By: Scott Ritenbaugh

Once you have made notes on enough whiskeys, you’ll want to build a flight. A flight is three or more glasses of whiskey that are strategically grouped together to either show the similarities or differences among the selections. Flights offer a great opportunity to sample several different expressions and expand your whiskey knowledge. When going through a flight, save some whiskey in each glass, rather than drinking one entire selection before moving to the next. Skip around, and move back and forth between the whiskeys. Tasting different whiskeys back to back can reveal aspects of the spirit that you didn’t previously notice


Below are a few popular themes for flights that will help demonstrate similarities between various whiskeys:

  • Similar age
  • Similar mash bills
  • Whiskey from a single distillery
  • Proof
  • Region
  • Single Barrel
  • Limited Releases
  • Bottled in Bond

But you don’t always need to showcase similarities in your themes. It can be just as educational to build a flight to showcase differences. For example:

  • Increase in Age
  • Increase in proof
  • New releases
  • Different flavoring grains
  • Craft whiskey

Flights don’t have to be built around a theme, they can be put together to show a range of different aspects of the whiskey. Flights are one of the best ways to introduce someone to whiskey and also one of the best ways to expand his or her knowledge of whiskey. Putting flights together is fun, and it allows you to showcase your whiskey knowledge.

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