Can you stand us a drink? Credit: Bram Hageman (Flickr)
Can you stand us a drink?
Credit: Bram Hageman (Flickr)

Nice legs! That thing whiskey does when you swirl it explained

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Tears? Cathedral windows? Nah, let’s call them legs. At Scotchwhisky.com, the Whisky Professor explains that those trails left down the glass after a swirl speak volumes about a dram.

As it turns out, legs form because alcohol evaporates faster than water, which has a higher surface tension than booze. More water pulls whiskey up the sides of the glass before it slips back down under its own weight.

Getting a bead on it

OK, but what do those legs mean? “Put simply, the more rapidly the legs move, the lighter the whisky will be in the mouth; the thicker and slower they are, the heavier it will feel,” the Whiskey Professor says. “The inside of the glass therefore can be said to replicate in some way the inside of your mouth.”

Then there’s the beading test, which you can try at home by covering a glass with your hand and shaking it. The more bead action on the surface, the stronger the dram, the good Professor notes: “No beads will form in a mature whisky if it is under 50% ABV.” Good to know.

Getting a bead on it
OK, but what do those legs mean? “Put simply, the more rapidly the legs move, the lighter the whisky will be in the mouth; the thicker and slower they are, the heavier it will feel,” the Whiskey Professor says. “The inside of the glass therefore can be said to replicate in some way the inside of your mouth.”

Then there’s the beading test, which you can try at home by covering a glass with your hand and shaking it. The more bead action on the surface, the stronger the dram, the good Professor notes: “No beads will form in a mature whisky if it is under 50% ABV.” Good to know.🥃

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