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Recognising an exceptional whiskey

December 18, 2014 • Wines & Spirits

The tasting of whiskey can be exceptional when one knows how to distinguish good whiskey from bad ones. This brandy can have a multitude of different tastes, according to their origins, their history and the savoir-faire behind it.

 

The single malt, a safe bet

Every whiskey connoisseur will recommend the single malt to a potential enthusiast of this brandy. Single malt is a whiskey exclusively composed of malted barley, from a unique distillery. Hence, this aspect of the process can be considered proof of quality.

Contrary to a single malt, blended whiskey is composed of two or more whiskeys, often considered less pure – and often cheaper, some remain ideal for tasting.

 

whiskey tasting

 

The degree of alcohol of a good whiskey

The degree of alcohol allowed in a whiskey must be of no less than 40°. This number is most important in the choice of a good whiskey as the lower the degree of alcohol the more water it contains. Indeed, it is a method used by manufacturers to lower their production costs.

Specialists agree that a whiskey becomes savoury around 46° of alcohol. Underneath this threshold, the liquid is more water than actual brandy.

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The whiskey’s age

As is the case for wine, the aging of whiskey is an indispensable factor in the recognition of the greatest whiskeys. It is important to know that the time during which a whiskey ferments inside a barrel. A minimum of three years is recommended.

The optimal aging period for this type of brandy varies according to the ingredients used. The older it is , the more bitter the whiskey becomes and the less discernible its flavour. A 12 year old brandy is recommended when tasting whiskey for the first time.

Contrary to wine, whiskey does not ferment once bottled up.

 

 

Finally, despite the fact that the origins of whiskey lie in Scotland, excellent whiskeys are also produced in Ireland, the united States and even in Japan.

 

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