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Scotch Whiskey: A Rugged Drink for a Rugged Land
The NY Times ^ | 071603 | R.W. Apple

Posted on 07/18/2003 6:42:54 PM PDT by Archangelsk

July 16, 2003
Scotch Whiskey: A Rugged Drink for a Rugged Land
By R. W. APPLE Jr.

ELGIN, Scotland IAN URQUHART, a gently spoken, 55-year-old Scotch whiskey man who heads the firm of Gordon & MacPhail, led the way through his firm's 6,000-barrel warehouses here in northeastern Scotland, identifying some of the choicest lots for an overseas visitor.

"That's 60-year-old Mortlach," he said fondly. "We bottled some of it in 2000 and more in 2001. There's still a little left. That cask was filled for my grandfather. It slept right through my father's generation."

He walked past a cask of 1949 Benromach with the comment, "Haven't decided when to bottle that," past 10 casks of 1951 Glen Grant in an aisle with barrels piled eight or nine high, past 1957 Glenlivet and 1988 Highland Park — the best all-round malt, many say — and on to the "graveyard." Whiskeys from defunct distilleries rest there, quietly eking out a kind of afterlife.

"Hillside," Mr. Urquhart said, in the tone of a man mourning a lost friend. "Demolished for a housing scheme. Seventy-eight Millburn. Millburn's gone, too. It's a Beefeater Steak House these days, outside of Inverness." Scots take their whiskey seriously, and not just because they fancy a wee dram themselves. (Or not so wee a dram; Lord Dundee, who drank his whiskey by the tumblerful, once said, "A single Scotch is nothing more than a dirty glass.")

The word whiskey, after all, evolved from the Gaelic word usquebaugh, which means water of life, exactly like eau de vie in French and aquavit in Scandinavian languages.

Like tartans, tam-o'-shanters, bagpipes and kilts, whiskey has epitomized Scotland for centuries. Much of the best is distilled on remote, windswept islands like Orkney and Islay, often in view of seals and otters frolicking in the sea, or in the valley of the rushing, moor-girded little River Spey, which empties into the North Sea just east of Elgin. It is a rugged drink, always tasting of peat and often of heather or seaweed, made by rugged individualists amid rugged landscapes.

More than 11,000 people are employed, directly or indirectly, in the whiskey industry here. Scotch is Britain's fifth largest export industry, with about 90 percent of production consumed abroad.

Recent years have been challenging ones for the whiskey industry. After a boom in the 1970's, a long period of stagnation set in, and more than a dozen distilleries were closed, mothballed or destroyed. According to a recent parliamentary document, British consumption has declined by 30 percent since 1985. Worldwide exports a decade ago totaled 917 million bottles; last year the figure was 943.4 million. Exports to the United States, where other spirits have cut into Scotch sales, declined during the same period to 108 million bottles from 144 million, the Scotch Whiskey Association reports, although the United States ranked as the No. 1 consumer in terms of value.

But those statistics conceal a success story. While familiar, heavily advertised blends like J&B, Dewar's and Cutty Sark, which constitute the bulk of sales, have had their troubles, the sales of single malts have soared. Malt exports to the United States, for example, rose to 8.4 million bottles last year from 5.3 million in 1993.

Shuttered distilleries that escaped the bulldozers are being reopened, primarily to produce whiskey to be bottled as single malts. (All distilleries sell some of their output to blenders.) Glenmorangie, whose own whiskey is the best-selling malt in Scotland, restarted Ardbeg in 1997; Gordon & MacPhail refired the stills at Benromach four years earlier. A new distillery, complete with traditional pagoda-roofed towers, was built on the island of Arran in 1995.

ALL of that puts history into reverse. Single malts — the products of single distilleries made in pot stills similar to those used in Cognac from malted barley dried over peat fires — were the original Scotch. Not until the invention of the cheaper, faster columnar or patent still by Aeneas Coffey in 1830 did the Scots begin making spirits from a mixture of malted and unmalted grains. Lighter and much less robust in taste, these grain whiskeys were and are used to soften the flavors of malts in proprietary blends.

"The best of the blends have great character and complexity," wrote Michael Jackson in his "Malt Whiskey Companion," first published in 1989, "but it is a shame so many are so similar, and that for so many years orchestrations drowned out the soloists."

