If it makes sense to aerate wine, do we need to aerate whisky?
Yes and no.
Yes it helps to let whisky breathe by swirling it in your glass but I don’t recommend using an aerator or decanting it (for the purpose of aeration). A device like the Vinturi wine aerator might work for wine but it’s unnecessary for whisky.
By swirling the whisky in your glass, you’re in a sense aerating it, and you release more of the aromatic compounds so they’re easier to detect. You don’t have to do this but many whisky experts recommend it.
You also release more alcohol vapors, which can be overwhelming if you’re new to scotch and high alcohol by volume (40%+) spirits. You can counteract the higher alcohol percentage by adding a few drops of water (again, recommended by experts), which drops the alcohol by volume percentage and opens up a whole new world of flavors.
In summary, you don’t need to aerate whisky like you would aerate a red wine, but some air and water will bring out some more flavors and improve the experience. If someone wants to sell you a whisky aerator, run the other way!