Posts Tagged ‘theory’

Grand Whisky Infographics

We gathered in one place every basic things you need to know about whisky. Take a look at our nice infographics:

Whisky Infographics


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Healthy Alcohol Drinking this Summer

healthier drink this summer

Summer is knocking at the door and what great way to beat the summer heat than to drink champagne and cocktails during the happy hour. Raise your glasses!

But nothing lasts forever, and so does the happy hour. Did you ever stop to think about all the calories you drank then? I bet you didn’t, but you should have!

According to Crystal Bouchard, a dietitian from Bayhealth Medical Center, acetate is the byproduct of alcohol when it is being broken down by our body. It is also seen when our body breaks down fat or carbohydrates. However, only less work is needed when the body breaks down alcohol because it has lesser amounts of fiber and nutrients.

Thus, with only less work and burn, you will gain more weight when you drink alcohol.

“There’s no fiber, there’s nothing really going on there, so essentially when it breaks down it puts any other fat breakdown on hold,” says Bouchard.

If you don’t want to gain those unwanted weight, you should ask for “skinny” options from your bartender. Or, you can eat a filling meal before heading out for a drink. You may order appetizers at happy hour as well.

An important thing to keep in mind is that women shouldn’t drink more than one drink a day; while men should only have 2 drinks, at most. Here are some healthy cocktail tips.

healthier drink this summer

Happy Hour Drinks this Summer. www.delawareonline.com

Drink Only in Moderation

Note that champagne has about 84 calories; therefore, don’t mix it with sweetened juices and aim for a fresh, clean drink.

Lessen your Consumption of Crushes

Summer has always been the time of sipping Orange Crushes, which typically contains orange flavored vodka from Smirnoff, triple sec, and Sierra Mist with a freshly squeezed orange juice.

For a healthier option, you might want to do away with Sierra Mist and mix club soda for some zest, instead; or go with unsweetened spirits. You may opt for unflavored gin, vodka, rum, whisky, brandy, tequila, and cognac as they only contain 65 calories in one serving.

“There’s always a lower calorie alternative with mix-ins,” says Bouchard. “As long as it’s portioned out it’s totally acceptable.”

Namaste

“I would love to say beer is a healthy beverage, but it really is liquid bread,” the manager of Dogfish Head Brewery’s new Chesapeake and Maine restaurant, Mike Babcock, jokingly said.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, however. Dogfish Head Brewery’s Namaste or Festina Peche beers are among the light varieties of beer without that many calories. Light beer has an average of only 110 calories per serving.

Drink Wine Wisely

Choose wines that are drier and less sweet because they have fewer calories. A glass of wine has about 125 calories.

Choose Tequila

The “Original Agave” has Patron Citronge, El Jimador Tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar. You can do away with nectar to save some calories.

Use Cucumber

You can add flavor to your spirits by infusing cucumber. You might want to try the Salt and Pepper Cup of Chespeake and Maine as it contains cucumber slices that make the drink really refreshing.

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The Best Whisky Bars to Visit

Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C, USA

One of the best ways to ease stress is to go to a great bar and drink the best whiskies with some of your closest friends. In general, a bar is a place to have a good time and create good memories. So, here’s a list of the best bars that you should try in your lifetime.

Dick Macks

Dick Macks, located in Dingle, Ireland, is a family-operated bar established in 1899. Outside, you will see Hollywood-style slabs that have names of stars that visited the pub (Julia Roberts and Sean Connery, to name a few). Meanwhile, the bar’s walls are decorated with the family’s memorabilia. In its backrooms and slugs, you are allowed to have a sample of the many Irish greats. The bar also has space for drams that came from regions in Scotland. After building up the business with the help of Peter White from the Irish Whiskey Society, most of their stock came by word of mouth.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon is located in Washington D.C., USA. It boasts of 2,390 whiskies on its shelves, thereby having the widest selection in the Western World. The bar itself also has a huge space with a total of 6,700 square feet space designed with leather seats and ladders, and with 5 different bars.

