Whisky by Flavour - Mouthfeel - Warming
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 warming mouthfeel is where the common phrase ‘a winter dram’ comes from this refers to the rich deep flavours of the whisky, so how is that developed? The rich silky textures can be developed by long chain esters in the fermentation stage, these will further develop in a pot still distillation as the new make spirit is made. This new make will then further develop in maturation as it develops spice and oak influence, especially with rich tannins from European oak. This warm mouthfeel will be a combination of these rich flavours coating your palate but from a whisky which has been bottled at a higher ABV. Maintaining a higher alcohol level when bottling the whisky will maintain more flavours and texture developed in its production and maturation and this will result in the warm coating the whisky gives to your palate.
Enjoyed this flavour? The following whiskies all share this flavour profile.....