How To Drink Whiskey: The Pledge, The Turn, and the Prestige
Hold the glass up to your nose and inhale, slowly, with your mouth slightly open. This will help familiarize your palate with what you are about to experience. Do this a few times and try to pull some flavors before taking your first sip.
This is your first sip. It’s your introduction to the whiskey, preparing you for the next step.
Take another small sip. This time, let it burn your palate until the burn goes away. You will be desensitized from the alcohol when you get through this step. Once the after-burn goes away, you’re ready for your third sip - which is actually your first taste.
Take another small sip. By now you should be able to taste the sweeter, lighter flavors. From this point on, the whiskey should start to open up more and more and you’ll start to pick up all the nuances of the spirit and the wood.
*Note: This does not need to be repeated every time you have a new glass of whiskey, but it helps if your next dram is higher in proof or smokier/peatier.