Scotch is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages of all time, after all it has been around for hundred of years however, little thought is usually given to the actual origin of this popular drink. As the name suggests, Scotch was originally produced in Scotland by Friar John Cor. After distillation was introduced by Scottish monks in 1494, fine scotch became a popular drink.
To the dismay of Scotch and other whiskey drinkers, whiskey was first taxed in 1644. This caused a rise in the number of what we would today call “bootleggers” who made and sold Scotch whiskey illegally. Later in 1823, the Scottish Parliament made it easier for one to own a licensed distillery and harder for illegal whiskey stills to stay in business. This began the modern production of Scotch whiskey.
Today, fine scotch whiskey production is much more technologically advanced: It has to be in order to keep up with the demand for this popular drink. However, you won’t find fine Scotch made here in the U.S, in order to carry the name “Scotch” the whiskey must be distilled and matured in Scotland.
Taking Scotch Whisky to America:
As new Irish and Scottish immigrants tried to settle on the American continent they brought with them the distilling methods of scotch whiskey. Finding the new raw materials different that what they were accustomed to, they lead the way for an evolution of new scotch now known merely as whiskey. Today if you can find a similarity between Irish and Scottish whiskey, and its now American cousin you would be further ahead than the experts and connoisseurs.
The stronger, fuller and sweeter taste found in the American whiskey if a result of the lack of smoke in the drying process of grains and/or corns. The six different categories that American whiskey is divided into is a direct result of the different aging times and adjusted amounts of grains used in each batch of whiskey.
The six different American brews are as follows:
Bourbon Is believed to be produced solely in Kentucky, which is a myth it has been produced in many states. Stipulations for bourbon are very simple. It must be made in the United States, should only be made from fifty-one percent corn, and can only be stored in charred oak barrels for a term no shorter than two years. The spirit in its raw form may not exceed eighty percent alcohol by volume.
There are a few differences between Tennessee and Bourbon. They are very closely related. Tennessee must always be filtered through sugar maple charcoal, and can only be produced in the state of Tennessee, hence its name. Currently there are only two brands of Tennessee whiskey available; George Dickel and Jack Daniels.
Rye and Wheat whiskey
Generally rye whiskey is blended with other products to create other types of whiskeys. Only a very small portion of this whiskey is actually bottled. It must be made of at least fifty-one percent rye in order to be deemed rye whiskey. The distilling and storing conditions meet the same requirements as in Bourbon. Mostly made in the states of Indiana and Kentucky it is quite uncommon it has a slightly bitter and more powerful taste.
Due to the overwhelming surplus of corn, this was an obvious choice and is the predecessor of Bourbon. As assumed corn is the main ingredient with about eighty percent. The difference between corn and Bourbon is that corn does not have to be stored in wood. If it is to be aged it must be done in previous Bourbon barrels or barrels that have been uncharred
Blended American Whiskey
You should not be confused by the differences in Scottish whiskey and American blended whiskey. American whiskey only contains approximately twenty percent of rye and bourbon whiskey, a mass product industrial spirit, makes up the other eighty percent. This makes the product very cheap and much lighter than it’s American cousins.