Posts Tagged ‘theory’

Alcohol that Saves Water? Ecofriendly Elixir

Diageo brands

“Save water, drink alcohol!” … That’s like cutting off sugars and eating more pasta and bread. However, you can  help decrease water consumption by buying alcohol from brands that use environment-friendly processes. In turn, you are helping support manufacturing methods that benefits everybody.

How is Alcohol Produced?

You might not know it, but alcohol production was once a water-intensive process. To make it worse, the production waste is deemed unusable. With increasing water demands, these manufacturing methods aren’t sustainable anymore. Alcohol producers are beginning to identify ways in lessening the environmental impact. Fortunately, their efforts are starting to pay forward.

An Eco-Friendly Alcohol

Diageo, a leader in the beverage industry around the world, has over 50 brands under its wings. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, and Captain Morgan drinks. They produce their beverages in more than 30 countries worldwide, many of which are said to be water-stressed. In order to make sure that their local and global production is eco-friendly and sustainable, Diageo has started to make an effort in lessening water consumption, waste water production, and water draw by 50 percent — they aim to achieve this by 2020.

Diageo brands

Diageo Reserve Collection. Photo credits to www.thedrum.com

For the last two years, the company has reduced its water usage by about 2.5%. On average, they use 6.9 liters of water for every alcohol they produce and they aim to reduce this even further. Moreover, Diageo has reduced their waste water output by 12% at water-stressed areas. Their water drawing has also decreased by 9% on average.

In addition, they also plan to reduce packaging by 15%, use 45% recycled materials, produce 100% recyclable packaging, and give back to water-stressed areas.

How Feasible is Diageo’s Plan?

Diageo’s plan is attainable primarily because other producers succeeded. Spirits and wines aren’t only the ones that require huge amounts of water, beer production does too. Last 2008, SAB Miller, among the largest beverage companies worldwide, set goals to reduce water consumption by 25% in a span of 7 years. Astonishingly, they didn’t only achieve their goals, they did it in less than 7 years!

Today, approximately 59% of SAB Miller brewers utilize less than 3.5 hectoliters of water to produce 1 hectoliter of beer; only 5 percent of the SAB Miller brewers met this goal last 2008. With this level of water conservation, the company has saved about 28 billion liters of water every year. Needless to say, this is quite a large amount already.

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The Growth of the Luxury Spirits from 2010 to 2020

Luxury spirits is referred to as the aggregation of the luxury brands in every category in terms of price and their status within their category.

According to the figures from Euromonitor International, the value of luxury spirits market will reach £12.8 billion in 2020 based on the current exchange rates and prices.

On the other hand, the volume of sales made in the spirits category is thought to slow down to a near stop from 2015 to 2020, says the recent research by the IWSR.

The main player in the luxury spirits market will still be the US with a growth in value to £4.9 billion in 2020 from £2.5 billion. Meanwhile, the UK is expected to have a growth from £432 million to £525 million.

Different categories of luxury spirits are expected to grow by the end of this current decade; most notably mescal/tequila, and whisky — from £579 million to £1.2 billion and £1.9 billion to £4.1 billion.

whisky exchange

Luxury Spirits Gifts. Image: www.thewhiskyexchange.com

Global growth of luxury spirit in the last half of the decade (2015 to 2020), however, will be slower than the last 5 years. This growth slowdown will only affect some of the major markets. The US, who has seen 52% growth in 2010 to 2015, will only be seeing a 31.1% growth in 2015 to 2020.

According to Spiros Malandrakis, the senior analyst of Euromonitor International, the major benchmark of the Luxury spirits industry is the great recession. Western luxury brands were pushed to focus more on developing nations and China. And although China has suffered from recession, they are still open to western companies.

“But the latest benchmark in luxury spirits has been this bubble in China bursting, in line with crackdown on extravagant spending brought in by the government. This came at a time when sophistication of the Chinese palate increased,” says Malandrakis.

However, the biggest issue recently has been on how luxury brands would stand out from its standard and premium counterparts.

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Wholesale Irish Whiskey: Supporting Economic Growth

whiskey brands

Comepcon reports for The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey company that small Irish Whiskey brands might experience serious supply shortages without establishing a wholesale market for a bulk Irish whiskey. They also reported significant barriers to entry for companies entering the Irish whiskey market which can be addressed through bulk wholesale.

