Whisky is one of the most-drunk alcoholic spirits in the world. However, there is a certain way of making whisky, and the way it tastes can really differ from bottle to bottle, and from place to place. Even if you are a seasoned whisky drinker, there may still be plenty of things about the spirit that will surprise you. Here are a few interesting facts about whisky to mull over the next time you have a bourbon on the rocks.
Whisky is well-known for taking a long time to get right. Good things come to those who wait! However, the age of the oldest whisky in the world might astound you. The Guinness World Record holder for the oldest whisky is the Glenavon Special Liqueur, which is thought to have been first packaged in 1858. That means there’s a bottle of whisky out there that’s almost 200 years old!
The most expensive whisky on the planet is sure to make your bank manager’s head spin. The biggest sale at auction for a bottle of whisky came to an equivalent of £393,109 – the Macallan ‘M’ is thought to be the priciest bottling of the spirit on the planet.
The word ‘whisky’ translates into something rather telling. It actually comes from ancient Gaelic, and it is thought to mean ‘the water of life’.
A selection of Japanese whisky
Whisky, unfortunately, is known to evaporate during production. Don’t worry, however, as only around 2% disappears during barrel storage. Many in the trade refer to this 2% as ‘the angels’ share’.
It’s thought that a strong bottle of whisky – or one good enough to retail – should be at least 40% volume, meaning that there are never going to be any bottles of the stuff which won’t give a nice kick or two. Many bottles go well beyond 40%, however, so take it nice and slow!
It’s thought that whisky has hidden health benefits. Studies, of course, are always ongoing. However, research seems to suggest that it can help the body fight against strokes and cancer and drinking up to six glasses of whisky a week could help to cut your dementia risk. However, as always, drinking in moderation is encouraged.
Jack Daniel’s is one of the most popular whisky brands in the world and is well-known for producing delicious flavour variations. Rat Pack crooner Frank Sinatra was such a fan of the smooth JD that he asked to be buried with a bottle by his side. His wishes came true!
Glenfiddich is a brand of whisky that’s interesting for its unique bottle shape. Rather than having round edges, it is triangular. This is thought to pay tribute to the three main ingredients in the whisky making process, specifically air, barley, and water. Of course, there is more to brewing a good whisky than just putting those together!
While single malt whisky tends to be associated with breweries up in Scotland, the country actually exports more blended spirits than single malt bottles.
France is extremely passionate about whisky – so much so, that it’s thought just less than 50% of all retail sales for spirits in the country revolve around whisky. Of course, France is very much a wine nation – but whisky seems to be a runner-up for favourite tipples amongst the French!
Scotland is well-known for being a hotbed of whisky brewing and bottling. So much so, that there are thought to be more than 20 million unique casks nationwide, each one used for developing a delicious blend. Statistically, there are around four casks per person living in Scotland right now.
Scotch is a type of whisky that has a few specific requirements expected of it. As you may imagine, it must only come from Scotland itself.
Whisky is preferred by many people as a premium alcoholic drink to wine. That’s because it is known to last much longer. You could, in effect, keep a bottle of whisky for more than 100 years, pour it out, and still have it taste the same! The effects are incredible! What’s more, many people invest in aging whiskies as they tend to be collector’s items. Some bottles go for thousands at auction, if they are rare and/or old enough to catch a buyer’s interest.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about whisky that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!