Whisky Tastings by Rubright & Hardagain

A different kind of whisky tasting experience...

Taste Whisk(e)y Like A Pro

Wait...why is the 'e' in brackets?

The Scots spell it whisky and the Irish spell it whiskey, with an extra 'e'. This difference in the spelling comes from the translations of the word from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic forms. Whiskey with the extra 'e' is also used when referring to American whiskies.

Okay, where do you start?
  • Do you taste whisky like you taste wine?
  • How much do you smell the whisky before you drink it?
  • Did you eat enough food beforehand?
  • How's it even made..?

    For more than 500 years barley and water have been the basic ingredients for single malt Scotch whisky. Beside their rugged beauty, the Scottish highlands are characterised by the vast grain fields, especially during harvest season.

    Scotland has unique water. Since there is no limestone, the water is very soft. The rain water flows over hillsides overgrown with heath and through peat meadows, thereby taking up the unique flavour typical for each distillery. Small, well-protected wells provide the water for the single malt whiskies. But also the big rivers are needed for producing whisky. They provide cooling water for the pot stills.

    The production of whisky is comparably easy. You let the barley germinate until the starch of the grain has become malt sugar. The malt is then dried and coarsely ground. The sugar is extracted by adding hot water, and the resulting liquid is then left to ferment, producing a beer without the addition of hops. This beer is then distilled twice in copper pot stills. The spirit is then matured in oak casks for at least three years. High-class single malt whiskies are sometimes matured for decades.

    Here's the fundamental process for making Scotch...