Once upon a time in Scotland

… the country supported most of the working population through distillation of scotch whiskey. I recently attended a workshop on the history of Scotland’s national drink including how the geography and culture have shaped this drink’s flavors. Just to prove not all single malt scotches are created equal, a tasting presentation allowed participants to try a wee dram of spirit from the coastal island to the lowland to the far north and beyond, best when aged ten years or more. During that time, evaporation occurs creating the ‘angel’s share,’ never reclaimed by the brew master.

Scotch is best sipped late in the evening of a summer night or by a winter fire. My favorite brew was from west highland with a salty, slight peat taste underscored with a trace of smoke. Another tasty scotch was from the Isle of Skyke made from peaty water with a lovely salty, peppery flavor. The widely varying styles of distillation indeed give scotch its distinctive characteristics. Best tasted with a one to two drops of water.


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