The Scots have been making whiskies since the 15th century, and that tradition is what we celebrate today on National Scotch Day!
Scotch is usually an acquired taste among customers, therefore today is the perfect day to get them acquainted with the good stuff.
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, there is no correct or incorrect way to enjoy whisky, the most important thing is that you actually taste the flavor of the spirit.
About Scotch Whisky
Scotch Whisky (without the e) by law must me 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.
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.