Whisky Myths Unveiled – Part 4

The forth article about the whisky myths, uncovers some interesting facts about the production of whisky and its ingredients such as water and colouring. As mentioned before, this incredible drink offers a variety of different personalities and we believe that these myths also influence the development of its own characteristics.

Location, ingredients and weather are the main pillars of the development of whisky and throughout these articles; we uncover some interesting facts and myths that will leave you amazed. You can also discover different aspects of its production, which will give insights on the extraordinary flavours and aromas of the whisky world.

Let us dive into the fascinating world of whisky myths.


The whisky colour comes from its casks

Whiskies around the world gain their colour through colouring in order to improve their appearance. However, the casks also influence the colour of whisky specially the older ones.

E150a or caramel is used and added to the spirit as a colouring ingredient. This is added when it is bottled allowing for mass-producers of whisky to achieve a colour uniformity across the products. Some however, believe that adding these will influence the flavour of the spirit. For this reason, some distilleries refuse to use colouring, which means that 100% of their colour comes from the casks.

Some countries also allow the addition of flavouring. This can be found, for example, in the Canadian whiskey with the addition of wine, sherry, whisky and other spirits.


To make good whisky you need your own natural source of water

Although water is one of its main ingredients, it does not need to come from a loch, a spring or a clear mountain lake. Normally distilleries use water that comes from a municipal water supply, which can be adapted through filtration removing any bacteria or contaminants. It this way, they are able to define the quality of water, which will then influence the quality of the whisky.

The only things that a distillery needs from its water is reliability and plentifulness.

According to the master blender of Diageo, Douglas Murray, water does not affect the taste of whisky. He claims that this is “the biggest myth that we, as an industry, have perpetrated.


Price = Quality

Like most of the things in the world, this is not true. A higher price does not necessary mean better quality.

Quality is mostly a matter of personal taste and is influenced by a variety occasions and locations. You might go for a more expensive whisky due to a special occasion or because of whom you are with. This does not necessarily mean that, that expensive whisky is your favourite one.

Note however, that the price of a whisky reflects its rarity and its longevity. The amount of time that it has stayed in the distillery and its age will influence its price and the cost of packaging.

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