This is one of the reasons why the Diploma course has a unit dedicated solely to spirits of the world, including:
During my studies I developed a note for spirits, modelled directly on the Rational Wine Note.
I now offer it here for your personal use:
Similar to the updated Rational Wine Note, I have presented it as a four-page document for double-sided, two-per-page printing.
You’ll quickly notice some key differences between the spirits note and the wine note:
- Different set of colour designations
- Maturation categories
- Simpler scale, no Medium(+/-)
In addition, when tasting spirits it is recommended to add a few drops of water to bring out more of its aromas and flavours, as these become more volatile in the presence of water.
Water also exposes anise-flavoured spirits via louching, causing the solution to become milky/cloudy.
Of course, when objectively tasting spirits you should always have them neat.
This is in contrast to real-world situations where patrons would usually ask for spirits to be mixed, whether in a cocktail or simply with soda.
By learning to taste spirits neat, you will develop a deeper appreciation of what exactly goes into your cocktail. Who knows, you might eventually change your tastes, no longer ordering that bourbon+coke or gin+tonic that was your go-to order at the bar.
Read more: The 3 Gateways of Wine