It’s a Whisky world after all
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It’s a Whisky world after all
An Irishman, an Indian and an American walk into a bar…
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Oh, you haven’t? Well. Let’s just say some serious Whisky drinking goes down. Because as it turns out, you can find some sublimely sippable golden firewater all around the world. From India to Ireland, you’ll find a rich tradition and drinking culture behind a country’s Whisky along with some pretty unique methods behind their distilling madness.
Now, Ireland is the birthplace of Whiskey. Ain’t no lucky four clover behind their tasty tipples—just plenty of time, experience and… alright, maybe a wee bit ‘o that Irish luck. They’ve had a hundreds of years to perfect their craft, using a mash of malted and unmalted barley that’s triple distilled in copper pot stills. But for the Irish, the single pot still method is where it’s at.
But leave it to the U.S. to turn age-old tradition on its head. Our Whiskies use a mixture of corn, rye, wheat and barley for their mash. Then, we age the whole thing in charred-oak barrels, which makes for a sweeter and smokier sip. Unless, of course, we’re talking Bourbon. That mash requires a minimum of 51% corn and new charred oak barrels for aging. Rules are rules.
Surprised to know that India’s a global Whisky force to be reckoned with? They’re young’uns in the wild world of Whisky, but they’re also huge producers of the stuff—although much of it isn’t known outside of its domestic market. In fact, there are a few distilleries that have been making award-winning Whiskies for years using an Indian barley that yields less alcohol, but adds a lot of flavor.
...which means that Irishman, Indian and American at the bar can squeeze in an extra dram or two before the night is through.
1. Someone call the census: there are more barrels of Bourbon in Kentucky than there are people. You can find over 5 million barrels throughout the Bluegrass State compared to its 4.4 million residents. Drink up, folks.
2. India is the biggest consumer of Whisky in the world. Although, to be fair, most of their stuff isn’t quite what you’d consider Whisky. File under: It’s Complicated.
3. One of the reasons why Indian Whisky isn’t exactly, well, Whisky? Look to the ingredients. You might find ingredients that deviate from your traditional recipe, like, molasses.
4. Whisky is made from water, yeast and grain—pretty basic. It’s the variety of grains, quality of water and aging process that give each barrel its unique flavor.
5. It would take the average commercial jet liner 47 hours to fly around the world without any stops for fuel… or Whisky.
6. Is it “Whisky” or “Whiskey”? Here’s an easy rule to remember: the word “Ireland” has an E and so does their Whiskey. Same goes for the United States. Scotland, Japan and Canada drop the vowel from their Whisky—and their respective names.
7. Monks were the first to bring the distilling method from the Mediterranean to Ireland hundreds of years ago. They called the Whisky they produced “Uisge Beatha.”
8. Whisky was introduced to India during the British Raj—the direct rule of the British Crown—in the nineteenth century.
9. In 1791, the United States treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton placed a tax on Whiskey to pay off the debt from the American Revolution. That led to some very unhappy distillers and tipplers, which resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion. Protests and violence ensued until the tax was repealed in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson.