The tasting ritual as described by the Masterblender: the first sniff of the whiskey is to say "hello." The second sniff is to say "how are you?" The third sniff is an enthusiastic: "Quite well. Thank you very much." And we haven't even taken a sip yet. When you do have the courage to take a taste, please don't "knock it back like a cowboy."
The Whyte and Mackay website professes two things you must remember about Mr. Paterson: "If you drink the whisky too quickly, he'll slap you. And if he sees you holding a whisky tasting glass the wrong way, he'll kill you." But that kind of violence isn't really indicated by Mr. Paterson's methodical ways — at least not on the podcast.
There is some trendy instruction as to what whisky pairs best with certain foods. Or should I say it the other way around: what cuisine goes best with a certain whisky. The latter seems to be of more weight in the whisky world. Either way, the pairing of meals to spirits is becoming as de rigeur as wine pairings were last decade.
Even if you are not a whisky lover, which I confess I am not, take a look at Mr. Paterson's work; you will get an enlightenment into both drink and country. You'll get an understanding of the elaborate culture that Scotch Whisky has grown up around itself. And at the very least, you'll have a good idea of how to order a whiskey in a bar and how to dress down the bartender if he or she dares to put ice in that whisky.