The findings were based on the analysis of the performance of the industry for Irish Whiskey and its ability to contribute to the economy of Ireland compared to the Scotch whisky industry.

whiskey brands

Scotch VS Irish Whiskey: What’s The Difference?. Photo(c): www.youtube.com

The Main Points for the Report

  • In terms of exports, Scotch whisky has exported over $5.3 billion in 2014; while Irish whisky exported only $372 billion.
  • Unlike the Scotch whisky industry, Ireland don’t have a functioning market for wholesale whisky; thereby, creating doubts in costs and supply from new entrants.
  • The wholesale market for whiskeys in Scotland has encouraged the growth of the industry, having about 5,000 blended whiskeys and hundreds of malts. This enabled entrants to create their own brands.
  • In Ireland, there are only 4 distilleries that produce mature whiskeys; while in Scotland, they have about 115 operational distilleries, with 30 new facilities that are still under construction.
  • There are several barriers to entry in Irish whiskey industry, such as the mandatory 3-year maturation period before products are sold.
  • Currently, there are several companies that created Irish whisky brands; however, they were undermined due to the lack of supply of mature whiskeys.
  • The creation of a wholesale market for Irish whiskeys would be a very effective way of promoting new exports from Irish whiskey companies.
  • Having more whiskey brands might yield significant benefits in Ireland’s economy in terms of employment, production, and exports.

According to the Director of Compecon, Pat Massey, their analysis shows the fundamental challenges that the smaller Irish whiskey brands are facing in Ireland recently. Although there is an increase in demand for it, at home and abroad, potential small companies at large are stifled due to the lack of adequate support measures from the industry.

He added that the wholesale market is crucial for SMEs to be successful at the early stage of business; it is essential for the entire industry as well. According to the Irish Whiskey Association, it should be deemed possible to enter the whiskey market without having to build distilleries.

The Chairman and Co-Founder of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, Andre Levy, said, “Issues such as high cost of market entry, the presence of larger established market players, controlling supply and the difficulty in accessing a long-term and competitive mature whiskey supply. These are prohibitive to new market entrants and threaten existing brands looking to survive, grow sustainably and share in the category they played a part in growing.”

Levy also calls for the Irish Government to support the immediate establishment for wholesale market of Irish Whiskeys; adding that they believe that the Government has an essential role in supporting the SME sector as they continue to work to help economic growth.

The Irish Whiskey Association, on the other hand, says that properly functioning internal wholesale market is essential to encourage new entrants, decrease the risk of business models, as well as to encourage a more efficient use of capacity.

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First Ever Canadian Whisky to Win the Whisky of the Year Award

best whisky

Jim Murray, the renowned whisky writer, awarded Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye as the 2016 World Whisky of the Year — the first time in history for a Canadian Whisky to receive an honor. Canadian and Rye whisky has been increasingly popular among whisky aficionados and consumers lately.

“Crown Royal Northern Harvest pops up out of nowhere and changes the game. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian Rye. To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice,” says Murray as he awarded them, with a record of 97.5 out of 100 points.

best whisky

From Purple Felt Drawstring Bags to 2016 World Whisky of the Year. Photo courtesy: gearpatrol.com

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was only released in the US early this year. It features the distinct Canadian rye whisky that consumers loved throughout the years. This latest variant is the first ever blended variant with 90% rye whisky. It gives out a smooth and spicy flavor which can be blended with rye cocktails. You can also have it neat or on the rocks, depending on your preference.

“Crown Royal Northern harvest Rye showcases the rye whiskey that has been such an integral component of the Crown Royal Deluxe blend since 1939. This is a testament to the unbelievable blending and distilling that’s been taking place in Gimli for over 75 years. We are thrilled that Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has been named World Whisky of the Year!” says the Vice President of Crown Royal, Yvonne Briese.

The recognition from the whisky community comes after they’ve launched their new campaign entitled “The One Made for a King”. This campaign was created to share the 75-year-old brand’s history, as well as its credentials with some of its consumers. It will come out in digital and social, as well as print and TV.

Aside from the 2016 World Whisky of the Year award, the Crown Royal Northern Harvest was also awarded with a double gold medal during the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This new variant is part of Crown Royal’s wide portfolio of variants that whisky drinkers would love to enjoy; this includes the Crown Royal Regal Apple. The Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel was also a recipient of a double gold recognition and a winner of the “Best Canadian Whisky” award during last year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

As Crown Royal raises a glass in celebration winning an award for their Northern Harvest Rye, they are still keen on reminding their consumers to drink responsibly.

