Usquaebach Scotch Whisky (pronounced “oos-ke-bah”) is getting new distribution in New York and New Jersey. They’ve partnered up with Domaine Select Merchants. Usquaebach can trace its origins to the 16th century. The name Usquaebach is from ancient Gaelic phrase “uisge beatha” which means water of life, from which the word “whisky” is actually derived from.
I’m sure you’ve heard of whiskey stones (or whisky stones for the Scotch drinkers), otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But what are they? Simply put, whiskey stones are stones you put in your whiskey. But why put rocks in your glass of whiskey, or gin or vodka etc? Usually people enjoy their whiskey or favorite booze with ice, also known as “on the rocks”. This is to keep your drink cool and for some, make it easier to enjoy.
The problem with this however is that it will eventually dilute your whiskey, and if you’re drinking an expensive single malt you don’t want that to happen. That’s the reason for whiskey stones. Usually made out of granite or soapstone you keep them in the fridge to cool them then just add them to your favorite glass of whiskey, they’ll keep your drink cool without diluting it. Whiskey stones aren’t only for whiskey however, they work well for rum, vodka, gin, tequila and more.
Check out our Shop Whiskey Stones page to view some for sale.
Granite whiskey stones are very popular, but there’s a new alternative for those who don’t want rocks in their whiskey, stainless steel. Just like with granite whiskey stones stainless steel versions won’t dilute your drink. They also stay colder longer than traditional whiskey stones.
They’re pretty affordable at just $9.99 shipped.
The Bourbon Whiskey is a whiskey that originated in the United States, specifically in Bourbon Kentucky, that is made from corn. A whiskey is called a bourbon whiskey if it is distilled in the Kentucky areas. This whiskey is known to be the U.S counterpart of the Scotch whiskey from Scotland.
The History and Origin of Bourbon
There are actually a lot of stories related to the history and origin of the bourbon whiskey but one thing is a fact: the bourbon whiskey originated in Bourbon County, Kentucky which is why it got its name. One most popular story about the history of the bourbon whiskey is the Elijah Craig history wherein it is said that Elijah Craig, who was Baptist minister, was the first person to ever apply the idea of bourbon distillation in oak barrels.
But another history tells that the bourbon whiskey was truly given its name when Scottish settlers landed on Kentucky. Since they came from the place of Scotch whiskey, they also started distilling whiskeys in Bourbon Kentucky but instead of calling the drink scotch whiskey, they named it bourbon whiskey since it was distilled in Bourbon County.
Still, even if there are a number of origins associated with the bourbon whiskey, one thing is for sure; since bourbon whiskey came from Bourbon Kentucky, it deserves its name no matter who first distilled it or who named it that way. This is the reason why even if there are a lot of bourbon distilleries in the U.S, the ones that are distilled in Bourbon Kentucky are the ones called straight bourbon whiskey.
How Bourbon Whiskey is made
The bourbon whiskey does not only have a flavorful history but also a flavorful process of distillation. The main ingredient used to make the bourbon whiskey is corn or the mash bill. The first process of distilling or making the bourbon whiskey is the grinding process wherein the grain, or the corn, is being ground and water is mixed to it. Then the next process is the mixing. This refers to adding yeast to the ground mixture so that fermentation can take place. The next process is the distillation wherein alcohol is mixed to the mixture and the alcohol mixture is said to be from 65 percent to 80 percent.
Then, after that, the aging process is applied wherein this is done by placing the spirit inside new oak barrels charred on the inside. This process lasts for a very long time. The final process is the maturation wherein when the bourbon matures; it is now placed inside bottles. The main ingredient, the newly charred oak barrels as well the aging and maturation processes all contribute to giving the bourbon whiskey its flavorful taste.
How is the Bourbon whiskey related to the Scotch whisky?
First, according to history and origin, the scotch whiskey was distilled in Scotland and according to history as well, the bourbon whiskey is distilled in Bourbon Kentucky by Scottish settlers. With this, both whiskies have Scottish traces and the only difference is that they are distilled or created from different places.
