Do you remember your first dram?
Many might not due to the fact it it was rubbed on their gums as a teething baby or the occasion just wasn’t that memorable. I can’t say weather or not that method of pain relief was used on me, but I do have a first memory of drinking the gold elixir. At the stroke of midnight on New Years our family like many across the world carried out the Scottish tradition of singing Robert Burns 1788 classic ‘Auld Lang Syne’, followed by a whisky. I’m guessing I was between 5-7 years old when I got my tiny nip in the bottom of a glass. I can’t tell you what it was, though given that blends where all the rage back then I’m presuming that it wasn’t a single malt. I dare say it was probably watered down too as I can’t remember it pulling my gums back over my followed by the wince you see on the face of many inexperienced spirit drinkers, but I can recall the warm feeling filling my forehead and cheeks that I still look forward to in a dram to this day.
Whisky in itself is a rags to riches story. It has become the working mans staple that’s now an object of desire for some of the richest people in the world. That being said Whisky is no longer only enjoyed by the gent in the tweed suit by and open fire or the business man in the gentleman’s club, in Japan it’s a popular drink among young women much the same as gin is the UK. So much so they actually drink more than the men of Scotland. There are many factors that are said to contribute to the boom in in the industry other than the fact that’s it’s just a great drink, but that has surely has to be the number 1 reason.
The from the youngest three year old off the shelf to the oldest and most mature in the warehouse, whiskies all tell a story through the casks that they’ve matured in, two or three casks could be used in the maturation process and each cask will likely have been filled with a previous liquid that will give some of its own life to the whisky thus influencing it in It’s own way. Wether it be a port cask full of the sun shine of Douro or a jack Daniels cask with all the blues of Lynchburg, the journey of any whisky starts not from the moment the moment they fire up the still but when the acorn falls from the oak tree, when the rain feeds the grapes for the wine, there are at least 1096 sunsets and billions of drops of rain go into the story of each cask. If that’s not enough history for you the peat used is always over 10000 years old.
Whisky very much deserves to be the item of prestige that it has grown to become, but it will always remain a drink of the crofters, the ghillies and poachers alike.
Considering there are only three ingredients needed to make whisky (water, barley and yeast) the flavours you can obtain are verging on unbelievable, from citrus fruit to tobacco, from chocolate to iodine, bitumen to play dough the list is endless, and what’s even more fascinating is that all of these flavours can come in a single glass. How is that possible using only three ingredients you ask? We will do our best to explain all on the whisky is…