Besides its long story there are still a lot of whisky myths worth deconstructing. In this article you will know what preconceived ideas may not be so truthful after all.
Whisky is one of the most popular drinks in the whole world. From the very beginning of its existence, its fame spread through the world and there isn’t a soul who hasn’t heard about “Scotch”. Today, whisky is distilled everywhere and, through time, different types of this spirit came up. It is now normal to hear about japanese, french, german and even swedish whiskey.
However, even though Whisky has come a long way through history, there are still myths about this spirit worth unraveling.
Whisky Myths Worth Unraveling
Real men drink whisky shots
One of the most heard whisky myths is that it should be drunk in only one gulp. This myth was created through the cowboy movie’s imaginarium, where the cowboys drank whisky in a shot glass. In fact, in order to appreciate whisky properly, you need to sip and taste the expression itself and it’s just impossible to do that in a single gulp. There are also people who drink whisky in a glencairn glass and add water or whisky stones to release hidden flavours and aromas.
The other whisky myth around that phrase is the mindset of only “real men”. Either a man is still real for not drinking whisky at all, as well as a woman will not have her gender switch if she enjoys a good dram.
“It’s not whiskey, it’s whisky!”
This one will just live forever. When talking about these two terms, we’re talking about the same spirit, but produced in different countries with different distillation methods. For instance, one uses the term “Whisky” to refer to scotch, japanese, swiss and canadian whisky. All of the others, such as Irish or Tennessee, are whiskey.
“Water does not fit in a whisky glass”
As we referred to in the previous paragraphs, there are ideas that have nothing to do with reality. That water doesn’t have a place in a glass with whisky is one of the biggest whisky myths we all hear all the time.
To join water in whisky is not an action to reduce the percentage of alcohol in the spirit so it gets lighter. Any whisky that has been several years aging in a barrel and, then, some time within a bottle needs oxygen to “open up”. By splashing a few drops of water, oxygen will join other molecules, resulting in the release of aromas and flavours that, otherwise, would be hidden. There are even whiskies that are made considering the addition of water in the spirit.
So, if, for you, tasting whisky is more than sipping and you enjoy every part of its personality, don’t be afraid of adding a splash of water.
“Whisky keeps aging inside the bottle”
Wouldn’t it be nice to find a bottle of whisky aged 15 years, but with a few more decades inside the bottle, so it ended up being a whisky 50 years? That just doesn’t happen, right? The truth about this whisky myth is that the maturation of whisky only regards the time it has spent in the barrel, not out of it. In order to age properly, whisky has to be in direct contact with the barrel’s wood – as it is the only way that the beverage gets all the flavours itself.
So, if you ever find a 15 year whisky bought 30 years ago, it is only possible for it to be ruined, not for it to be worth quite some money.
Know how the Oak Barrels impact the Quality of Scotch, here: https://www.whiskyflavour.com/blog/oak-barrel-scotch/
“Quality whisky come from Scotland, Ireland and the USA”
Long gone is the time when these countries would be on the top of the whisky production countries. In reality, there are new countries producing whisky each year. Taiwan, Norway, Switzerland, India and so many others have now highlighted their whisky production and some of their expressions have already won awards.