Whether you love whisky or not, you have to admit that it’s a pretty special spirit. There is often dispute as to where whisky originated but there is no dispute over its popularity and fan base. Here are some facts about rare whisky that you may not already know.
Whisky Vs. Whiskey
There is technically no right way to spell whisky. Whisky is the spelling used in Scotland, whereas whiskey is most commonly used in the US. There is technically no right way to spell whisky but I’m Scottish so I’m going to be spelling it without an ‘E’.
Whisky Vs. Beer
Whisky and beer actually start off as the same liquid, the difference is that whisky is distilled, whereas beer is fermented.
What Colour is Whisky?
Whisky starts off as a clear liquid, however, after ageing in wooden casks, whisky takes on a golden/caramel colour. According to expert distillers, the cask provides a whisky with 60% of its flavour and 100% of its colour. The longer a whisky is matured, the darker it tends to be, that’s why many types of rare whisky are darker in colour.
Whisky Can Last Forever
A bottle of unopened whisky that is kept out of direct sunlight can, technically, last forever. Even an open bottle of whisky – that is then sealed properly has a long shelf life. Although it might go musty and have a slightly unpleasant flavour, it will still be safe to drink.
Weather Has an Effect on Rare Whisky
Something as unpredictable as the weather can have an effect on whisky. This is due to the cask expanding and contracting as the weather shifts between hot and cold. In places, such as Canada, where this shift is from one extreme to the next, whisky often needs to be matured for longer in order to get the desired result.
There are Millions of Casks of Whisky Currently Ageing
Right now, there are millions of casks of whisky ageing in casks across the world, some of these will be rare whisky, some will be mass produced. Huge whisky brands such as Jack Daniels have 2.3 million casks maturing alone, they also have the largest supply of fire resistant foam in the Eastern US to help protect their creations.
Whisky Can Be Made from Any Grain
Good news health lovers, rare whisky can be made out of any grain, including quinoa! It is most traditionally made out of corn, rye and barley but, in theory, any grain can be used. One of the main things that holds distillers back from creating whisky out of other grains is that they don’t know what the outcome will be. Rare whisky has an incredibly long ageing process and many are not willing to spend 15 years maturing a whisky with the chance that it may not work.
Whisky Isn’t Always Aged in New Casks
Whisky does not need to be aged in a new cask every time. You tend to find in Scotch and Irish distilleries that they actually prefer to use old casks rather than new ones. It all comes back to the cask delivering much of a whiskies flavour. Some distillers favour used sherry casks, for example, to create a sweeter and nuttier taste.