Blenders do not disclose the proportions they use, but people in the industry told me that most use 20 to 30 percent malt whiskey and 70 to 80 percent grain. Premium blends like Johnnie Walker Black Label, Chivas Regal and Famous Grouse contain more, and more mature, malt whiskey.

Most Scots and connoisseurs from other countries drink blends, which are generally less expensive, if they want to mix their whiskey with water or soda in a predinner drink, and take their single malts neat, either before, during or, most commonly, after dinner, like Cognac or Calvados. The addition of ice to a blend is tolerated as an American eccentricity; the addition of ice to a single malt is treated as near-sacrilege.

Each malt whiskey has a unique flavor, just as every classed, chateau-bottled claret differs from every other one. But those distilled in any given region share certain characteristics. The smokiest, peatiest, most iodinic malts come from Campbeltown, on a West Coast peninsula known as the Mull of Kintyre, whose mists were celebrated by Paul McCartney, and from Islay (pronounced EYE-la), an island near it. Springbank is a notable Campbeltown; Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg are classic Islays.

Other islands also produce distinctive flavors. Talisker, from Skye, delivers the sharp tang of seaweed but also an explosive blast of salt and pepper.

The mildest and most subtle of malts, like Auchentoshan, come from the lowland distilleries near Edinburgh and Glasgow.

But the heartland of malt whiskey, with more than half the distilleries, is Speyside, which stretches from Inverness almost to Aberdeen, encompassing not only the sparkling Spey but also smaller streams like the Findhorn, the Isla and the Livet. Moor and glen, fir and gorse, burn and brae combine there with the changing patterns of sun and cloud to conjure scenic magic.

One day during a visit in June, my wife, Betsey, and I saw five perfect rainbows in just half an hour. On another day we were invited along with Ishbel Grant of Glenfarclas into an Arcadian setting — a fishermen's barbecue along the banks of the Spey.

Glenlivet, the largest-selling malt in the United States, is made in Speyside. Granted a government license in 1824, the first distillery to receive one after generations of illicit whiskey-making, Glenlivet became so widely known that other distilleries added the word Glenlivet to their names. Finally, in a famous legal case in 1880, it won the exclusive right to call itself "The Glenlivet."

Another of Speyside's stars is Glenfiddich, the largest-selling malt worldwide, which is owned by William Grant & Sons, an independent company. Faced with giant competitors, it decided in 1963 to bottle much of its output as a single malt at a time when few were on the market. Its success emboldened many others to follow suit.

Like most Speyside whiskeys, Glenlivet and Glenfiddich have a distinctively light, fruity and honeyed taste.

A number of Speyside inns stock 100 or more malt whiskeys in their bars, including Minmore House, just down the road from Glenlivet, whose dining room features the accomplished cooking of Victor Janssen, a South African who operates the place.

Once upon a time, whiskey was an artisanal product, produced by farmers in the wintertime when they could not work out of doors. The process is simple, if exacting, as Johnny Miller, the distillery manager at Glenfarclas, showed me. After threshing, barley is first of all allowed to germinate by soaking in water, then dried (usually over peat fires) to halt germination.

Ground and mixed with hot water in a huge vat called a malt tun, the malted barley becomes a wort. Mixed in another vat called a washback with yeast — water, barley and yeast are the only ingredients permitted in making whiskey — the wort is transformed in about 48 hours into "a kind of sour beer," as Mr. Miller explained, in a seething, noisy and rather smelly process.

The "sour beer," known as "wash," is then run successively through a pair of heated stills, bulbous at the bottom, narrow at the top, with a swan's neck extending down to a coiled copper pipe in a tank of cold water that converts the resulting vapor back into liquid. The first part of the run (the foreshots) and the last (the feints), both full of impurities, are eliminated.

What results may not, by law, be called whiskey; it must be aged in wood for three years before it earns that name. Mr. Miller let me taste some, and I was astonished. Though fruit, of course, had played no role in distilling it, it tasted distinctly of pears and plums, like French eaux de vie.

The amount and type of peat burned helps to shape the taste of the whiskey. So does the character of the water; what is used at Glenfarclas flows down from a granite mountain called Ben Rinnes.

Glenfarclas is one of the last distilleries in private hands. Most of the others are owned by big international corporations with roots in France (Pernod Ricard), Japan (Suntory), Cuba (Bacardi) and Spain (Allied Domecq), as well as in England and Scotland. All operate in basically the same way, with subtle yet important differences.