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Understanding Whiskeys: How and Where They Are Made

whisky or whiskey

In the vast world of whiskeys, it actually has a lot of classifications styles and origins such as Bourbon, Scotch and rye whiskey; and all of these may be difficult to differentiate, especially for those who are new to these terms. What is the difference between whisky and whiskey? What are single malts and blends? Here is a comprehensive guide to the origin and meaning of whisk(e)ys.

First and foremost, let us know what whisky and whiskey are. There is actually no difference between the two. The general rule is that if the liquor is made in Canada, Japan, or Scotland; it is spelled as “whisky”. However, if it is from Ireland and United States, it is spelled as “whiskey”. But still, Maker’s Mark and Old Forester are made in America but they label themselves as “whisky”. Therefore, the spellings don’t matter at all.

whisky or whiskey

American Whiskey

When people hear about American whiskey, they immediately think “bourbon”; however, it is actually more than that.

Bourbon

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is made up of approximately 51% of corn; it is aged in new oak barrels that are charred. The rule that bourbon should rest only in new oak barrels is primarily the reason why bourbon barrels are used to age Scotch and other products. There is a popular belief that bourbon is made in Kentucky; in contrast to that, it can actually be produced in any state of the US.

Bonded Whiskey

Bonded whiskey, otherwise known as “bottled in bond”, is a type of American whiskey that is made at a particular distillery during a specific season. It requires to be aged for a minimum of 4 years and to be bottled at 50% ABV.

Moonshine

The moonshine whiskey is not just any other white whiskey. It is said to be produced illegally. It is un-aged and is typically made from corn or mostly corn; sugar and other grains may also be included to the solution.

Rye

The American rye whiskey contains at least 51% rye. The process of aging is just like that of the bourbon’s.

Straight

Straight whiskey is typically just any American whiskey that has been aged for at least 2 years. They do not have any colorings or flavorings. The age of this type of whiskey should be listed on its label especially those less than 4 years. If it is used to make rye or bourbon, it should be able to qualify to its standards in order to be included in its classification.

Tennessee Whiskey

According to the law, Tennessee whiskey should be produced and made in Tennessee and that it should also meet the standards of the bourbon. The difference between bourbon and this type is that before aging Tennessee whiskeys, it undergoes an additional process called the “Lincoln County Process”. The most popular example for this classification is Jack Daniel’s.

Undefined American Whiskey

With a lot of craft distilleries opening in various places in the United States today, they produce different types of whiskeys that don’t actually qualify as being a bourbon or rye. Thus, they fall under the “undefined” category.

Canadian Whisky

Canadian whisky, also called as “rye whisky”, may not contain any rye at all; thus it doesn’t meet the standards of the American rye in which it must contain at least 51% of rye. This liquor is popular for its rye flavoring and profile. In fact, most of the Canadian whisky currently sold in the market contains mostly of corn rather than rye.

The rye whisky is made by mixing a small portion of all-rye or rye heavy whisky which creates a mixture of bourbon-style whiskies and other types of grain whiskies. They are usually aged for at least 3 years using wooden barrels.

Scotland Whisky

Scotland whisky, popularly known as “Scotch”, is aged for at least 3 years using an oak barrel. Currently, most Scotch sold today is aged in used bourbon barrels with sherry and used casks. They are distilled twice and they fall into several categories.

Single Malt

Scotch whiskies that are made up of single malt means that it is merely prepared from malted barley. They are produced alone in one distillery.

Blended Malt

Blended malt whisky is a mixture of 2 or more single malt scotches that are made from various distilleries.

Single Grain

Like single malt, single grain whiskies are made from only one distillery. However, it contains extra grains aside from malted barley. This type of scotch is considered uncommon primarily because most of which are used in blends.

Blended Grain

Blended grain whisky is made up of many single grain whiskies made from various distilleries. This is also considered to be a rare type of scotch.

Blended Scotch

Blended scotch is the most popular type of scotch that is sold throughout the world. It is primarily a blend of one or more single malts mixed with one or more single grains.

Scotch whisky

Scotch whiskies are made not only in a single region of Scotland. It is made in various regions which include:

Speyside Region

The Speyside has the most number of distilleries among the scotch regions; it has approximately 50% of the country’s total distilleries. Some of the popular brands are made in this region including Aberlour and Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and The Glenlivet.

