How to Drink Scotch -The Glassware

How to Drink Scotch- The Glassware
by Jeffrey Topping

In my posting, How to Drink Scotch- The True Answer I established that the only right way to drink scotch is the one that’s good for you. The challenge is finding “what is the right way”and with that we need to start with some basics.

The Glassware
Ask yourself, why are you drinking? Relaxing, Nosing, or a bit of both. What you want to accomplish can be a big influence in the type of glass you want to use. Even when the right glass has been identified you may still need to find the right style best suited for your senses. So let’s get started:

Low Ball Glass

    Bucket Glass or Old Fashioned Glass – basically a glass which is not tapered or not designed to enhance the aromas of whisky or any type of alcohol, but it is an appropriate glass if you just want to have a drink in a bar or on the porch. Typically these types of glasses hold 6 to 10 oz of liquid, which is great if you want to load up on the rocks (ice).
    Glencairn Glass
    Blender’s Malt Glass– was designed for nosing and tasting whisky. Its heavy construction will stand up to everyday wear and tear (even a dishwasher). Its tapered end allows for maximum concentration of aromas, which is especially helpful if you sense of smell is not very good. I prefer this glass for serious nosing of cask samples. If you like to add more than 1 cube of ice this glass is not for you. For those with a larger nose this glass may also pose some difficulty as the opening is narrow. The most popular brand comes from The Glencairn Crystal Company in Scotland.
    Brandy Snifter is a great solution if a blenders malt glass is not available. Being a short stemmed glass allows for a comfortable fit in the hand. The aromas gather well at the tapered end and it can hold more than 1 cube of ice if that is how you prefer to drink.


    Wine Glasses of any type can be very useful if you are just looking to evaluate the different nuances of Scotch Whisky. Most wine glasses are tapered to some degree which allows a much greater appreciation of the whisky being nosed. Best of all a wine glass can be found at any reputable bar or restaurant.

Glassware Cleaning
If the purpose is to nose, taste, or basically study the whisky as you are enjoying it there is one important factor that cannot be over looked; a clean glass. I highly recommend washing the glass before using even it is appears clean. The following things can adversely effect the flavor of the whisky:

    DishwasherSoap is dried onto the surface of the glass.
    Scented SoapLavender or other aromas may be enjoyable while doing the dishes,however, they may not taste great in your whisky.
    Air DryingResidual soap will dry on the glass similar to a dishwasher
    Paper TowelsThe odor of the towel may linger inside the glass

To avoid the issues above I recommend cleaning glass the glass in warm water too loosen the dried soap on the glass. If the opening is too narrow try using glass wand (sponge on a stick) to get inside and loosen up the soap. Make sure the sponge was not used previously in soapy water or it defeats the purpose. Once cleaned use a clean cloth (hand towel) to dry the glass. The towel should not have the aromas of scented detergent or it will transfer into the glass.

You have picked your glass and given it a good cleaning, what’s next? Figuring out the riddle of Water, Neat, and Rocks!

Cheers, The Wild Scotsman

How to Drink Scotch -The True Answer

How to Drink Scotch-The True Answer
by Jeffrey Topping

I was reminded on the road this past month how much BS is stated by some “alleged experts aka Masters of F’all in regards to “How to Drink Scotch Whisky”. It does not bother me from a presentation stand point as I see my role as an educator in regards to Scotch Whisky and not a living marketing parrot. I do take issue with the topic when it actually causes people to be apprehensive about discovering Scotch whisky in general, which is a backlash against the over kill marketing practiced by some of the big companies.

The True Answer
Drink Scotch whisky the way that is most enjoyable for you! Drink it on the “Rocks”, take it “neat”, add “water, tonic or soda”, and if you are in Spain have a bit of Coke. My point is that we all have different tastes. Life would get very boring if everyone wore a brown shirt, drove a red car, and ate cheese pizza (unless you are that person).

