Whisky is a deadly affair, a marriage between wants and what nots, a relationship for the fool and the die hardy and like all powers the power of whisky too comes with a great deal of responsibility. A responsibility to understand what Whisky is all about. That’s why we’ve setup a ‘101 With Whisky – Expert Led Tasting Session‘ powered by a Whisky Master working with a world renown Whisky company.
Here are 5 things you need to know if you love your whisky!
1. Whisky or Whiskey?
Short and sweet – Whisky refers to Scottish blends and Whiskey refers to Irish or American blends. Think we’re making this up? Have a look at the comprehensive blow by blow account the guys at Whisky For Everyone pulled up.
2. Highlands vs. Lowlands?
Highlands and lowlands are parts of the country where whisky is made in Scotland. The weather and landscape make an impact on the grain which in turn decides the smoothness, sweetness, color, taste, etc. of the amber liquid. The highlands you are likely to find Aberfeldy, Dalmore and Glenmorangie with their distilleries and the malts would range from dry to sweet. The lowlands play host to Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie and the whiskies are soft and light in flavor with grassy notes to follow up a sip. Read more from the masters at Food Republic.
3. Scottish vs. Bourbon vs. Irish
Sourced from - Real Men Drink Whisky
Scotch – To qualify as a scotch the spirit must be made from malted Barley, with many scotches using nothing more than barley, water and yeast. You are allowed to include whole grains of other cereals as well as caramel colouring. The spirit must also be aged in oak casks for no less than three years, and must have an ABV at less than 94.8%. Finally, you cannot call your drink Scotch unless it was made 100% in Scotland, from Scotland.
Bourbon – Bourbon whiskey must be made from a grain mixture which is at least 51% corn. The fermentation process for this mixture is often started by mixing in some mash from an older already fermenting batch, a process known as sour mash and it must be made in the United States!
Irish – Irish whiskey is pretty much any whiskey aged in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland. It must be made from yeast-fermented grain mash in such a way that the distillate has an aroma and flavor derived from the materials used. You are free to use any cereal grains, but if you mix two or more distillates it must be labelled as blended.
4. Single or Blended
When you use more than one strain of grain to make your whisky it’s a blended whisky and when you use a single one it’s a single malt. Single malts carry a more distinct flavour and are comparable across the different distilleries and hence aficionados enjoy a healthy (sometimes heated) debate on the tastes of the different producers. A blended whisky of which the Jhonnie Walker Black Label is one of the most famous in the world, carries more than one grain in the making. It may take a distillery many years to perfect a blend.
5. Ice, Straight, Water, Soda?
The age old question that keeps us on our toes everytime you go out with your boss or someone you’d like to impress. How does one drink Whisky? On the rocks? Straight with no additives? With water? Or with soda? The truth is, or what this blog writer would like to believe, you decide how you like it. Whisky without an additive is pure and not easy to drink, it catches the throat and pierces the inner cheek muscle. When you add water or ice you tend to oxygenate your whisky giving it a little breathing room and dulling the bitterness in your mouth. Adding soda or coke destroys the original flavour of your whisky and rather tends to flavour the soda or coke instead of flavoring the whisky. If you really want to taste your whisky add a cube of ice and a gentle splash of water, almost as much as the whisky you put in. You’ll find it easy and aromatic to go through your drink that way!
Get a chance to learn all this on ‘101 With Whisky – Expert Led Tasting Session‘ Tour happening in Gurgaon. Book your spot now!