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The Whisky - Spirits 102
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The Whisky - Spirits 102

The Whisky - As American as Bourbon, yet produced in over 20 countries around the globe. The stuff of mystery, of machismo, of long-time friendships, the occasional bar fight, and of a passion stronger than few others. Oh, just close your eyes, inhale slowly ... and taste it.

Whisk(e)y - Some Definitions

First, what is it with that spelling? The international "standard" spelling uses the "e". America and Ireland frequently drop the "e". Not sure why that is - we're just special. Following is the basic definition of the term from the Code of Federal Regulations, Standards of Identity:
 

"Whisky"

An alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80° proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed.

 

Types of Whiskies

 “Bourbon whisky” ...is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn..., and stored at not more than 125° proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type. (This may also be applied to “rye whisky”, “wheat whisky”, “malt whisky”, or “rye malt whisky”, which are from rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively.)

“Corn whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125° proof in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky.

"Straight Whiskey" either of the above two types of whiskies which have been stored in the designated type of oak container for at least two years may have the designation "Straight" (e.g. - "Straight Bourbon Whiskey", "Straight Corn Whisky").

“Whisky distilled from bourbon (rye, wheat, malt, or rye malt) mash” is whisky produced in the United States at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored in used oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type. Whisky conforming to the standard of identity for corn whisky must be designated corn whisky.

More definitions are given for: “Light whisky”, “Blended whisky”, “A blend of straight whiskies”, and “Spirit whisky”. If you're curious, here's the link.
 

Reserved Designations

The following designations are protected by international treaties.

Scotch whisky - must be from Scotland
Irish Whisky - must be from Ireland
Canadian Whisky - must be from Canada
Bourbon - must be produced in the United States

Geographical Designations - Any spirit with a region in its name must come from that region (e.g. Kentucky Straight Bourbon must be from Kentucky.)

 
We normally put a mixed drink recipe here. But that just wouldn't be right. To appreciate Whiskey, start "Neat". That is, pour a shot in a nosing glass with no ice or water. First, observe the clarity, the color, and the intensity. Now smell. Avoid swirling. It's great for wine, but spirits will overpower your nose. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and inhale gently. Just free associate on what you smell. Now, finally, taste. How "hot" is it? How sweet? Does it have body or "mouth-feel"? What flavors do you detect? How long is the finish? Finally, do you LIKE it? Now add a little water or an ice cube and repeat all of the above steps. You may have a totally different experience with it diluted and chilled.
Beat 3 Reserve. Malted barley and corn are fermented then distilled at 150 proof in our pot/column still. The liquor is proofed to 120, charcoal filtered, and laid down on small charred American white oak barrels from Texas. The aged whiskey is proofed to 90, filtered one last time, and bottled by hand - all of this at our facility in Nashua, NH. Djinn Spirit's first aged whiskey goes on sale Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 10:00.
In any case, enjoy forming your opinions, and enjoy allowing your friends to form theirs. And stay out of bar fights. You might spill your whiskey.
Copyright © 2014 Djinn Spirits, All rights reserved.


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