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Colors and Flavors

Drinkers in Asian market tend to prefer whisky with rich color and full body. This is also the case in Taiwan, where Sherry butt are profoundly popular. People are fond of deep amber color, as if they are able to smell it by just looking at its appearance.


However, a whisky with deep color is not necessarily great. The color comes from several elements, including the impact from the oak barrels, the ageing period, the level of charring of the barrel, and the content it beforehand. Most of the time a deep color doesn’t mean anything good but a risk of over-oaked, which may otherwise lead to overwhelming oak flavors in the whisky.


Look for these wording on the label of a whisky: first fill Oloroso Sherry Butt, first fill Bourbon Barrel, Virgin Oak, etc. These are the hints which indicate a shorter ageing period. Prolong maturation in these types of oak may destroy the balance of a whisky and even lead to a bitter flavor. Conversely a light-colored whisky is rather likely run short of oak, which might lead to sort of “new make spirit” flavor in the whisky. After all, the color of a whisky only offers limited information about the quality of the whisky. 


For whisky connoisseur, the color of a whisky will not be the crucial factor to determine their choice. It is a self-limitation against exploration to judge a whisky merely by its color.

Of course, some people prefer whisky with deep color, and others may look for light-colored one. There is no right and wrong but only personal preferences. However if we only focus on whisky with heavy flavors, it may spoil our palate in time, resisting it from tasting those elegant and delicate whisky. This may not be a good thing.

The world of whisky is boundless and constantly evolving. You need to explore it yourself and figure out the characters of each bottle of whisky, rather than judging by its appearance or even by rumors. Even if a bottle of whisky has a bad reputation, it is only a reflection of the people’s preference. It is still possible a notorious whisky being your favorite.







尤其看到酒標上的桶型標示,像是 First Fill Oloroso Sherry Butt 又或是 First Fill Bourbon Barrel 以及 Virgin Oak 等,其實也都不太適合於長期的熟陳,一旦熟陳的時間拿捏不當時,就很容易導致吃桶過重,甚至讓人喝起來會有明顯的苦澀感,當然也不是說顏色比較淺的威士忌就可能會比較好,因為如果顏色太淺的話,也非常有可能會吃桶不足,甚至在品飲時會有 New Make Spirit 的風味浮現,所以威士忌的酒色深淺還是會透露或暗示些許的資訊這是不可否認的,但這也只是對於一瓶酒非常粗淺的預判與揣測,並不是所謂的一定。