Whiskey

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About

A distilled spirit of at least 80 proof made from various types of fermented grain mash and then aged in oak casks. The types of grains used to make whiskey include malted barley, rye, wheat and corn.

There are several methods used to make whiskey (or whisky, depending on the country in which it is made). Whiskey can be single, double or triple distilled and the aging process varies according to country. Single malt whiskey is completely malted barley from one distillery. Blended means that different single malts from different distilleries were combined, with the addition of grain whiskey.

The most popularly produced whiskeys include Scotch, American, Canadian, Japanese and Irish. Scotch whiskies are divided into five main regions: Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown.

Bourbon, a style of whiskey, must be distilled in the US, aged for at least two years in new barrels, and made of 51%% corn. It tends to have a spicy profile. Scotch must be made in Scotland in copper pots; to be single malt, it must be made from only malted barley, one batch at a time. The malts are dried over burning peat, giving it a smokey flavor. Irish whiskey is often triple distilled, with notes of caramel and vanilla.

Information

Other names: Scotch Whisky, Whisky
Translations: Viskijs, Viskis, Whisky, Viski, Whisky, Whisky, Whisky, व्हिस्की, Uísque, Виски, Ουίσκι, ويسكي, 위스키, Whisky, Wiski, Wiski, 威士忌酒, Whisky, Whisky, Whisky, ויסקי, Whisky, Виски, ウイスキー, Whisky, Whisky, Whisky, Whisky, Віскі, Viski, Уиски

Tasting Notes

Substitutes: Bourbon, Scotch and whiskey may be used interchangably. small amounts may be eliminated. large amounts cannot be effectively substituted.

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Scotch Whiskey (Whisky) must be made in Scotland to bear the name, where whisky-making is an ancient art, passed down through the generations. Other places around the world make whisky--like the US, for example, where it's called bourbon. There's a lot to know about Scotch Whisky, especially if you're spending a lot of money or giving it as a gift.

Look for a label that clearly states "Made in Scotland" or "Scotch Whisky." Labels that say things like "Scottish Whiskey" can be deceiving; "Scotch Whisky" is the appropriate term.

Decide on a variety of whisky. Scotch whiskies come in five types: single malt, single grain, blended (or pure or vatted), blended grain, or blended Scotch Whisky. The latter three are not only blends of grains, but blended grains from different distilleries. As a general rule, the single malts are the most expensive.

Choose a region of origin. Scotland has six Scotch-producing regions, each with its own generations-old methods of whisky-making. The regions, which are usually listed on the label, are: Lowland, Highland (Dalmore, Aberfeldy), Speyside (Glenfiddich, the Glenlivet), the Islands (Orkney), Campbeltown (Glengyle, Glen Scotia), and Islay (Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain).

Taste a variety of whiskies and compare the flavors of whiskies aged for different amounts of time. Most are aged a minimum of eight years, some a great deal more. Beware, though: just because a whisky is aged a long time doesn't necessarily mean it's better

Note the color of different whiskies you taste. Those aged in old sherry barrels are usually darker, while those aged in recycled bourbon barrels tend to be lighter.

Buying: You can buy Whiskey at any liquor store or even at your nearest grocery and supermarkets.

Conserving and Storing

Unless it’s a very old, very rare bottle of whisky, there is no need for wine rack type storage. Whisky can be stored upright, the high amount of alcohol will keep the cork moist enough avoid shrinkage which cold lead to rotten corks and contaminated whisky.

If the whisky is very old then it may be better to store it on it’s side because the cork may be deteriorated and may need extra help to stay moist and maintain an airtight seal.

Unopened bottles of whisky can be stored for years or decades

Social/Political

Whiskey was used as currency during the American Revolutionary War. In 1794, Scottish and Irish immigrant farmers in Pennsylvania staged an uprising in response to a federal excise tax imposed on whiskey by Alexander Hamilton. The Whiskey Rebellion was successfully subdued by government militia under orders from President George Washington. We have whiskey in great part to blame for the origin of the Internal Revenue Service.

You have probably heard the term moonshine. It is a term linked with bootleggers who would make and sell untaxed, illegal whiskey by the light of the moon. The darkness would hide the smoke of the stills from legal eyes. Making moonshine is still an active hobby in the Southern rural areas. Unfortunately, this practice has been traced to high lead levels in those who consume it due to the lead in the homemade stills.

History: It should come as no surprise that the word whiskey comes from the Gaelic uisge, a shortened version of uisge beatha meaning "water of life," also known as aqua vitae in Latin. Whiskey was originally used as a medicine for both internal anesthetic use and as an external antibiotic.

Distilling techniques were brought to Ireland and Scotland sometime between 1100 and 1300 by monks. Since wine was not easily obtained in Ireland and Scotland, barley beer was distilled into liquor which became whisky. The manufacturing of distilled spirits was limited to apothecaries and monasteries until the late 15th century. The first known book on distillation was in 1500, when Hieronymus Brunschwygk's "Liber de arte distillandi" expounded on the virtues of alcohol as medicine and how to make it.

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