Hand holding a whiskey in a glass for tasting on a wooden background

[Infographic] How To Use A Whiskey Taste Chart For Beginners

Man holding Glencairn whiskey tasting glass

What is a Whisky Taste Chart?

A whiskey taste chart, also known as Whisky Flavour Wheel, is a guide used to describe how people judge, taste, and write about whiskey. It was produced by Scotch Whisky Research Institute during the 1970s and was improved by whiskey expert Charles MacLean.

How to Use a Whisky & Scotch Taste Chart

  1. Using a whiskey tasting glass, savor the aroma of the liquor before you take a sip
  2. If you can identify a faint scent, classify it by looking at the main tasting categories. If you can detect a core smell, try to determine where it is categorized while noticing various aromatic notes and flavors in the process.
  3. Continue practicing until you master it or ask for help from a whisky tasting chart expert. You can apply the same method when using a scotch taste chart.

For whiskey with no strong formulation, it is prudent to define the families of the fragrances first before identifying them more precisely.

Whiskey Tasting Chart for Beginners

Here is a simplified whisky taste chart inspired by the work of Charles MacLean:

Whiskey Tasting Chart for Beginners by AdvancedMixology.com

Scotch Tasting Chart for Beginners

Here is a whiskey taste chart that is specifically used for describing your favorite scotch:

Scotch Taste Chart - AdvancedMixology.com

Why Use a Whisky Taste Chart?

If you’re having a tough time expressing the taste of your precious scotch, or if you want to be a professional liquor taster, a whisky taste chart will help you. This blueprint enables whiskey enthusiasts to be more accurate and objective in their tasting experience.

The tasting chart provides a framework and some industry jargon so that anyone who tastes the whiskey can explain it in the same way. This process makes communication between beginners and professionals easier.

We hope this scotch whiskey tasting guide helped you in your journey of identifying the various complex aromas and flavors of your favorite liquor. Don’t forget to check out these articles on the most expensive scotch and the best scotch samplers.


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