The Spirit Of Scotch

Selecting your first dram

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

July 27, 2022

National Scotch Day is July 27th. To peat or not to peat? Learn about the spirit and how to ease the burn.

Uisge beathe is the Scottish Gaelic term for whisky, meaning “water of life.”

Whiskey vs Whisky
In general, whiskey refers to Irish or American whiskey. Typically, whisky is used everywhere else. In Scotland, the spelling of whisky is enshrined in law, and many other countries follow that lead.

Scotch whisky has a prominent distinct, malty flavor due to the process in which the grain, primarily barley, is malted. The level of smokiness is due to the time the grain is exposed to peat smoke during drying. However, the grain can be dried without the use of peat. And not all peat is the same.

To be classified as Scotch whisky, Scotch must be made in Scotland. It also must meet specific requirements, including being aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three years.

There are five distinct classifications of Scotch whisky: single malt scotch, single grain scotch, blended malt scotch, blended grain scotch, and blended scotch.

Selecting A First Dram

A “dram” is the Scottish name for a measure or glass of whisky.

When choosing your first dram of Scotch whisky, try a gentler spirit. Auchentoshan is a triple distilled single malt. Because it’s unpeated, the spirit is considered more delicate and sweet than most whiskies, which should make the burning sensation many beginners feel minimal. Dalwhinnie, known as “the gentle spirit,” is another option for first-timers because of its lack of fullness and a flavor profile that is typically lighter. Dalmore and Macallan may be good options for first-timers too. Try Glenlivet or Glenfiddich for second or third tastings.

How to Drink It
When having your first dram, add one or two ice cubes to a glass before pouring. Chilling and watering it down will soften the harshness. Once you have poured your dram into a glass, bring the glass to about chin level, holding it by the base or stem. Gently swirl or wave it side to side, inhaling lightly through your nose and slightly through your mouth. Sip a small amount, let it sit on your tongue, then swirl it in your mouth before you swallow.

Scotch Old Fashioned Recipe

2 ounces blended Scotch
1 teaspoon Demerara sugar or simple syrup
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Orange zest for garnish

-Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice
-Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a large ice cube
-Garnish with orange peel

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