Tag: scotch

What are the differences between a scotch and a bourbon?

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When we talk about whisky it’s clear to almost all of us that we are referring to a grain distillate of ancient origin, whose current name comes from the Gaelic and literally means “water of life.” However, the uninitiated in this exciting world, sometimes find it difficult to differentiate between the different varieties that, for different reasons, geographic or process of elaboration, we can currently find in the market.

In the case of the so-called Scotch, or Scotch whisky, the thing is clear: it is the one made in Scotland based mainly on malted barley and following the standards of the Scottish Whiskey Order, which establishes, among others aspects, that it must be aged in oak barrels with a capacity of less than 700 liters and for at least three years, without adding substances other than water or caramel as a coloring agent. In addition, when bottled, they cannot have a graduation of less than 40 degrees of alcohol by volume.

So far all clear, but it turns out that, in addition, the barrels where the Scotch is aged must have been previously used to contain bourbon. And, what is Bourbon then? It turns out that its elaboration is also regulated by law, in this case the American.

Then, according to the Bourbon Federal Identity Rules, in order to be able to denominate an alcoholic beverage like that, its must -the mixture of grains in which its distillation is based on- have to contain at least 51% of corn. The rest can generally be malted barley, rye or wheat. The must has to be distilled in the United States and shouldn’t include any additives.

Its aging must be in oak barrels, usually white oak, in the American state of Kentucky, but this is not a necessary condition since bourbon has been produced elsewhere for a long time. It’s precisely the county of Bourbon that has given its name to this distillate, and is different from other American whiskeys in the use of corn as the main ingredient, since others are made with rye for the most part, and also in the filtration process, which in the case of Tennessee’s whiskey, is made with saccharine maple carbon, which gives a different flavor and aroma to Bourbon despite sharing almost all the same processing.

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The Famous Grouse 1L

 

 

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Southern Comfort 1L

8 Keys to understanding how Brexit might affect the wine industry from a Spanish perspective

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Almost a month since the ‘no’ came from the UK to Europe, the most immediate response in consequences on the economy was the low level of the pound.

The time passed since the referendum has inspired one to envision various possible economic scenarios, especially in the field of food and wine, in which the UK has a primary role as a buyer.

Consequences for the export of Spanish and European wine

Following the referendum, it has opened a horizon of difficult questions for the future. The question is how Brexit will affect the economy? The truth is that it is difficult and complicated to try to provide an answer, although we can highlight some keys to try approach the question.

1. Lowering of the purchase power of the British people. If there is a factor that may affect the current export of wine, we are at the lowest concerning consumption capacity of the English as a result from a weak pound. If this trend is maintained in the future, it could ultimately affect the export of wine to the UK.

2. More depreciation of the pound against the dollar than against the euro. According to information published by the Spanish Observatory Wine Market (OEMV), the pound has depreciated more against the dollar than against the euro, so in this sense, could affect the  Americans wine industry more than the European wine industry. And this, a priori, could be positive for the Spanish and European market.

3. Free trade Tradition and raw material shortages. It is unlikely that the United Kingdom decides to impose new tariffs on European products because of its need for raw materials and its pro-free trade political tradition. Thus, given the circumstances, these two factors could facilitate exchange agreements.

4. The time needed for negocación of new trade relations. As pointed out in the article Brexit for wine lovers, published on Jancisrobinson.com, renegotiating agreements with the United Kingdom as a third country could take up to a decade, considering that within two years it will be necessary to determine the legal precepts from the United Kingdom. Therefore, a span this long could ultimately affect exports.

5. A healthy economy in Spanish wine exports. Despite the uncertainty, the current situation regarding Spanish wine exports to the UK is good, especially in terms of value. Thus, while the future is unclear, the Spanish market is in a good position, which can help offset possible negative effects.

In this sense, according to figures OEMV 2015, Spain exported to the UK a total 159.3 million liters of wine worth 343 million euros, representing an increase of 0.1% in terms of volume and 0.5% in terms of value. In fact, over the past 20 years, the average annual growth was 3.3% in volume and 4.9% in value. We can say, therefore, that the UK is buying Spanish wine, and does so with a growing trend of wines with O.D.

6. Competitive advantage in the price of Spanish wine. Although France, Italy, and Portugal top the list of wine suppliers to the UK, the fact is that the prices of Spanish wines are more competitive than those of other countries, a factor that undoubtedly plays a role for them. By contrast, wine of Burgundy which has been more costly since 2012 and that due to the adverse conditions of the current crop, could do even more- it would be most affected by the loss of purchase power of the English population.

