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Finding The Best Whiskey, Tasting Events, and Understanding Its History

What defines good whiskey? Some would say it depends on the brand or the label. Others would be particular about the flavor, or the way it has been aged in barrels. For the whiskey enthusiast, they might even think some types are more recommended for drinking than others. But why is this so?

In this article, you will get to know the different ways to enjoy whiskey, take a glimpse at the history and what you should look for in a tasting event to make it a good one.

What Is Whiskey?

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It is interesting to note that there are communities that seriously converse about whiskey and discuss everything about the beverage. Knowing its definition will make you understand more about the classic liquor.

Whiskey has been defined as beer that goes through a distillation process. The liquid is made with a mash bill of any of these various grains -- corn, malted barley, rye, or wheat. The grains have been heated and blended with water to transform the starch to sugar yet to be fermented. Afterwards, distilleries add yeast into the process to then go into distillation once more.

Some of these whiskeys are aged in oak barrels for several months or even years, resulting in distinctive aromas and flavors and distinct whiskey colors are formed.

 

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Enjoying The Drink

Drinking whiskey is different from experiencing whiskey. For beginners, it takes time, skill and practice to enjoy the liquor the way experienced enthusiasts feel each time their glasses are filled with the drink and their lips and taste buds meet the liquor. You can learn these skills and practices by reading articles like this very one, or you can always join whiskey communities and listen as they discuss their preferences.

Experts will have a particular opinion when asked about how to enjoy the drink. Some would focus on explaining technical stuff while others would focus on the ingredients.

This time, we aren’t going to delve too much about the common guidelines that others might share, but rather go into the most interesting and perhaps the most unique ways in which you can put a smile on your face as you drink. Let’s begin.

First, let out the whiskey geek in you. True enough, learning about the deeper insights about this drink takes so much to swallow, but as you go along, you can realize how necessary they are to the entire experience. This only means that you have to find the best beverage depending on the flavors, the alcohol content, the variety, and the way it is made.

Whiskey is categorized according to the style and the region it comes from, with each having its own distinct taste. These are: American whiskey, Canadian whiskey, Irish whiskey, Scotch whiskey, and Japanese whiskey.

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  • American whiskey. This kind in itself has sub-categories. Rye is made from a mash bill distilled to at most, 160 proof and aged in oak barrels. Second, bourbon is characterized as that which is produced from a mash bill with at least 51 percent corn and aged in American oak barrels. Tennessee whiskey uses the same mash bill as bourbon but has to be produced within the state to be called such. Wheat is also American whiskey with the use of this particular grain. Lastly, corn is made with 80 percent of this ingredient and is 160 proof.

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  • Canadian whiskey. Canada may be part of the Americas, but the nation also takes pride in producing its own taste. Canadian whiskey has been touted as one of the smoothest and lightest varieties in the world. Thresholds indicate that it has to be mashed, distilled and aged for three years in oak barrels within the region, before bottling the liquid with at least 80 proof. Some varieties add caramel flavors and fruity tangs.
  • Irish whiskey. The topographical differences between America and Europe have paved the way for whiskeys in a different flavor for that of the Irish blend. It is further subdivided into grain, blended, single malt, and single pot still whiskey. Using pot still when distilling the drink is very popular in this part of the world, and also dates back from the oldest ways whiskey has been made within history.
  • Scotch whiskey. Aside from the production facilities in Scotland, this drink is known for its smoky taste. Barley is the staple ingredient, and has sub-types that include blended and single malt.
  • Japanese whiskey. Despite being mostly western, whiskey has also reached the boundaries of Asia, and Japan leads the pack. It has been said that Japanese whiskey is generally adapted from Scotch, but because it uses local grains, these are what make the beverage exceptional.

 

Aside from understanding the liquor according to the areas where they come from, the glass and the ice also say a lot about enjoying it for the experience and for the memories. The most ubiquitous one may be the glass with a lower level until the rim. Frequently used in social gatherings, it is convenient without getting too spacious like a champagne or wine glass.