Second, both whiskies come from grains so they are pretty much the same in effects and taste and the only difference is the type of grain used. The scotch whiskey was made from malt barley while the bourbon whiskey is made from corn or the mash bill.
Lastly, both the Scotch whisky and the bourbon whiskey are aged in oak barrels so they both have that oak barrel effect and taste. The only difference is the type of oak barrel used. The scotch whiskey is aged in used oak barrels while the bourbon whiskey is aged in new oak barrels.
Still, because of the nearly similar process and taste, their relationship is said to be that of the apple and the pear.
What Makes the Bourbon Whiskey Popular?
Nowadays, among other types of whiskies in the United States, the bourbon whiskey is the most popular and here are some reasons why it is popular:
• Aged in new oak barrels. The fact that the bourbon whiskey is aged in new oak barrels makes it a very flavorful whiskey. It is now known to have sweeter flavor but very excellent oak taste and so, because of its flavor and taste, the bourbon whiskey is rising in popularity.
• The numerous brands of bourbon nowadays. Bourbon whiskey is popular nowadays because of the many brands of bourbon already. These brands vary in taste so you’ll have lots to choose from.
• It is related to the scotch whiskey. Bourbon whiskey is popular because if you are craving for scotch whiskey and it is unavailable, you can simply try the bourbon whiskey to satisfy your cravings for scotch whiskey.
3 Popular brands of bourbon
1. Blantons. This brand of bourbon whiskey originated before the civil war because that is the time when the Blanton family made this spirit. It just started being market and getting popular in 1984.
2. Jim Beam. This popular brand of bourbon whiskey was made by seven generation of Beams. It was created 200 years ago already from Jacob Beam to Fred Noe. Like other established brands of Bourbon, Jim Beam also went through the great depression, the civil war and whiskey distillation prohibitions. Obviously, the brand got its name from the Beam family.
3. Wild Turkey. This popular brand of bourbon whiskey originated when the Ripy brothers brought a sample of their distilled spirit during a wild turkey hunting trip. The spirit has no brand name yet but because their friends were looking for the spirit during the wild turkey hunting, the brothers thought about giving that name to their bourbon whiskey brand.
Considering the very colorful history of the bourbon whiskey in the United States as well as the process by which it was made, it’s really not a surprise why this type of whiskey is making a name in the whiskey industry already and it is also not a surprise why a lot of bourbon whiskey brands are slowly increasing their numbers.
Scotch whisky, also commonly known as “scotch”, is a very familiar term referring to a type of alcoholic beverage that originated from Scotland. That explains why it is called “scotch”. This type of beverage is made from malt barley, but nowadays, a lot of scotch is already made of other types of grains as well such as wheat and rye. Scotch is a very popular beverage and it is even mentioned in the movies.
This Scottish drink is actually called “uisge beatha” and this means “water of life”. The basic but most important fact about the scotch is that is distilled from Scotland. It can no way be called scotch unless produced from Scotland.
THE HISTORY OF “SCOTCH”
Scotch is not only popular because of its unique taste among other drinks, but it is also popular because it is one of the oldest drinks in history. The history of scotch can be traced back in 1494 where distillation in Scotland was known to be popular. When distillation was introduced to Scotland, it was never for the process of creating drinks and spirits. Distillation during that era was mainly used for perfumes.
When the process of distillation was used for wines, the discovery of using this process for grains like cereals and malt came next. This is where the discovery of scotch started. However, the discovery of this drink was primarily for medicinal purposes. It was not meant for pleasure drinking but for curing several illnesses. It was King James IV, Scotland’s great Renaissance king, who first started drinking scotch for pleasure. This is where scotch started to gain popularity as pleasure drinks aside from simply being a medicinal drinks.
However, scotch distillation was deemed illegal at first because of possible harm it could cause. It was during the year 1823, when the Excise Act was passed that the scotch industry was started. And now, the popularity of the scotch no longer ceases to decrease. In fact, scotch distillation is just getting better and better.
TYPES OF SCOTCH WHISKY
Speaking of scotch, there are different types of whiskies such as the single malt, the single grain, the blended scotch and the pure malt whiskies. What makes these types of scotch whiskies different from each other?