The most popular tables, however, are located in the basement, the Dram & Grain, where customers actually book 2 hours of whisky-based cocktail experience. Aside from that, they also serve drams on draft, with different themes every week.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C, USA

Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C, USA. By www.telegraph.co.uk

Black Rock

Black Rock in London, UK is a whisky bar with a twist! At the center of the bar, there is an ancient 18-foot English oak, split in half and plumbed in with water taps and whisky. It has more than 250 bottles of the golden stuff and a whisky-only cocktail menu that is made to feature the unique flavors of different regions and styles.

Shot Bar Zoetrope

Shot Bar Zoetrope, owned by Atsushi Horigami of Tokyo, Japan, is home to whisky and American movies. From the neon streets of Shinjuku district, this intimate, quirky bar constantly plays a stream of black and white movies and 250 various drams are stored. Choices range from Venture Whisky to Japanese classic Nikka, and 3 in-house bottles.

Flatiron Room

The Flatiron Room in New York is home to around 1,000 whiskies — their staff has to use ladders to reach your favorites. They have a “Bottle Keep” service that would let you label the bottle with your name and store your favorite drink into whenever you drop by while enjoying plush banquettes and live jazz. If you can’t even tell bourbon from rye, you may book a session in their Whisky School upstairs.

Talisker Distillery

Talisker Distillery is located in the coastline of Carbost Bay at the Isle of Skye, Scotland. While it is not technically a bar, you can join tasting tours where you get to sample on of its single malt whiskies while you enjoy the scenery and ambiance.

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Why our Bodies React Differently to Different Types of Alcohol

Alcohol effects

We all have our downfalls when it comes to alcohol. And because we are all created unique, our “poison” may not be the same; you may easily get drunk with tequila, while your friend would get knocked out by vodka. While others claim that they don’t have alcohol downfalls at all, some swear that different alcohols cause varying effects. But what do scientists think about this? Are some alcohols worse for you than others?

Whatever your alcoholic drink may be, it contains the same ingredient: ethanol. Your liver acts to filter the blood from the digestive tract, this includes processing the alcohol-laden blood after drinking a glass of wine and other liquors. Although it is an efficient and effective organ, your liver can only handle so much at a time. Thus, when it becomes overloaded, the excess goes back to the blood stream and travel to every organ in your body, including your brain; this results in intoxication.

Alcohol concentration is a significant factor when it comes to the physical effects of alcohol. The amount of alcohol you sip will determine how difficult it is for the liver to process and absorb it. Thus, other ingredients may be contributing factors as to the effectiveness of your liver, as well as the sensations that you may feel. Additionally, impurities in poorly produced brands of alcohol may enhance its effects. But the most important of these components are “congeners”.

Alcohol effects

Scientific studies suggest different alcohols do have different effects due to alcohol concentration levels and other ingredients. Gerard Julien, Getty Images

Why we get Hangovers

Congeners are organic molecules produced during the fermentation process and contain small amounts of chemicals, like methanol, as well as other alcohols, esters, tannins, and acetone. Although they are usually found in darker-colored drinks, they influence the taste and aroma of all alcoholic beverages; their levels differ according to the type of alcohol and brand.

Congeners also contribute to the symptoms of hangover: that feeling of grogginess and headache the morning after drinking way too much. Although hangovers can’t kill you, they are a manifestation of poisoning in your blood. As we all know, blood is important in transporting oxygen (not alcohol) to your organs and tissues. Thus, alcoholic beverages that have higher levels of congeners are worse for your hangovers and your health than those with lesser ones.

Different Alcohols, Different Behaviors

A 1997 study shows that “different alcohols affect people differently” in the short term. In the study, psychologists pitted beer against a “blue, peppermint concoction” of exactly equal alcohol concentration. Those who drank the unfamiliar blue mixture performed worse on motor and cognitive tasks and rated themselves as more intoxicated than those who drank beer. According to researchers, the familiar drink arouses familiar cues that we respond to in a conditioned manner.

