How To Host The Perfect Whiskey Tasting Night At Home

How-To Guides

Whiskey tasting glasses

There is no denying that whiskey is one of the best drinks around. And with so many variations and styles of whiskey available, it makes for the ideal tasting drink. 

Opting to host a whiskey tasting party is a wonderful way to try new whiskies and gather a few friends for a fun and informative event. And by placing your whiskey order with an online liquor store in Abu Dhabi, you don't have to stress about procuring the necessary goods. 

To help you plan and execute this event, read on to learn how you can host the perfect whiskey tasting night at home.

1. Choose a Theme

One of the best approaches to hosting a whiskey tasting is choosing a theme and assembling a lineup that follows suit. 

For example, you could opt to taste all bourbons, Japanese whiskeys, or Irish whiskeys. Alternatively, you could choose to do just a single malt tasting or have the theme of "age" and sip a selection of 12-year-old Irish single malts or compare 10-year-old Scotches. There are a variety of age-based possibilities.

Another option is to have a "World Whiskey" night with bottles from countries as diverse as India and Tasmania. For those who want to expand their whiskey palettes, you can create a theme around flavor profiles and serve whiskeys with wine, port, or rum finishes. 

By selecting a theme, you can more easily narrow down your choices and turn your tasting night into more of an "event."

2. Incorporate Taste-Testing Activities 

Tasting of different Scotch whiskies on an outdoor terrace

Along with choosing a theme, you also may want to have a taste-testing activity. For example, you could host a blind tasting. 

To do this, cover the bottles and number each whiskey. Then, all attendees can try each of the whiskies (only knowing their assigned numbers), and you can then reveal them at the end. You may want to have people guess the whiskies or rank their favorites. This can make for an enjoyable activity while also helping to train your senses. 

Even if you don't do a blind taste test, you should still provide guests with note cards that they can use to write down the smells and notes they experience with each drink. Then, later on, you can swap your tasting cards. It is always fun and exciting to learn how others described the tastes and aromas they sensed and compare them with your own. 

3. Plan the Order

No matter what theme you decide to go with, it is crucial that you plan out the order you expect to taste the whiskies. 

Progress through the whiskeys, starting with the lightest before moving through to the richest or most heavily flavored/smokiest to ensure that your palate is open and receptive to the different tastes.

Keep in mind that the lightness in color doesn't always mean being lighter in flavor when it comes to whiskey. To ensure you have the correct order, take some time to try each one before your event. And, by opting to buy spirits online, you can be sure that you have everything you need for the perfect whiskey order.

After the tasting, you may want to move into making whiskey cocktails. There are a wide array of different whiskey cocktails that you can make, from Whiskey Sour to Sazeracs, Old Fashioned to Manhattan

You can also opt to create your signature cocktail or do some research into a lesser-known option. The possibilities are endless!

4. Prepare your Glassware and Snacks

Whiskey and cheese pairing

To host the best whiskey-tasting experience possible, you are going to need to prepare your home. 

To drink the whiskey, you will need the proper glassware, which means tulip-shaped glasses that enable your guests to experience the aroma fully. These small glasses are ideal because they encourage you to sip and savor each whiskey's flavor. 

Snacks are also crucial for a whiskey tasting to ensure that no one drinks on an empty stomach. The best snacks will offer guests the opportunity to cleanse their palates as well. For this reason, crackers and corn chips are ideal, as are certain fruits (such as apricots and cherries) and nuts (walnuts and almonds), as they will help bring out the whiskeys' flavors.

Cheeses are essential – especially smoked gouda, aged parmesan, and brie – and thinly sliced meats add salt to the palate. Finally, with their rich and earthy taste profiles, chocolates bring an additional layer. Ideally, you want to provide a combination of these snacks as they create endless possibilities for flavor combinations.

And, no matter what you do, don't forget to have plenty of water available. Not only will water help to keep people hydrated, but it also will cleanse guests' palates in between tastings and can be added to the whiskey to adjust its proof and bring out the flavor. 

Are you thinking of hosting a whiskey tasting at home? What type of theme would you have? Let us know in the comments below! 

Valentina Chessa is the Retail Marketing Manager at African + Eastern, the largest alcohol retailer in the Middle East with 29 stores in the UAE, 5 in Oman, and a team of over 400 professional staff. The company boasts an extensive portfolio of beer, wine, and spirits, and customers can shop online or at one of its conveniently located stores.


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