Tag: scotch whisky

Indian Whiskey: taking the big step in the international market

 TAGS:undefined

Although it sounds a bit strange or perhaps unusual, India has gradually been becoming a power in terms of producing high-quality whisky. In the last year, more than 1,500 million litres of whisky was consumed in the country. Yes, we can say that this figure is that high due to the large population, but still is a statistic that should be respected and taken seriously.

The country has many advantages over the strongest competitors, which we can reduce to Scotland and the United States. One of these advantages is that labour is very cheap in comparison to the two aforementioned countries. Another, and very importantly, is that India, alone, is one of the world’s biggest producers of high-quality barley, not to mention the climate that has settled in the region, ideal for the annual ageing of a good whisky.

The two most relevant producers of whisky of India, Amrut Whisky and John Paul, have recently reached US soil and plan to add at least a dozen of Indian whiskies to the market.

John Paul is located in Goa, where the tropical climate governs and remains the same throughout the year, which is perfect to give a faster whisky maturation, helping distillers to have more uniform levels. “There is no need to rotate barrels unlike Americans,” explains Michael D’Souza, Master Distiller at John Paul.

“You cannot compare whiskies one and another, as each malt has its unique character” says D’Souza. “That said, we have been rated very high internationally in comparison to Scotland and, in many cases, we have had the honour of been qualified even higher than they.”

 TAGS:Amrut Indian Single MaltAmrut Indian Single Malt

Amrut Indian Single Malt

 

 

 TAGS:Amrut FusionAmrut Fusion

Amrut Fusion

6 Ideal pairings for scotch whisky

 TAGS:undefined

Do you like whiskey? Do you like to pair it? If your answer is yes, keep reading and find out 6 ideal pairings for your favorite scotch, we hope you like them!

  1. Salmon. If you want to combine whisky with smoked salmon, we recommend a light whiskey with a little twist of sweet and citrus taste, as they will help to reduce the fat and add extra flavor, like an Auchentoshan 12 or a Glengoyne 10 years old.
  2. Pork. For dishes made with pork, it is recommended a light, soft-bodied whiskey. It will balance the strong and salty flavor of this meat. The Clynelish 14 years old whiskey would be the best choice here.
  3. Haggis. This is a landmark dish from Scotland, very traditional, and it%u2019s made out of meat, spices and oatmeal. It is usually accompanied with turnips and potatoes (neeps and tatties). Blend and aged whiskeys work very well with this dish as they complement the complexity and spicy taste of haggis. A good candidate is Bowmore 12 year old from Islay or a Naked Grouse.
  4. Veal. For this meat the Speyside malt whiskeys are recommended, as is the case of Dalmore 15 years old or a heavy and spiced Glenfiddich Rich Oak. Both of them fit the characteristics of this dish, enhancing the flavors of the meat.
  5. Blue cheese. An interesting combination is the blue cheese with a Lagavullin 16 years powerful, smoky and sweet.
  6. Chocolate. For a lot of people, the combination of chocolate and whiskey is perfect. You can try to combine chocolate desserts with some of Glenmorangie Signet. Its little touches of dark fruit, caramel, ginger and cinnamon will go just excellent with the taste of chocolate.

As a last tip, remember: when it comes to pairing with food, it is best to take the whiskey pure, without reducing it with water.

 TAGS:Talisker 10 YearsTalisker 10 Years

Talisker 10 Years

 

 

 TAGS:Lagavulin 16 Year OldLagavulin 16 Year Old

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

7 false myths about whisky

 TAGS:undefined

Whisky is an excellent traditional drink, probably the most popular spirit and also the one with the most misconceptions. We share with you some of these preconceived ideas about this mythical drink. You may even end up enjoying whisky even more.

1. You must drink it pure

If you understand that whisky is forty percent of alcohol, you can also understand why you need to add a little water to drink it: after someone consumes more than three glasses, the taste buds are numbed and lose their ability to taste the whisky.

Not all whiskies must be consumed in a glass without ice, this depends on how the liquor has aged. There are smoky whiskies, powerful in their flavor and aroma, that need an ice cube to balance the strong taste.