Consequences from the English point of view

The consequences of Brexit, however, may not only affect exports, but also domestic business and exports from the United Kingdom.

7. Boost for English wine. For example, according to the analysis of Brexit for Wine lovers, producers of English wine could benefit from a hypothetical increase in the price of European wine, as they could position itself as a cheaper alternative for British consumers. Due to the fact of having more attractive prices, English wines could also gain a better position in the international market.

8. Loss of advantageous agreements for other industries. Although we have spoken mainly of wine, we can not forget that there is another large industry that could be affected in the medium and long term: namely the whiskey industry.

According to the specialized portal The Drinks Business in late June, the Scotch Whisky Association, they conceive the single European market as “a key to the success of Scotch” and for giants like Diageo and Pernod Ricard which voted to stay, the industry has substantially benefited from free trade agreements with South Korea, Vietnam, and Colombia. It is unclear, therefore, what will be the situation of the industry following the departure from the EU.

A lot at stake, a lot to decide

To conclude, if anything is clear, is that with so much at stake, decisions that will be taken at a high level will not be easy. The coming months will be decisive for the future, but the view must be set already and change is coming. Future scenarios, although not catastrophic, still represent a challenge for the wine- and spirit sector.

Whiskey or whisky? The origin of the words

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The word “whiskey” appeared in the early eighteenth century as the Gaelic translation of the Latin word aqua vitae for “water of life“. In the Celtic language, it is called uisge beatha, although the use of this term finds its roots several centuries ago. Although the distillation of whisky goes back to the ancient Celts, the first written references date back to the late fifteenth century when it was used by the Scottish monks as a medicinal drink.

In fact, whisky is one of the many terms adapted to the English spelling and pronunciation that was commonly used until the mid-1700s. There, you can see an equal use with no distinction between the words “whisky” and “whiskey”. Today, however, this additional “e” marks the difference. 

The differentiation that remains today between “whisky” and “whiskey” probably comes from the Irish desire by 1870 to distinguish themselves from Scottish distilleries, which at the time was considered a lower quality.

Nowadays, we understand Irish and U.S.-American distillates under whiskey with an “e”. While Irish whiskey is based on barley malt and experiences a triple distillation, the American one comes from corn and added wheat, rye or malted barley. Whisky mainly refers to Scottish products – Scotch whisky – but also includes whiskies from all around the world. The production of Scotch whisky and the Canadian ones (manufactured from rye and corn) are based on malted barley, in addition to those produced in countries such as Wales and Japan, inspired mainly from processes developed in Scotland.
And while whisky includes nearly all the nationalities, Scotch exclusively works for Scottish whisky products.

Uvinum whisk(e)y recommendations:

 TAGS:Crown Royal Xo Whisky 75clCrown Royal Xo Whisky 75cl

Crown Royal Xo Whisky 75cl: 4 points on 5 is the average score of Crown Royal Xo Whisky 75cl according to Uvinum users. 

 

 TAGS:Glenfiddich 12 YearsGlenfiddich 12 Years

Glenfiddich 12 Years: A Single Malt whisky from the Glenfiddich distillery made in Scotland with an alcohol strength of 40º. 

Five places in Scotland to have a great whisky

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Planning a short getaway? If you love whisky as much as we do, Scotland will come to your mind immediately. Discover here the country’s best places to enjoy a glass of good scotch.

1. The Quaich Bar (The Craigellachie Hotel)

There are many ways to enjoy whisky in Scotland, and this is one of the best places. Take advantage of the expertise and knowledge from the bartenders there and use their advice to taste really good malt whiskies. They are very passionate.

2. Bon Accord Pub

This pub is located in Glasgow and has a menu with over 1000 different beers, as well as 380 brands of malt whiskies. The food is served 7 days a week. A perfect choice to enjoy a succulent dish and pair it with scotch. A great place for connoisseurs.

3. Amber Bar – The Scotch Whisky Experience

Located in Edinburgh, the Amber Whisky Bar has made its mission to inform and excite people about scotch. 380 whiskies are available, excellent Scottish cuisine and a friendly and informal atmosphere that invites you to relax directly after your arrival.
The food they offer is a strong point in its favour, from delicious Scottish tapas to a full 3-dishes meal. In addition, they also have a succulent menu of delicious cheeses to pair with their whiskies.

