If you’re friends with Jack and Jim and spend your weekends with Jameson and Johnnie, then World Whisky Day is going to hold a special significance for you.
Whisky is one of the iconic drinks of true lovers of alcohol and is the foundation of some of the most wonderful drinks known to man. But honestly, who needs an excuse to imbibe in these wonderful libations? If you need one, World Whisky Day is it!
History of World Whisky Day
One of the most common forms of whisky that are sought after is Irish Whisky, and perhaps appropriately so. The origins of the word Whisky can be found in the Gaelic Language.
Uisce Beatha was the original name of whiskey in classical Gaelic, which ultimately became Uisce Beatha in Ireland and Uisge Beatha in Scotland. Both of these names mean “Water of Life” and tells us just how important and vital this particular distillation was to the Gaels.
It was later shortened to just Uisce/Uisge and then anglicized to Whisky. So now you know, when someone is concerned about your whisky consumption, you can just tell them you’re drinking the water of life!
So what, exactly, is whisky? Whisky is what happens when you create take rich flavorful grains and ferment them into a mash, and then take that mash and distil it down into a pure delicious spirit.
Distillation takes place in a still, a device whose whole purpose is the purification of the alcohol from the fermented mash. One of the most important secrets of distillation is that it must take place in a copper (Or copper-lined) still, as the copper removes the sulfur from the drink that would make this otherwise diving beverage decidedly unpleasant to drink.
Astonishing facts about whisky
You may enjoy a delicious glass of whisky, but did you know the following…?
- Let’s start with a worrying fact, which is that whisky could have been banned. If it was not because of a medical loophole in the Prohibition period, this drink would have been banned altogether. However, because there was a law that enabled doctors to prescribe whisky as medicine, it survived.
- The word whisky actually means ‘water of life.’ this is because it comes from a Gaelic word that reads ‘uisge breathe.’
- There are some expensive bottles of whisky around the world. However, the most expensive is the Macallan ‘M’ whisky. This Lalique decanter of whisky was auctioned in Hong Kong for £393,109. The luxury decanter features six litres of whisky, which was drawn from casks made of Spanish oak sherry, dating from the ‘40s until the ‘90s.
- The oldest whisky is more than 150-years-old. The Guinness World Record for the World’s Oldest Whisky currently goes to a bottle of 400ml Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky. It was owned by a family from Ireland. However, it fetched an incredible £14,850 at auction when it was sold to Bonhams in London. It is believed to have been packaged sometime between the years of 1851 and 1858.
- The spelling of whisky is interesting. You may have seen it written as whiskey. The version without the ‘e’ is used for Canadian and Scottish whisky. However, for other types of drink, you opt for the whiskey spelling.
- Last but not least, whisky starts life as a beer! This is because it is made with wort, which is a form of beer that gets distilled. In fact, the wort is created using all of the ingredients that yare enjoyed in a pint of delicious beer, i.e. malts, yeast, and water.
5 FUN FACTS ABOUT WHISKY
It’s from Gaelic’s term for ‘water of life’
The name ‘whisky’ is derived from the Gaelic word reading ‘uisge beatha’ — the term, that later became ‘uski,’ translates to ‘water of life.’
Beer becomes whiskey
Surprisingly, ‘wort,’ the distilled material for whisky, is essentially beer — it’s a mix of water, yeast, and malt.
2% is lost each year
Called the ‘angel’s pinch,’ the 2% of whisky that is lost from the barrels yearly is sometimes even a part of local customs.
Whisky can be over 150 years old
The oldest whisky in the world — bottled between 1851 and 1858 — is a 13.5-ounce bottle of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky.
Whisky exploited a Prohibition loophole
Unlike many of the alcohols banned during the American Prohibition in the early 20th century, whisky was considered medicinal and could be purchased at drug stores.
WORLD WHISKY DAY DATES