Islay Region

The Islay region is known for its big, smoky, peaty, and salty whisky. It is home to a total of 8 distilleries such as Ardbeg and Laphroaig, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, Lagavulin, and Kilchoman.

Campbeltown Region

The region of Campbeltown is said to be a past relic as it is once a home to many distilleries. Today, there are only 3 distilleries operating in the area.

Lowlands Region

Lowlands, like the Campbeltown region, is also a past relic as there are only several remaining distilleries that are operating in this region.

Highlands Region

Geographically, Highlands is the largest among the scotch regions. It is home to various distilleries which include Oban, Old Pulteney, Glenmorangie, and The Macallan.

Islands Region

The Islands region is an unofficial region. It represents all the islands of Scotland except for the Islay. Some of the distilleries that are within this region are the Arran, Highland Park, and Talisker.

Irish Whiskey

One of the many reasons why Ireland is among the popular tourist destination is because of its distilleries. Like the scotch whiskeys, Irish whiskeys are aged for at least 3 years. However, there are a lot of differences between the two. Take for example, majority of the Irish whiskeys available on the market today are distilled three times while scotch whiskeys are distilled only twice. Another is that distillers in Ireland pour enzymes to the whiskey in order to turn starches into sugar before the fermentation process begins.

The classifications of whiskeys in Ireland are less complicated compared to that of Scotland. However, Irish distillers also use the term “blended” to those products that have two or more whiskeys that are distilled separately. The Blended Irish whiskey is what is usually found in the market today.

Single pot still whiskey, on the other hand, is a class of Irish whiskey that is made in one distillery using a pot still; mixing barleys that are malted and un-malted.

Today, there are only 10 distilleries operating in Ireland; seven of which were only established in the last decade. The popular old distilleries that can be found in the country is the Old Bushmills that opened in 1784 and is actually the oldest licensed distillery worldwide; the New Midleton Distillery that was established in 1975 and is the maker of Jameson, Midleton, Powers, and Paddy; and the Cooley Distillery that was established in 1987.

Japan & World Whisky

For the past 5 years, whiskies from Japan have been increasingly popular throughout the world. Japanese whisky originated in the early 1920s when Masataka Taketsuru went back to Japan from Scotland after studying distilling. Having learned the art of making whisky, he introduced whiskies to the Japanese market by selling notable Japanese whisky brands such as Yamazaki, Nikka, Hibiki, and Hakushu.

Japanese Whiskies are prepared according to how Scotch is made; therefore, they are also classified into several categories such as single malts and blended whiskies. But, it is entirely wrong to classify scotch and Japanese whisky into one category or that Japanese whiskies aren’t original.

What makes them different is that distilleries in Japan produce a wide variety of styles and make different stills, mash bills, and whisky profiles, thereby creating its own unique blend. Distilleries in Scotland, on the other hand, produce only one variety of single malt.

There are other distilleries that make whiskies anywhere in the world; from South Africa to Sweden; England to Thailand; India to Australia; and basically at any places in between.

Whiskey Terminologies that you Should Know

Age. If you can find an age written in the bottle of whiskey, it typically refers to the age of the youngest whiskey ingredient in the bottle.

Cask Proof Whiskey. Cask proof whiskey, also called “cask strength”, is a bottle that came straight from the barrel itself. Thus, this implies that the distiller didn’t mix any water to bring the whiskey down to a pre-determined level. It doesn’t only have a higher ABV, but it also has a richer and fuller flavor primarily because it is undiluted. Pour a few drops of water into it to self-dilute and you’ll open the flavor profile of the whiskey.

Continuous Still. Continuous still, also referred to as “column still”, “patent still”, or “coffey still”, are generally said to be consistent and efficient. They continuously operate without batches.

Finishing. Finishing is the taking of the whiskey after it has been aged and aging it for the second time — which is usually for a shorter period using a different cask, thereby producing different flavors.

Mash Bill. This primarily refers to the amount of grains that is used in a class of whiskey. Single malt scotch contains 100% malted barley; while the mash bill of bourbon has at least 51% of corn.

NAS. This is an acronym for “No Age Statement Whiskey”.