If you want whiskey for a more romantic, intimate setting, you can use a glass that is shaped like a tulip. It is bound to concentrate the flavor even more and allow it to get intact, urging your nasals to feel the aromatic sensation before taking a sip.

Tin cups, or those that appear like stainless steel, have also been used to drink whiskey, especially during the 19th century. It has been seen among the Vikings who once sailed the seas across great lengths, and mountaineers who traveled far and wide for settlement.

Meanwhile, the whiskey-loving youth of today may simply grab a bottle from a convenience store or hold outdoor tasting parties for the experience, more than the formality of things. It doesn’t matter whether you have an expensive glass or just a styrofoam cup for the beverage, the experience is yours.

 

Best Whiskey history of whiskey

Then comes adding the ice. Liquor experts also agree, believe it or not, that ice is not at all too necessary. Pouring whiskey with ice has been a convention but the ice may dull the flavor and fade away the sensation that you should be getting. However, if you are used to drinking your beverages with ice, it is recommended to use large chunks of ice that do not melt too easily into water, and thus, you can save the flavor.

Finally, enjoying good whiskey should take you to experiencing it in a cocktail. For sure, you may be visualizing how it will go right now. To tell you honestly, it taste great especially with two of the best liquors coming together as one. You may also consult recipes and concoction tips from mixologists with regards to finding the most suitable cocktail with the right whiskey.

 

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Whiskey: A History

Its history is just as rich as its flavor. Historians say that the word “whiskey” comes from the Gaelic phrase “uisce beatha” which means “water of life.” The timeline of its history stretches from both ends -- with earlier claims of existence and much promise for its future.

 

The closest to today’s whiskey comes from the massive production in the distilleries in Ireland and Scotland during the 18th century. The two lands began producing the liquor in massive amounts. Dublin, the capital of Ireland, nurtured four of the biggest producers which had a combined output of five million gallons yearly.

However, prior to this, the same distillation technique used for the contemporary versions of the drink is argued to have been used several years before this time. History reveals that the process has been found in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Middle East) and used with perfumes and other aromatic compounds. The ancient Greeks were also recorded to use the same technique but with processing seawater and transform it into drinking water.

There are also accounts that say traces of whiskey distilled in the same way that the Irish and the Scots did theirs have been found among ancient Arab communities in 800 A.D., apparently several years before the first European distillers came into existence.

Just as the Irish and the Scots developed their manufacturing plants, they started introducing whiskey to the New World, now the United States, during the Age of Conquest. Right now, Ireland produces around seven million cases of whiskey annually, while Scotland exports almost 100 million cases each year.

Best Whiskey History of Whiskey

 

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Join A Whiskey Tasting Event Near You

To cap off our discussion about whiskey, it is important that you know how you can further take pleasure with this beverage along with the community that shares the same values. Perhaps the best way to do so is to join a whiskey tasting event.

Whiskey tasting events, such as those conducted by Social Scene, are organized to bring together people with the similar interests in a venue, a bar or a lounge, while also meeting representatives from different brands as they offer education components on what constitutes their products.

Social Scene is having a series of Whiskey Festivals this January to introduce you to the flavors of the liquor. Afterwards, there will also be whiskey tastings across various cities in America just as the country welcomes the autumn season. To know more about these events and to participate, visit https://besocialscene.com/.

 

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References:

https://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/05/01/how-to-drink-whiskey/

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20110318-travelwise-a-guide-to-the-lingo-and-history-of-whiskey

https://www.bottleneckmgmt.com/blog/whiskey-history-timeline/

https://www.craftspiritsxchange.com/blog/learn/what-is-whiskey/

http://news.besocialscene.com/blog/irish-whiskey-a-history-article-3

https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/how-to-drink-whiskey/

 

Jon Lindley Agustin

Professional Content Writer

Social Scene

BeSocialScene.com

Topics: Denver whiskey tastings, st louis whiskey tastings, st pats whiskey, history of whiskey, whiskey content