2. The more expensive, the better

The best advice here is to try all possible whiskies and select the ones you like. You have to try every variety of whisky to discover your favourite.

The greater maturity, the more expensive the whisky. But that does not mean it is the only thing that marks the quality since one can find very nice whiskeys from little barrels. There are types with low ageing that can be enjoyed just as much, it’s a matter of knowing how to choose the whisky.

3. You have to drink it quick

To enjoy the whisky it is not necessary to drink large amounts or finish the drink very fast. Unlike tequila or rum, whisky must be taken slowly to savour. You can even enjoy one glass over an hour.

4. Do not drink from tall glasses

Although some people may find it a strange way of drinking whisky some prefer this one. And for years, the Scots have been drinking whisky from a Quaich (a special kind of shallow two-handled drinking cup or bowl).

5. The whisky should be warm

In Colombia, for example, it is customary to drink whisky to cool off and refresh yourself while in Scotland people use the drink to warm up. It is a personal choice, a matter of taste.

6. Cheap whiskies cause hangovers

The cheap whisky has the same alcohol as the expensive ones. But if you add hyperactivity, physical exhaustion, dehydration, mental excitement and the speed you drink it, and maybe a poor diet, then you are in danger of a hangover.

If you drink whisky during dinner and over the course of a conversation, the intake is not as high. However, there should be no difference between single malt whiskies and blends (mixes of malt and other grains). Chemically it could be said that single malt gives less hangover because it contains less concentration of sugar.

7. You can not pair whisky with food

Drinking whisky while enjoying a meal is quite different from that of wine. But it is possible. If a whisky is 12 years old, sweet, fruity or fresh with almond aromas, you could go with the fresh flavors of Ceviche, Tuna Tartar or grilled Octopus. When enjoying a whisky with food, it is suggested consuming it with a little water or ice.

 TAGS:The Famous Grouse 1LThe Famous Grouse 1L

The Famous Grouse 1L: The Whisky is named the Red Grouse, like Scotland’s national bird.

 

 

 TAGS:Nikka From The Barrel 50clNikka From The Barrel 50cl

Nikka From The Barrel 50cl:  a Cask strength whisky native of Japan with 51.4º of alcohol content.

 

 

The 10 top-selling Scotch whisky brands in the world

 TAGS:undefined

Scotch whisky remains the worldwide leader among spirits. So, it’s normal to have a great battle for position among the best selling brands. Want to know what they are? These 10 brands are most sought after and most reputable globally around the world.

Exports fell by 30% for Scotch sent to China, but it has significant sales in the United States, France and Mexico, among other countries, and the increase in demand in 2013 was 3%.

Buchanan’s: The Scotch whisky owned by Diageo increased its sales by 15% last year, outpacing growth of the other 10 brands for this ranking.

Teacher’s: This Scotch whisky brand produced in Glasgow, owned by Viga Inc, suffered a decline of 5.2% in terms of growth, becoming the largest regression among the brands of this statistic.

Bell’s: This Scotch whisky brand experienced a growth of 0.4% in 2013, advancing Buchanan’s and Teacher’s narrowly. 2.30 million place it in the eighth place.

William Lawson: Launched only 6 years ago in Russia, this whisky grew by 4.5% in 2013 and is currently owned by Bacardi.

Famous Grouse: This whisky brand experienced a drop in sales during 2013 of -2.2%, which put it in sixth place.

Dewar’s: Experienced an increase in sales in 2013 of 3.2%, joining this way Famous Grouse in sixth place.

J&B: This Scotch whisky owned by Diageo grew by 6.3% in 2013, climbing to fifth place in ranking and becoming increasingly popular in the global market.

Grant’s: This Scotch grew by 1% in 2013, losing positions in the list against Chivas Regal.

Chivas Regal: Its position on this ranking is due to the 0.6% increase in sales. Owned by Pernod Ricard, Chivas Regal is one of the most popular global whiskies.

Ballantines: With a small increase of 0.5% in 2013, it was not a banner year for this Scotch owned by Pernod Ricard, but it still beats Chivas Regal.

Johnnie Walker: Finally, the first place among the best selling whisky brands is for this well known Scotch, that has outsold by 10.5% its competing brands. Johnnie Walker is owned by Diageo.

