Scotch Whisky

Scotch Whisky is one of those drinks that can be an experience. However, given its broad range in brands and quality Scotch can also be an overwhelming choice. Not to speak of the Scotch purists who have elevated drinking Scotch Whisky to an art form and enjoy making novices feel small. It’s time to take your place at the table and find your signature Scotch. Having one will immediately step up your game. Plus, a good Scotch, aged to perfection, is simply delicious.

 

Scotch Whisky Must be Scottish
Only whisky born in Scotland can be called such. Scotch whisky is a legal term used to protect whisky made in Scotland. By law Scotch Whisky has to be distilled and matured in oak barrels in Scotland for a minimum of three years.  Scotch whisky label comprises several elements that indicate aspects of production, age, bottling, and ownership.

The spelling Whisky is not an error. Whiskey with an “e” is a broad category of liquors distilled from fermented grain mash. However, if the whisky comes from Scotland or Canada it is spelled whisky without the “e”.

 

Types of Whisky
There are five types in which whiskies are generally distinguished.

  • Single Malt is widely considered the gold standard of Scotch and must be distilled at a single distillery, from only water and malted barley, without any other cereal grains added.
  • Single Grain is also distilled at a single distillery, but may have other whole malted or un-malted grains or cereals.
  • Blended Whisky is a blend between one or more single grain and one or more single malt scotch whiskies.
  • Blended Scotch whisky constitutes about 90 percent of the whisky produced in Scotland
  • Blended Malt has more than one single malt from more than one distillery blended together.
  • Blended Grain is made from more than one single grain scotch whisky, produced at more than one distillery.

 

Better with Age
Whisky is aged in wooden barrels and the aging process enhances the flavor experience. Scotch Whisky can only claim the name if aged a minimum of three years in Scotland. Some distilleries may sell products younger than three years old, but they have to be called spirit.

Most single malt whiskies are bottled at ages from 10 to 21 years. Some rare whiskies are aged 50 plus years.

 

Whisky Regions
The water, the earth, the techniques. Just as with wine, Scotch whisky flavors are distinguished by regions including Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay.

Each region has its distinct characteristics, but flavors vary from distillery to distillery. Try different whiskies from the various regions to find your favorites. Have your bartender take you on a tour of Scotland.

 

How to Drink Scotch Whisky
It’s all about enjoying yourself. So truly there are no rules. However, some Scotch purists would disagree. So here are a few points in Scotch Whisky etiquette. Scotch should be served in a tulip-shaped glass or a rocks glass to allow the liquor to breath.

Scotch is known for its aromas. Before you take a drink, you’ll want to nose the whisky. Then take a sip, and chew the whisky around your mouth. Keep it in your mouth for a few seconds, then swallow. This allows the flavors and aromas to hit all your taste buds for the full experience.

Some recommend drinking Scotch ‘neat’ – without water or ice. Others say you want to add a few drops of water to help reveal the flavors. Some prefer to drink their Scotch “on the rocks.” You should also know that most fans of whisky frown upon using Scotch Whisky in cocktails, and swear on only drinking Scotch unadulterated.

 

At Scotch ‘n Sirloin, we are known for our delectable steaks. And some say that nothing pairs better with steak than Scotch Whisky. Enjoy one with dinner, or enjoy a drink with friends at our lounge. Don’t forget about Happy Hour at our lounge, Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m. and all night on Mondays!