Eating, drinking and smelling – three important actions. When we are hungry, we eat something. When we are thirsty, we drink something. Smelling? Why do we smell? For living we must breath. Do we need smells?
Well, our environment is changing all the time. Originally nose ( = sense of smell) warn us of any harmful substances. On the other hand human are enjoying delicious food and bewerages. Basically human can taste sweet, bitter, salty, sour and umami. Very often we say ”taste so good (eg. vanilla, orange, coffee). However we are actually smelling those objects. Thanks to the sense of smell.
All odors are volatile molecules. Any object must release molecules into the air to cause stimulus in brain. Orthonasal olfaction is defined as what you sniff via nose. Retronasal olfaction is sensing after swallowing a food or a bewerage. As a summary, 1 way for taste and 2 ways for smell. Try this: close your nose (no breathing via nose) and eat something smelling good. What happens, no flavor sensation at all. Hence, nose is very important.
Exactly the same happens when you taste a whisky. Only retronasal olfaction is taking place and moreover continous ethanol stream is disturbing the perception. I prefer orthonasal experience first. Why don’t you let your nose show it’s excellence.
If you don’t believe, exclude your nostrils by clothespin and try to differentiate vodka, whisky and cognac. Only kind of taste is in action. You will not experience the emotional perception caused by the aroma molecules. Just the whisky aroma is making your mood rather than the burning ethanol.