In conclusion, biology and psychology suggest that different types of alcohols do have some different effects that may be due to the concentration levels of the alcohol, as well as some other ingredients, such as the congeners. Still, the idea of trying the unfamiliar may go to our heads temporarily as much as the alcohol itself.

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Three Popular Varieties of Whiskey

whiskey

Were you ever curious about the difference of those dark hard liquors? If you thought they’re the same, then you might want to think again. Whiskeys come in different varieties; thus, it would helpful that we should know the difference between their three main types: bourbon, rye, and scotch.

Whiskey or whisky? Does it matter? No because they’re the same. However you spell it, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic drink that has been made from a fermented grain mash. It is aged in charred white oak casks, which gave it its brown color.

Whiskey is a broad category of hard drinks that generally differs in taste, smell and color. So, let’s differentiate its three main types.

whiskey

Different whiskies.Image by TinyPic

Bourbon

The name “bourbon” came from a place in Kentucky known as the “Old Bourbon”. Bourbon is a whiskey that has been distilled from corn. For a drink to be classified as bourbon, it must have at least 51 percent corn. Aside from that, it should be stored in charred oak containers with no additives.

Rye

As we all know, rye is a type of grass in the wheat family and it is closely related to barley. Rye whiskey is further classified into American whiskey, which is distilled from at least 51% rye and matured for two years or more; and Canadian whiskey, which may or may not actually contain rye during its production process. Complete in body and spice, rye whiskey — which is the closest cousin of bourbon since there was an increase in corn production in the US after Prohibition occurred – has been gaining popularity on the cocktail menus of many restaurants throughout the country in the last ten years.

Scotch

Scotch is a whisky (which is technically spelled without an “e”) that should be produced in Scotland. This drink is made up mostly of malted barley and is matured in oak barrels for approximately three years or even more. The number after the name of a bottle of Scotch whisky will typically tell how long the drink was aged. In terms of tastes, some Scotch taste a lot similar to bourbon. It has a signature smokiness that would linger at the end of a tasting. Because of that, some people would generally avoid it; meanwhile, others like the drinking experience.

Washington D.C.’s The Pig has over 70 choices of whiskeys on their menu that showcases the different shades and flavors of the many varieties whiskeys. While some are perfect for drinking on the rocks, others are ideally mixed into another drink.

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With Increasing Demands, There is Scotch Whisky Shortage

scotch whisky

Whisky fans, this concerns you! The world is currently short of single malt Scotch.

According to a report made by the CNN, there is high demand for Scottish nectar in which the distilleries have hard time supplying.

“The shortage of old and rare single malt… has already started, and it’s going to get worse,” said Rickesh Kishnani, the one who launched the first whisky investment fund in the world.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, the sales of single malt around the world have increased by 159 percent between year 2004 and 2014. A number of new markets have an increasing demand for the drink — especially Asia, which currently consumes about 20% of all the Scotch exports.

As we all know, single malt whisky talks years to produce. By rule, all Scotch whiskies should be aged for at least 3 years (distilleries, and the best ones are aged longer than 3 years). Because of the increasing demand, distilleries weren’t able to quickly keep up with the production. There are about 20 million casks maturing in the warehouses in Scotland.

scotch whisky

Don’t panic but we might be running out of Scotch. Credits to www.shortlist.com

According to several experts, this shortage could last for 10 to 14 years, and may cause the prices to increase relatively. The Investment Grade Scotch Whisky Index, which monitors the value of premium whiskies, has increased by about 14 percent last year.

“We are currently working at full capacity – seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic,” said Charles Whitfield, the brand manager for the Scotch whisky firm Macallan, during an interview with CNN Money. Currently, Macallan is building its second distillery that is expected to open next year.

“The ultimate challenge for the industry is how you predict what you will or won’t sell in the time it takes to mature Scotch. The distillers send millions on research into this specific question but it is still such an unknown quantity. You have to balance making enough with the ability to sell it. And single malts were never expected to be as successful as they become,” says Eddie Ludlow, the co-founder of The Whisky Lounge, during an interview with Telegraph.

