A Gentleman’s Drink
We’re going to start off by apologizing for the long wait. It took us quite some time to (get drunk) figure out the appropriate flow of this article. So without further ado, welcome to our first of many, whisk(e)y series! Grab a glass and pour yourself a drink as we travel together on this magical journey.
What is it?
Whisky/whiskey is a broad term used to describe a particular spirit that’s distilled from various fermented grains.
Whisky or Whiskey?
If you’ve ever been to a bar or browsed around your local super market liquor section, we’re sure you’ve probably seen both “whisky” and “whiskey” written across various branded bottles. Unfamiliar with the spelling bee world, I was super confused when I first found out the various different spellings associated with this particular spirit. It was only after some extensive research (Googling and drinking), did I realize that both spelling methods were correct. The difference between the two words lie within the spirit’s place of origin. American and Irish spirits are typically called “whiskey”, while Scottish, Japanese and Canadian spirits are known as “whisky”. [What a great excuse for drunk spelling… both are correct!]
A good way to remember is: 1) countries with the letter “E” in their names: United State and Ireland are usually called / spelled “whiskey. 2) Countries without the letter “E” in their names: Japan, Scotland, and Canada are called / spelled “whisky”.
Name and Origin
If you are already confused at this point, we recommend you take a break and take a sip. For the few who are still with us, let us carry on.
How many of you were dumbstruck when asked if you’d prefer to have scotch, bourbon or rye? [uh…] The key difference, aside from the their subcategory names, is the particular ingredient and origin of each whisk(e)y. Below is a small sample and brief description of each category:
· Bourbon – Made primarily with Corn, and aged in oak barrel.
· Rye – Made with at least 51% Rye, with a spicier note compared to Bourbon.
· Scotch – Made from Scotland with either malt barley or grain. There are 5 major distilling regions in Scotland unique for its whisky productions: Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Campbeltown, and Islay. Scotch also comes in single or blended categories, which we will discuss in detail during our future segments.
· Irish – Famous for it’s thrice distilling process, it produces a smoother experience to the palate.
Who is it for?
Contrary to popular belief, whisk(e)y isn’t a drink suited for a middle age businessman. Whisk(e)y is a drink that’s meant to be shared and indulged by people of all backgrounds and experience. Consuming whisk(e)y is similar to exploring wine; each sip reveals a little more about the drink.
Do everyone a favor and don’t be the person ordering whisk(e)y just so you can close your eyes and take a straight-up shot with it. If you want to act like a freshman, go party with a bottle of vodka or tequila, instead.
Check back next time to find out the appropriate equipment and procedures involved in properly tasting this fine spirit.