Whisky can benefit from being slightly diluted with water when tasting: the whisky is “unlocked” and the aromas can be better perceived. A whisky pipette enables the exact dosing of the water into the glasses and is an popular accessory for connoisseurs. For those not willing to part with a couple of quid for a pipette a water jug and teaspoon are an excellent fallback, though there’s no denying whisky aater sropper shaped like pot stills, angel or thistles are pretty stylish!
Esters form a group of organic compounds that are formed primarily during the fermentation process as a reaction of oxygen, acid and an alcohol with the elimination of water (a condensation reaction). Many ester compounds in alcohol result in fruity aromas. To understand esters take as an example the tasting notes for two whiskies Note one - Tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya and banana, with a hint of coconut and a little glue Note two Fruity, with dark, ripe fruits like blackberries, plums, cherries and raisins pickled in rum, accompanied by cinnamon and star anise These distinctly different tasting notes are based on whiskies created using the exact same ingredients - water, barley and yeast.
One of the latest trends among spirits, and therefore also among whiskies, is the advancement of the organic movement. Organic wines have been on the rise so it was likely only a matter of time before this was observed in the whisky industry as well. Although the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), has formulated its own sustainability goals, and a number of distilleries have started to make environmental improvements the introduction of organic whisky is not part of this trend.
Starch is a widespread organic product in the plant world and is present in barley at around 60%. Starch is a long-chain polymer of glucose molecules joined together to store the glucose made by photosynthesis. To begin the fermentation process and make alcohol however the starch must be broken down into fermentable sugars. Starch contains around 20-30% amylose and 70-80% amylopectin. Amylose consists of hundreds to thousands (approx. 200-5,000) glucose units linked together, is in long chains and forms a spiral structure.
Probably the most popular and best-selling American whiskey in the world is made according to the prescribed law in the classic way as bourbon. However, the fresh distillate, White Dog to the Americans and New Make to the Scots, undergoes an additional filtration step before it can mature into Jack Daniel’s in charred virgin oak casks. Who invented charcoal mellowing Alfred Eaton is generally credited with inventing the charcoal mellowing process in 1825, commonly called the Lincoln County Process “named after the county in which the original Jack Daniel’s distillery was located”.