In this, the most important of the stages, it is recommended that you move the glass slowly towards the nose, perhaps doing so twice to avoid the olfactory membranes becoming accustomed to the scent.
The olfactory examination is done based on the sensations created by the volatile elements in the grappa. It is necessary to verify the absence of defects in the form of unpleasant odors, among which are the scent of silos, a waxy or sour sensation – a symptom of poorly preserved marc – or sensations of particular pungency, which are signs of problems during distillation/poor cutting of heads. Following verification of the absence of defects (which would justify ending the evaluation of the grape spirit), the search for positive scents begins, among which are those that recall floral, fruity and spicy notes.
These sensations are then amplified and blended together with those that reach the olfactory membrane through evaporation in the oral cavity following tasting and swallowing of the distillate. It is important to note that the identification of olfactory and aftertaste sensations is considerably affected by personal disposition and past experiences in relation to specific scents.