Narrated by Ron Swanson and this Quora thread.
Can you tell the difference between Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey and a punch in the mouth?
If not, this Quora user has the perfect steps to becoming an expert.
You both need room to breathe.
Use an old fashioned glass. The glass is as wide as it is tall, and give the whiskey lots of air. It also lets you get your nose in the glass so you can smell all the amazing stuff happening in there.
Keep things one-on-one.
If you really want to learn to detect different flavors in your whiskey, don't mix it with sodas like Coke or Sprite because the sugar and other flavors in the soda will overwhelm the flavor of the whiskey.
Friends are nice in small doses.
Water is whiskey's best friend...in small amounts. If you've got cask-strength whiskey in a glass, it's going to burn you. Splash a little water in there and you'll be amazed at how much flavor opens up. If you're just starting out, try mixing 3/4 whiskey to 1/4 water in your glass. This will take the edge off the alcohol burn and allow you to taste the other flavors. Carbonated water is a whole other experience because the bubbles change how the flavors reach you, enhancing some and muting others. (If you're used to drinking your booze with Coke, try it with fizzy water sometime.)