23 May 2022

Celebrating World Whisky Day: 6 fun facts about whisky

Submitted by Nothando Chili
Celebrating World Whisky Day: 6 fun facts about whisky

Described as liquid gold by its supporters, whisky’s the kind of drink that needs to be savoured and relished with family and close friends. Throw in a fireplace, a cigar, and you’re talking pure magic. But it’s a drink that divides people: you either taste smoky goodness and are transported to a rugged Scottish hillside, or you taste medicinal maltiness. You love it or hate it.

As someone so eloquently once put it: “it feels like there are fireflies doing the macarena on my tongue”.

And if you think the opinions are strong about regular whisky, just wait until you read the ones about peated whisky:

“It’s like a Scotsman walked through a peat bog… wrung out his sock and that’s what they made it with”

“It’s like taking the bathroom door of a dive bar, throwing it in a fire and then dragging it through a field of white flowers”

This year, World Whisky Day falls on Saturday 21 May. And there’s no better excuse to wet your whistle in the world of whisky! Whether you’re curious about the different varieties and want to try something new, or are a long-time lover and whisky aficionado, everyone’s invited to make the most of this celebration day that honours the art of whisky distillation. So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know:

Whisky is life – literally. In Gaelic, whisky reads as uisge beathe which directly translates to water of life. We couldn’t agree more!

A gentle(wo)man’s game. Bessie Williamson was the only woman in the 20th century to own and manage a whisky distillery. She started her journey as a typist for Laphroaig and hadn’t planned on sticking around. But her plans changed and eventually she excelled as the distillery’s fearless leader. As it turned out, the new gig really was her type of thing. 

Out of this world taste. Whisky has been sent all the way to the international space station to see how zero gravity would affect its maturation. Apparently, the difference in taste was very noticeable, proving that it does matter where your whisky is made!

All about peat. “Partially decayed organic material found in the ground” sounds like something you wouldn’t want near your drink, but it’s essential in giving some whiskies their unforgettable taste. Peated whisky (like Laphroaig) gets its distinct smoky flavour from compounds released by peat fires used to dry malted barley, which is used to make the whisky.

Royal stamp of approval. Laphroaig has been the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales, which was awarded in person during a visit to the distillery in 1994.

Made for sharing. Scotch that evaporates during maturation is known as the angels’ share. At least we know that whisky distillers are considerate.

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s time to celebrate an iconic spirit. So, pour yourself a fiery shot of Laphroaig, sip it neat, or savour it with a drop or two of water. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even enjoy your whisky in a signature old fashioned! The real secret to the art of whisky drinking is to drink it exactly the way you like it. Slangevar!

Published in Food & Beverages

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