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All The Essential Facts About Whisky That You Need To Know

You’ve often heard it, maybe even regularly frequent your favorite whisky. But how well do you think you know the Ireland’s national drink? Let LuxoFood take you down the road from the very beginning where we’ll share all the essential facts about whisky!

The photo of many glasses of whisky to help the readers understand all essential facts about whisky

The facts about the origin of whisky

So is it “whiskey” or “whisky”?
The answer is, it’s both. “Whiskey” is the Irish spelling and used in Ireland & US, while “whisky” is the Scotch spelling (used in Scotland, Canada and Japan). Both Ireland and Scotland claim to be the origin of the drink, but neither has definitive proof or the desire to win over the claim. So to be fair, let’s just say both. “Whisky” can refer to any kind of whisky – Irish, Japanese, Canadian, American, scotch and bourbon being the main types. Both scotch and bourbon get their names from places – scotch from Scotland and bourbon from Bourbon County, Kentucky – but true scotch is made only in Scotland, while bourbon can be made in parts of America outside of Kentucky.

How whisky is made

Generally, whisky is made by :

  1. Crushing grains (barley, corn, rye, wheat, etc.) to create the grist
  2. Adding water to create the mash
  3. Boiling the mixture and then allowing it to cool
  4. Adding yeast, which carries out fermentation by eating the sugars to create alcohol
  5. Draining the resulting liquid, which is now beer, and then distilling using a still
  6. Aging the resulting liquor in wooden barrels.

The difference in whisky making also contribute to the variety of whisky listed below: The many types and bottles of whisky to help the readers understand all the facts about whisky

  • Scotch: Made from water and malted barley (ie. barley that’s been steeped in water to trigger germination), distilled to less than 94.8% alcohol, aged for at least three years in oak barrels that can hold no more than 700 liters, and bottled at no less than 40% alcohol. No additives are allowed except for water and caramel colouring. By law, it can only be called scotch if it follows this process and is made in Scotland.“Single malt” scotch is made from malted barley in a single distillery while “single grain” is made from malted barley and other grains in a single distillery.”Blended” scotch is a mix of whiskey from multiple distilleries.
  • Irish whiskey: Distilled to less than 94.8% alcohol and aged for at least three years in wooden barrels. By law, whiskey can only be called Irish whiskey if it follows this process and is made in Ireland.
  • Bourbon: Made from a mash of at least 51% corn, distilled to 80% alcohol, combined with water to get the alcohol content down to 62.5%, entered into an unused charred oak barrel, aged in that barrel and then bottled at no less than 40% alcohol. By law, whiskey can only be called bourbon if it is made by this process and in the United States.
  • Tennessee whiskey: Bourbon made in the state of Tennessee and filtered through sugar-maple charcoal. Other American whiskey includes versions made from rye, corn, barley and other grains. Blended American whiskey is a mix of 20% American whiskey and 80% neutral spirit.

[source: BBC]

Food pairing with whisky

For food lovers, the most important question remains: How do I pair whisky with food? Check out below tips: Example of whisky and its food pairing

  • Sweet/Light Whiskey

Best pair: Seafood and spicy meals. Light whiskies with notes of sweetness, like most Japanese and American varieties, contrast nicely with spicy dishes so the flavors reach a nice balance, while the hints of tanginess complements fish, especially when prepared raw. Great for sushi or spicy Indian curry too.

  • Smoky/Medium Whiskey

Best Pair: Meat. Grilled chicken and gamey proteins such as beef, roasted pork, and lamb match well with whiskies of moderate or medium intensities, like a good Scotch or Bourbon, because of their smoky, rich flavor notes. Add a few drops of water to open up the smoky profile and enhance the flavor of the dish.

  • Spicy/Full-bodied Whiskey

Best Pair: Hearty dishes. The high alcohol content and spiciness of full-bodied whiskies, like a flavorful single malt whisky or rye whisky, marry well with rich, fatty dishes like broiled salmon. They are also an excellent choice for bitter pairings such as strong cheeses or dark chocolate.

Head over to LuxoFood to find all the best food to pair with your whisky, and enjoy the drink like a true aficionado.

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