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April 15, 2024

How to pick a whisky according to taste and colour

Arushi Sakhuja  
When many people begin their journey of appreciating single malt whisky, there are plenty of guidebooks, but very little that describes the terrain of whisky in terms of taste and aromas as well as colour and price point. What should you look for in a dram? What does the colour say about its age and what helps you identify how expensive a whisky is? LuxeBook will guide you through the process of picking a whisky from the tasting wheel to the 20-point colour scale, helping you pick the right whisky.  
Of all the ways to enjoy whisky, sipping it neat reveals the impossible complexity of what is, by some measure, quite a miraculous spirit. Its recipe includes nothing more than a selection of simple grains, yeast, and water.  Hence, making picking the right whisky is an art. From the flavour profile to the colour of the whisky, these indicators help you decide which one is best suited for you.  Below is our whiskey-tasting flavour wheel that will help you appreciate everything that’s in your glass. 
Tasting Wheel
how to pick a whisky
Tasting Wheel
Tasting chart
how to pick a whisky
Whisky Taste Chart
Colour chart  
how to pick a whisky
Whisky Colour Chart
The standard scale for describing whisky colours is based on a 20-point scale of colour intensity, that can be exactly defined by specific light absorbance measurements.   The standard 20-point scale gives us a visual reference to a colour chart for confirmation. In the absence of added colouring the following are usually indicative: (0-5) clear/pale gold young or refill cask matured, (6-11) medium to full gold 1st fill ex-Bourbon or refill Sherry casks, darker gold (12+) well aged, any copper or bronze hue may indicate Sherry and darker (14-20) usually 1st fill ex-Sherry, crimson or pink hue may indicate Port or Red Wine maturation or finishes. The use of American white oak, European Sherry Oak or French Tannic  Oak are likely to only introduce a variance of around 1 point on the scale.    
The industry uses a slightly expanded scale either the Series 52 Brown Scale or European Brewing Convention (EBC) scale. Series 52 is the original Lovibond® Brown colour scale now currently used for the colour grading of whisky, honey and similarly coloured liquids or syrups. The standard version of this scale includes a series of 23 amber/brown glasses although other values are also available.  
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Arushi Sakhuja


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