Today we recommend:

 TAGS:Glenfiddich 12 Years Old 1LGlenfiddich 12 Years Old 1L

Glenfiddich 12 Years Old 1L

 

 

 TAGS:The Famous Grouse 1LThe Famous Grouse 1L

The Famous Grouse 1L

 

 

¿Why investors are moving from wine to whisky?

 TAGS:undefined

It seems that pressure from Asian investors in the wine world has discouraged traditional investors. Due to skyrocketing prices of top wines, investors are increasingly turning to Scotch and Japanese whiskies as an alternative investment.

Wine lovers will always be loyal, but trends always influence, like it or not, our decision making when buying and maybe more people could want to give a chance to whisky with these trends, which after occurring among investors will reflect also in the market and consumers.

In reaction to the growing number of fine wine investors setting their sights on whisky, Rickesh Kishnani, CEO of a wine investment company based in Hong Kong, created the first worldwide whisky fund in June.

Investors are looking for malt Scotch whisky brands such as Macallan, Bowmore and Dalmore, along with Karuizawa and Yamazaki, Japanese whiskies.

Recently a bottle of Hanyu Ichiro Malt Ace of Spades (Japanese whisky) sold for HK $ 85,750 (equivalent to 8,400 Euros) at a Bonhams auction in Hong Kong, exceeding the price of a case of Chateau Margaux 1982 sold at Sotheby’s New York in June.

The bottle of this Japanese whisky was number 5 of 122 distillations in 1985, aged in old sherry casks and bottled in 2005.

As a result of this boom, tender prices of old and rare whiskeys are soaring. A sign of it: Sotheby’s sold a Macallan “M” single malt 6 litres in January at $ 4.9 million (over 3,750,000 Euros).

According to the Scotch grade index of investment, top 100 single malt whiskies gave an average yield of 440% since the beginning of 2008 until the end of July this year.

?It’s crazy, demand has skyrocketed?, said David Wainwright, managing director of the auction house Zachys Asia.

In addition to the rising value of old and rare whiskeys, the recent increase in demand has fuelled fears about speculators flooding the market.

With about 100 distilleries in Scotland for malt production, many are unable to keep pace with the recent surge in demand, due to the long ageing process of whiskey.

It is expected that auction market of whiskey will continue increasing its numbers this year, and on the other hand, the decline in value of fine wines can be great news for many who seek to enrich their personal cellars.

Today we recommend two whiskeys to invest… If you can avoid the temptation to open them!

 TAGS:Hibiki 21 Years

Hibiki 21 Years

Hibiki 21 Years

 

 TAGS:The Macallan 15 Fine Oak

The Macallan 15 Fine Oak

The Macallan 15 Fine Oak

Rob Roy cocktail

 TAGS:undefined

Cocktails with whisky are delicious. Specifically, today we show a cocktail made with this liquor that has a long and interesting history. The Rob Roy cocktail mixes scotch whisky, something that differentiates it from Manhattan cocktail, so the flavor will also be a little different.

This cocktail pays homage to the Scottish historical character Robert Roy MacGregor, Rob Roy, also known as the Scottish Robin Hood. It is said that began to be prepared in the bar of Waldorf Astoria Hotel. And thanks to the story of Rob Roy, who became popular in different parts of the world, such as America, the cocktail increased its popularity. Therefore, its origin is Scottish and is also made with a whisky from this country.

Note that this is one of the few cocktails made with Scotch whisky, because there are not so many. This is because this type of whisky is usually something stronger.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of scotch whisky
  • 3/4 ounce Italian vermouth rosso
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Cherry or orange peel

Preparation

It’s really easy to prepare. Simply mix these ingredients in a shaker with ice. Then serve in a previously cooled cocktail glass, so that it can be drunk quite cold. You can decorate with a cherry or a little orange peel.

Variants

Some of the variants of Rob Roy cocktail allow to change some ingredients, such as introducing a bit of dry vermouth and another part of sweet vermouth. And some people replace sweet vermouth by a somewhat drier vermouth. However, we must recognize that red vermouth is better because its taste pairs better with scotch whisky.

