As we approach World Whisky Day happening on the 18th May 2019, Johnnie Walker, the World’s Number 1 Whisky would like to prepare you for the day ahead, so you know precisely what you’re talking about when it comes to the drink at hand. Not only will these facts make for impressive dinner conversation, but you will also amaze your work colleagues and every connoisseur with your new found knowledge. Usually addressed as “The Wall Street Wine”, whisky has for many decades been perceived as a “manly” drink, but the world has truly evolved with many females across the globe enjoying the liquid just as much, in many different serves and drinking occasions. The question, however, is…Do you know as much about this category as think you do?
The main differences between types of whisky are down to three things: the grain used; the production process – where the whisky was made; and how long it was matured for.
The origin of whisky began over 1000 year ago when distillation made the migration from mainland Europe into Scotland and Ireland via traveling monks. The Scottish and Irish monasteries, lacking the vineyards and grapes of the continent, turn to fermenting grain mash, resulting in the first distillations of modern whisky.
The spelling of the word also has two variants, whisky “ky” is used when referring to giving life at social gatherings, meetings and Scottish whisky. Whiskey” spelt by the Irish with an “ey” is a Gaelic word which means “water of life”.
At Johnnie Walker, how you drink your Whisky is your personal preference, there are no mandatories! Brand ambassador for Diageo, Reginald Mthembu, says “you should play with a cube of ice in your mouth before taking the first sip, then adding a block or two only into the glass with whisky and have a second sip. If you feel that the whisky is still too bold, add a few drops of water then have a third sip. As a new entrant to whisky or if you are not much of a whisky drinker, add ice and a mixer to your single or double tot and have that as your fourth sip. Between the four sips, one will resonate and then you crescendo from there. Consume it how you like it or want, people have just started experimenting with whisky & it’s even delicious in cocktails”.
Below are some additional interesting and fun facts researched all over the globe, brought to you by Johnnie Walker for you to kick-start the conversation:
- There are five basic classifications of whisky – Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Bourbon, Canadian Whisky and American Whisky.
- A closed bottle of whisky can be kept for more than 100 years and it will still be good to drink.
- Whisky is beer that’s been distilled two or three times. To distil whisky, you first have to make beer.
- Angel’s share is the name given to the alcohol that evaporates from a cask as the whisky is maturing in a warehouse. In Scotland and Ireland, this is approximately 2% of the contents of each cask each year, although this amount is higher in other countries with warmer climates.
- John ‘Johnnie’ Walker was a grocer in Kilmarnock, Scotland in the mid-1800s who specialised in blending teabefore he decided to start blending whisky.
- Different versions of Whisky are called “expressions”
- The color of whisky comes from the wooden barrels in which it is aged. The wood expands and contracts with the change in temperature, making the movie in and out of the wood. The compounds from wood give whisky its dark color.
- The Iconic and distinctive shape of the Johnnie Walker bottle was originally introduced for ease of transportation, to reduce breakages and to ensure there was no wasted space in shipping crates.
- Whisky needs 3 years to age, only after a minimum of 3 years of aging can Scottish whisky be referred to as Scotch
- The famous striding man seen on a bottle of Johnnie Walker was first drawn in 1908, the sketch was based on a London Dandy with his extravagant clothing including a fuzz covered top hat, monocle and walking cane. He only started to appear on the packaging from the 1950s, featuring only on adverts before then. The striding man changed direction in 1999 for the launch of the Keep Walking campaign, to depict him walking forwards into the new millennium.