Appearance is a very important factor in whisky tasting; and JoJo alluded to it in her comment about age. Looking at appearance ( aka color ) can tell the taster a lot about the maturation process. From a chardonnay color to a mahogany color, the color suggests the type of cask used in maturation. If a label does not state whether it is a first fill or refill or even a 2nd refill for example, then the taster can make an educated guess as to the cask and number of refills used. For example, a refill sherry butt aged for 21 years will most likely impart a mahogany color, but a 3rd refill sherry butt aged for the same number of years may impart a very deep gold as previous maturations have taken most of the sherry out of the wood. So APPEARANCE does play an important role in the overall tasting experience as it can reveal many characteristics about the whisky ( in my example; strong sherry presence or weak sherry presence in the taste ). Hope this helps.