 TAGS:Chivas Regal 12 Years 1LChivas Regal 12 Years 1L

Chivas Regal 12 Years 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Campari 1LCampari 1L

Campari 1L

How to tell if a whisky is good (I)

 TAGS:undefined

As far as whisky is concerned, there are a number of preferences both to choose and buy it and to be served and enjoyed, but since it never hurts to know what the experts say, these tips may be helpful distinguishing a good whisky and enjoying it.

Many people enjoy less the quality of whisky by mixing it with sugary sodas and they can not perceive the taste and characteristics of the beverage. In the words of Xavier Monclús, tasting instructor in Europe for Louis Vuitton Möet Mennesy Spain (LVMH), there are keys to differentiate and enjoy a good whisky.

  • Smell: When approaching the nose to whisky, it should not smell of alcohol excessively, avoiding to perceive the other characteristic aromas of the drink. In case of encountering a whisky with an exaggerated odor of alcohol, we can immediately identify its low quality, ?When we get to a whisky, first thing is to check its good alcoholic integration; it should not smell offensively of alcohol?, says Monclús.
  • Taste: As with the aroma, the taste of the first sip of whisky is what defines generally our perception. Regardless of its alcohol content, we should not feel anesthesia or irritation in the mouth because of alcohol. ?Although alcohol in mouth is more present than in the nose, we never have to feel anesthesia in the mouth by alcohol. If you drink a whisky and the presence of alcohol is so important that irritates and anesthetize your mouth, it means that you will no longer be able to enjoy the whisky?, says Monclús.
  • Price: While it is widely believed that the most expensive whiskies are better quality, having better reputation, it’s worth investing a little more to take home a single malt 10 to 12 years, instead of a blend. It is also important to take care of our health, so Monclús said: ?It is much better to drink little and very good rather than a lot and cheap. We only have one liver and, if it is possible, everything that enters our body must be of the highest quality. Bad products will bring us only troubles: liver problems and problems the next day?.

So, what is your favorite whisky? What will you recommend to us? Today we show you two must-try whiskies:

 TAGS:The Famous Grouse 1LThe Famous Grouse 1L

The Famous Grouse 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Jameson 1LJameson 1L

Jameson 1L

An explosion of flavour, Manhattan cocktail

 TAGS:In our series of cocktails the Manhattan is a classic. It pays a tribute to the Big Apple of New York, and is usually taken as an appetizer, both in the United States and in other countries where its consumption has spread.

The Manhattan mix whisky and red vermouth and a few drops of Angostura. We can garnish it with a cherry or a slice of lemon. We can find taste it dry or medium, or with a sweet touch. Due to its mix, it is usually a senior cocktail.

The origin of this cocktail is not very clear. In 1882 people would already talk about the perfect mix between whisky, vermouth and bitters. Although the stronger version is attributed to Jenny Jerome, Randolph Churchill?s wife, who invented this mixture into the New York City’s Manhattan Club in Manhattan itself, other sources attribute it to a bartender, and others to Colonel Joe Walker, that on a boat trip with some friends from New York accidentally mixed vermouth and whisky, and then perfected it.

In the ’40s, the Manhattan cocktail was prized by the stars in Hollywood. They would start to drink it in movies, adding a touch of glamour in this period of time. Today it is an international cocktail that you can find in many cocktail bars.

Some state that the Manhattan was originally made ??with rye whisky, but then were introduced other types of whisky. For its preparation, we have to mix the ingredients mentioned above in a shaker and then shake it right. Note that the Manhattan is served without ice in a martini glass, providing style to any type of moments, especially before dinner. But, depending on the country, it is also perfect for an ?after dinner? moment, enjoying a quiet chat with friends.

What is your perfect combination of whisky and vermouth for Manhattan? We recommend one:

 TAGS:Dimple 15 Years OldDimple 15 Years Old

Dimple 15 Years Old

 

 

 TAGS:Campari 1LCampari 1L

Campari 1L

How to taste whisky like an expert (III)

 TAGS:We are still making a tour of Charles McLean tasting lessons. We only have the last two steps to look at. We now have to understand what do whisky connoisseurs value and talk about when they try a new drink.

