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Scotch Whisky With Special Reference to Single Malt

Updated on June 6, 2020
emge profile image

A senior Air warrior and a graduate of the Staff College as well PG in management and law is well qualified to write on contemporary India.

Introduction

Dear friends, you must have read my article when I was shacked up with my secretary for 30 days during the period of quarantine. It's over now but some restrictions remain. Having nothing much to do we consumed a lot of single malt scotch whiskey. We drank some of the costlier brands like Glenlivet and Macallan. Sue drank quite a bit of these rare brands but she didn't know anything about them. All she was aware of was that they were sold in the bars and the market much above the price she could afford. So I thought why not write an article on Scotch whiskey and its derivatives single malts for the benefit of people all over the world.

Firstly, let us understand that Scotland and whiskey are synonymous with each other. Whiskey manufactured in Scotland is referred to as Scotch. There are many other countries manufacturing whiskey like the USA, Japan, and India. Though the American Jack Daniels and Amrut single malt are manufactured in India yet Scottish whiskey is considered the best in the world.

Scottish whiskey or scotch brings in the spirit of Scotland, the mountains. glens, and remote places where it is distilled and ready for your glass. There is nothing like having a glass of Scotch whiskey and you will find that it never gives a hangover how much you may drink and it is a tremendous aphrodisiac as well. It has a sweet smoky savory taste that is blended together and if you take it you won't regret it.




Manufacture and History

Scotch whiskey is traditionally made from malted barley. It's similar to a beer which is also made from malted barley but the comparison ends there as the two products are extremely divergent.

Barley is a food that is cultivated and is generally recognized as the first cereal grain crop to be cultivated by man. It was first cultivated around 8500 BCE in an area which is located in the Middle East where early agriculture and the first civilizations began.

The story of Scotch whiskey begins in the 15th century. There is a mention of this in the tax records of the period 1494. The first man generally credited for this invention is Fiar John who was able to produce 1500 bottles of the spirit which later in years became more refined. The popularity of the drink led to the first taxes being introduced in 1644 basically to stop illicit whiskey distilling across Scotland. So popular was the drink that by 1820 as many as 14,000 illicit stills were confiscated.

It would be a surprise to many readers that the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns was one of the first tax collectors of the 18th century. His famous poem "scotch drink' is an ode to whiskey and the nature of happiness.

Things were streamlined with the passage of the Excise Act in 1823 which sanctioned the distilling of whiskey in return for a license fee of GBP 10. A lot of development took place during this period and in 1831 Aeneas Coffey invented the Patent Still which is a process of distillation to get a finer grain of whiskey. The appeal of scotch whiskey now began to spread around the globe.

During this period the great names in the world of scotch whiskeys like James Buchanan, Tommy Dewar, Johnnie Walker, and James Chivas appeared on the scene. They took the whiskey out to the far corners of the British Empire and also to America. Where is Scotch now? In 1994 the scotch whiskey industry celebrated the 500th anniversary of whiskey production in Scotland which now earns over GBP 2 billion.


Single Malt

At the moment there are two types of Scotch whiskey available. The first is the blended scotch whiskey and the second is the single malt. Single malt is invariably more costly then blended scotch though some blended scotch whiskeys are also pretty costly. What is the difference between them?

Single malt whiskey is manufactured by a single distillery while blended whiskey is a result of two or more Malt and Grain whiskeys mixed from different distilleries.

Most of the single malt whiskey is matured from anything between10 to 20 years. There are many famous single malt whiskey like Macallan, Glenlivet, Glen Morangie, The Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Talisker among others. Some of these whiskeys which are collectors edition cost anything from $ 2000 upwards. Ordinary 12 year old like Macallan Quest will set you back by $ 150. They are cheaper in duty-free shops.

What is so special about single malt? From experience, I can say that it never gives you a hangover. It is also generally taken neat with just a little ice in it. What we call "on the rocks". The process of maturing single malt is much longer than ordinary Scotch and that is why the difference in price.

I have been hooked on Macallan for almost 2 decades. It was a product introduced in the military canteen and was available much below the market price. All said and done single malt whiskey is served at high-end social gatherings.

Blended scotch like Chivas regal and the Black Label is also good but they do not stand comparison with single malt whiskey.




Last word

Whiskey drinking in moderation can be good for your health. It is also an aphrodisiac if taken in the right quantity. Everything in excess is bad and that goes for single malts and scotch as well. The world is blessed with scotch whiskey from Scotland. People who have never drunk single malt have perhaps missed something. It is one of the pleasures of the world.

Generally in case you are dating a girl who drinks single malts then be sure that she will have the aura of mystery and class around her. The same goes for a man. I close now with cheers.

Comments

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    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh emge 

      12 months ago from Singapore

      Flourish, thank you for your comment, it uplifts my mood

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      I recall that article about you romancing Sue with scotch. I wonder how she’s doing. You have a masterful knowledge of whiskey including its history. Extremely impressed.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh emge 

      12 months ago from Singapore

      Pamela, thank you. I am glad you liked the article.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh emge 

      12 months ago from Singapore

      Thank you, Liz, for a wonderful comment.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      I am impressed by your detailed knowledge of Scotch whiskey. Its sale gives a big boost to the Scottish economy.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is an interesting article, MG. I don't drink much alcohol, but I did try scotch one time. It was a long time ago, bit I did like it. I remember when you wrote about the woman that stayed wiht you and I think it was a very good time for your. Single male whiskey is what I need to remember for sometime in the future.

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