Pot Still. Pot stills are a traditional way of distilling whiskies. It makes use of a large pot section of the still that is heated which typically sends vapor to a condenser in order to be separated.

Sour Mash. This is a process where the used mash from a previous fermentation process is utilized to aid in starting the fermentation procedure of the next batch. This helps in controlling fermentation and keeping the consistency of the product.

Sourcing. It generally refers to a company that purchased whiskeys that are made from other distilleries and then bottling and labeling it under its name.

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Five Questions to Ask when Buying Whiskey

Buy good whiskey

Some people have purchased so much whiskey in the past that they don’t have to think twice about what they should and should not be buying. And then there are others who are on the fence, not really sure of what the market has to offer.

When buying whiskey, there are a few questions you should ask and answer before hitting the checkout line.

How much am I willing to spend?

Let’s face it: some people are going to make a decision on which whiskey to buy based on nothing more than price alone. They don’t care about the quality. They don’t care about the taste. All they care about is getting something that fits into their budget.

It does make good sense to set a budget before visiting the liquor store, as this will help you decide how to search.

Buy good whiskey

Buy good whiskey
Image © Dmitry Fisher – Fotolia.com

Which brand is best for me?

Once again, this is a question that experienced whiskey drinkers never have to ask. With so many brands to consider, you should focus on a few in your price range and then make a decision. Here are 10 of the top brands that you may come across:

  • Jack Daniels
  • Jim Beam
  • Crown Royal
  • Jameson
  • Kakubin
  • Seagram’s 7 Crown
  • Black Velvet
  • Canadian Club
  • Black Nikka
  • Canadian Mist

All of these brands bring something special to the market, so you owe it to yourself (and your taste buds) to experiment with each one at some point.

Where can I buy vintage whiskey?

If this is something you care about, you definitely want to answer this question as soon as possible. Believe it or not, an unopened bottle of whiskey stays good for as long as 100 years. Can you imagine cracking into a bottle of whiskey that is 75 to 100 years old? If you are interested in buying vintage whiskey, you may have to search your local area (as well as the internet) to find a seller.

Vintage whiskey

Vintage whiskey
Image © MarcoBagnoli Elflaco – Fotolia.com

Are you going to mix your whiskey with something, such as Coca Cola, or drink it straight?

This is an age-old question that you will not be able to answer until you try both. Along with this, you have to consider the type of mood you are in. There may be times when you want to mix your whiskey, but there may also be times when drinking it on the rocks, for instance, piques your interest.

Where should I purchase my whiskey?

This depends on many factors, including where you can buy in your area, how soon you need the bottle, and your budget.

In some states, you may only be able to purchase whiskey in a state licensed liquor store. In other states, however, you can find what you are looking for in local grocery stores and other establishments.

Note: buying whiskey online has become more and more popular over the past few years, so don’t overlook the benefits of doing so.

When you answer these questions when shopping for whiskey, you know you are going to end up getting exactly what you want.

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The Origins of Whiskey

Scotland - homeland of Whiskey

Whiskey has a long and varied development history, although nobody’s sure of the precise origin of the drink as we recognize it today.

Alcohol distillation and fermented beverages like beer and wine were developed far earlier than whiskey. Evidence of the earliest fermented beverages was found in jugs dated to the Stone Age – at least 10,000 B.C. It’s interesting to note that whiskey was originally developed in the middle ages as a remedy, and wasn’t consumed as a beverage until about 200 years later.

The first distillation of alcohol began in Western Asian region of Mesopotamia around 2,000 BC. Early distillation was associated with perfume-making, so the development of whiskey and other distilled alcohol may have been an outgrowth of scent manufacturing.

The earliest description of alcohol distillation was composed by Majorcan writer and philosopher Ramon Llull in the 13th century. After Llull, alcohol distillation technology passed through many civilizations until it became widely adopted. Alcohol distillation was imported to Ireland and Scotland around 1100 and 1300 by monks, making them early fans of “A wee bit of the creature” (the Irish nickname for whiskey). However, spirit alcohol up to the early 1400’s was still being used primarily for rituals and religious purposes and distilled by monks.

Ancient alcohol distillation

Ancient alcohol distillation apparatus

The word “whiskey” comes from the Gaelic term uisge beatha meaning “water of life,” and it was called aqua vitae in Latin. Whiskey was originally a medicine – a popular antibiotic among medieval physicians. Whiskey was prescribed to treat various internal and external infections and even lifestyle problems like marital discord. It’s not known if prescribed whiskey eased or worsened marital discord.

