First, remember that before one can truly appreciate the subtleties of a fine single malt, one must train the senses. Appearance, aroma, taste, and feel are all important and there is a method by which these can be focused to enhance the experience. The information on the “Nosing and Tasting” and the “What to Look For” pages will be of great help to you.
Second, appreciating anything of quality must be done with concentration and devotion. Give yourself plenty of time to savor the experience.
Third, keep in mind that different people will taste different things in the same malt. Certainly, members of your tasting group will have preferences for different flavors and aromas. Agreement is not important, nor are the recommendations from so-called experts in the industry. The key to enjoying single malt is to find what you like the most.
And finally, we suggest that you first focus on the flavors you find most pleasant as a way to get started. Consult “Scotch Tasting for the Novice” or “Best by Flavor” for some specific recommendations. Read these pages carefully and you will find consuming your favorite dram much more pleasurable. Then, as you feel ready expand your horizons.