Whisky has been distilled in Scotland for hundreds of years and it is a truly amazing to many that the three basic ingredients of spring water, malted barley and yeast can be combined in so many individual expressions.
The world's leading national drink, can only be called Scotch if it has been distilled and matured in Scotland. This most celebrated of spirits is distilled in a land of breathtaking natural beauty and it takes nothing from nature which nature will not readily replace.
Of all the spirits mankind has distilled, refined and enhanced from nature's huge store of goodness, Scotch whisky is the most noble. It is a natural drink, a distillation of the riches with which Scotland is so abundantly endowed - of fields of golden barley and wheat; of clear waters tumbling down glens of granite and over moors of peat; and of the cool, pure air of Scotland.
The traditions of distilling and maturing Scotch whisky have evolved through the centuries, using crafts passed from generation to generation in a continual process of refinement.
Until 1831 and the advent of the patent still, all the whisky produced in Scotland was of the malt variety. Now, there are two kinds of whisky: malt whisky, used essentially in the creation of blended whiskies, or bottled in small proportions as a single malt; and grain whisky, which is combined with malt whisky to create the famous blends
Both varieties are produced differently - but both are produced in distilleries located in the most picturesque of settings, close to the natural ingredients on which their unique flavour depends.
What is Scotch whisky?
Scotch whisky is a distillate made in Scotland from the elements of cereals, water and yeast, all of which nature will in due course replace.
What is a blended Scotch whisky?
A blended Scotch whisky is a blend of a number of distillates each of which separately is entitled to the description "Scotch whisky".
The period for which any blended Scotch whisky is regarded as having been matured is that of the most recently distilled of the spirits contained in the blend.
What is the difference between Scotch, Irish, Rye and Bourbon whiskies?
Scotch whisky is whisky, which has been distilled and matured in Scotland.
Irish whiskey means whiskey distilled and matured in Ireland.
Whisky is distilled in Scotland from malted barley in pot stills and from malted and unmalted barley or other cereals in patent stills.
Irish whiskey distillers tend to favour three distillations rather than two.
As regards Bourbon whiskey, it must be produced from a mash of not less than 51% corn grain and shall not be used to describe any whiskey not produced in the United States.
Rye whiskey is produced both in the United States and Canada but the name has no geographical significance. In the United States, rye whiskey by definition must be produced from a grain mash of which not less than 51% is rye grain.
What are the best blends?
This is entirely a matter of taste. All the well-known brands on the market are blended by experts with many years of experience, and consumers can be confident that in choosing their favourite they are drinking a whisky consistently blended to bring out the best characteristics of the malt and grain whiskies of which it is composed.
At what temperature is whisky best served?
This is entirely a matter of personal choice and no rules, such as chilling for certain wines, can be laid down. In Europe it is usually served at room temperature, but in some countries the convention has grown up of putting ice in the glass.
What is the best shape of a whisky glass?
A tumbler-shaped glass or goblet is probably the most popular, particularly for drinking Scotch whisky with ice and a mixer. Scotch whisky does not require any specific shape to enhance its delights and no rigid convention has grown up in this connection. Many Scotch whisky lovers affirm, however, that a malt whisky is better enjoyed in a snifter, a balloon shaped glass where the neck is narrower than the base, allowing the drinker to nose and enjoy the bouquet and character, before sipping his dram.
Does it spoil or improve the flavour of Scotch whisky to put ice into it as a drink?
This is again entirely a matter of personal taste. Similarly, to mix soda water or other soft drinks with Scotch whisky is a question of individual choice.
How should one drink Scotch whisky?
Scotch whisky is a versatile drink, superb in its own right and a fine mixer in any company. It's often served on its own , but it can also be a refreshing long drink with ice and a mixer. Scotch whisky itself presents a whole range of flavours which can be extended by the addition of soda or mineral water, lemonade, ginger ale or other mixers. .
For the Alcoholic at Heart:
Here's a short 5-step version:
1. Grain (barley) is steeped in water to germinate, then dried over a (peat) fire and now called "malt", which is then milled.
2. The milled malt (grist) is mixed with hot water, cooled and filtered (wort).
3. Yeast is added to the "wort" to make a kind of beer called "wash".
4. This liquid is distilled twice (three times in exceptional cases) in potstills - the wash is cooked and the steam is condensed by cooling.
5. The final product, colorless and potent alcohol, is then filled into casks to mature. Before bottling, the matured whisky will be diluted to around 40% or 43%.
Recipe: Irish Coffee
This morning wake me up was introduced to America in San Francisco. Today it's a favorite the world over
1 oz. Irish Whiskey
1 tsp. Sugar
Pour Whiskey and Sugar into a footed mug. Fill with Coffee. Stir well. Enjoy