Whisky Tour 101: Proper Etiquette in a Distillery

Have you ever wondered how distilleries make your favourite drink? Alcohols and spirits have always been an enigma for both alcohol and non-alcohol drinkers. People know that liquor, such as whisky, goes through grain fermentation and a maturing process that takes years in the making. Experiencing a complete whisky tour may help you understand how your favourite after-dinner drink appears at your dinner table.

If you love whisky, then you know that there are many kinds of it–Scotch, rye malt, Irish, single malt, and blended whiskies are just some of them. They are also made in different places and aged for years before you can take a swig. The water source and the weather also contribute to the taste of your chosen drink. A whisky tour is both exciting and fun since you not only get to see how they make your beloved bottle, but you also get a first-hand taste of your blend straight from the keg. There are many fun things to do, but there are also several protocols you need to consider.

Book a tour in advance.

After deciding which alcoholic spirit you want to learn, it is time to check out which distillery won your heart. If you know the owners, you should still have the decency to call and book for an appointment. Even if you do not want to go during peak hours or weekends, you should always schedule for the tour.

Also, try to make your party as small as possible. If learning is your intention, then having just two to four people with you is better. A big group might become rough-and-rowdy come tasting time, which may give you haunting nightmares in the days and nights to come.

Respect the process. 

Reading the annals of whisky making and distilling is well and good. It is helpful to know a few whisky facts before you go on the tour. But do not alienate the tour guide by showing off your knowledge about the washbacks and mash tun you see along the way. Your chaperone may have a few facts up his sleeve that you do not have. Respect the others with you who are there to listen to the tour escort.

Do not touch the equipment.

When you are in a distillery, do not release your inner child. The mills and working stills may be pleasant to look at, but hot to the touch. It can burn or scald you in more ways than one. Raw materials can be easily contaminated, and that can affect the quality of the finished product. So unless the tour guide tells you to touch it, you really should not do it of your own volition for your and the public’s safety.

Tasting means a sip, not a glass (or two) of whisky.

Tasting is supposed to be a fun experience. Getting drunk while doing so is an embarrassing option. While the staff and guide will not stop you from getting a couple more shots, you should stop and savour the whisky. Liquor from a bottle may taste different from the one that’s straight from the cask. You are not in a bar, so be civilised and contain yourself.

When alcohol-based drinks are your weakness and whisky is in steady supply at your home, then having a distillery tour is suitable for your inner connoisseur.

Author Bio: Steffy Alen is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.