Everything you wanted to know about Scotch whisky
No one can deny that Scotch is the most manly drink. Drink it pure, interfere with water — still less masculine he becomes. What distinguishes Scotch from other alcoholic beverages? Not just a unique background (to be called Scotch, a whisky must be distilled and aged in Scotland), but also the culture of drinking.
Who drinks Scotch, he will not drink just any alcohol because he is available. Very few people drink Scotch to get drunk. First, it’s too expensive — why such requests are not to buy regular vodka? Secondly, and more importantly, each bottle of Scotch signed history, tradition and attention to detail, this is a real artifact, it is a deep pleasure.
To become a connoisseur of Scotch, it is necessary to try. The young man who first tries this drink will be embarrassed by his fortress, but when he returns to the whiskey in the second and third time, he will begin to understand the essence and fun of whiskey. Deciding to develop a taste for Scotch, a man embarks on a long and exciting journey that will lead him to different classes.
Therefore, in order to truly appreciate a good Scotch, you need to understand the rich history of this beverage and the process of transformation of an ordinary barley into an elite drink.
So we decided to make for you a guide to Scotch. No, we do not believe that to be a man, it is necessary to drink alcohol. We believe that if you drink it, it must be a ritual, a tradition, a culture — and this should be done with full awareness of the nature and consequences of their actions.
The first written mention of the «water of life», known for its healing properties dates back to the year 1494. Eight barrels of this aqua vitae by today’s standards was the equivalent of several hundred bottles of whiskey. This distilled beverage was used as a cure for various diseases, and patients who received this treatment, was pleased to see a warm, calming feeling, which is called elixir.
King of Scotland James IV ordered a whiskey from a local hairdresser during your visit to Dundee, and in those days it was absolutely fine: in 1505 the Guild of barbers in Edinburgh was granted a monopoly on the production of the «water of life» — and this proves the purely medical purpose of the medical tape and the talents of hairdressers.
However, whiskey is enjoyed not only persons of Royal blood and found wanting men. Farmers have discovered a new use of the distillation process at the end of the XVI century. Barley and wheat were the main crops of Scotland, however, with its cold and humid climate for a long storage of grain was not possible — the distillation of raw materials was a great way to profit from it.
The rise of whiskey production continued in the following century: whiskey survived and taxes, government regulation, and smuggling. As a result, the production of whisky became a commercial industry in the early XVIII century. In 1831 was established the equipment for distillation and fermentation of the whisky on an industrial scale, making whiskey is softer and easier drinking. This fact, combined with the decrease in the import of wine and brandy from France due to the invasion of pests has helped the whiskey to spread around the world.
Since that time much has changed but much remained the same. As in any other field, new technology and practices has created a huge selection and variety of product, but the distillers still in the game: they turn barley and water into alcohol.
How is Scotch whiskey
The process of production of Scotch whisky is surprisingly simple. It involves malting the barley, drying of the malt, fermentation, distillation and aging.
1. Malting. Grain of barley barleycorn is converted into malt. Barley is soaked in water, dried and laid out on the floor. In 6-7 days the seed germinates, enzymes turn the starch into maltose. Sprouted grain is dried using the smoke from an underground furnace. Often these furnaces stoked with peat, so many whiskeys have a smoky flavor..
2. Getting the wort. The malt is crushed, the result is a flour that is mixed with hot water. Sugars released into the liquid, and the result is a must.
3. Fermentation. In the resulting wort add yeast mixture is fermenting. The process takes place in wooden or steel vessels. The duration of fermentation can be different depending on many factors, but on average it takes about two days. The result is a fluid fortress of 5-8%.
4. Distillation. This liquid is distilled twice. The first time it helps to separate water from alcohol by boiling and collecting vypivshaya of alcohol, which condenseries at the top. The result is a «weak wine» fortress of 20%. Then the «weak wine» again sent to distillation. This process is much slower, it is very important role plays the temperature. At this stage, taken the average fraction, cutting off from it part of the distillate that come out at the beginning and at the end of the distillation process. They are added in the «weak wine,» and again distilled and the middle fraction remains in whiskey, which we drink.
5. Exposure. It is held in oak barrels. During aging, the whiskey becomes much softer, more fragrant, has a pleasant Golden hue. To be called Scotch, whisky must be aged in Scotland for at least three years. Each variety Matures at the time, most ready in 8-20 years. The older the whiskey, the softer and more aromatic. The oldest samples are more expensive and are less common.
Geography: regions of Scotland and their distilleries
As in the world of wine brand many say a drink: which are the expectations from the aroma and taste.
1. Plain whisky from this region is considered softer and more delicate. Three areas relevant to this region:Glenkinchie, Bladnoch and Auchentoshan.
2. Highlands is the largest region of tape, which belong to the most famous distilleries: Dalmore, Glenmorangie, Oban, Talisker and Dalwhinnie.
3. The Isle of Islay is known for a heavier, smoky taste of whiskey. There is eight unique distilleries, among which are Ardbeg, Bowmore and Laphroaig.
4. Speyside is the name given due to the river spade, the richest in the distillery region including Glenfiddich, Aberlour, The Glenlivet and The Macallan.
5. Campbeltown — the smallest of all the regions. Of his distillery: Glengyle, Glen Scotia and Springbank — they are the truth is only three.
How to drink Scotch whiskey
Now getting down to business: learning to enjoy the product. So drinking whiskey is a pleasant process, no worry. Everyone has their opinion on this matter, however, there are some General guidelines, from which he can not get away.
Glass — you Can use any Cup, but experts recommend the use of glass in the shape of a Tulip, allowing not to spill the whiskey and enjoy its aroma. They are not so easy to find, among other things.
Water — Many even a drop of water in whiskey seems to be something feminine, but they are mistaken. Add water, of course, not necessarily, however, many Scots are doing it to help himself to taste the individual flavors of each variety, which many take for burning.
Ice — Add ice to many like it, but it reduces the temperature of the whisky, impoverishing its bouquet. If you want ice, not a problem, but sometimes still do without it — you may be pleasantly surprised.