Whisky Masterclass

6 WHISKY FACTS YOU CAN IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

 
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1. Whisky is an English word derived from the Gaelic term "uisge beatha" or "usquebaugh" which means "water of life".

2. Know your malts: Pure Malt is from various distilleries, blended together. Single Malt comes from a single distillery but is blended from several casks. Single Cask comes from a single distillery, and only one cask.

3. Whilst a whisky improves in the barrel, it does not improve further in the bottle.

4. The age of a whisky is determined by the youngest ingredient of the blend.

5. The natural colour of a malt is very pale. Caramel is added to enrich the colour (except for American whiskeys).

6. Whisky or whiskey? Although still up for debate, legend has it that during the 1800s, Irish and American distillers starting adding an “e” to the word whisky in order to differentiate themselves from the famous Scotch whisky. The tradition has continued today, with “whiskey” denoting Irish or American provenance, and “whisky” referring to distilleries in Scotland, Japan and Canada.
  

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR SCOTCH FROM YOUR BOURBON?

Check out what makes each dark spirits unique, so the next time you’re navigating the drink selection, you’ll save yourself from the confusion and will be well equipped to order and enjoy the tasty spirit you really want!


Scotch Whisky

Scotch Whisky

Know the basics:

Aged 3 years minimum Based on cereals 40% alc. minimum Origin: Scotland

Become an aficionado:

Scotch whisky is either Malt, Grain, or Blended.

Malt whiskies are made from 100% malted barley (100%) and are usually aged between 10 – 12 years in oak casks. Malt whiskies are amongst the best, and taste more smoked and complex.

Grain whiskies are made from non-malted grain or a mixture, usually including wheat.

Blended whiskies may contain a mix of malt and non-malt, but the higher the malt ratio the better the blend. It can contains from 15 to 40 different whiskies. Blended whiskies are usually aged for 5 years in oak casks, and have a more gentle taste.

Irish Whiskey

Irish Whiskey

Know the basics:

Aged 3 years minimum Based on cereals 40% alc. minimum Origin: Ireland

Become an aficionado:

Irish whiskey is usually aged for 5 years in oak casks having contained whiskey, sherry or bourbon. It requires triple distillation in “Pot Still”, and has a softer, sweeter taste.

Bourbon

Bourbon

Know the basics:

Aged 2 years minimum 40% alc. minimum Origin: Kentucky

Become an aficionado:

Bourbon is an American whiskey distilled from at least 51% corn, and also containing rye and unmalted barley. It’s exclusively distilled in Kentucky, any other origin will be labelled as “American whiskey”. It requires continued distillation in “Coffey Still”. Bourbon has vanilla and caramel notes to its taste.

Canadian Whisky

Canadian Whisky

Know the basics:

Aged 4 years minimum Based on corn, rye and unmalted barley 40% alc. minimum Origin: Canada

Become an aficionado:

Canadian whisky is aged in oak casks that are sometimes blazed inside. It requires continued distillation of each ingredient separately, and has a lighter taste.