Four misconceptions about whisky you need to unlearn

Four misconceptions about whisky you need to unlearn

What's in a dram?

Text: Varsha Sivaram

Image: Bar and Billiard Room

Whisky Expert Christopher B. Nyfeler demystifies this popular spirit so you don't have to

We'll admit it: whisky can be an intimidating drink. From the many brewing methods to the complexity of each dram, there is lots to take note of even before you take your first sip. If anyone knows his whisky, it's Raffles Singapore's Resident Whisky Expert Christopher B. Nyfeler. So we went down to the Bar and Billiard Room to get schooled. As it turns out, whisky isn't intimidating — it's just misunderstood. Here are four misconceptions about the iconic drink.

1. There's only one way to drink whisky
Forget the elaborate nosing, swirling and sipping routine. Do it if you must, but know that it isn't necessary. If you're looking to simply enjoy your drink, we have one tip for you to follow. After your first sip, let it sit on your palate for about five to seven seconds. It'll allow for the whisky's diverse range of notes to come through, giving you a full taste of the spirit.

2. Whisky on the rocks is the way to go
If you're one to throw your whisky on the rocks, we'd recommend making a change: Enjoy it neat. It keeps the drink's rich flavours from being diluted. So go ahead and pour yourself a glass sans ice – no matter the heat outside.

3. Always trust the tasting notes
They might be detailed, but tasting notes are still highly subjective. They are contingent on a variety of factors such as where you're from or the diet you're exposed to. What you taste as hints of lychee, for instance, might simply be sweet green grapes to those who have never tried it. That's why you should go with your own gut – or palate – when it comes to taste.

4. Colour indicates quality
It's a common error to equate colour with quality. However, the colour of whisky arises as a result of the cask it is aged in. Whiskies aged in bourbon casks usually come in more golden or yellow shades, whereas those aged in sherry casks are darker with an amber hue.

The Bar and Billiard Room at Raffles Hotel was relaunched recently to proffer a new cocktail menu along with a new whisky programme showcasing up to 400 whiskies from the world over. Drop by from Tuesdays to Sundays to discover more.