Scotland is not the only whisky-producing country that is struggling to keep up with the increasing demands; American distillers producing bourbon whisky are facing the same problems as well. In 2013, in an effort to keep up with the demands, the Maker’s Mark brand cut the alcohol content from 45 percent to 42 percent; however, it created a negative effect that they were forced to abandon their plans.

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Knockdhu Distillery Introduces a Trendy Whisky

ancnoc blas whisky

Knockdhu distillery, located in the Speyside region of Scotland, has released a trendy whisky called the new anCnoc Blas Scotch. Although we all have varied taste preferences, this incredible whisky is stating a fact: this release is a collaborative project between Knockdhu and Patrick Grant (a fashion designer from Scotland) who was responsible for designing the packaging as they are making a non-age statement expression.

According to Knockdhu distillery, “Blas” means “taste” in the Gaelic language. It reflects the tastes of Grant as he spent more than a year in designing the print that you can see on the packaging with a little help from the fans of anCnoc who sent images and messages on social media that inspired the final design in many ways.

ancnoc blas whisky

In appearance, Blas is golden and honeyed. On the nose it is densely sweet and fruity with notes of lemon and candied orange peel. Photo by menswear223.rssing.com

“I spent a lot of time at Knockdhu not only taking in the landscape and surrounding areas, but getting to know the people that work there and the methods that they use. Everything in the print is from the hill, the village of Knock or within the distillery itself and tells the story of the making of Blas. I’ve tried to interpret anCnoc’s history and tradition in a modern way, and hope this is translated through the aesthetic of the bottle,” says Grant.

To give you a little bit more idea on the actual whisky in the beverage, it has 54% ABV and is drawn from Scotch matured in American and Spanish oak barrels, bottled without chill-filtration and coloring. It has a sweet and fruity smell with a hint of lemon and orange peel. Its bitter chocolate and vanilla tones give it complexity and weight. Blas has a full, oily taste with an initial burst of warm lemon tart, followed by hints of rum raisins and dark chocolate. There are notes of freshly cut grass that gives balance and freshness. It has an after taste of bitter-sweet cocoa.

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Get Ready for the Limited Edition Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016

Yamakazi sherry cask 2016

Suntory, the producer of the Best Whisky in the World in 2015, is set to introduce the single malt Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 in February after the success of their 2013 edition.

What you should know?

  • The Sherry casks where the 2016 edition has been matured are sourced by Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory’s master blender himself, from Spain.
  • The Sherry Cask 2016 is in great company as it will be joining the Yamazaki’s casks collection that includes bottles that were aged in oak, Bourbon, and Mizunara barrels.
  • Its base will be made up of similar kinds of whiskies that were used during the award-winning 2013 release. It will be bottled at 48% ABV. This no-age statement expression 2016 blend was actually matured for 2 more years. The blend also has a variety of rare sherry cask single malt whiskies that were carefully chosen from over 100 malt whiskies — some of them are more than 25 years old.
  • According to their master blender, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 is blended for those who love refined and subtle tastes.
  • There will be a new bottle to hunt down in 2016 for Connoisseurs of Japanese whisky. It will be priced at Rs 20,000 and only 5,000 bottles will be sold in specialist whisky stores and bars starting on the 1st of February 2016.
Yamakazi sherry cask 2016

Yamakazi sherry cask 2016. From www.gqindia.com

The European Release

It was recently announced that Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 will be released in Europe. But since about 1,500 bottles out of the 5,000 are to be released in the Japanese market, it can be concluded that the rest will be shared between Asian, American, and European market. And while it is released in Japan in February 1st, it may take about a few weeks to months before it will be available in other parts of the world.

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How to Start a New Malt Whisky Business?

malt whisky

Jim Swan, a whisky consultant once said that if you are selling every little thing you make, you are making your own money. He advises all the distilleries about Scotland’s prized single malt whiskies. Single malts are whiskies coming from one distillery with the use of malted berry alone. This is most commonly offered at higher price than whiskies that are blended.

