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Whiskey Notes



American Musician, Jerry Vale, quoted this statement “Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won’t cure a cold.”   It may not cure the common cold, but for some it does bring a smile to the face.  So the question remains, what makes whiskey such a distinctive spirit?  First off, whiskey has been produced since the 1700′s and like a few of its counterparts was given its name from the meaning “water of life” and has become produced globally.  I bet you’re going to ask…”what’s the difference between ‘whisky’ and ‘whiskey’?  Does the letter “e” make that much of a difference?  The significance is in the translation of the phrase whiskey’s derived from.  The Scottish spell it without the “e”, where as the Irish and the American producers, of Irish descent and not kept the “e” in the spelling as well. Like a lot of things, what’s good for one person is not always a good fit for another, yet some experts from the NY Times to liquor aficionados note that it’s a distinct difference, like champagnes made in France vs. method Champagnes from the US.   Some people cannot ingest certain grains, like wheat without having an allergic reaction, for a great example, so here are some notes to help find which one is the right fit for you.  Whiskey /whisky have two main basic types…either Malt or grain.  Malt whisky is usually made from one malted grain (barley), and produced from one distillery.  A great example of this would be a Single Malt Scotch Whisky.  Grain Whiskey, is made from at least one grain other than malted barley like corn, rye, or wheat for a few examples.  Whiskey also has seven regional types that are worth checking out:

American whiskey comes in several varieties. Most notable are Rye whiskey (made from the mash that consists of at least 51% rye), Corn whiskey (at least 80% corn mash), Malt whiskey (at least 51% malted barley) and Bourbon whiskey (at least 51% corn maize). All of the types mentioned must be distilled to have maximum of 80% alcohol by volume, without of use of any coloring and flavoring additives. Required aging time for American whiskey is 2 years.

Scottish whisky is traditionally regarded as best whisky in the world. Majority of them are distilled two times, although some brands go up to twenty. According to the laws, name “Scotch” can be given only to the whisky made in Scotland, and it must age in casks to minimum of three years (although many age it for several decades). Majority of the brewers treat their malt with the peat smoke to give the final product smoky flavor. Five most notable Scottish whisky regions are Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown.

Irish whiskey is also very highly regarded around the world. Their single malt, single grain, blended whiskey and pure pot still whiskey are also aged 3 years before they are allowed to be sold.

English whisky production had its highs and lows over the centuries. After over 100 years of stagnation and the decay of the production at Bristol and Liverpool cities, newly formed whisky brewery started producing whisky in 2006.

Australia is noted as one of the big international producers of whiskey, especially ones created at the island State of Tasmania.

Indian whisky is almost exclusively produced from fermented molasses, which is outside of India often called Rum. Indian production of whisky begun in 1820, and since then they shifted their preference from malted grains to the molasses.

German whiskey industry became active after 1980s, and during their young lifetime they often copied recipes found in Ireland, Scotland and United States (Whiskyfact.com, 2014).

Whiskey/whisky  is a complex spirit that can in all of its varieties give a new life to your cocktails and makes them just right for you.  For some people, this spirit’s best enjoyed straight up or over a large ice ball.  If that’s not your style, then here are several whiskey based cocktail to try:

Whisky Press #1:

2 oz Scotch Whisky

3 oz Club Soda Water (Seltzer Water)

3 oz Lemon-Lime Soda

Lemon Peel Garnish

Tall Glass (Collins)

1. Fill Collins glass with ice

2. Add 2 oz Scotch Whisky

3. Fill with equal parts of lemon-lime soda and Club Soda

4. Garnish with lemon peel twist and enjoy.

Whisky Press #2

2 oz Scotch Whisky

6 oz Ginger Ale Soda

Lemon Peel Garnish

Tall Glass (Collins)

1. Fill Collins glass with ice

2. Add 2 oz Scotch Whisky

3. Fill with Ginger Ale

4. Garnish with lemon peel twist and enjoy.

I chose the press for it’s a great cocktail that doesn’t get used very often and it’s one of my personal favorite ways to enjoy this particular spirit, but what may be enjoyable to me doesn’t always mean it’ll be just right for you…so please take the time to explore the world of whisky responsibly and enjoy!  Salut!


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This entry was posted on March 5, 2014 by in Good Eats and tagged , , , , , , , .

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