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Whisky Flavour: The Flavour Nest

Although taste is very personal, it is always helpful to have a guide for a deeper understanding and greater enjoyment, particularly when tasting Whisky, as it is full of different flavours and although there is always crossover, you can often group them by their key characteristics. The Flavour Nest was created to help simplify these differences, grouping whisky in to 5 different profiles, with two other profiles for new make and botanical spirits. Every whisky on The Whisky Nest will be assigned one of these profiles and this post details the different flavours associated with each profile.

Sweet Spice

These whiskies are lighter with hints of flavours that make them a great introduction for those new to whisky, with key notes of:

  • Lighter Grasses

  • Ginger

  • Cinnamon

  • Toffee

  • Citrus Fruits

Whiskies to try - Mack by Mackmyra, Penderyn Hiraeth


Floral Zest

These whiskies have more prominent flavours and added depth, with notes including:

  • Orchard Fruits

  • Floral

  • Honey

  • Vanilla

  • Nuts

  • Spice

Whiskies to try - Nc'nean Organic Single Malt Whisky, Starward Left-field, Filey Bay Flagship


Fruit Cake

More depth, with darker and cake-like notes appearing in these fuller bodied whiskies:

  • Caramel

  • Fruit Cake

  • Malt

  • Oak

  • Heather

  • Dried Fruit

Whiskies to try - The Lakes WMR No.5, Starward Fortis


Soft Smoke

Here we see an introduction of subtle peat and smoke, which is perfect for those looking to start a journey in to peated whiskies:

  • Hint of peat

  • Touch of smoke

  • Black Pepper

  • Honey

  • Brine

  • Oil

Whiskies to try - M&H Elements Peated Cask, Glasgow 1770 Peated, Penderyn Celt


Deep Peat

As the name suggests, this is not for the faint-hearted, as it packs a full-bodied punch filled with peaty and smoky notes:

  • Salty

  • Peat

  • Smokefest

  • Beach Bonfire

  • Oil

  • Meaty

  • Medicinal

Whiskies to try - Svensk Rok, Annandale Man O Sword


New Make

This is the spirit produced during the distillation process that is then left in a cask to mature in to whisky. Some distilleries are so focused on the quality of their new make it is good enough to drink straight away.

New Make to try

Cooper King (light & Fruity)

Peated Rascally Liquor (Peated)



Many distilleries are playing with their new make spirit to create wonderful, whisky-based, alternatives to drinks like Gin. If you have never drunk whiskies this is a great way to start your journey and an awesome replacement for Gin or as the base of your favourite cocktail.

Botanical to try

Nc'nean Botanical Spirit (Sweet and Spice)

Lindores Aqua Vitae (Spice, herbs and dark fruits)


Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of The Flavour Nest and it can help guide you on your Journey of discovery in the new world of whisky. Use it to see what whiskies you like and find others that are similar or look to venture in to new flavour profiles and challenge your pallet and your perception of other whiskies. However you use it, ensure you enjoy yourself, drink whisky the way you want to and share the experience...

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