Jim Cryle, the master distiller at Glenlivet, a muscular man with steel gray hair, offered me insights into the process, along with sips of his 12-, 18- and 21-year-old Scotches, among others, of which the flowery, creamy 18 was my favorite. The following, he said, are among the most important determinants of flavor:

The size and shape of the still (tall ones, he thinks, are best) and how it is heated (by internal steam coils or fires); what kind of cask is used (old bourbon barrels, old sherry butts, new oak), how long the whiskey is kept in wood (once it is bottled, the maturing process stops), where (a damp cellar or a dry one) and by whom (the distiller or an independent merchant like Gordon & MacPhail or William Cadenhead).

Though not as much as with wines, the year of production has an impact, too. Macallan, a highly regarded distillery surrounded by fields of highly regarded Golden Promise barley, offers 26 vintages; an American recently paid $140,000 for a fifth of each. No wonder Macallan's stills are pictured on the reverse of the Bank of Scotland's £10 note.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: distilleries; scotch; theauldcountry
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Belly up to the bar.
1 posted on 07/18/2003 6:42:55 PM PDT by Archangelsk
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2 posted on 07/18/2003 6:43:34 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Archangelsk
Laphroaig bump!
3 posted on 07/18/2003 6:46:22 PM PDT by Malacoda (Ita erat quando hic adveni)
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To: Archangelsk
Interesting. Of the blends, I like Johnnie Red (not Black). I also like the Balvenie Doublewood, and the smokier Islay single malts.

One of these days I plan to take one of those delightful Scotch tasting tours where they drive you from distillery to distillery, out there among the heather and the sheep.
4 posted on 07/18/2003 6:48:25 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius
For me it's Dewar's and soda or Chivas on the rocks. AYE.
5 posted on 07/18/2003 6:57:02 PM PDT by jaz.357 (The beatings will continue until morale improves!)
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To: Malacoda
Laphroaig bump!

Double ditto that. There's nothing like Laphroaig.

6 posted on 07/18/2003 7:04:10 PM PDT by tdadams
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To: Archangelsk
Having a Highland Park to get the whole sensory experience while reading this article. For some reason, I have the sudden urge to go to Scotland ...
7 posted on 07/18/2003 7:09:09 PM PDT by Polonius
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To: Polonius
I have the sudden urge to go to Scotland ...

That's just the Scotch talking. :-)

8 posted on 07/18/2003 7:16:43 PM PDT by Archangelsk ("I love big mouthed frogs. Especially when they're sauteed." The Alligator)
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To: Archangelsk
Fortunately a lot of Scots migrated to Virginia and thence to Kentucky where they invented Bourbon.

The hard times for small Scotish distilleries is our good fortune though. I've found some very good 12 year old single malt scotches at Trader Joe's in the $10-12 range.
9 posted on 07/18/2003 7:28:10 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: jaz.357
Been a Dewar's man since law school. In the bars I used to frequent, the bartenders knew me as "Dew-Rock-Twist" -- for Dewar's on the rocks with a lemon twist.

Although I occasionally enjoy a sip of a single malt, I prefer the Dewar's blend for serious gulping. LOL

10 posted on 07/18/2003 7:38:25 PM PDT by PackerBoy (From the 'Rat's Big Bird, himself ...)
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To: Hugin
Fortunately a lot of Scots migrated to Virginia and thence to Kentucky where they invented Bourbon.

I just had to post on this thread. It had my name all over it. (:-P)

While we're at it, let me give this thread a little Strathisla BUMP!
11 posted on 07/18/2003 7:38:25 PM PDT by bourbon
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To: Archangelsk
I've never regretted not being a Oeniphile- but I feel I've missed out not developing a taste for Scotch. Alas alack...I'm a double shot of well vodka & splash of seven for color kind of guy. Does the job, minimal hangover, but 0 on the panache scale.
12 posted on 07/18/2003 7:41:09 PM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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To: Archangelsk
As a very experienced tester of Scotch, something can also be said for the Irish Whiskey. If you like single malts a glass of Jamesons or Tullamore Dew will sit quite well with you.

Please realize that the hotter side of hell is reserved for those that mix it with anything except a small ice cube at most. The hottest corner is reserved for those that foul the nectar with coke and seven up.
13 posted on 07/18/2003 7:42:45 PM PDT by cpdiii (RPH, Oil field Trash and proud of it)
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To: Archangelsk
Well I've got Dewars but I WANT The MacAllan.
Thanks for posting this. Sounds like a fine place to visit.

