E-WHISKY GUIDE: UNDERSTANDING SCOTCH
From my own personal notes and references I use, we at The Vault have created a short infographic e-whisky guide, that we would like you to have. Hope this enriches your whisky journey. Please do write to me, and let me know whether you found it useful.
Keeper of the Quaich, Scotland
uisge beatha~ water of life
Thanks to monks, monasteries, their musings and meanderings, the world got wines, beers, and whiskies.
Uisge beatha was the name given to distilled alcohol by Irish monks in the Early Middle Ages, that later became the name for whiskey in Irish, going on to become uisge beatha in Scotland, loosely translated as water of life.
This water of life in the form of Scottish Whiskies, which began in 11th century, had its first written mention in Scotland in the early 15th century (1494 to be precise). By the 17th century, it travelled through trade to delight the taste buds of people around the world, making generations and generations of malt maniacs, whisky enthusiasts, whisky connoisseurs, single malt lovers, Scotch whisky collectors, and giving birth to whisky distillers in other parts of the world, who borrowed knowledge and secrets from the land from where the craft became popular.
Today, there are over 130 distilleries in Scotland, mostly spread across five regions – Islay, Campbeltown, Highland, Speyside, Lowland.
Independent distillers in Scotland are steadily becoming a part of this mix.
We who are under the whisky spell, are hardly complaining.
Let me walk you through the understanding of Scotch in a simple manner, so the next time you raise a dram to taste, or toast, this allows you to doubly enjoy it, just like it does for me.
what goes in, what comes out
A short infographic journey
A short sensory journey
If the outcome of the first part is the distilled spirit that is made of malt or grain or a combination of these, the second essential part of understanding Scotch, is the role of casks.
Casks and Characters
WHEEL OF NOTES
Whisky truly casts its spell through its very first whiff, evoking memories from childhood to now, some special and unique to us, and some shared. As you pour the rich spirit into the Glencairn glass, nose it, your sensing and feeling of those aromas, can find verbal expression through this wheel. We suggest you keep a printout of it in your bar, so as you nose, and dip into your memories, this can help you articulate or expand it.
A short nose-sip-savour journey
Tasting is a ritual, and the ritual of tasting whisky, has a few essential ingredients that need to come together.
Our nose has over ten thousand aroma receptors to distinguish several hundred aromas. Our palate has 4 distinct flavours it recognizes – sweet, sour, bitter and umami.
Your tasting journey starts with the first gentle whiff from the whisky poured into your Glencairn Glass. I recommend you try some of this, as a part of your tasting experiments:
– A relatively aroma-free room.
– Music – we love playing jazz.
– The right glass – we recommend the Glencairn Whisky Glass.
– Choice of whisky – this we suggest is prepped to the right temperature. If in a tropical country, put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to bring it to a decent room temperature at the time of tasting.
– Keep a bottle of water, and a pipette handy.
– If you wish to make notes, then a paper and pen. If you only wish to savour, then nothing else.
– Pour your favourite whisky into a regular tumbler glass, as well as into the Glencairn glass.
Nose, sip, and feel the difference in both.
– Build your own whisky matrix using the light, delicate, peat, and un-peated based on your mood or occasion. Soon, you will be able to make informed choices on your next purchase, based on what you enjoy, or are in the mood for.
– It is okay to add a little bit of ice, or some water, when tasting whisky. Pipettes come handy to add the right amount of water, and dilute bit by bit, till you feel you have hit the right note.
A journey into our collection of Whiskies and where they fall on the map of casks & character.
Each Handcrafted. Handpicked.
Through this, I invite you into the world of nosing, sipping and savouring whiskies. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you ever wish to connect with me.
Slainte monks. Slainte to us whisky lovers.
Founder | Curator – The Vault
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