While bourbon still reigns supreme in the brown spirit world I have been turning my attention back a bit to one of the birthplaces of whisky and perhaps the most intriguing whisky nation of the world: Scotland!
In a country that is roughly the size of South Carolina, there are not only six distinct and very different regions and styles but currently over 130 active distilleries producing a wide range of flavors.
Of all the “Old World” whisky producing nations (Canada, the US, Ireland and Japan are the others) Scotland can boast the most interesting history and widest range of style as perhaps anyone.
But because each region varies so widely, there are common misperceptions about what a classic scotch whisky tastes like. In reality, there is no one distinct style but the smokey and peaty scotches from Islay (pronounced Eye- Lah) tend to be what so many people associate with classic scotch. And it is style that is not for the meek. The iodine, burning rubber, used band-aid boldness of nose and palate is an acquired taste, however, those who prefer that are some of the most ardent fans.
In reality most Scotch is ripe with dried fruit, nuttiness and little or no peat. Scotch, by law, must be distilled two times and is usually produced using malted barley with some cereals and grains added for smoothness. Very few Scotches outside of Islay actually malt their barley over peat fires, however, it is still the most distinct, famous and yet misunderstood aspect of scotch production.
On October 7th in the Warren Whiskey Library I invite you to join us as we taste through all six regions (Speyside, Islay, the Highlands, the Lowlands, Campbeltown and the Islands) and try to demistify and discuss what makes each region unique and what flavor profile each area is most famous for. The Class will be held at 3pm and tickets are available on EventBrite.
Hope to see you there!