Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Legacy of 130 years.

Black Dog Scotch Whisky has a tradition of over 130 years but you would be amazed to know that Scotch Whisky has been in existence since almost 1494 when it evolved from a Scottish drink called ‘uisge beatha’, which means “lively water” or “water of life”.

 Distillation of Scotch Whisky was well established by the late fifteenth century as you can see from the earliest mentions of Scotch Whisky which talked about distilling over 1,500 bottles. Ever wondered what exactly constitutes a Scotch Whisky? According to Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009, ‘Scotch Whisky’ is Whisky that is: 
  • Produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley.
  • Wholly matured in an excise warehouse in Scotland in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres.
  • Retaining the colour, aroma, and taste of the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production and maturation.
  • Containing no added substances, other than water and plain caramel coloring.
  • Comprising a minimum alcoholic strength by volume of 40% (80 US proof)

Scotland was traditionally divided into four regions: The Highlands, Lowland, Islay, and Campbeltown. Speyside, encompassing the Spey river valley in north-east Scotland, once considered part of the Highlands, has almost half of the total number of distilleries in Scotland within its geographic boundaries; consequently it is officially recognized as a region unto itself. Campbeltown was removed as a region several years ago, yet was recently re-instated as a recognized production region. The Islands is not recognized as a region by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and is considered part of the Highlands region.

There are two basic types of Scotch whisky, from which all blends are made:

  • Single malt Scotch whisky means a Scotch whisky produced from only water and malted barley at a single distillery by batch distillation in pot stills. 
  • Single grain Scotch whisky means a Scotch whisky distilled at a single distillery but, in addition to water and malted barley, may involve whole grains of other malted or unmalted cereals. “Single grain” does not mean that only a single type of grain was used to produce the whisky—rather, the adjective “single” refers only to the use of a single distillery (and making a “single grain” requires using a mixture of grains, as barley is a type of grain and some malted barley must be used in all Scotch whisky).

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