Ever wondered what it takes to turn Scottish water into Scotch Whisky? Well, you are about to find out how the magic happens as regular water is turned into “The Water of Life.”

Scotland is the home of Scotch Whisky and host to the greatest concentration of distilleries in the world. There are more than 100 distilleries making Malt Whisky by the centuries-old Pot Still method or Grain Whisky in the Coffey or Patent Still which has been used since 1831 according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

A Brief History of Scotch Whisky

Over the years, the art of distilling in Scotland has been perfected. Uisge beatha has evolved into Scotch Whisky – a drink made only in Scotland, but enjoyed around the world.

The earliest documented record of distilling in Scotland occurred as long ago as 1494, in the tax records of the day, the Exchequer Rolls. An entry lists ‘Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae’ (water of life). This was sufficient to produce almost 1,500 bottles, suggesting that distilling was already well-established.

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Enjoying Scotch Whisky

There are no set rules when drinking whisky. Don’t let preconceptions or supposedly conventions get in the way of enjoying your favorite dram. Scotch can be enjoyed responsibly in many ways.

  • In Scotland, Scotch Whisky tends to be enjoyed straight or with a little water
  • Enter a bar in Tokyo and you will see whisky being consumed ‘mizawari’, diluted with lots of water
  • Out for the evening in Madrid, the order is likely to be Scotch mixed long with lots of ice and cola
  • In Shanghai Scotch with ice and cold green tea is very popular
  • Visit a style bar in New York and bartenders are likely to be using the great variety of whisky flavors to make exciting cocktails

So who is right?

Well, everyone of course. The only rule is that you should drink Scotch the way you enjoy it as an individual.

How Scotch Whisky is Made

Here’s a video from the Scotch Whisky Association that describes how Scotch Whisky is made. I could listen to that dialect all day long!

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