If you’re a man who knows how to drink, odds are you’ve thrown back a whiskey with the boys at some point in your life. But how much do you know about the history behind this dark liquor?
Whiskey, or whisky, is a spirit distilled from malted grain. It takes many forms, ranging from clear to caramel to dark brown in color. This makes it likely for everyone to find a flavor profile that’s just right for their taste buds.
There are two widely used spellings of the spirit. Whiskey is the traditional Irish spelling, while whisky is commonly recognized as the Scottish spelling. Whiskey is usually preferred in the United States, while “whisky” is used in most other countries. Debate over whether whiskey originated in Scotland or Ireland continues to this day. Surprisingly, neither country consumes the most whiskey annually. That title goes to India, which consumed 1.5 billion liters in 2014.
Whiskey is a distilled liquor, meaning it’s purified by removing diluting factors like water by heating up the mixture to increase the alcohol content. This is done through either pot still distillation or column still distillation. Next, the liquid is stored in wooden, usually oak, casks to mature. The maturation process must at least surpass the minimum number of years set by the country in which the distillery is located. The longer whiskey matures, the higher quality and more expensive it is.
Taste Of Bourbon
Scotch, bourbon, Irish whiskey and Tennessee whiskey are different varieties that are named for the region in which they originated. Scotch is from Scotland, bourbon is from Bourbon County, Kentucky and so on.
The varieties of whiskey differ due to factors like their unique production and maturation processes, as well as their quality and alcohol content. For example, bourbon must contain at least 51 percent corn and be aged for at least four years, while rye whiskey contains at least 51 percent rye and must be matured for at least two years. Laws regulate the production and maturation of whiskey, establishing a standard for the spirit across the board.
Whiskey drinkers fall into a variety of categories depending on the flavors and aromas they prefer. Each type is complex in its makeup of qualities and impressions. Tastes can range from oakey to sweet, smoky to peaty, and creamy to spicy.
It’s important to really appreciate the spirit as you drink it. This means turning whiskey drinking into an experience, whether you’re enjoying it from a specialty glass or a red solo cup.
Nosing is the process of swirling the whiskey around the glass and taking in a breath of its scents prior to taking a sip. Since humans have such a strong sense of smell, nosing provides the drinker with better insight into the traits of the whiskey than even taste can.
Whether you’re nursing a bourbon neat after a day at the office or sipping a Scotch on the rocks at your favorite downtown bar, make sure to get the most out of this spirit, which is enjoyed by millions around the world.
Calling All Bourbon Fans!
Disney Springs is hosting Discover Bourbon, an event featuring a variety of unique bourbon and food pairings, through June 17. Guests can stroll along the trail, savoring each specialty drink and delicacy at their own pace. A map of participating locations is available online or at the Disney Springs Welcome Center so no stop is missed.
Below are some of the offerings that you will find along the Disney Springs bourbon trail.
Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant
- The Gold Cup: Bulleit Bourbon, Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and muddled mint, lime, and cucumber
- Dub Schpuds: Herb-roasted potato wedges with a Smithwick’s & Dubliner cheese dip
- Orlando Pride: Old Forester Bourbon and a homemade blackberry citrus puree
- Hoison Chili Calamari: Bell peppers, jalapeno, Serrano chili
- Double Down: Woodford Reserve and lemon juice
- Double Smoked Bacon: Date chutney, oven-dried tomatoes and crispy garlic
- Bag O’ Donuts: Dulce de leche filling, served with spiced chocolate and raspberry sauces