Regards,
Liberty
14 posted on 07/18/2003 7:45:41 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: cpdiii
Well, when the weather is hot a I have been known to sip a little Jameson in club soda. Lord forgive me.
15 posted on 07/18/2003 7:48:40 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: livius
No, no, no. Johnnie Black, or Gold (Premium, AKA Green outside of the U.S. is basically the same as Gold, just a bit more expensive). I've got 3/4 of a bottle of Blue, what's left from the bottle my wife bought be for Christmas. I think that Premium is the best for the money, followed closely by Black, The blue is very good, much better than Black, but much more expensive. My wife actually bought mine at the duty free at Heathrow. We were traveling separatly, and I was upset that she spent so much on booze. I got over it. Black for the exchange runs about 1/5th the cost of Blue at the exchange.

I don't much care for Dewars. I like Craggenmore as a single malt. Frankly thought, I drink blends.
16 posted on 07/18/2003 7:49:08 PM PDT by NYFriend
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To: Hugin
"Well, when the weather is hot a I have been known to sip a little Jameson in club soda. Lord forgive me."

After consulting my list of sins it has been determined that you will get off quite lightly. Five years in Purgatory (only) before you are sent to your assigned destination. :)


17 posted on 07/18/2003 7:57:50 PM PDT by cpdiii (RPH, Oil field Trash and proud of it)
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To: NYFriend
You can't beat the "Blue". It the smoothest thing there is. I got a couple of fifth's when I first saw it advertised in Cigar Aficionado.( Rush was on the cover.) I think it was 1996 or 97. You don't need ice and water for the "Blue" but I prefer it that way.
18 posted on 07/18/2003 8:00:55 PM PDT by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Archangelsk
Dalwhinnie for this lad.....a fine post....inspirational!
19 posted on 07/18/2003 8:01:07 PM PDT by pgobrien (Illegitimi Non Carborundum)
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To: bourbon
While we're at it, let me give this thread a little Strathisla BUMP!

I'm with you there, and another BUMP for Oban!!

20 posted on 07/18/2003 8:05:52 PM PDT by ALASKA
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To: Archangelsk
Obh, obh, mo chreach 'sa thainig! (Tr: "Jeeeez...!")

The word whiskey, after all, evolved from the Gaelic word usquebaugh

It's "whisky", not "whiskey." The latter stuff's Irish, and significantly different. (Though with all due respect to my Irish friends: De gustibus non dispudandum est.)

And where that spelling comes from, the Good Lord only knows. It's "Uisge beatha" (pn., to an American, "oosh'ka bay'ah). "Water of-life."

But Laphroaig ("la'froik") is, to me, best.

21 posted on 07/18/2003 8:09:29 PM PDT by Eala
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To: ALASKA
Oh, yes. My father gave me a bottle of Oban a couple years ago--magnificent stuff!
22 posted on 07/18/2003 8:09:58 PM PDT by bourbon
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To: Archangelsk
When I was a young man, I drank quite a bit of Dewars an Passport. I graduated to Glen Livet and very occasionally, Glen Fiddich. Have yet to savor the pleasure of Glan Farclas.

And it goes without saying they are accompanied by an Ashton Cabinet, which, when they get down to about two and a half inches, turn on my telepathic powers and X-ray vision!
23 posted on 07/18/2003 8:12:48 PM PDT by djf (No agenda here, move on folks...)
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To: cpdiii
I like the Irish whiskeys myself, especially Bushmills. I stay away from their cheaper blend, but the better one, Black Bush, isn't bad at all. Of the single malts, the 10 year old is a good ordinary malt, but the 16 year old is a real step up; that's what I took on our fishing/canoeing/male-bonding trip this year with my brother and our sons. I haven't had the pleasure of drinking the 21-year old, and at $125/bottle I'm not likely to soon.

Jameson's also has some good whiskeys. Again, I avoid their cheapest blend (Jameson's). Jameson's 1780 is pretty decent, but I'm more likely to buy Black Bush. Jameson's Gold is much better and what I buy for a gift, unless I'm giving Bushmill's 16 y/o single malt. I've again not had the pleasure of drinking Midleton (again, at about $125/bottle I'm not likely to).
24 posted on 07/18/2003 8:18:08 PM PDT by RonF
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To: livius; Malacoda; Archangelsk
"I also like the Balvenie Doublewood,"


Heaven in a glass! I also fancy a "wee" dram of the Macallan
every now and then.

