Tasting and service

Getting to know whisky

Want an intro to whisky? The ITHQ, in conjunction with the SAQ, has two workshops you’ll want to check out!

Published on October 20, 2020

In collaboration with the SAQ, the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) is holding two workshops on this amber liquid and the pleasurable ambiance it creates. The first one is a six-hour master class spread over two evenings, during which attendees learn all about whisky: terminology, factors influencing the character of each variety (crafting, distillation and aging), main producing countries and tasting techniques.

You can also choose the second option: a three-hour tasting workshop, with a guest chef in attendance to create dishes appropriate to the chosen theme. “This type of workshop appeals more to a young female audience,” says Nicolas Bourque, a whisky expert and SAQ-workshop instructor.

During our session, Bourque arranges six bottles in a semicircle on the counter and invites us to taste the whiskies while he explains the technique. Next, he enlightens us about the liquid’s amber colour


“Unlike wine,” he says, “the whisky colour hardly varies from one brand to another. And it doesn’t affect their intensity.”

Nicolas Bourque Ateliers SAQNicolas Bourque Ateliers SAQ

The discussion then moves on to the olfactory aspect – notes of caramel, vanilla, pastry, spices, oak, rubber – and finally to the palate. In this final step, we learn how to appreciate the complexity of the flavours (light and floral, medium-bodied and fruity, medium-bodied and woody, full-bodied and complex, full-bodied and smoky). That’s where the charm comes to the fore… Cheers!

Fine spirit taste tagsFine spirit taste tags

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