4. Rob Roy Lounge

The Rob Roy Lounge, located at the Drimsynie House Hotel, serves food and fine whisky in a cosy setting. They also offer Paninis and homemade soups for a light lunch and a full menu of hearty food including baked potatoes and beef chilli nachos for a more abundant choice. For dinner, they serve meatloaf, fish and chips, and enchiladas. You’ll love it!

5. Andrew Usher & Co.

Andrew Usher & Co. is a historic trading house craft beer and Scotch whisky with a tradition for more than three centuries back. It is full of the history of the development of Scottish beer and distillation. It has a local menu which sums up the tradition of the place. They even offer the opportunity to create your own bottle of mixed whisky. It is one of the most original bars in Edinburgh.

In the meanwhile, get a taste of Scotland’s best whiskies at Uvinum: 

 TAGS:Glenmorangie The Original 10 Years OldGlenmorangie The Original 10 Years Old

Glenmorangie The Original 10 Years Old rises from the perfect combination of Europe’s biggest alambiques and white American oak barrels. This is what gives this Whisky an elegant, floral character.

 

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Aberlour 15 Years 1L: Compared with other malt whiskies of the same quality, the Aberlour 15 Years stands out for its fantastic price. Don’t miss it and snatch a 1-liter-bottle at uvinum.co.uk! 

 

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Dimple 15 Years Old is a classic Blend Scotch Whisky deluxe based on Glenkinchie and a high malt proportion. 

Hot Toddy Collection

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A punch can actually be hot or cold and the Hot Toddy is the perfect punch for winter as it is usually taken hot. In fact, in areas with a long tradition in whiskey, such as Ireland and Scotland, it is usually taken as a last drink before going to bed, in order to fight the cold and flu.

Some say that the name may also have Indian origin, as there is a drink called Toddy in India, made from fermented palm sap. But both the tradition in the UK (and therefore across the Commonwealth, of which India was a part), and the use of whiskey as most typical ingredient seems that the most reliable source is the British.

The Hot Toddies are usually made of a distilled beverage, water, sugar and spices infused. But for the Hot Toddy there are different variants to suit different tastes and can be made according to ingredients available at home. Here are different types:

Original Hot Toddy:
This is the classic Hot Toddy; many people associate it with whiskey, bourbon or brandy. As the distillate varies by country where it is made, we will show regional variations:

Ingredients for a Scottish Hot Toddy:

Scottish Whisky
Boiling water
Sugar or honey
As spice is often used to infuse, lemon peel and cinnamon stick

Ingredients for an Irish Hot Toddy:

Irish Whisky
Boiling water
Brown Sugar
As spice is often used clove, lemon peel and cinnamon stick

Ingredients for an American Hot Toddy:

Bourbon
Ginger Ale
Lemon
Honey
Preparation:

In all cases the drinkis added to boiling water, along with the botanical, and cover for a couple of minutes for the aromas to infuse. It?s usually taken warm or hot. Here are other variants of the original Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy Alcohol-free:
Ideal for non- drinkers or to serve the children of the house while we took our Hot Toddy. Substitutes distilled drink by tea, either Earl Grey, Green Tea, Oolong or Black.

Hot Gin Toddy:
As the name indicates the Gin is essential part of your preparation, as it is one of the best drink to prepare punches.

Great Ron Toddy
Done by combining the taste of rum with orange liqueur and a touch of lemon in hot water.

Ginger Hot Toddy
Ginger is used by many in the preparation of hot punch, and Hot Toddy ginger is combined with bourbon to create an excellent result.

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The Famous Grouse 1L

 

 

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Jameson 1L

Highlands’ Whisky

 TAGS:If you like whisky sure you have heard of the Highlands. This region of Scotland can be proud for having the highest concentration of distilleries together with Speyside. Single malt or blended are the two main types of whisky to be found in this region, although there are other varieties such as blended malt or grain, which however, are not as widespread as the first.

Why Highlands? Highland whisky does not really bring a special kind of features that contribute to homogenize the production. Moreover, whisky connoisseurs, those who are used to taste different brands, origins, vintages, etc. are probably well aware that the designation of origin may be something rather according to geographic criteria than to other characteristics in this particular case.

