how to prepare a whisky?!
You can do it however you like. Hopefully you will do it the way you most enjoy it, and not the way the scotch snobs will insist you drink it. Of course you don't want to get stupid crazy about it because of the cost, and you should never waste top shelf liquor in a mixed drink. Get a good quality lower cost alternative if you are making a cocktail such as a Manhattan or Rob Roy.
3 basic options for preparing whisky. You can try them all over the course of an evening and discern right away what the differences are, and which you prefer.
First get a thick walled rocks glass, the older the better (older = thicker).
#1: neat, the purist way to drink it- pour two fingers at room temp, take small sips, smelling as much as tasting the whisky as you do. Let the sips coat your tongue, you are re-coating your tongue throughout the drink as much as you are swallowing. After the second or third sip the taste should have stabilized in your mouth, and you can begin to evaluate the flavors. Being able to pick out and appreciate the flavors is what this game is all about.
#2: on the rocks- get a block of ice from the store, if you can, and chip out a big ole chunk of ice and pour two fingers over it. If you can't get block ice, make the biggest ice cubes you can, little ice cubes won't do, ideally you want one chunk taking up a good portion of the real estate in the glass. Swish the whiskey until it is cold. When you sip you will find it sweeter and smoother than when you sipped it neat. Beginners like this, but you are masking all the flavors that all your money went towards buying, which is why most whisky lovers would be horrified at the thought of putting ice in a really good scotch or whisky. Try it, if you like it then drink yours on the rocks, but get a cheaper kind next time around.
#3: with water or soda- this will get you the most flak with whisky snobs, but if done correctly will bring out a whole 'nother realm of flavors from the whiskey. Pour two or three fingers of whisky and add a splash- just a splash- of spring water, mineral water, or soda water. You are not looking to fill up the glass. The tiny amount of water that you added will cause a wide range of delicate flavors to bloom in the whisky. These are completely hidden from the palate with straight whisky, and are only released with the water. When you try this, consciously try to pick out what is there now that was hidden when you drank the whisky neat.
With all three methods, the whisky will taste different. Spend a night trying all three and zero in on which you like. You should be spending the night sipping and evaluating what your tongue is telling you. Expect that over time your tastes will change regarding whisky. Change your drink as you see fit, and do not swear that only one way is the correct way, if you want to avoid the snob-rut that many whisky fans fall into.
It's a question of taste. The best way to drink whisky and whiskey is to pour the liquor into a snifter , allow it to breath for a few minutes and drink at room temperature. If it seems a little harsh, as can be the case with Buchanan, you can add a splash of water, just regular water - mineral water. A very unpalatable whisky which one feels socially obliged to drink (maybe one of your inlaws served you from his/her stock at his/her home) can be fixed by adding a splash of water and taking it on the rocks, watering it down with soda and ice, or by mixing with some light carbonatwed soft drink such as a ginger ale, 7up or Sprite.