We've all been told there are no dumb questions. Yet there are some things many Whisky drinkers don't know, but would never dare to ask out loud. These are 9 questions about Scotch that Google gets asked a lot.
1. Can Scotch go bad?
Technically, an unopened bottle of Scotch can last forever. Air is the only true evil to Whisky; once the liquid is oxidized it is no longer immortal.
After opening, as long as you store your Whisky in a cool, dry place, it will last another 5 years.
The snobs will tell you that once you have half a bottle left, you’ve only got another 1-2 years left, and once you’re down to a quarter of a bottle, it’s more like 3-4 months.
We’d just ask you why on earth you haven’t finished it yet.
2. Is Scotch good for you?
And here is where being an optimist pays off, yes Scotch is good for you!
In moderation, obviously. Scotch has been praised by real life, not on commission, health experts, for its ability to prevent heart attacks, blood clots, strokes, dementia and even cancer. A lot of this is down to the ellagic acid which is found in Whisky; a very powerful antioxidant.
3. Is Scotch gluten free?
The honest answer is, probably. Even though Scotch is derived from barley, a gluten grain, the distillation process which makes Scotch an alcohol removes most of these gluten proteins. Understandably, that isn’t all that reassuring when the worst that can happen is that you need to seek medical attention.
4. How many calories are in Whisky?
By a cocktail menu’s standards, very few indeed. In a Scotch which is 50% alcohol, we’re talking about 80 calories per 35ml.
Of course if you start messing around with mixers like cherry coke, grenadine syrup and sugared sprigs; the calory count of your drink
will change considerably.
5. What does Scotch taste like?
That’s a bit like asking when Justin Bieber’s career will end; a hopeful but perpetually unresolved enquiry.
Scotch can taste of all sorts, literally; Jura likes to team its malts with liquourice. More broadly, Scotch can have a citrus edge complemented with a light, grassy taste, particularly in the Lowlands
. Elsewhere, and especially in Islay
, Scotch can be packed with peaty smoked notes. Take a sip, and if it tastes like Lapsang Souchong on a bender, you’ll know it’s the latter.
6. Is Scotch Kosher?
Scotch in its purest form is entirely kosher. However, Single Malts
can often be matured in Sherry casks. Sherry, as a form of wine, is not kosher. Macallan Sherry Oak might be one to dodge, for instance.
Simple answer is, check the bottle. Distilleries such as Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Glen Garioch, Glenrothes and Tomintoul are now producing kosher-certified Whisky. If you’re not sure, mourn the loss and move on.
7. What does Scotch neat mean?
Scotch neat is Scotch and Scotch only. No water, no ice, no mixers, just Whisky. Ironically, from thereon-in things can get messy.
8. How old is Scotch?
By law, Scotch Whisky must be matured in a cask for at least 3 years. However, when a bottle states an age, such as ’21 year old’, that means the Scotch is at least this old. NAS, or no age statement Scotch
, won’t say how old it is, but it will still be at least 3 years old. Otherwise it just ain’t Scotch.
9. Is Scotch always Scottish?
What do you think? Yes. The answer is yes.