I just finished smoking two tri-tip a turkey and some Johnsonville brots, an experience that I find is very close to drinking Laphroaig.
25 posted on 07/18/2003 8:19:00 PM PDT by gc4nra (this tag line protected by Kimber and the First Amendment)
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To: Archangelsk
"Scotch Wiskey, it's not just for breakfast anymore!"
26 posted on 07/18/2003 8:25:07 PM PDT by gc4nra (this tag line protected by Kimber and the First Amendment)
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To: Archangelsk
Elgin and Banff, two fine places for a drink, though the Egg and Dart in Aberdeen remains my favorite in the lowlands.
27 posted on 07/18/2003 8:29:26 PM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon (PEACE - Through Superior Firepower)
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To: gc4nra
"Scotch Whiskey, it's not just for breakfast anymore!"

Never has been. Don't you know the Highlander's breakfast: Oatmeal and whisky? (If memory serves me right, the ca. 1950s movie "Kidnapped" featured that in a scene...)

28 posted on 07/18/2003 8:29:28 PM PDT by Eala
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To: Archangelsk
I'll bump for The Balvine single malt and the Balvenie Doublewood. Enjoying some right now, straight up no ice.
29 posted on 07/18/2003 8:30:05 PM PDT by chuknospam
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To: chuknospam
Never too early for a glass , or a lass !
30 posted on 07/18/2003 8:32:50 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: Archangelsk
One word : kardhu. scottish single malt. Wickedly smooth, and d*mn hard to find.
31 posted on 07/18/2003 8:38:30 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative
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To: Malacoda
Have you had the Laphroaig 15 yr old? The usual is the 10. The 15 y.o. is one of the absolute most wonderful I have ever had...
32 posted on 07/18/2003 8:49:25 PM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (The Guns of Brixton)
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To: Archangelsk

MaCallan stills, uisge beatha, fhuair mi mo neamh an seo's an aite.

33 posted on 07/18/2003 8:50:23 PM PDT by concentric circles (User name for sale - no longer needed)
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To: Archangelsk; Squantos; SLB
It is the most wonderful thread ever.....
34 posted on 07/18/2003 8:52:01 PM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (The Guns of Brixton)
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To: Eala
Don't remember the movie,but I'll take your word for it and raise a glass in celebration of our victory, as excerpted(sic) from the Washington compost: The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ordered the secretary of state to direct counties to verify petition signatures as
they count them.

The court said Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, a Democrat, provided "erroneous" instructions to county elections officials
when he gave them an extra 30-day period to verify signatures on recall petitions rather than verify them immediately.


"It's a complete and total victory," said James F. Sweeney, attorney for the Recall Gray Davis Committee. He added that it
would be "highly probable" that a recall election will be certified next week.

If the recall is certified, the Democratic governor could become the first California governor ever to face the electorate on a
recall ballot.

There was no immediate comment from the secretary of state.

Grayout Davis is toast and a fine bunch of FReepers will be gathering at my house, on the morrow, to celebrate our victory. Prehaps with some Single Malt and fine cigars!
35 posted on 07/18/2003 8:55:54 PM PDT by gc4nra (this tag line protected by Kimber and the First Amendment)
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To: cpdiii
Oh absolutely! To mix good whiskey with anything is a major sin as far as I'm concerned. Also, I much prefer Irish whiskey (Bushmills and Jameson) to Scotch. Jameson 1780 in my opinion is the best whiskey in the world.
36 posted on 07/18/2003 8:56:07 PM PDT by vikingcelt
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To: Archangelsk
...what kind of cask is used (old bourbon barrels, old sherry butts, new oak), how long the whiskey is kept in wood (once it is bottled, the maturing process stops), where (a damp cellar or a dry one)...have seen a couple of good programs on the production of scotch recently on cable - the most fascinating part of the process for me is aging - while it "matures" in barrels some of the whiskey is actually absorbed by the wood, where it starts to pick up its unique flavoring - and over the course of years, with changes in weather, humidity levels, and other factors, some of the liquid is forced back into the barrel, then back into the wood again - it's this migration in and out of the wood from which the barrels are made which actually "ages" the scotch, thus making the time in barrels, the kind of wood used, and even outside factors such as the "saltiness" of the atmosphere critical in determining the eventual quality and taste of the whiskey.....
37 posted on 07/18/2003 8:58:55 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: jaz.357
A BIG FAT BUMP For A Fellow Dewars Drinker."Dewars on the Rocks please" has come out of my mouth countless times, since I finally stopped drinking beer. It just doesn't get any better.(Except for Wild Turkey Bourbon, which is a darn close second for me.)
38 posted on 07/18/2003 9:06:28 PM PDT by Pagey (Hillary Rotten is a Smug, Holier - Than - Thou Socialist)
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To: chookter

Ahhhhhhh.........Stay Safe !

