While I don’t think I do anything out of the ordinary during my reviews, here’s how I go about reviewing a whisky. I start with a 1-2 oz pour in a Glencairn or a Coptia (my favorite nosing and tasting glass). I prefer stemmed glassware but a regular Glencairn is fine in a pinch. After the pour, I’ll usually let the whisky sit for about 5-10 minutes. The difference in the nose after 1 minute and after 10 minutes is often remarkable.
I start with the appearance, noting color and if the whisky coats the glass particularly well or poorly. I nose for at least 5-10 minutes before attempting a taste. After about three sips, I’ll add a few drops of water unless I know that the whisky is better neat. It usually takes 45 minutes or so for me to complete a review.
One rule that I always follow is that I always finish my tasting notes before I finish the drink so that I can enjoy the end of the drink without the pressure of writing down tasting notes.