The industry is soaring high these days. According to Scotch whisky Association, there has been a 5% increase in the first half of 2015 amounting to £406m. While many business-minded people are considering a malt whisky business a good investment, it is a fact that not all can push this through.

Establishing this kind of business will need one to shell out millions of pounds first. A period of 10 years should be waited for the whisky to be ready for sale. With at least £5m, one can start making whisky and then spend more to continue making until the year comes when the whisky is ready to be sold.

malt whisky

What does it take to create a new malt whisky business? Photo(c): www.spirit-hunters.com

To be able to continue running a small puree, one should have at least £250,000 each year. The hardest part here is that eight to ten years may be needed in order to break even. But, still there are a lot of distilleries in Scotland, which is the largest single malt producer in the world. Apparently, there are 117 in total, and 30 of them are small and independent.

According to Douglas Clement, the founder of Kingsbarn Distillery, there will be huge challenges you are going to face when it comes to your initial investment and the waiting time for your product to be out the market. He also added that the only setback when it comes to whisky is that you will have to wait 10 years to see your profits.

Stuart Nickerson has also worked in the whisky industry for a period of three decades. He was with his wife and the couple Frank and Debbie Strang in establishing the Shetland Distillery. They use their own money and grant coming from Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency. In November 2014, they started selling.

Another man who has entered the whisky industry is Anthony Wills who founded Kilchoman Distillery. For him, it is all about weighing your options before starting the business.

These three men believe in the promise of whisky business. It comes with a lot of challenges though but for them, it will all be worth it.

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Vodka from the Deep Ocean?

vodka

The Hawaiian Sea Spirits Distillery and Organic Farm, situated along the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano in Kula, are doing something out of the ordinary: they are taking deep ocean water and turning it into a premium drink!

The Smiths started to experiment with the ocean water in an effort to make an eco-friendly ingredient for vodka that has an exquisite taste. In 2005, they decided to use one of the largest life forces of Maui (the ocean around it) to create a vodka that is unique to their island. They combined organic sugar cane with mineral-rich ocean water that is taken from 3,000 feet below the coast of Kona near the Big Island.

Why they decided to use Ocean Water?

According to Bill Scott, it was the idea of their founder, Shay Smith, to combine the essence of Hawaii and Maui to their products. Being situated in little islands in a large body of water, Hawaii is naturally bound to the ocean. Bill said that they respect how the ocean gives life to the people, which is why they branded their product as “Ocean” as it is the very DNA of their company. They think it was the best way of really showing their love for the ocean.

Desalinizing Water

Their company partnered with Koyo USA, located in Kona. Koyo USA have license and rights for utilizing water that is drawn from over 3,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. The pipe gets water that started as a snowmelt from the North Atlantic arctic region. It would take approximately 2,000 years to reach Kona via the Global Conveyor Belt, a current in the very deep ocean.

vodka

Photo by Jessica Pearl, courtesy of Hawaiian Sea Spirits Distillery.

According to Koyo, they draw this fresh ocean water at a chilly 42 degrees Fahrenheit and utilize reverse osmosis to remove majority of the salts. This process have the ability to take in adequate amount of essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium), making their water a deep-ocean mineral water.

How does Ocean Water Affect the Quality of the Vodka?

Ocean vodka is comprised of 60% water; therefore, water as an ingredient is very essential. When manufacturing distilled spirits, it is vital to be consistent. Minor variations in the quality of water may be devastating to the products.

Incorporating Sugar Cane

The juice from the sugar cane is collected and filtered than placed on a fermentation process for 3 to 4 days. After fermentation, juice will become a beer which will be heated in a pot until the alcohol is vaporized. The alcohol vapors, in turn, are collected and converted back to liquid form, resulting in a 40% alcohol solution called the “low wines spirit”. This will then be re-distilled resulting in over 193 proof. Finished spirits will then be blended with deep-ocean mineral water to create Ocean vodka.

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