What this means is that in order to become an expert in the Highland whisky it is best to know little by little the different distilleries. Each one hides its own elaboration method, its whisky composition, alcoholic content (which should be over 40% in all cases), its time of maturation and a type of wood for the barrels where the aging process of whisky takes place (usually oak, although from different origins).

One of my favorite distilleries is Balblair Distillery. I love their whisky. Active since 1790 is one of the oldest of which files are preserved. Their single malt is noteworthy and you have the chance to buy it in seven vintages: 1965, 1975, 1978, 1989, 1990, 1997 and 2000. Each one of them has an individual and very exclusive character.

Glenmorangie Distillery is also noteworthy. Although a trajectory somewhat younger than the last one, its history is closely linked to the Scottish one and its products represent its origin as anyone. In fact, very often they have won prizes in distillate international competitions.

Today this family business it is not so. In fact since 2004, when it was acquired by the French group Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, its products continue maintaining the high quality that has made them famous, but its spirit has lost that Scottish essence in exchange for taking that step forward towards the luxury marketing in which this French company is an expert.

Those who still do not know the whisky of the Highlands and do not want to miss the opportunity, can take note of these two recommendations:

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Balblair Elements, a good sample of this distillery knowledge

 

 

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Glenmorangie The Nectar d’Or, aged in old sauternes barrels

Whiskys to celebrate Scotland’s National Day

 TAGS:Scotland’s National Day in honor of its patron, St. Andrew, is gone and the best way to celebrate it that I can think at this point (and please, do not ask me what time of the day I’m writing this post or you are going to draw some conclusions) is with good local whisky. Let’s get a list of perfect Scotch to celebrate, to make a present or to end the day enjoying the relaxation.

For the exquisite ones:

The Glenrothes 1998: the complexity of this whisky contrasts with its velvety finish that makes it a delight for the palate. A treat to taste while watching the bottle, so characteristic, with that shape which reminds gemstones.

Famous Grouse Gold Reserve 12 Years: a favorite in the area and one of the selected by big whisky connoisseurs.

Balvenie 21 Years Portwood: simply delicious. There might be those who believe it is a crime what I am about to say, but if we add a splash of water, it tastes even better.

For the traditional ones:

Chivas Regal 12 Years: carefully elaborated blended Scotch whisky. I could not miss it in our list of whiskeys from this part of the world.

Macallan 12 Years Fine Oak: the pleasure of tasting one of the best representatives of whiskys from the Speyside region. It comes from a distillery that has not stopped producing single malts since 1824.

Johnnie Walker Red Label: do not forget that apart from the typical Red Label, there are many other options perfect for the most demanding consumers: Black Label, Green Label, Gold Label, Blue Label Reserve or Swing. And for the demanding ones who also have money enough: Johnnie Walker Blue Label 200 years.

For the cool ones:

Highland Park 12 Years: It is true that we have two other options: 18 and 40 years, but I think that in this whisky twelve years are enough to offer its most delicate, smooth and balanced side.

Bruichladdich Sherry Classic: I love its looks which are far from the typical presentation we can see in other whiskys. While tasting, I liked of it that touch of sherry?s dry fine wine and its Andalusian character, on nose and palate.

Glenmorangie The Nectar d’Or: a truly unique version of the classic whisky from the house. For me the best is its finish in which you can discovere fruity notes of mocha and cinnamon. The Sauternes wood can be the culprit of this great Scottish success.

Speyside whisky

 TAGS:Low clouds, green landscapes and a lot of whiskey. Strathspey region of Scotland has the highest concentration of whisky distilleries around the country. That is the reason why this region is a model for single malt and it is also the area of origin of 2 heavyweights of the distillates of this cereal, Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet.

The best of the Highlands for the best whisky that even has its own name: Speyside Whisky, as the region where they come from is crossed by the river Spey, a whitewater river that provides them with tasty salmon and worldwide famous whiskies.

Cardhu, Balvenie, The Macallan, Glen Moray and Knockando are other special whiskies from this region which, due to its particular orography, stands out from the other seven where whiskey is produced in Scotland. However, it is said there that most of these brands do not get water for their whiskey neither from the Spey nor from its also famous affluents (Dullan, Fiddich and Lossie), but that it is taken from small creeks. It may actually be the secret.

What unites all these whiskies is the high quality of their mixtures, which give them the category of High Class, an honor that seems taken over by the distilleries located on the banks of this river that brings fortune.