The classification of whisky by region is closely linked to the last step. It is a classification that prepares you to understand the intrinsic characteristics of the whisky. The malts are classified by region of origin, and this is because the character of the whisky comes from there.

In Scotland, the original regional division was simply between whiskys made in the highlands and lowlands. But the Laundering Act of 1784 defined 17 counties as “Highland”. This was reinforced by an amendment to the law the following year, making the new layout of the Highland Line between Dumbarton and Dundee. The highland and lowland Whisky are now under different legal verifications. This means that the two regions produce a very different whisky. The Highland whisky was universally considered better than the Lowland whisky.

Finally we reached the fifth step for whisky tasting, which really helps us to understand what the region classification serves to: the classification of whisky flavour.

The flavour of whisky is one of the consequences of the production system and maturation of the whisky.

These special flavours that we love so much become a subject of study, analysis, and you will have a greater appreciation after learning how to taste a whisky. However experts are carefully selecting the tasting terminology they use to evaluate and describe each drink. There are tasters group and jury that exist in order to verify that each verdict is the most concrete. On the contrary, we only want to taste whisky to have fun. We can still use our own terminology in our tasting notes, which eventually will be discussed and shared with other friends who decide to run this activity with us.

If you want to buy whisky to meet with friends and organize a tasting, we recommend 2 with very different characters:

 TAGS:Grant's 1LGrant’s 1L

Grant’s 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Dimple 15 Years OldDimple 15 Years Old

Dimple 15 Years Old

How to taste whisky like an expert (II)

 TAGS:Let’s take our “whisky taste lesson” where we left it. Having already made it clear that the first step is to recognize the signs of smell, the following is performing a sensory evaluation. To make the sensory evaluation it is recommended to prepare something to write our annotations.

Our tasting notes are basically separated as follows: distillery, brand, age and strength to start, then appearance (color, texture and clarity) ; intensity ( on a scale of 1 to 5) ; flavor (diluted primary aromas, secondary aromas and development) and taste (mouthfeel, elemental flavor, overall flavor and finishing). Also add your comments and a score from 1 to 10.

For sensory evaluation we have to take into account the aroma and flavor of the whisky.

  • First step: Pour yourself a shot of whisky and watch it with a white wall background to evaluate its sparkle and appearance, shake to appreciate every nuance of color and describe it in your notes. You can use any term that you like. Pale gold color is the result of maturation in the barrel which has been filled several times. A half-or full- gold colored is first filling barrel ex-Bourbon ;  a polished copper colored is a whisky that has been re-accumulated in sherry wood for the last year of maturity ;  the polished mahogany, is a first charge ex-Sherry barrel, while the Crimson is a port barrel, to give examples.
  • Second step: Shake the cup again and the second spirit will show tears or droplets that cling to the glass. This will be a clear indication of the alcoholic strength of the drink. Then you must put the drink to the light to see its clarity and make corresponding entries, can be done during the addition of water. If it looks slightly hazy, whisky has not been chill-filtered; this is a good thing because the chill-filtered whisky keeps it nice and bright but takes away some elements of flavor.
  • Third step: Move the new spirit and warm the glass in your hand to smell it. The scent will come up as you while you warm the glass in your hand. Take into account how complex it is, and if you can discern any particular smell, annotate them, using comparisons based on the memories that will generate each odor. You can leave it for a minute, to settle and to be able to appreciate more flavors. Smell develops over time.
  • Step Four: Take a small sip to appreciate the flavors and the first impression is the most important for annotations. After that, put your the nose on the rim of the glass for a first odors capture, breathe fresh air for rest your nose and then get closer, this time inside the rim of the glass. You will discover new odors.
  • Step Five: Go back to try a sip and analyzes whether it is soft or viscous, if fresh, biting or dry on the palate and finally if it has body and is light. Then take another sip and after a while identify the persistence of the flavor on the palate.

Are you practicing? Tomorrow we will finish with this guide, but now is the time to try what you have learned, right? Today we recommend:

 TAGS:Paddy Old Irish Whiskey 1LPaddy Old Irish Whiskey 1L

Paddy Old Irish Whiskey 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Teacher's 1LTeacher’s 1L

Teacher’s 1L