Whisky Tasting in the Tavern


Ohio Scottish Games & Celtic Festival will be hosting a whisky tasting event in "The Tavern", June 21-22, 2024. The tasting will include six single malt/single pot whiskies. This page will be updated as the whiskies are chosen.

A total of 230 tickets will be sold for the 2024 event. This event did sell out in advance of last years event so we encourage you to get your tickets early.

WHISK[E]Y TASTING

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED

  • Whisk[e]y is meant to be enjoyed. Some people drink whisk[e]y with ice or cola. That is okay for drinking, but not for tasting. You should taste the whisk[e]y neat and without ice.
  • It is okay to drink a beverage alongside whisk[e]y. Whatever you drink should have a neutral flavor, like Guinness or a pilsner. It is advisable to avoid strong flavors like IPAs.
  • There are many benefits to tasting whisk[e]y out of a Glencairn glass, or small wine glass.
  • For tasting whisk[e]y, it’s common to pour a one-ounce dram. Most of the experience will be nosing the whisk[e]y (hence the Glencairn glass). A nose can detect far more aromas than a palate can taste. Thus, a one-ounce dram is more than enough to be getting on with.
  • You are not drinking a “shot” of whisk[e]y. A one-ounce dram of whisk[e]y should provide about four or five good sips. Slow down and enjoy.
  • Tasting a whisk[e]y consists of three distinct phases, i.e., the arrival, the development, and the finish.
  • During the arrival, keep the whisk[e]y in the front of your mouth (that is, on the tip of the tongue) and taste it for a minimum of 10 second. Seriously, slowly count to at least ten. This will acclimate the whisk[e]y to your taste buds so you can start tasting the flavors as opposed to the burning sensation of the ethanol. Also, it is during the arrival phase that you will taste most of the flavors in the whisk[e]y. Don’t waste them.
  • After a slow arrival, move the whisk[e]y back slowly and finish it. You will notice different flavors during each phase.
  • Lastly, “Tasting Notes” are only a suggestion of some of the aromas and flavors you might experience. There may be many more that you personally experience. Also, one’s perception of different aromas and flavors varies based on numerous factors.

WHISK[E]Y BASICS

Whisk[e]y is an alcoholic beverage made from the distillation of fermented cereal grain mash (i.e., grains soaked in hot water and left to ferment) and typically aged in wooden containers.

Whisk[e]y was originally called “aqua vitae” in Latin (i.e., water of life). In Irish Gaelic, “water of life” is “uisce beatha” (pronounced “ish-kuh bah-hah”), and in Scottish Gaelic it is “uisge beatha” (pronounced “oosh-kih bay-ha”). It is from “uisce” / “uisge” that the modern English word “whisk[e]y” is derived.

In order to be considered a Scotch Whisky, it must:

  • Be made of only water and malted barley, plus other optional cereal grains.
  • Be mashed, fermented, distilled to no more than 94.8% ABV, and matured in oak casks not exceeding 700 liters for a minimum of three years in Scotland.
  • Not contain additives other than water and optional caramel coloring (e150a).
  • Retain the characteristics of its raw materials and production, and maturation methods (i.e., it needs to smell and taste like whisky).
  • Be bottled at no less than 40% ABV.

In order to be considered an Irish Whiskey, it must:

  • Be made from a mash of malted barley, plus other optional cereal grains.
  • Be mashed, fermented, and distilled to no more than 94.8% ABV, and matured in wooden casks not exceeding 700 liters for a minimum of three years in Ireland (either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland).
  • Not contain additives other than water and optional caramel coloring (e150a).
  • Retain the characteristics of its raw materials (i.e., it needs to smell and taste like whiskey).
  • Be bottled at no less than 40% ABV.

A single malt whisk[e]y is one produced in a single distillery using only malted barley (i.e., barley that has been allowed to germinate and then heated to stop the growth).

Up until the 19th century, whisk[e]y was spelled without an “e.” In the late 19th century, however, an “e” was added by some distillers, particularly Irish distillers (perhaps to differentiate their product from Scotch whisky). Today, all Scotch whisky is spelled without an “e” by law. In Ireland, the predominant spelling today is with an “e,” although by law it can be spelled either way (Paddy Irish Whiskey only added the “e” in the 1960's and Irish distilleries like McConnell's Distillery and Waterford Distillery currently spell it without the “e”).

When you present your ticket, you will be given a punch card along with a complimentary Glencairn whisky glass. Present the punch card at our pouring station to receive one, one ounce pours of each of our offered whiskies.

Unlike some festivals where you are herded in and out of the whisky tasting area, we encourage you to stay and enjoy your whisky for as long as you like. Entertainment will be provided in the whisky tasting area over the entire weekend. The area will include information about each whisky with the characteristics of each.

Tickets for the Whisky Tasting event are $45. You can receive a 10% discount when you purchase your ticket by May 15. Ticket sales will be limited.

Purchase Tickets

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Yes, you must be 21 years old to enter this area.
Does this ticket include admission to the Ohio Scottish Games & Celtic Festival?
No. That must be purchased separately.
Will entry into the whisky tasting area be limited?
We will only be selling 160 tickets. That said, entry into the Whisky Tasting area, "The Tavern" will not be restricted.
Can a punch card be shared?
Yes. We realize that not everyone wants to drink six pours of whisky so, you are welcome to share.
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