The term tasting refers to the evaluation of whisky through visual examination, taste and aroma. Tastings are often conducted for the pure analysis of the whisky in groups e.g. in panels to award whisky after some pre-defined criteria, for reference purposes or as a social activity. There is no rule but common are the three stages of evaluating the whisky. The taster considers first the appearance of the whisky, nosing is the second part where the taster tries to detect the different aromas. Finally the liquid is tasted. Many add water or ice to see how the whisky is changing. The whisky glass, air temperature and the time the whisky spend in the glass to breathe can change the aromas.
Toasting is a similar process to charring of casks but less aggressive due to the more porous nature of European oak.
The more you taste, the more you find, the greater the rewards.