39 posted on 07/18/2003 9:13:35 PM PDT by Squantos (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: Pagey
marker bump

Regards

alfa6 ;>}
40 posted on 07/18/2003 9:13:37 PM PDT by alfa6 (GNY Highway's Rules: Improvise; Adapt; Overcome)
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To: gc4nra
"Scotch Wiskey, it's not just for breakfast anymore!"

I drank single malt for ten years...then I heard my doctor's terrible words.."you are allergic to iodine..." Many Scotch' drinks are full of iodine..from the peat that the fogs and seaborne rains have saturated over time. I have had several near death experiences with iodine..during x-rays or from eating crab. Finally, my doctor said.."your chronic allergies are caused by scotch!" I now drink only beer..Sigh..

41 posted on 07/18/2003 9:32:00 PM PDT by Hue68
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To: Archangelsk
Gentlemans bump, as there are still over four hours here on the west coast to indulge! (And I plan to!)
Love these threads where people just show they are happy to be alive.
42 posted on 07/18/2003 9:40:13 PM PDT by djf (No agenda here, move on folks...)
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To: jaz.357
For me it's Dewar's and soda...

That's disgusting! Taking good Scotch and contaminating it with soda-pop! Braa-aack!!!!

43 posted on 07/18/2003 9:43:31 PM PDT by Aarchaeus
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To: ALASKA
Oban

Yeah baby!

44 posted on 07/18/2003 11:20:05 PM PDT by Gigantor (Don't steal! The Government hates competition.)
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To: Gigantor
Oban, after reading all this, I had to search around and find the 1/4 wee dram I had left. Just the smell is heavenly................
45 posted on 07/19/2003 1:37:34 AM PDT by ALASKA
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To: Archangelsk
The "sour beer," known as "wash," is then run successively through a pair of heated stills, bulbous at the bottom, narrow at the top, with a swan's neck extending down to a coiled copper pipe in a tank of cold water that converts the resulting vapor back into liquid. The first part of the run (the foreshots) and the last (the feints), both full of impurities, are eliminated.

I'm not much of a drinker, but I have always been curious about the distilling process. If I understand the description correctly, whiskey must be composed entirely of volatile compounds. And these must tend to be driven off at varying rates so that the composition of the final whiskey changes as it is collected. Is it necessary to add water to adjust the proof or does that all come throught the tube?

46 posted on 07/19/2003 2:11:32 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: chookter; Squantos
I have my asbestos suit on - as I couldn't stand scotch! In my days of bellying up to the bar nothing was finer than a little Kentucky Bourbon. But scotch? Eccccccchhhhhhhhhh

Actually nothing beats a glass of mint ice tea.
47 posted on 07/19/2003 4:37:54 AM PDT by SLB
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To: NYFriend
I think that Premium is the best for the money, followed closely by Black, The blue is very good, much better than Black, but much more expensive.

Very nicely stated. I like the Blue better than the Gold, but it's just not worth the money if you imbibe regularly. The Gold is a great value at $50-60. It's exquisite.

Have you found a single malt that has the same balance? I've tried dozens, but they are so idiosyncratic and imbalanced that I keep returning to JW. I do like The MacAllen, but I am suspicious that the sherry may be providing some of the body on the mid-palate and flavor on the finish.

48 posted on 07/19/2003 5:58:41 AM PDT by Fifth Business
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To: Archangelsk
Scotland: Home of rugged men, homely women, strong whiskey and a bunch of sheep.

No wonder the sheep are nervous.

49 posted on 07/19/2003 6:08:10 AM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (*** DO NOT TAUNT HAPPY FUN BALL ***)
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To: Archangelsk
bump
50 posted on 07/19/2003 6:11:27 AM PDT by WhiteGuy (Deficit $455,000,000,000 + MY VOTE IS FOR SALE)
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