There are two major categories of Scotch: single malts and blends. What’s the difference? Single malts, like The Glenlivet or The Macallan, are made from 100 percent malted barley and are the product of just one distillery. A blended Scotch, like Johnnie Walker or Chivas Regal, is a combination of single malts from many different distilleries and aged grain whisky. (This smooth whisky is produced in a column still and can be made from any kind of grain, rather than just malted barley.)
Not that long ago, the only Scotches you could buy in the US were blends. That began to change in the late 1970s, when Americans started to buy less whisky and more vodka. As a result, the blenders also began buying less whisky. In an attempt to spur sales, the distillers began bottling their single malts and marketing them directly to drinkers. Single malts have become so popular that many distilleries are now running around the clock and have stopped selling to blenders altogether.
Here’s a shot of spelling with your glass of Scotch. Whisky from Scotland, Canada and Japan is spelled without an “e.” Whiskey from Ireland and the United States is usually spelled with an “e.”
HOW TO DRINK SCOTCH:
To appreciate Scotch in all its peaty glory, it should be sipped straight, but don’t be afraid to add a bit of bottled water. That may sound like sacrilege, but it helps to open up the whisky’s flavors and aromas, and it’s actually how most experts and master distillers prefer to taste the spirit. For younger or more full-flavored whiskies, feel free to add ice or club soda. Scotch also goes well with ginger ale or in cocktails like the Rob Roy, Blood and Sand and Rusty Nail.
Glenlivet Code is a new, limited edition single malt debuted with absolutely no information about its casks or flavor profile.
Be on the lookout, whiskey lovers, because that cement mixer barreling down the street may not be a cement mixer after all.
Its founder, Bryan Davis, has quite the point of view.
Get the story behind the eight cocktails that rose above the rest.
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It’s a debate that has been raging on among whiskey enthusiasts for ages. Does a little water dilute your whiskey, or does it enhance the flavor? When a debate gets this heated, it’s best to turn to science. At least that’s what a few Swedish chemists thought when they decided to attempt to put the […]
If you’re finding your drinking companions a little dull these days, you can now ditch them altogether and opt for a virtual reality experience. Hotel restaurant Baptiste & Bottle, inside the Conrad Chicago hotel, is now offering a $95 rare scotch and sherry cocktail that includes “transportation” to Scotland to take you through the entire distilling process. […]
D.C. bartenders recently shared their finest recipes in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge, sponsored by Ardbeg. David Bernhardt of Leftdoor ultimately won, earning a to Scotland for his subtle and smoky masterpiece, The Outlaws. He won’t be the only one to benefit from the competition, though. You, for instance, can check out the best recipes […]
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Whiskey Business This kitschy bar is packed with memorabilia that pays homage to the ’80s and ’90s and offers tons of distinct types of French fries. But the highlight might be the creations of bartender Mike Finnegan, who was featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge on the strength of his subtle and delicious recipe, […]
New York bartenders recently shared their finest recipes in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge, sponsored by Ardbeg. Ben Rojo of Angel’s Share ultimately won, earning a trip to Scotland for his subtle and smoky masterpiece, Cailleach’s Bath Collins. He won’t be the only one to benefit from the competition, though. You, for instance, can check […]
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