Becky Barnicoat tastes whisky
Credit: Cork Whiskey Society

Follow your nose: The whiskey smell test

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Forget the price tag—just give it a sniff. That’s Johnnie Walker whiskey ambassador Ali Reynolds’ advice to Business Insider. No stranger to bottles costing upward of $30,000, Reynolds says an alcohol burn on the nose usually betrays a young whiskey. “If it has depth to the smell and you can pick up other flavor notes, that’s quite a good thing.”

You usually get what you pay for, the bartending whiz explains. In whiskies that have aged a while, those notes could well be wood or leather: “If you can describe them in different ways, that’s a good sign.”

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