TRAVEL BLOG

Rick Steves: A tasting tour of Scotch whisky

Rick Steves
Published 8:00 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2018

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

On a recent trip to Scotland, I came to a sobering conclusion: This is a land of booze geeks. Some of my favorite discoveries have been historic distilleries and inviting whisky bars, run by people evangelical about Scotland’s favorite beverage. When it rains — as it often does there — the showers elicit a cheery “That’s tomorrow’s whisky!” from the locals.

Scotch whiskies come in two broad types: “single malt,” meaning that the bottle comes from a single batch made by a single distiller, and “blends,” which master blenders mix and match from various whiskies into a perfect punch of booze. While single malts get the most attention, blended varieties represent 90 percent of all whisky sales.

Single-malt whisky — just made of water, malted barley and yeast — is most influenced by three things: whether the malt is peat-smoked, the shape of the stills, and the composition of the casks. But local climate can also play a role; for example, some distilleries in the Scottish isles tout the salty notes of their whiskies, as the sea air permeates their casks.

Taste whisky like you’d taste wine: Use all your senses. First, swirl the whisky in the glass and observe its color and “legs” — the trail left by the liquid as it runs back down the side of the glass. (Quick, thin legs indicate light, young whisky; slow, thick legs mean it’s a heavier and older one.) Then take a deep sniff — do you smell smoke and peat? And finally, taste it (sip!). What’s the dominant first punch? The smooth middle? The “finish”? Swish it around and let your gums taste it, too.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Source

قالب وردپرس