky opines that even though there is no one correct way of drinking whisky, there are plenty of wrong ways and one of such is mixing it with Cola!

The best bet would be to always try it neat, and subsequently, try it with a few drops of water to unearth the flavour. The goal is that as you become better at this art, you can begin to add a pair of ice cubes. However, you have to be careful with this because adding ice cubes in excess could drastically alter the taste and character of the whisky. Usually, ice slows it all down and you would finish your dram long before getting all the tastes and scents.

Cocktails are also a great way to enjoy whisky. However, be mindful of the fact that strong flavours could eliminate the original whisky flavour.

  • Whisky and Food?


Generally, Whiskies are best savoured neat and alone first. However, you can go ahead to pair single malts with food, primarily because there is such a diverse range of flavours to be found in the different styles of whisky.

Eating prior to tasting a whisky affects the taste and flavor of the whisky. You should know that eating fried foods or foods with strong smells will cause the scent of your whisky to change as you nose it. The only aroma you want to perceive really, should be that of your whisky.

  • Glassware for Whisky?


Some people prefer the tulip glass to traditional highball. There is also the Glencairn or a Copita nosing glass. For whisky neat or with ice, it would be the double old fashioned or the rocks glass.

  • Mixing your Whisky?

For some of the finer Scotches Vikram Achanta, co-author of The Tulleeho Book of Cocktails recommends that you take it neatly with a splash of cold water. Some opine that the splash releases some of the aromas of the malt.

The key, however, is to keep the drops of water minimal and to only try water, after one must have enjoyed it neat. As earlier explained, the use of Cola is a no-no.

  • Whisky Drinking

Before you go straight to drinking your dram, do a little bit of nosing. Inhale a long hearty whiff before you start drinking.

Jeremy Anderberg of the Art of Manliness would say that the first sniff will largely be just alcoholic, and might clear your nostrils a little bit. So, give it a second and third sniff and you’ll get some of the true whisky flavours.


Talking about flavours, the Glenmorangie range available in Nigeria has 6 classic whiskies with distinct tastes of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, citrus and more.

The 10-Year-Old Original is the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range perfect for enjoying anytime including its soft, mellow and creamy texture.

Aged 12 years, The Lasanta has an enticingly sweet aroma; its sherry flavoured sultanas, orange segments, walnuts and butterscotch combine to create complex warm spices and deliciously sweet taste.

The Quinta Ruban is the darkest and most intense whisky in the extra-matured range. Its long-lasting silky aftertaste leaves dark chocolate mints and traces of orange flavour in the mouth.

The Nectar d’Or single malt whisky aged 12 years is processed in Sauternes casks giving it rich, spicy and dessert-like flavours.

Honey, Malt, flowery scents, figs and wood smoke are to be expected as you enjoy Glenmorangie 18 years. This is as a result of the maturation process in both ex-bourbon American Oak casks as well as Spanish Oloroso casks.

A fusion of unique and rare elements, and clouded in secrecy, Signet is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience and the richest whisky in Glenmorangie range.

Now that you have learnt a little about how to enjoy whisky; pour a dram into the appropriate glassware, take a sip, enjoy it slow and roll the liquid around in your mouth. Instead of just swallowing right away, try to pick out the different flavours.

Lastly, enjoy your drink with good company and you’ll be a happier whisky drinker.

**This article is proudly sponsored by Glenmorangie

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