The Disclaimer
I can just see some over zealous whisky men frothing at the mouth at this alleged blasphemy, however, reality can have that effect. I will say that there are some appropriate guidelines when educating people on the common uses of water, Ice, and neat in order to understand the cause and effect of such practices. This understanding allows people to know what they like and how to enhance something to be better suited to their own tastes. In the end the more people understand these practices the more likely they are willing to try new things.

Next Post
I will cover the in’s and out’s of water, ice, and neat as well as a few other things that might enhance your experience with Scotch Whisky.

Just remember in the end you are the only expert that matters!


The Wild Scotsman

Wing’s Chartiable Foundation Event

Thank you to the Yee family for inviting us to be a part of “The 10th Anniversary Wing’s Charitable Foundation Golf Outing and Silent Auction, Honoring Siu K. Yee. The money raised from this event supports The Emergency Assistance Fund of the National Kidney Foundation of Ohio and Transplant Research at The Ohio State University Hospital.

The Wild Scotsman Family was pleased to donate the Etched Glencairn Crystal Decanter Set and John McDougall Vatted Islay, which raised $2800 for a cause that touches many in our community.

Thank you,

Jeff Topping
Wild Scotsman

Scotch Tasting -Lucky’s Stout House

Many thanks to eveyone at Lucky’s Stout House in Columubs, OH. John McDougall and I both had a wonderful afternoon samlping our drams to the Restaurant trade.

Many thanks to Brett for the wonderful BBQ of slaughtered lamb from his family’s farm. The meat was out of this world with flavor! That kind of meat cannot be found in any supermarket.

Tonight we are having a tasting at J. Liu Restaurant at 1830/hrs RSVP (614) 888-1818

See you tongiht!!

Happy 4th of July- America!

Well, for those Scott’s, Irish, Welsh, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian’s, Finn’s, Dutch,and etc..who lived in North America in one of the original Continetal Colonies today is a day that has never been forgotten. Today, we celebrate our offical Declaration of Independance from Kingdom of Great Britain and its King which occured on July 4th 1776.

God Bless America and God Bless our Brave men and women fighting for our Freedom and the Freedom of those less fortunate.


The Wild Scotsman Family

900 Jobs Lost in Scotland as Port Dundas Distillery is Closed

A Distillery Alert by the Daily Record in the UK

Diageo axes Port Dundas distillery
Jul 1 2009

AROUND 900 are to be axed after drinks giant Diageo decided to shut its historic distillery at Port Dundas.

Diageo is shutting the distillery, which has been producing whisky since 1810, and is also closing a packaging plant at Kilmarnock in Ayrshire and outsourcing some of its warehousing operations.

The group’s restructuring in Scotland will mark the end of nearly 200 years of distilling at the Port Dundas operation in Glasgow.
Around 140 jobs will be lost when the distillery and its adjacent Dundashill Cooperage close, although Diageo is hoping to relocate some staff to a new cooperage in central Scotland.

Diageo said its “long-term grain whisky requirements can be best met” at the group’s Cameronbridge distillery in Fife, which is being expanded.

The jobs will go over the next two years, but Diageo said changes in the region will also see 400 jobs created through the expansion of its packaging plant in Fife.

The decision to close its Kilmarnock packaging plant and consolidate operations in its other two facilities in Glasgow and Fife will have the biggest impact on jobs, with 700 roles to go by the end of 2011.

It hopes to transfer a number of axed positions to the Fife plant, which is being expanded under an £86 million scheme.

Changes at its Shieldhall packaging plant in Glasgow will also lead to 30 job losses, said Diageo.

And the group is relocating around 80 office-based staff from Dundas House in Glasgow to another location in central Scotland over the next two years.

Outsourcing deals for its Hurlford consolidation warehouse in Ayrshire and Speyside haulage operation for distillery co-products are set to see 80 jobs transferred.

Scotland is one of Diageo’s largest spirit supply centres, currently employing around 4,500 people and producing nearly 50 million cases of Scotch whisky and white spirits.

See original post at

It seems that Diageo is making good use of the global economy to re-structure its operations. I am of the opinion, however, that the closure of Diageo’s distilleries can lead to an independant group buying the facilities, which is good for Scotland.