Did you know that the word for whisky in Gaelic is “uisge beathe” – translating to “water of life”? Whisky is loved all over the world and there are many legendary distilleries that are devoted to the production of this treasured water of life.
But how exactly does the whisky distillation process work?
The US whiskey market has seen rocketing sales in the past decade, with bourbon production alone growing by more than 150% and the number of craft distilleries over the period more than quintupling.
While most domestically produced whiskey is still consumed in the US, the rising demand for American whiskey worldwide has also grown, with exports topping $1 billion for the first time in 2013 and the trend continuing in 2014.
The best whisky cocktails are smooth and sophisticated – a swanky grown-up drink with a smoky sweetness of vanilla and caramel and a mysterious warm burn. You could simply drink your whisky neat on the rocks – and you should if you want to savour the flavours of a particularly high quality bottle.
The name whisky comes from the Scottish Gaelic word meaning “water of life”. Indeed, indulging in a fine dram of whisky certainly has the power to make you feel alive. You have probably tried a few of the most common Scotch whisky varieties, but there are also many superb types of whisky all over the world that are worth sampling.
The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve / Image: Glenfiddich
An ultimate luxury, a rare scotch can fetch staggering amounts of money.
Glenfiddich’s 55 year old is most famous for its distinct vanilla edged flavour. It resided in a cold, dark warehouse for 56 years before being bottled in 2011.
Image: Jeff Turner, Flickr
Back in April 2013, it felt like a watershed moment. The World Whiskies Conference, the annual gathering of the spirit’s global industry leaders, was for the first time held in New York. Not London, not Scotland.
The whiskies they had come to celebrate?
About seven years ago, Cesar da Silva, now whisky sommelier and bar manager at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, met Iain McCallum at the Auchentoshan Distillery in Scotland.
McCallum turned to Cesar and said, “If I ever met an Alan Sugar of whisky at your age, it would have been you.” From that point onwards, as Cesar says, he has “dedicated everything he can towards whisky.” Cesar is one of the mere 2,180 people in the world that are members of the elite society known as the Keepers of the Quaich.
credit: Mikael Leppä
Things aren’t looking too good for Scotch whisky.
This year’s iteration of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible had barely a Scotch in sight of the top 10 (you’ll have to flick through to 6th position to find the first one), with a Japanese single malt in first place and two American blends in second and third.
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a decent bar to go whisky tasting in London. Even our most trusted tastemakers fond themselves scratching their heads. Nevertheless, difficult does not mean impossible, as we’ve come up with a list of London’s go-to whisky bars you might like to scout. The following has been narrowed down to those that aren’t members only.
It was January 2014 and the tension in the air was palpable. As the bids continued, palms in the room were becoming sweatier still – despite the typically efficient Hong Kong air conditioning. Within minutes, The Macallan ‘M’ had sold for the grand sum of $628,205, breaking the record for the most expensive whisky in the world.