In general it is rather sweet whisky, in contrast to the harshness of the climate around. They are also quite aromatic, sometimes playing with expert palates while highlighting some light smoky notes that give a very delicious end result.

It is believed that the trick is the combination of woods that gives way to the proper maturity. First Bourbon barrels shape the evolution of taste, giving the intense aroma and the characteristic looks, that amber gold or golden straw tone present in all their different varieties.

Years later, this process culminates with a variable period in woods that have contained sherry, although some brands are now experimenting with a more powerful finish that gives them their final maturation in red wine casks, such as Benromach Capellanes Picón Wood Finish, which is influenced by its predecessor in wood, Pago de los Capellanes El Picón, one of the best of Pago de los Capellanes cellar.

But true fans of Speyside Whiskey look for Cask Strength ones, also called barrel proof, which are those that go directly from barrel to bottle, with a consequent increase in alcohol content when compared with others that have been watered.

Despite being, in most cases, complex nose, in mouth they are affordable, durable and balanced, with vanilla notes and a sweet ending.

Want to try a good scotch whisky? Let us show you 2 great ones:

 TAGS:Chivas Regal 12 YearsChivas Regal 12 Years

One of the whiskies who made Scotland the capital of the whisky world.

Buy Chivas Regal 12 Years 20,50?

 

 

 TAGS:Johnnie Walker Red LabelJohnnie Walker Red Label

Great and affordable.

 TAGS:Buy Johnnie Walker Red Label 11,90?


Scotch whisky

Whisky Escocés

Scottish Whisky, Scotch whiskey or simply Scotch whisky, is the exclusive and only whiskey made in Scotland, for many the best whiskey in the world. To be called Scotch whisky the spirit must conform to the standards of the Scotch Whisky Order of 1990 (UK), which clarified the Scotch Whisky Act of 1988. This record provides the following rules and standards of these spirits, so that the whiskey in question can be called “Scottish”:

  • Scotch must be produced and processed into a Scottish distillery, with water and malted barley.
  • To this preparing, can also be added other types of cereals, as long as they have been processed in the distillery.
  • Scotch must be distilled to a level of 94.8 º alcohol by volume (and keep the flavor of ingredients with which it was produced)
  • Scotch whisky must be aged in oak casks in Scotland for at least 3 years.
  • Scotch whisky is not to be added any substance other than water or candy (dyed).
  • Scotch whisky can’t be bottled – not less than 40 º of alcohol by volume.

History of Scotch whisky

It is said that Christian monks brought the distillation to Scotland between the IV and V century. The first documented record of the production of Scotch whisky dates back to 1494, at the farm Rolls, with a production of 1500 bottles. In 1506, the Scottish king James IV (1488-1513), visited the city of Dundee, where the king was surprised to know that the barbers of this city were evolved in the production of whisky, from back there and on, the Surgeon Barbers Guild of Edinburgh, were responsible for preparing this drink for medicinal purposes.

In 1644 imposing a tax on whiskey making in Scotland, and in 1780, there were 8 legal distilleries and 400 illegal, but this was not eternal, since 1823, parliament removed the restrictions on licensing of distilleries, which nearly ended the illegal distilleries.

In 1831 Scotch underwent a revolution with the introduction of a new process called Coffey stills, a process that allowed development of a better and smoother whisky, a fact which in turn made more famous scotch and began spreading to other countries in Europe. As history tells, Scotch has survived the ban, wars and revolutions, economic depressions and recessions. Today Scotch is the most representative whiskey in the world with presence in over 200 countries.

To recommend a scotch is one of the most complicated tasks. Because, besides the taste, there is a brand loyalty, opposite to wine, which tends to vary more? But still we recommend that at least once, cheat on your whiskey and try these others:

  • Isle of Jura Superstition: In the classic line, Isle of Jura Superstition keeps the original flavor of whiskey and expertise combined with the touch of the barrels in which it is aged. An aged whiskey but soft and alive.
  • Lagavulin 16 Years: Either you love it or you hate it. There is no middle with this so different scotch. Instead of the gentle aroma of vanilla, this whiskey from the very beginning offers strong aromas of oils and salt. It’s different from everything else, and certainly if you insist you will eventually drive you crazy.
  • Macallan 12 Years: One of the more successful whiskeys today. Toast and vanilla flavors are a very nice smooth whiskey. In line of the Isle of Jura and a bit cheaper.

What whiskey have you tried? What is your favorite? Are you a fan of any particular scotch?