When people think about whiskey, the country that pops to mind first is Scotland. Famous for its abundance of lush green scenery, it is also among the best places worldwide to get top quality Scotch Whisky from various distillers. Nowadays, there are other whiskey manufacturers in different continents all over the world. The majority of these distilleries allow tastings and tours, and before you visit any of them, it is a good idea to get yourself up to speed with some basic etiquette to make the most of your Whisky tour. Read on to discover how you can make the most of any Whisky tour experience.
Avoid namedropping with the expectation of receiving special treatment, no matter how close you may be to the owner of the distillery you visit. The easiest way to irritate employees at distilleries, particularly ones with smaller staff is showing up unannounced during peak hours without an appointment, simply because you know the owners. To avoid this, call the distillery ahead of time and book an appointment. Also, avoid showing up unannounced with large groups of people, which can be distracting and loud, completely overtaking the action at the tasting bar.
The shiny copper stills may be very beautiful and good to look at, but at all costs avoid touching them. The majority of whiskey manufacturers offer tastings and tours revolving around their working stills which needless to say, are run very hot. It is therefore prudent to never touch the equipment, no matter how tempting it may be. Also, avoid dipping your hands into the fermenting tanks unless you are given the go-ahead.
Avoid sharing bad experiences that made you swear to never touch certain spirits ever again. If in the past you have ever gotten sick off of drinking a particular spirit, it is best to stay open-minded and avoid reminding everyone of your bad experience. All our palates are different and evolve over time, meaning that there is a likelihood spirits which brought unpleasant experiences in the past could be surprisingly good later on. Additionally, always remember that significant time, effort and love get invested in producing spirits, hence at the very least you should speak your mind politely and remain open to suggestions from the staff you will interact with.
During your Whisky tour, always remain under control by practising self control. Self-control is particularly important, bearing in mind that the average whiskey has an alcohol content of between 40%-60%. Even for the most experienced of drinkers, this is a very strong drink, which is why you should pace yourself and take everything easy. Therefore, if you ever go on a Whisky tour avoid overindulging.