Whisky Facts - Interesting Information about Whisky
As one of the most popular alcoholic beverages created from the distillation of grain based products, whisky managed to closely infuse itself into culture of many nations around the world, especially in its homeland of Scotland. 500 years ago, whisky that we know today became slowly widespread among Scottish people, brought to them by the Christian monks who guarded the secrets of fermentation of distillation.
Although history of distilled drinks goes back several thousand year before, the true popularity of whisky came only after 15th century Scotland. Hundreds distilleries were present there, and ensuing harsh taxation and struggles against English government pushed even more people to start producing whisky in their homemade illegal distilleries (so called “moonshine” whisky, called because of the fact that it was made only during night when officials could not see the smoke from the distilleries).
After the success it had in the northern Europe, knowledge of whisky production spread across entire world, enabling other rich grain producing countries to make their own types of whisky. This expansion sometimes came to stop, most notably in the early 20th century Prohibition in United States, when all forms of production and consumption of alcohol were forbidden (except medicinal whisky and religious red wine). After the whisky survived that obstacle, it continued to gain ground and today it represents one of the most popular alcoholic beverages, strongly standing beside beer, wine and vodka.
Here you can find some of the most interesting facts about whisky – drink that managed to became part of the historical heritage of Scotland and a part of a multibillion dollar export industry of entire northern England.
Although our history is filled with many interesting stories about alcoholic beverages, one that distinguishes itself from others is the fascinating tale of whisky. In its relative short period spend in our modern history, this drink managed to pass through many interesting good and bad periods.
The fact that whisky can be created from only three basic ingredients and very little technical equipment played a big role in its rise of popularity. This is a perfect place to find out more about entire process of its creation.
Do You Know These Facts about Whisky?
Here are some of the most notable facts that you must know about whisky:
- Distillation process, the key segment of whisky production was invented around four thousand years ago in the ancient civilizations of Babylon and Mesopotamia.
- First detailed description of came from 100AD, when Greek distilled sea water into drinking water.
- First modern record of whisky comes from 1494 Scotland, with the letter that described acquisition of raw material needed for the production of over 1500 whisky bottles. Apparently by then, whisky was already widespread.
- Whisky has two legitimate spellings. “Whisky” is used in Scotland and Canada, and “whiskey” is used by Irish and Americans.
- There are over 5000 types of Single Malt Whisky.
- Whisky was given its name from the Gaelic beverage “uiscebeatha”, which translates to “water of life”.
- Moderate use of whisky can bring many benefits to the human metabolism. It can prevent stroke, dementia, heart attack, clotted arteries, increase good cholesterol and fight against cancer cells.
- Whisky can exceptionally well withstand cold temperatures. Heroic Polar Explorers carried whisky on their journey to the South Pole, and whisky remained liquid even at -30 degrees Celsius.
- Whisky production represents second largest “money-making” industry in Scotland.
- Scottish whisky is distilled twice, Irish whisky thrice.
- Whisky can age only in wooden casks. In glass bottles it can survive for 100 years, but it will not change its flavor.
- Opened bottle of whisky can remain good for five years.
- Color of the whisky comes from oak casks (also around 60% of its flavor), and from small amount of caramel coloring.
- 90% of the Single Malt Whisky’s comes from Scotland.
- Whisky and rum represented majority of drinks that were used on the ships during the famous “Golden Age of the Piracy”.
- Every year 2-4% of all whisky in the world stored in a wooden barrels evaporate into air. That doesn’t happen with sealed glass bottles.
- Five largest regional made whiskies are Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon, Canadian Whisky and Tennessee Whiskey.
- 90% of whisky produced in UK is intended for export.
- To this day Irish and Scotts have disputes about who was first to make whisky.
Note: All figures are approximate; this site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.