While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
We look across the pond for today’s food holiday. The Scots have been making whiskies since at least the 15th century, and it’s that tradition we celebrate today: Happy National Scotch Day!
Scotch whisky (generally not “whiskey”; Scotch and Canadian whiskies tend to be spelled without the “e”, while Irish and most American whiskeys use it) by law must be distilled and aged in Scotland from malted barley and, sometimes, other grains. If it’s made with just malted barley and water and bottled as whisky from one distillery, it’s one of the famous “single malt” Scotch whiskies. If a Scotch is made with other grain, it’s referred to as “single grain.” There are also blended Scotches - such as the top-selling Johnnie Walker - that use whiskies from multiple distillers.
Scotch whiskies are aged in oak casks, but unlike American straight whiskeys, the casks don’t have to be new. Many American white oak casks that once held bourbon or other American whiskeys find a second life in Scotland to age Scotch whisky, and some distillers also use casks that formerly contained sherry or port to add different flavors.
Though single malt Scotches are made only from barley and water, their flavors vary enormously depending on where the distillery is located, the kind of water used, the way the whisky is aged and other variables.
Scotch comes from five different regions in Scotland, each with its unique character. Some Scotches are light and floral, such as Glenkinchie from the Lowlands, while others (particularly Laphroaig and other malts from the island of Islay) can be smoky and peaty, with a distinct salty tang reminiscent of iodine. If you’re just starting out with Scotch, consider a fruity and smooth whisky like Glenfiddich, or a nicely complex sherry-like malt such as The Macallan. (Islay malts can be great, but can be an acquired taste, and you may want to work up to them if your palate is new to Scotch.)
Iain McCallum, Master of Malts at Morrison Bowmore Distillers, which makes Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch, says that he didn’t take to his local spirit right away: “As a youth growing up in Glasgow, Scotch was always an intimidating proposition. Whether it be in Hot Toddies: a concoction of sugar, whisky and hot water that was administered by mothers to test the seriousness of sudden, unexpected illness. If you drank the toddy, then she knew that you were genuinely unwell, if however you miraculously recovered she had correctly concluded that it was double maths at school that day.”
More people drink Scotch for fun than medicine these days, whether with soda for a “Mad Men”-style highball, in cocktails such as the Rob Roy, Penicillin and Blood and Sand, or as-is, with perhaps an ice cube or splash of spring water.
But do what you like: “There is no correct or incorrect way to enjoy whisky,” McCallum notes. “The most important thing is that you actually taste the flavor of the spirit.”
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what's your favorite scotch?
Balvenie Port Wood
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Typical foreign liquor loving article driven by socialist liberal commie infiltrated media. They want you all to be inebriated and unable to think for yourselves and when you are not looking they will take away your guns, your freedom, and raise your taxes. Keep your Scotch to yourself Scotland. We in America work hard and don't need to waste time and money with your overpriced productivity killers.
Yeah. Damn right. Now where did the moonshine go?
I'll gladly take your share and you can have my share of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Due to an unfortunate incident many years ago, scotch tastes like barf to me and always will.
Big scotch drinker here. Tried many and have done the whiskey trail. I'd have to say MacAllan's my favorite of all I've tried that is normally available at restaurants and bars.
I drink scotch every day but after reading these lame comments I think I'll switch to bourbon.
I'm not as think as you drunk I am.
That's a shame. Drink what you like. Scotch tastes good.
Balvenie Double Wood or The Dalmore Cigar Malt–Oh, yeah!
STOP the Obama-Pelosi War against Medical Marijuana Patients. STOP the Hypocrite beer-drinkers with badges.
Hey Suzette – the people who drink alcohol kill over 50,000 innocent victims per year on American roads.
I'll be delighted to run over you with my car after I've had a glass or two. Have you always been that stupid?
You have a hard time staying on subject and focusing. Please seek therapy.
Wake-Up chefdugan -- Alcohol Drinkers are the largest and most dangerous terrorist group in America.
I second The Balvenie! Yum!!
Second The Balvenie!! Yum!
Stop drinking Scotch with training wheels: Bowmore!
Jameson's – the purest and finest.
Blends, Cutty Sark
Light and smooth, Oban
Island malt, Talisker
All good...Oban and Talisker neat or with a splash, Cutty on the rocks.
STOP the Obama-Pelosi War against Medical Marijuana Patients. STOP the hypocrisy Nancy.
Skip the Scotch and roll me a phattie!
Believe it or not, it's possible to enjoy (and be knowledgeable about) spirits without being an alcoholic. If you don't like it, don't partake. It really is that simple....
us us natives partake in the other side of the pond spirits....let it fly
Guess I'll have to have a bit of cask strength Laphroaig tonight. Maxim calls it the most macho scotch, and if you try it you'll see why.
Lagavulin, Oban or Ardbeg Corryvreckan for me!
Depending on my mood, Auchentoshan Three Wood, Lagavulin, Talisker, Bowmore 10, Macallan Fine Oak 15, or Glenrothes here. Though lately I've been enjoying Hibiki, a Japanese blended whisky that's in the Scotch style.
Gee, I've never encountered a scotch snob before. You MUST get together with the wine snobs and smell some corks!
That's like having a camp fire in your mouth.
Love scotch, without question the very best of any style wisky produced. Nothing else even comes close
Auchentoshan 12, neat. Cheers!!
Lagavulin 16 - just the right peatiness... takes me back to a B&B just north of Tyndrum, on the West Highland Way. Great friendly people in those parts...
Lagavulin 16 year old is too sherry-ish... doesn't fit the style at all... see if you can find some 12 year old... (the way they used to bottle it before the bean-counters got involved...)
Scotch with a touch of Drambuie... MMMMMMM
I nice glass of JW Blue Label will hit the spot tonight.
Scotch Scotch Scotch, I love Scotch.
Please don't compare Scotch whiskey to Irish whiskey. As with most liquors and beers, what is available in the U.S. is absolutely awful.
Plenty of great scotch available in the sates there mate.
My Scottish ancestors settled in the mountains of the deep south. The Apple Jack and Corn Likker we make ourselves in the holler blows any of your snooty scotch away.
I don't know what you are smoking. I've had good single malts here in the states and sitting in a pub in Scotland, there is no difference.
Friday always calls for two fingers of The Balvenie, neat.
Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down. Down into my belly.
LOL! One of Ferrell's best!
(Hoping the sequel is too.)
I think I'll celebrate with a nice glass of Caol Ila.
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