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Whiskey Triva

You may have come across the word whisky spelled whiskey. It can be quite confusing but the difference is that the Irish spelled their version whiskey while in Scotland we use whisky.

As it ages, nearly a third of the whiskey poured into a barrel is lost to evaporation. Distillers refer to this as the “angel share.”

The body or lightness of whiskey is primarily determined by the size of the grain from which it is made; the larger the grain, the lighter the whiskey. For example, whiskey made from rye, with its small grain size, is bigger or fuller-bodied than is whiskey made from corn, with its large grain size.

President Lincoln, when informed that General Grant drank whiskey while leading his troops, reportedly replied "Find out the name of the brand so I can give it to my other generals."

The four categories of Scotch are single malt, vatted malt, blended, and single grain.

The minimum amount of time Scotch must age in the cask is 3 years.  (The cask must be oak)

The primary grain that Scotch is made from is barley.

The average normal capacity of a hogshead whisky cask is 55 gallons.

There are approximately 2500 brands of whiskey worldwide.

America spends the most on whiskey but France drinks the most.

Scotch whiskey can only be called Scotch whiskey when it is made in Scotland and conforms to the standards of the Scotch whisky order of 1990. It must be aged in oak casks no less than 3 years and one day and must be 80 proof or more.

Lewis and Clark's men were served whiskey in tin cups (one cup each). After they drank it, they had to stick out their tongues to allow for verification that they had swallowed all the whiskey. Some of the men would try to save the whiskey so that they could have a double portion another day and actually get drunk.  The men who had more than their share of the communal whiskey received 100 lashes for it!

Whiskey smuggled from Canada was one of the most highly valued commodities during prohibition. 

Whisky is a shortened form of usquebaugh, which English borrowed from Irish Gaelic uisce beatha and Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha. This compound descends from Old Irish uisce, "water", and bethad, "of life" and meaning literally "water of life".

Whiskey was first made in Scotland between 1100 and 1300 when the distillation process arrived in Ireland and Scotland.  Because of the lack of grapes in the area, they made barley beer which led to Scotch Whiskey.

Whiskey was only made by monks until 1541 when King Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries.

After the English Malt Tax of 1725, most of Scotland’s distillation was either shut down or forced underground. Scotch whisky was hidden under altars, in coffins, and in any available space to avoid the governmental exisemen.  Scottish distillers, operating out of homemade stills, took to distilling their whisky at night, where the darkness would hide the smoke rising from the stills. For this reason, the drink was known as moonshine.  At one point, it was estimated that over half of Scotland’s whisky output was illegal.

In 1831, Aeneas Coffey invented the Coffey still, allowing for cheaper and more efficient distillation of whisky.

In 1850, Andrew Usher mixed traditional whisky with that from the new Coffey still, and in doing so created the first Scottish blended whisky. This new grain whisky was scoffed at by Irish distillers, who clung to their malt whisky. Many Irish contended that the new mixture was, in fact, not whisky at all.

Whiskies do not mature in the bottle, only in the cask, so the "age" of a whisky is the time between distillation and bottling.

The spelling whisky (plural whiskies) is generally used for whiskies distilled in Scotland, Wales, Canada, and Japan, while whiskey is used for the spirits distilled in Ireland and America.

In many Latin-American countries, whisky (wee-skee) is used as a photographer's cue to smile.

The flavoring of whisky is partially determined by the presence of congeners and fusel oils. Fusel oils are higher alcohols than ethanol, are mildly toxic, and have a strong, disagreeable smell and taste. An excess of fusel oils in whisky is considered a defect. A variety of methods are employed in the distillation process to remove unwanted fusel oils. Traditionally, American distillers focused on secondary filtration using charcoal, gravel, sand, or linen to subtract undesired distillates.  In the case of Jack Daniels, the whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal….yummy yum yum.

President Lyndon B. Johnson's favorite drink may have been scotch and soda. He would ride around his Texas ranch in an open convertible in hot weather. He drank his "scotch and soda out of a large white plastic foam cup. Periodically, Johnson would slow down and hold his left arm outside the car, shaking the cup and ice. A Secret Service agent would run up to the car, take the cup and go back to the station wagon (following the President's car). There another agent would refill it with ice, scotch, and soda as the first agent trotted behind the wagon. then the first agent would run the refilled cup up to LBJ's outstretched hand, as the President's car moved slowly forward."

The Manhattan cocktail (whiskey and sweet vermouth) was invented by Winston Churchill's mother.

"Whiskey" is the international radio code word used to represent the letter "w."

Abraham Lincoln’s 1833 liquor store license is on display in the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States, by act of Congress.

The name is an English corruption of the ancient name for spirits "water of life" - which in Scottish and Irish Gaelic is "uisge beatha" or "usquebaugh" and sounded to the English ear like "uishgi" and hence "whisky". "Alcohol" incidentally is an Arabic word.

There is a dispute between the Irish and the Scotts, as to who were the first to make whisky.

Scotch and Irish whisky are made the same way, with the exception of malting and distillation process.

