As the national drink of Scotland and a beloved beverage from around the world, there are plenty of interesting facts about Scottish whiskey, to discover while enjoying a wee dram of this golden nectar @ BraeVal in the heart of Litchfield, Connecticut. Below, find just some of the fun facts about Scotch whiskey that you might not know about!
Scottish whiskey has two different spellings! In general, whiskey is the spelling used for Irish or American whiskey, while whisky is the spelling in all other countries including Scotland where it is part of Scottish history and law. No matter how you spell it, this amber nectar is truly remarkable.
Real Scotch whisky must come from Scotland
First off, you can't call just any old whisky Scottish whisky because it must come from Scotland where it must meet a barrage of strict requirements before it can be classified by the Scotch Whisky Regulations Act in Scotland!
The key here is that it must be produced and matured only in Scotland. If a cask rolls into England, Ireland, or Wales, it is no longer Scottish whisky.
The Three-Year + Rule
Scottish whisky must be matured in casks for a minimum of three years and one day, although many are aged much longer.
Life Starts @ 40!
Scotch whisky needs to be bottled at a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume, which means, life begins @ 40! Some scotch whisky is also bottled @ 60 not a bad age either in our book! The best thing to do is to check the label so you can judge how much you can handle!
What Does Whisky Mean?
One of the most interesting historical facts about Scotch whisky is the story behind its name. The word, whiskey comes from the Gaelic words "uisge beatha" (pronounced ish-ka-ba-ha) which means "water of life." Scotch gets its first written mention in the 15th century when a Scottish taxman recorded eight "bolls" of malt that Friar John Cor used to create "aqua vitae" which is Latin for "water of life." Over time, the phrase uisge (oosh-gae) evolved into the word whisky that we use today.
What is Angel's Share?
Whiskey makers everywhere store scotch in wooden barrels. No matter how well constructed or how tight the wood grain is, the barrels are still porous. As whisky matures, the alcohol slowly evaporates between 1.5% and 2% a year. Whisky makers call this the "angels share" - it's no wonder they call it the nectar of the Gods!
Scotland Has A Lot of Whiskies!
There are over 100 distilleries across five regions producing Scottish whisky, including the Highlands, the Lowlands, Islay, Speyside, and Campbeltown. There are so many choices --- from the fruity taste of Speyside and the rugged spice of the Highlands to the peaty whiskies from Islay --- the choices are endless...and, we like that @ BraeVal! The most current count has over 22 million casks maturing in warehouses in Scotland! Wow! That's a lot of whiskey!
If you like our blog, take a little time while sipping a wee dram and peruse our website...or, plan a visit to our store in Litchfield, Connecticut. Our hunting dog champions, Gillie and Laddie will welcome you along with some of the most amazing tartans in America, and perhaps a wee bit of the golden nectar!