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I would like to know more about how a Whisky Opens Up so I know how to do it better. From watching a few reviews I see that opening up a whiskies flavour can be attributed to any one of the following:
1. Adding water breaks up alcohols grip on flavour molecules and releases more aroma and flavour. - so add water
2. Adding water reduces the numbing effect on your palate enabling you to taste different things - so add water
3. Oxygen somehow slowly reacts with the whisky - so let your whisky sit in the glass for a while.
Anyone know which one is right? I feel it depends a lot on the Whisky, my own experience is that adding a couple of water drops to a light whisky such as Glenlivet 12 has a huge impact. Peaty whisky such as Laphroaig isn't impacted by this much.
Based on my experience, all of the above apply, but not to the same extent to all whiskies.
Individual taste has a big influence on how much water to add. Adding water will definitely change the smell and taste of a whisky. Whether that is an improvement is up to you. I believe that a big part of the "opening up" of a whisky upon adding water is due to the fact that more flavor is discernible if your taste buds are not anesthetized by the alcohol.
Regarding exposure to air, to me a whisky will reach a level of maximum flavor at some point after it is poured into the glass. When that maximum flavor develops and how long it lasts before it starts to drop off depends on the whisky and its interaction with my individual senses of smell and taste.
The short answer is to experiment. Other folks can make suggestions, but ultimately you will know best what works for you.
There are several ways. @Carlton gives good advice.
For some whiskies I would not add any water as they almost feel to weak at their 40% ABV, such as Jura 10 and 16 yo. While for some like Tamdhu Batch Strengt it is very interesting to experiment with water as one gets different flavours and taste with some water.
Thanks for the responses, both you and Carleton's advice sounds good to me....more whisky drinking!
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