This is a start to a long journey of recognition training. I am trying to develop a master nosing class for our whiskey club and am using a nosing kit with 24 standard aromas in it. So how to begin, pour a little whiskey and decide which of the aromas are in it sounds simple right?Not so, the aromas are very close in certain areas and you have to work at it to decide which one is the closest. I say closest because the aroma kit gives you the broad brush stroke and you need to fill in the detail. So what I did was choose 6 aromas that i thought would be close and nose to find their presence. By the third whiskey a format arose, nose the whiskey, taste the whiskey, determine if aroma is present (simple yes no maybe), go back to yeses and decide if aroma is exact or similar. Then you may have to go back to the kit and pick a couple more aromas in the same family to see if something else is closer.For the group I think it will be important to start with very distinct whiskeys with strong specific aromas that are easy to identify. I am looking forward to putting this to the group to see how the format plays out.
What did I learn from the exercise?
The citrus in Irish whiskey is similar but not exactly like the orange in the kit, Laphroaig has some rose water in the finish and is more phenolic than peaty even though some peat is present. 2 of the 3 people I tried the yes, no, maybe with on Knob Creek found a aroma of clove and I didn't. You need fresh glasses for each aroma as they linger in the carafe for a long time. Lastly that there is always more to learned and everyone can benefit from trying this kit.