Whisky – our friend and confidant every weekend, sometimes more often than that. It doesn’t matter whether you are happy or sad, whisky is a drink for every mood. It’s been around for centuries, getting generation after generation drunk, and no one can possibly deny that it’s been the potion behind many of those wild frenzied nights! Whisky like a woman can be your best friend or your worst foe, and yet you are always drawn to the taste and aroma it comes with. But these are things you already know. Here are a few that you probably didn’t:
1. Whisky starts its life as beer
A deliciously true story. Whisky is made from ‘wort’, which is the ‘beer’ that gets distilled. In fact, wort is made out of all the ingredients that you would find in a glass of chilled beer – water, yeast and malts. Moreover this process is used to prevent unwanted pests.
2. We spell Scottish and Canadian whisky without the e and the others as whiskey
To ‘e’ or not to ‘e’, that is the difference! When it comes to spelling, only refer to Scottish/Scotch whisky or Canadian whisky without the ‘e.’ If its origins are rooted elsewhere, opt for whiskey.
3. The oldest whisky is over 150 years old
The 400ml bottle of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky holds the Guinness World Record for being the World’s Oldest Whisky. It is rumoured to be packaged in between 1851 and 1858 and was owned by an Irish family till it was auctioned off to Bonhams in London and fetched a staggering £14,850.
4. Macallan ‘M’ whisky is the most expensive in the world
A Lalique decanter of Macallan ‘M’ whisky was auctioned for £393,109 this year in Hong Kong and came to be known as the world’s most expensive make of this alcohol. The luxury decanter contains 6 litres of whisky drawn from Spanish oak sherry casks dating from the 1940s to the 1990s.
5. The word whisky means ‘water of life’
Whisky comes from the Gaelic word which reads ‘uisge beathe ’, which translates as ‘water of life’. It later came to be pronounced as ‘ uski’ , which then turned into whisky! Need we say more?
6. The angel’s pinch
Approximately 2% of whisky gradually evaporates through the barrels each year. This is famously known as the angel’s share and is closely knit with customs in some places.
7. Scotch whisky generates £135 of revenue every second
Yes! That’s the figure. Scotland exports whisky at the rate of just under 2500 bottles per minute! So the revenue is not so unbelievable now, is it?
8. Whisky could’ve been banned
Yes, our favourite drink (like most other good things) would have been illegal if not for a medical loophole during the Prohibition. But since there was a law which allowed doctors to prescribe whisky as medicine, it wasn’t banned. Moreover, all you had to do to get drunk was walk to the nearest drug store and act sick!
9. For whisky, life starts at 40!
Scotch whisky needs to be bottled at a minimum strength of 40% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) which means life really begins at 40 for this fabulous drink. Some whiskies can also have strength of up to 60% ABV. Word of advice, always check the label to know how much you can handle.
8. Whisky needs 3 years to age
It is only after a minimum of 3 years of ageing that Scottish whisky can be called scotch. Some distilleries hold casks of whisky which are a grand 70+ years old.
9. No one knows who invented whisky
No one knows who the first one was to find out how to make this magic drink. It is believed that whisky was originally crafted by monks, which made it a holy spirit. Ha! Holy SPIRIT. But it all changed when King Henry VIII dissolved all of their liquor-ridden monasteries. Poor sober monks!
10. Besides the malts, there are 7 regional whiskys and one of them is Indian!
So next time you drink your glass of Antiquity, make sure it is a Patiala peg full desi style! Scottish, American, Canadian, German, Irish and Australian are the other regional whiskies available.
11. It has health benefits too. Drinking whisky can prevent cancer
Drinking a moderate amount of whisky can actually have benefits! Drinking whisky can prevent cancer, reduce the chances of a stroke and also reduces possibilities of heart diseases. And that’s not it! Drinking 1 to 6 glasses of whisky over a week can lower an adult’s risk of dementia.
12. Jack Daniels is not Bourbon
This is a common misconception. The deep smell and lasting taste of JD actually represents Tennessee whiskey, not bourbon.
13. Mountain Dew was originally meant to be a whisky chaser
Barney and Ally Hartman were just a couple of bros looking to get their whiskey on so they went ahead and invented Mountain Dew. The tagline had nothing to do with either darr or jeet . The original slogan was “Yahoo Mountain Dew, it’ll tickle your innards.” Seriously, that was the slogan!
14. One of the basic ingredients of Tabasco sauce is whisky
Tabasco sauce is actually aged in barrels that previously contained JD . It gives the sauce an extra kick, and that lovely sting.
15. George Washington was a sucker for whisky
If helping to found a leading nation wasn’t enough, this man also had a skin in the whisky game! A lot of skin really. George opened a whisky distillery and by 1799, he was the largest producer of whisky in the country. Between this and his appreciation for cannabis, we know Georgie was one man who could surely get the party going!
16. And he’s not alone!
Hillary Clinton, Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain – they all LOVED whisky! It is also Johnny Depp’s favourite drink!
17. And why not? After all w hisky is a better investment than wine
Unlike wine, whisky stays inside the bottle without changing taste for 100 years! In fact, that whisky lasts almost forever means its value can appreciate in a big way. So forget about holdings and property – just buy a few expensive bottles and make sure you save them long enough.