• The single malt whisky – This type of scotch refers to scotch that uses only one grain ingredient, which is the malt barley as well as malt that comes from a single distillery. This is the most common type and probably the original type of scotch distilled using pot distillation process. This type of scotch is mostly produced in several regions in Scotland such as in the Highlands such as in Speyside, the Lowlands, Campbeltown and in Islay.
• The Single Grain whisky – Basically, this type of scotch refers to whisky that is made from other grains aside from barley like rye, corn, or wheat. This type of whisky is produced at a single distillery but with the use of one or more grains, unlike the malt whisky that uses only malt barley. This type of whisky is also one of the most produced types of scotch whiskies. Scotland regions with distilleries that produce this type of whisky are Fife, Edinburgh, Gorbals, Alexandria, and Livingston regions. These regions are usually where the most popular scotch distilleries are located.
• The Blended Scotch whisky – This type of scotch refers to either blended malt whisky or blended grain whisky. The point here is that blended whiskies are those that contain different grain and malt whiskies from different scotch distilleries in Scotland. Blended whiskies are usually the most popular scotch nowadays because of its uniquely combined taste. Manufacturers gather various grain whiskies and malt whiskies aged about 5 years already but other manufacturers of blended whiskies use higher aged grain and malt whiskies. A lot of distilleries in Scotland from several scotch producing regions already produce this type of scotch.
• The Blended Malt or Pure Malt whisky – This is also a combination of whiskies from different distilleries but the only difference is that this contains no combination of malt and grain whiskies. This combination only consists of pure malts from various malt distilleries. Unlike other types of whiskies, this is one of the most uncommon but it is also one of the most popular types. Not many distilleries in Scotland produce this type but distilleries in the Highland regions usually produce this.
POPULAR SCOTCH WHISKY BRANDS
Nowadays, there are several popular brands of scotch you may be familiar with. They are either blended, single grain, single malt, or pure malt types of whiskies. But no matter what type they are, these brands have made a name in the scotch industry because of their excellent taste.
The top 5 brands of scotch whiskies in the world are:
1. Johnnie Walker Green by Diageo
2. Balantine’s by Pernod Ricard
3. Grant’s by William Grant & Sons Ltd.
4. J&B Rare by Justerini & Brooks
5. Chivas Regal by Chivas Brothers
Jim Beam is releasing a special edition whiskey to celebrate the history of the Jim Beam brand and all the bourbon they’ve produced throughout the many years they’ve been in business. The new Jim Beam 1795 goes for $175 and is an eight year old 95 proof bourbon that is sourced from the top floor of their five-floor rack house. The top floor is where all the best whiskies come from, and where the famous “angel’s share” takes place. The new Jim Beam 1795 will be limited to only 200 flint glass bottles. For whatever reason this special edition bourbon is only available in one place in the world, the Heinemann Duty Free store in Frankfurt, Germany.
Although this is a site dedicated to whiskies, we won’t pass up on an opportunity to try out some other spirits! Today is National Tequila Day, a day dedicated to all things tequila!
Porsche Design created this cool Johnnie Walker Blue Label private bar that goes for a pricey $155,000. It stands over six feet tall and has a brushed stainless steel exterior finish, Australian lace wood, shagreen leather and a motion-activating opening door. It comes with a magnum bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label as well as two regular sized bottles as well. It also has a hidden chilled compartment that rises out from within the bar. It must be nice to enjoy such splendor.
Have you ever found something in your house you didn’t expect? I bet it wasn’t a nearly 100 year old bottle of whiskey. A homeowner in Missouri was making renovations to his old house when he stumbled upon 13 bottles of American whiskey that was almost 100 years old. It was hidden under the floor boards of his attic where he was going to install a central air conditioner. The bottles of Old Crow Whiskey were distilled in 1913 and bottled back in 1917.
The United States wasn’t the first nation to distill whiskey, but it sure has a lot of great whiskey makers. From Kentucky, to Rye to Bourbon, the US is home to many fine whiskey makers. The map above from Whiskey Republic shows all the various whiskey makers from across the United States, pretty sweet.