The wide world of whisk(e)y can be a daunting prospect, with so many different distilleries, methods, descriptions making it difficult to pick out a drink you might like and such a varied price range you could risk losing good money on something you don’t enjoy.
Before you start to get serious about whisky, it’s a good idea to think about these five tips to keep you focused and protect your investments as simply as possible.
1. Get to grips with the basics
First of all, you’ll need to understand some of the basics to better get to know what you’re dealing with. For example, the different production types, popular whisky-producing countries, and how aging affects the end product.
Washed, dried, powdered, fermented, and distilled; each bottle of whisky is perfected to make each sip an indelible moment. Whiskies are of many kinds, based on the base product, alcoholic content and quality. Malt, grain, single malt, blended malt, cask, single cask etc. roughly make up the whisky family.
Whisky has been in the world for a long time, precisely from the second century BC. It is first believed to have brewed in Mesopotamia. The art of distillation spread to Ireland and Scotland in about the fifteenth century but this was used for medicinal purposes. Even in medieval India, alcohol was reported to be used as an anaesthetic for surgical purposes. Even though it was considered a taboo to consume alcohol in the Britain and other parts of Europe, it was finally James IV of Scotland who broke the ice by ordering several gallons of whisky from the monasteries, who monopolised the art of distilling. But with the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VII, distilling and whisky making moved to homes. Even then whiskies were not allowed to age and thus had a bitter taste. Finally in the year of 1606, the Bushmill old distillery was given the license to brew the Irish whisky and the distillation later evolved into a much sought out fashion and whiskies became a daily business with the Act of Union which officially brought forth the United Kingdom.
With more people set on finding exciting new ways to enjoy their alcohol, booze in the kitchen is gaining popularity fast. Forget about wine and beer, those sure are sweet and fruity but incorporating whisky into your meal speaks to your boldness and sophistication. It is no secret the Dutch love their whisky.
In 2016 alone, the value of imported scotch whisky according to Statista amounted to € 106,512,000. Not to mention events like Live The Hague; where the best whisky brands in the world, underline world, convene for 3 days to showcase and enhance the whisky culture. Talk of 15,000 people talking, tasting and breathing whisky for 3 days! So you might be wondering, what are best whiskies for cooking and how exactly can you pair your favorite glass of whisky with a barbecued meal? Bourbons, single malts, rye and pot-still whiskies are the best contenders in the kitchen. As of the latter, how to pair them with a meal, read on.
This month’s whisky tasting at The Abbey saw a visit from Glenmorangie. Margaux de Blomac, from the owners Moët Hennessy, was joined by Paul from the production team at the distillery.
We started by tasting the trademark ten-year-old Original Glenmorangie. This whisky has changed little in recent years since the distillery was taken over by its current owners. To the nose are the familiar honeyed notes with a hint of almonds and coconut. The palate is treated to what is a mainstream Highland Whisky. Smooth with a light floral fragrance and the merest notes of citrus. Again a sweetness of honey. The finish is warming with a little touch of bitterness. As always an ideal dram to be enjoyed at any time of the day. ABV 40%.
I was strongly discouraged to try Ardbeg 10yr, I did. I couldn’t believe this taste from another world, got drunk while trying to get to know it and fell in love with whisky.
Everyone has their story about entering the world of whisky. If you’re lucky, the opportunity for that will come to you at a time when you’re skipping out on stories and recommendations, but instead, you will let it victimize you for what it is.
This week featured the regular monthly whisky tasting at the Abbey. This month presented by Graham McKay from the Independent Bottlers Carn Mor [Morrison and McKay]. When you consider the Independent Bottling business certain points are important.
Their bottlings can be as small as one large cask or barrels purchased from several distilleries. They need very good contacts at distilleries in order to identify when a distillery has surplus whisky and is prepared to sell this at an advantageous price to the Independent Bottler. They also need excellent blenders to make the most of the whisky available to them.
The Abbey Whisky Bar Edinburgh monthly whisky tasting, February edition. A selection of whiskies presented by Mark Thomson, the Glenfiddich Whisky Ambassador to Scotland. The selection would include a couple of experimental whiskies as well as the mainstream Glenfiddich range.
Before the tasting, we had a lovely meal the main course consisting of a cheeseburger with chips and dips and then a Sundae ice cream!
Hello, my name is Johan. Originally from the Netherlands, but I live in Sweden since the year 2008.
I became more or less seriously interested in whisky and everything around whisky in the autumn of 2014 when a trail running friend and I visited the Glenkinchie distillery south of Edinburgh. We planned a weekend filled with trail running in the Pentland Hills and around Arthurs Seat, but in that weekend we both became whisky “believers”. We truly believed, from that moment, that the Glenkinchie whisky we tasted was “heaven on earth”.
The whisky tasting this month featured whiskies from two distilleries owned by the Ian Macleod organisation. There was an initial introduction by Bruce Borthwick representing the distillery owners. Bruce showed us the bottles which would be used in the tasting and gave us some basic background regarding the whiskies on the show.
We started with a blended malt whisky, “The Feathery.” This is blended using sherry casks and has the distinctive sweetness associated with this. The name refers to an early form of golf ball comprised of leather stuffed with feathers. A nice starter dram to get the evening underway!