There are five basic classifications of whisky - Irish Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Bourbon, Canadian Whisky and American Whisky.

The dark color of whisky comes from the wooden barrels in which it is aged. The wood expands and contracts with the change in temperature, making the movie in and out of the wood. The compounds from wood give whisky its dark color.

The barrels made from American White Oak have been claimed to produce the tastiest whisky.

Tennessee whiskey gets its distinct flavor and aroma characteristics from a unique process called "mellowing".

There are more than 5000 types of Single Malt Whisky.

Whisky can be called Whisky only when it matured for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks.

Single Malt Whisky comes from a single distillery and a single grain. However, it is possible that it underwent maturing in multiple casks.

Blended Whisky is called Blended Whisky because of the mixture of Grain Whisky and multiple Single Malt Whiskies.

Around 90 percent of Single Malt Whisky comes from Scotland.

A closed bottle of whisky can be kept for more than 100 years and it will still be good to drink.

After opening, a half-full bottle of whisky will remain good for five years.

Pure malt whisky is produced only from malted barley.

Did you know why experts always advice to drink Single Malt Whisky pure or with a tiny bit of water on room temperature? This is because of the maturing process that has taken place in oak casks for 10 – 15 years. If you drink it with ice or mix it with another drink this whole process was useless.

The age of the Whisky mentioned on the bottle is the correct age. If it says 10 years it means that the youngest Whisky matured for a minimum period of 10 years on oak casks.

A closed bottle of Whisky can be kept for more than 100 years and it’s still good to drink. Once it is opened and it’s half full you can save it for about 5 years. If it’s containing less, than drink it and don’t save it.

The world’s most expensive whisky is Macallan 1926. There are still 40 bottles left that are 60 years old. The price per bottle is $62.000.

Glenfiddich is the largest selling single malt in the world.

Johnnie Walker Red label is the world's largest selling Scotch Whisky.

Johnnie Walker Black label is the world's best selling deluxe whisky.

George Washington is called the father of his country. But few know that after his service as the first president of the new republic, he became one of the new country’s largest whiskey distillers.

Whisky or whiskey is a type of alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented grain mash.

Whisky gains as much as 60% of its flavor from the type of cask used in its aging process.

The word "whisky" is believed to have been coined by soldiers of King Henry II who invaded Ireland in the 12th century as they struggled to pronounce the native Irish words uisce beatha, meaning "water of life".

In Australia, many Jim Beam fans get their favorite Kentucky bourbon from a can, premixed with cola in a ready-to-drink package.

More than 50 percent of the purchase price of a fifth of whiskey in the U.S. goes to taxes — federal, state and local.

On the first Friday of every month, employees at Jack Daniel’s get a free bottle.

To be classified as “straight” bourbon, whiskey must be aged for a minimum of two years.

The oak barrels give the whiskey its caramel color. There is no Red 40 or Yellow 5 added.

Whiskey gains as much as 60 percent of its flavor from the type of cask used in the aging.

Bourbon is an American Whiskey made from at least 51 percent corn. It no longer has to be made in Bourbon, Ky., but 90 percent of it is.

Bourbon County, Ky., is a dry county. Which is just stupid.

The reason
Jack Daniel's is not considered bourbon is because they filter it through sugar-maple charcoal ("mellowing") prior to aging.

Both the Scottish and Irish make whiskey the same way, except for the malting and distillation process. In Scotland the malted barley is roasted over open peat fires to dry, this results in the grain picking up the peat flavor. In Ireland, the malted barley is dried in closed ovens, and is never exposed to the smoke. The process of mashing and fermentation is much the same for both countries. In the distillation step, the Irish, most of the time, distill their product three times, which results in a very pure distillate which makes Irish whiskey exceptionally smooth. The Scottish distills their product twice and this result in more flavors in the spirit.

A whisky can be called Scotch whisky only after it has matured for a minimum of three years in oak casks in Scotland.

Scotch whisky must be bottled at a minimum strength of 40% ABV i.e. Alcohol by Volume.

There are mainly two types of Scotch whisky - Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Blended Scotch Whisky.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from 100% malted barley and distilled at a single distillery.

Blended Scotch Whisky is made by blending together a number of single malts and grain whiskies.

90% of all Scotch whisky sold in the market comprises of Blended Scotch Whisky.

The whisky in 'Scotch Whisky' is always spelt without an ‘e’.

In Britain, the term 'whisky' is taken to mean Scotch whisky only, unless it has been specified otherwise.

In English-speaking countries other than England, Scotch whisky is often referred to as simply 'Scotch'.

Scotch whisky should not contain any added substance, apart from water and caramel coloring.

The label of a Scotch whisky always contains the words 'Scotch whisky', in which 'whisky' is sometimes capitalized.

In case the term 'Scotch' is missing from the label of a whisky, there are strong chances that it has not been made in Scotland.

If a label contains the words 'single malt' or 'single highland malt', the bottle contains single malt Scotch whisky.

The basis of Scotch whisky is the heather-flavored ales made from barley malt.

The first documented proof of the existence of a distillery in Scotland dates back to 1494.



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