Water of Life
A short primer on scotch
Whether you’re Robert Burns, Don Draper or Tony Mendez, a quality, single malt Scotch whisky can change your perspective in quiet moments and provide an honest friend (when enjoyed in moderation of course).
To become better acquainted with this kindred spirit, we visited the home of tartan, golf and Nessie: Scotland. This past month we were fortunate enough to experience the Glenkinchie distillery, a fixture in the Scottish Lowlands since 1837.
Once inside, our guide provided an overview of the entire process from malting (where Scotch gets its distinctive smoky flavor from the peat fires drying the malted barley) to casking. Here’s what we learned while forming our new whisky friendships:
Single Malt, Distilled – for the Newly Acquainted
The older the mellower – All single malt Scotches are at least three years old, and few get released until they are 10. Just like a fine wine, scotch gets better with age.
Something’s in the water - The traditional way to request a Scotch is to keep it neat with a side of room temperature spring water, which may be added to enhance its aroma and flavor. Leave the rocks to the Highlands.
She’s got legs and nose how to use them - Swirl the dram in your Glencairn glass. Nose it three times; get acquainted. By the third introduction you’ll know who you’re dealing with.
An acquired taste - Hold your initial sip on your tongue, say “hello,” and let it speak to you.
It’s more than just lunch - You may discover a varietal you’d like to spend the rest of your life with, so keep an open mind, have patience, and pay solicitous attention to detail.
Our thanks to the fine people of Glenkinchie for the tour and insight.
Glenkinchie specializes in single malt production from a single distillery. Learn more
P.S. that’s John C. Wood pictured above. Brooks Brothers President from 1946-1968. And he liked his neat.
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