Whisky by Flavour - Mouthfeel - Dense
The mouthfeel of a whisky is one of the first parts of the tasting process which we identify, our palate is secondary, to our nose, in the strength of connection to our brains for identifying aromas and flavours. The taste receptors (taste buds) link to the olfactory senses in our brain to identify flavours we have encountered before, and this is where mouthfeel comes into play, there are some differences in textures created in the whisky which give different impressions while in our mouths, however, these also react with the esters, distillation process and alcohol to water ratio. Each of these creates combinations between textures and flavours. Therefore, mouthfeel can be classed as a flavour because it enhances and develops flavours from other aspects of production whilst creating impressions in the olfactory senses in our brains.
A dense mouthfeel is where the whisky creates almost a coating layer on your pallet and there is a few reasons for it. Firstly, a higher abv most likely cask strength 50% and above these whiskies can feel thick and slightly drying as the flavour coats all the taste receptors on the tongue. This dense texture can also come from the maturation and more specifically in European oak which will give tannins and develop richer fruity flavours. This is further developed by specific casks which held wines or other spirits, a rather experimental cask is the Rivesaltes cask a French fortified wine which can create an almost chewy dense texture for the whisky, compared to the mouthfeel of eating a steak. This specific mouthfeel can also be a result of the distillation processes and specifically the use of a worm tub condenser which forced the alcohol vapours through a pipe which is plunged through a large tub of cold water, this makes the alcohol vapours condense faster and have greater interaction with the copper creating sulphuric reactions.
Enjoyed this flavour? The following whiskies all share this flavour profile.....