Mastering Whiskey - Build The Bottle Bar Talk Understanding Whiskey

Mastering Whiskey

Mastering Whiskey
Mastering Whiskey

Mastering Whiskey

Whiskey is one of the world’s most popular spirits but, like its flavor if you try to get to know everything at once forget about it!

The number of distilleries in traditional whiskey-making areas such as Scotland, Ireland, the US, and Canada is growing exponentially I feel that the moment a list is compiled It is out dated.

Add in countries such as Japan, Sweden, Taiwan, and Australia, and the world of whiskey is truly the whole world. Did I mention Malaysia and Vietnam are now all in on to! Are you to ready to learn what the whiskey experience is all about?

Mastering The Basic’s

Learn the best ways to identify and interpret whiskey’s many tastes and styles.

By mastering the taste you will learn to answer and identify,

  • The country of origin,
  • What type of grain,
  • Barrel type or types,
  • Years aged,
  • Blended or straight cask,
  • How the bottle developed its taste,
  • Similar whiskies if I like this one,
  • Learn to purchase by taste for good deals?
No Two People Taste The Same

Taste is ultimately a personal experience,The flavors you experience in a whisky maybe describable and that’s what you will learn ultimately you and only you are both judge and jury in what you like.

That is where learning the “language” of tasting come in, so that as you taste you will learn on how to differentiate for your own memory and be able to identify the characteristics you like.

Remember to say it bluntly you are learning whiskey for pleasure and maybe top impress but don’t learn it for others.

A Short History Of Whiskey

Many believe that whiskey was “invented” in Scotland or Ireland. But its true origins lie elsewhere.

It all began with alchemist Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, who first produced a liquid later dubbed aqua vitae: “the water of life.”  Arabic works such as Jabir’s were translated into Latin by European monks.

The first mention of a whiskey-like liquid in Scotland dates from 1494, where King James IV’s exchequer rolls record a Brother John Cor receiving “eight bolls of malt to make aqua vitae” at Lindores Abbey, northwest Fife.

Evolution Of Whiskey

“Whiskey” or Whisky” as called in Scotland was very different from what we’d expect now.

The purity made it seem more like a whiskey liqueur, adding local ingredients such as heather, lavender, and honey to make it more palatable.

This style held sway until the rise of commercial distillation at the end of the 18th century in Scotland and Ireland.

Whiskey Of The World

In the US and Canada immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Holland, among others were distilling with maze or corn in their new country and was called after the county where it was first created bourbon county. Ironically today Bourbon county is called a dry county which means alcohol production and sale is forbidden.

Rye was more common in the northern states such as Pennsylvania it was fallen out of favor however in recent years with the craft distillery market booming it has seen a resurgence.

Japan I can not but be amazed on how the distilleries thier first shipped in everything from Scotland including the water mastering the art beyond perfection. A special of Japan is their barrels first used due to no barrels during WWII then stopped because they were to finnicky to deal with. Japanese oak is the most sought after barrels in the world!

Other Hard Alcohol

All of the dark spirits, Cognac, rum, and Armagnac have long histories, Cognac was king till the late 1890’s that’s when the vineyards of France were eaten up by worms. Whiskey which until then was considered only for the unrefined unseated Cognac. Whiskey was not to be matched till Vodka appeared in the 1970’s.

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To spirits and cheers,

Binyomin Terebelo, Master Distiller and Drinkologist

Image by eitamasui from Pixabay

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Written by Binyomin Terebelo
I love hearing from you about why you love something I wrote or published or a recipe I don't know. I am Master Distiller at Terebelo Distillery, Love all things alcohol. Freelance for Grogmag and blog recipes for Weekend Rabbi too.
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