"Uisge beathe", "aqua vitae", or the "Water of Life" - Scotch whisky is made in Scotland but drunk and enjoyed around the world, in over 100 countries.
No one knows who the first Scottish distiller was, nor where the first whisky was made, but it was an effective method of using surplus grain and giving farmers an alternative source of income for their crops.
There are two main types of whisky – malt whisky & grain whisky. Malt whisky is the traditional whisky made from barley and is distilled in batches in a copper pot still. Following the invention of the continuous still in 1827 which used grain, new blends from the malt and the grain whisky were released leading Scotch whisky to become the global industry it is today.
The flavour, nose and colour of Malt whisky is influenced by three main factors; the local water source for the distillery, if the malt is peated as this adds a smoky flavour to the whisky, and also the wood from the barrels the spirits is matured in. Initially in oak for a minimum of 3 years, but distillers also give their whiskies a ‘wood finish’ where they transfer whisky into a different barrel – most commonly sherry, madeira, port and red wine, for a period before bottling. The previous contents of these barrels add to the flavour and the colour of the whisky. Single Malt whisky is produced from a single distillery and a Blended Malt Whisky is the combination of Whisky from two or more distilleries.
Blended Scotch whisky is the combination of malt and grain whiskies and is matured for at least three years in oak. Making Blended Scotch whisky is a fiendishly difficult skill which requires more than a nose for flavour – it takes years of experience.
Whyte & Mackay - Our Triple Maturation Process
The secret behind the award-winning taste of Whyte & Mackay is our triple maturation process and the way we blend to make sure no single whisky dominates another, creating a harmony of flavours that work together to produce our famous smoother, richer taste.
The story begins with choosing the finest aged single malts and aged grain whiskies from two of Scotland's most famous distilling regions, Highland and Speyside. Then we carefully age the malt whisky whilst separately aging the grain whisky. Most blended whiskies stop at this stage but Whyte and Mackay add an additional step.
The final chapter of the maturation story sees the marrying of these two different whiskies in sherry casks. This triple maturation process produces a whisky rich in colour with golden highlights, round and full on the nose with smooth, rich flavours of honey and fruits.
Traditionally Malt and Blended Scotch whiskies were drank neat, with a touch of water, or mixed with cola or ginger. Whisky is more frequently being used in cocktails, so why not enjoy World Whisky Day with a take on the classic Hi-ball – a Whyte and MackayBall. Surprisingly Smooth and deliciously refreshing. Sláinte!
Whyte & Mackayball
• 50ml Whyte & Mackay
• 150ml of quality tonic
• Angosturra bitter
• Orange wedge
Using a tall hiball glass, fill with ice and pour over the Whyte & Mackay then the tonic. Add a dash of Angusturra bitters, stir and serve with a wedge of freshly cut orange
Jura Journey Home
• 50cl Jura Journey
• 75cl Cloudy apple juice
• 75cl Ginger ale
• Lime wedges
In a tall hiball glass, fill with ice and our in the Jura Journey, cloudy apply and ginger ale. Squeeze a wedge of lime in. Stir, and then serve with a wedge of lime