Great basics to tasting Scotch that everyone should know
Josh Sanburn shows the correct way to drink scotch
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So you think you know what Scotch is? There are some things that you may have never realized about Scotch; you may have never remembered your first Scotch whisky but you will certainly agree that there is so much to this drink that you may have never thought of. Here are some of them:
- Not all whisky is Scotch although all Scotch is whisky – whisky made from Scotland is legally called Scotch whisky. This term is used to protect fine whisky made only from Scotland. According to Scottish law, Scotch whisky has to be distilled and stored in oak barrels for three years. There are other varieties of whisky; there are Japanese and Irish whiskies that are brewed with single malts.
- Old whisky does not mean it’s better – in the case of whisky, the maturation of the drink is what matters; it does not mean that the older the brew the better it tastes. And when it comes to maturing Scotch only the best casks will do; the better the wood that the casks are made of, the smoother and delectable the flavor would be.
- Is there a suitable glass to drink Scotch whisky from? – according to experts, Scotch that is drank from a tulip-shaped or a glass that allows vapors of the Scotch to move up is the best way to drink it. Appreciate the flavor first so you can fill your senses with delicious aroma before you take a sip.
- How to drink Scotch? – together with friends of course! But if you want to savor the flavor, take a small sip, chew the liquid or keep it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. Taking a deep breath before you sip will also improve the flavor.
- To add water or ice? – both will actually create a chemical reaction that will push the heavier alcohol and allow the light ones to surface. Water and ice will also dilute the Scotch. But of course drinking Scotch whisky will all depend on your personal preference in the end.
If you are a Scotch whiskey drinker then you are aware of the different types of Scotch. Before anything else, this alcoholic beverage should be distilled and matured in Scotland for it to be classified as Scotch. There are even laws in the maturation and the distillation of Scotch which is collectively known as the Scotch Whisky Act of 1988. One of the most important aspects of this law is that in the maturation of Scotch, the beverage must be placed in oak barrels with a capacity not exceeding 700 liters.
There are three major types of Scotch; single malt, pure malt and blended malt versions. There are also types of Scotch according to the brewing and preparation of the alcoholic beverage. But regardless of the type of Scotch, there are no enhancers or additives used in the production of this beverage.
- Single malt Scotch whiskey – it is the best known type of Scotch and is usually sub classified according to the area of origin. Thus you may find single malt Scotch whiskies from Speyside, Highland, Lowland, Isaly and Campbeltown. The term single malt means that it contains malt whiskies coming from one distillery.
- Bended malts – may also be called pure malt whisky or vatted malt. This is a blend of malt whiskies that come from different distilleries. The blending of whiskies is within the discretion of the masterblender so he can produce a variety of quantities of distinctive whiskies with different characteristics and traits.
- Single cask malt – this is bottling Scotch whiskey from a single cask. This type of Scotch has a different taste from other whiskies since they are exclusively brewed or matured in one kind of cask.
There may be many more types of Scotch; these are usually classified according to the brewing and other important preparations of the liquor but what is very important is how you drink Scotch. Tasting, smelling and allowing the liquid to stay on your cheeks for a few seconds before you swallow may be the best way to taste and enjoy Scotch whiskey like you have never done before.