As Ontario inches closer and closer to having our world feel more normal, post-COVID-19, we may be able to start thinking about hosting friends and family in groups again. As Whisky Quarterly Ontario was founded by an in-home whisky tasting – Let’s talk about what you’ll need for your own.

Many enthusiasts revel in the craftsmanship and uniqueness of what each bottle offers, beyond its intoxicating after effects. A scotch tasting party is one of the many ways to appreciate the joys of not being sober, without being intoxicated.

Part of enjoying a DIY scotch tasting party is experiencing the joy of comparing fine alcohol with a small group of friends. Far from the wild nights from our respective youth at clubs, these parties are more refined and intimate, allowing you and your guests to focus on enjoying its unique flavours.

Setting up a scotch tasting party

Similar to any party, you need to prepare for different types of logistical needs. Besides the obvious requirement of a venue and seating options, a scotch tasting party will require some specific details and rules that you need to know.

If you’re planning to have a grand night of tasting scotch with your friends and peers, here are four things you need to prepare.

Stock up on whisky options

You should have a variety when it comes to what you will offer to your guests. There are two tried and tested ways of determining your scotch selection. The first is to prepare a representative from one of Scotland’s five-whisky producing regions or to choose different age expressions from the same distillery. Regardless of what options you purchase, it would be best if you stuck with single malt scotch while limiting your options to six to eight whiskies at most.

Be particular about who you invite

When inviting people for a whisky drinking party, you need to make sure that they’re aware of the nature of the event. It’s a tasting event that allows the participants to savour the flavour of your drinks, not a race to the finish. While you may lean towards inviting only those who have experienced a tasting before. Go against that feeling – Invite a wide variety. Your own background experiences in spirits, what flavours are pulled out from attendee to attendee and the knowledge that can be shared is so valuable!

Prepare the right glassware

Drinking alcohol from the right glassware can impact the flavour and tasting experience. That is why scotch needs to receive the right amount of respect and preparation. You wouldn’t want to dish out your everyday mugs or plastic cups for scotch. You should bring out the proper glassware containers for the occasion, whether for straight-up shots or casual drinking. Your best bet, however, is having Glencairn glass, which provides the perfect shape in maximizing the taste and aroma of your finest bottles of scotch. 

Manage your guests’ intoxication

The key to an effective tasting process is by managing your portions. Start small by pouring small amounts—around half an ounce—to your guests’ glasses. Doing so allows your guests to home in on its taste and aroma without experiencing its inebriating effects. Keep in mind that you will serve different rounds of whisky that contain at least 60 proof or more. Unless your guests are heavy hitters, they may end up not reaching a third glass if you don’t know how to manage your tasting portions.

An excellent buffer to prevent intoxication is serving snacks at your event. Oily and salty food can coat the stomach to slow down the processing of alcohol. Meanwhile, plain crackers and citrus snacks can wash your palate to have a fresh taste of every brand you offer.

In addition, let’s all be adults here. Make sure that you are being responsible and taking taxis, Ubers or having a designated driver take you home post-event.


After a night of tasting varying delicacies of the scotch brands, you should allow you and your guests to continue the party with or without alcoholic drinks. We have always felt at Whisky Quarterly Ontario that the best bottle of whisky, is one that is shared with those who are important to you. Treasure those nights, you never know – you may decide to build a spirits import venture!

Explore our exclusive distillery partners to find the right brand that you need. Apply for membership online with us today to order from our partners, receive invites and early discounts to the latest events and tastings and much more in the future.