MR BEAUFORT: 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET INTO WHISKY IN 2017
Sipping your glass and unintelligently nodding is no longer fooling anyone. The time has come in your life to start appreciating whisky for it’s subtle tasting notes rather than it’s alcoholic benefits. To help with your education process, Mr Beaufort recently spent some time at Scotland’s leading distilleries and here are his reasons why 2017 is there year you should get into whisky.
1. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRINKER
Once you’ve got over the daunting prospect of pronouncing the label correctly you’ll soon discover that there is a whisky out their for every palette, including yours. Granted, your first tasting experience might have left you a little scarred but you’ll soon realise that there’s much more to choosing your whisky than blind pointing. I’d be here forever if I were to break down every type of whisky so here’s a basic crash course on Scotch whisky.
2. IT’S A CONVERSATION STARTER
Once you begin to peel back the mysterious layers of the whisky making journey you’ll develop an acute fascination with the process. As you delve deeper, this whisky education will soon evolve into a conversation starter kit when with friends or even potential romantic interests. If, however, you’re sat with an overeducated barstool boaster and are struggling to find anything to add, here are a few whisky facts for you to use:
- On average, 34 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every second.
- Dram: an arbitrary measure of whisky “that is pleasing to both guest and host”.
- Whisky barrels lose over a quarter of their contents to evaporation during manufacture. This is known as the angel’s share. What’s left is called the devil’s’ choice.
3. YOU’LL GET TO SEE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PARTS SCOTLAND
I recently spent two days up in the highlands of Scotland to get right to the heart of the whisky making industry. Having visited the Strathisla Distillery (home of Chivas Regal) along with The Glenlivet and the Aberlour distilleries it soon became apparent that I’d fallen in love with the rural surrounds of the whisky making regions. Each part of Scotland offers a distinctly different taste in whisky and so, to help you on your adventures, I’ve pulled together a Scotch whisky tasting map (above).
4. WHISKY OFFERS AN INCREDIBLE DEPTH OF FLAVOUR
Whisky can have a lot of very complex flavours - far more diverse than white or red wine. It’s not just the region in which the whisky is made that can effect the final taste but also the aging, cask strength and finishing. The most common finishes feature various styles of Sherry, but others include Rum, Madeira, Burgundy and Port. When tasting a whisky you may might be able to tell the difference between a ‘first-fill’ and ‘refill’ cask - where you may see the stronger influence of the finishing cask when it has only been previously filled once. Don’t worry, I couldn’t distinguish the difference why I first got into whisky!
5. IT PAIRS WELL
Good food and great whisky has always been a great combination. Whether it’s sweet desserts or even a fish dish, there are a number of different whisky expressions that work wonderfully with food. I’d recommend that you don’t always try to exactly match flavours – for example a smokey whisky would simply kill the delicate flavours of smoked salmon. Instead, try a pairing where a component of the dish complements a note in the whisky. A perfect example would be pairing a whisky with a note of apple with pork or even strawberries. Get creative…
Words by Mr. Beaufort.