As spirit alcohol caught on with doctors, it became a standard item in pharmacopeia. Alcohol distillation had evolved from the purview of monks to the medieval physicians’ group, The Guild of Surgeon Barbers.  The first known textbook about alcohol distillation for doctors and surgeons was published in 1500 by German physician and chemist Hieronymus Brunschwyg.

The good doctor’s handbook gave detailed instructions on distilling and utilizing aqua vitae as a curative with text and detailed woodcut illustrations. “Liber de arte distillandi” expounded on the virtues of alcohol as remedy for a variety of ailments and mood disorders such as depression and memory problems.

Modern whiskey is aged a minimum of three years in wooden casks to give it that familiar mellow flavor.  The wood used to age whiskey is usually charred white oak, and the aging process is called “oaking.” It’s said that 80% of whiskey’s taste comes from the wood it’s aged in, and whiskey makers know that old oak imparts the best flavor to the drink.  Early whiskies were produced using primitive distillation equipment, unrefined methods and it was not aged at all. Early Renaissance whiskies were used straight from a barrel and extremely raw-tasting compared to modern whiskies. A large serving of this undiluted concoction was so potent that a Whiskey Sour made with crude whiskey of the past could cause alcoholic shock.

Whiskies are made from various grains; in Scotland malt whisky uses 100% malted barley mash. Whisky production spread quickly in Ireland, Scotland and other northern European areas where beer and wine were already popular. This was due to grains and barley being locally available and limited supplies of grapes.

Scotland - homeland of Whiskey

Scotland – homeland of Whiskey.
Image © adrenalinapura – Fotolia.com

The first confirmed written record of whiskey appeared in 1405 in the Irish Annals of Clonmacnoise, where the death of a chieftain was blamed on excessive whiskey consumption at Christmastime. The Scots become the world leaders in quality whisky soon after spending decades perfecting the distillation process. The first known record of Scottish whisky appeared in 1494 in the Exchequer Rolls to Friar John Cor, by order of the king, to make “aquavitae.” Friar John received sufficient malt to produce about 500 bottles of whiskey.

When King Henry VIII dissolved England’s monasteries between 1536 and 1541, monks were unemployed and forced to manage on their own. Many of them earned money by doing what they knew well: making whisky, and they soon spread their knowledge across Scotland. Thus began whisky production that was no longer controlled exclusively by monastic monks and The Guild of Surgeon Barbers.

The oldest licensed distillery was the Old Bushmilll’s Distillery on Ireland’s north coast. They were licensed in 1608, and the company is still in the whiskey business today.

Whiskey Distillery

Whiskey Distillery
Image © Arvydas Kniukšta – Fotolia.com

The Acts of Union merged England and Scotland in the 18th century, and new harsh taxes on any unlicensed alcohol brewery tested the Scot’s love of whisky. Scotch whisky production was shut down when the English crown imposed new harsh taxes on any unlicensed alcohol brewery.

Thousands of distillers across Northern England and Scotland responded by producing whisky illegally using homemade stills, usually in the wee hours of the night. Low nighttime visibility hid the smoke from distillation fires. Stealth production in the dark of night endowed whisky with the nickname “moonshine.” After production, they hid their whisky stocks in unusual places like church altars and coffins to avoid government excisemen.

The governments did their best to stop illegal whisky production, yet regulations did little to curb it; about 50% of the whisky produced during this era was illegal. Smuggling became an art form, and the fight between smugglers and the Scottish and English governments lasted for 150 years.

During the taxation years, shortages of whiskey around the world had international impact. During the American Revolutionary War, whiskey was scarce enough to be used as a currency. After the war ended, the new American government repeated England’s mistake and heavily taxed the ingredients, production and sales of whiskey. The 1791 tax protest of US grain and corn farmers was called the Whiskey Rebellion, and the tax laws were repealed in 1801.

Whisky makers in Scotland and England were free to resume legal whisky manufacturing when the English government passed a new law that legalized production after paying a fee. This revived the industry, and drove innovations and improvements in the product. One of the new innovations was the “continuous still” that enabled brewers to make whisky that was higher quality, and distilled much faster.

Whiskey machinery

Whiskey machinery.
Image © johnbraid – Fotolia.com

In 1880, even the French began making whiskey because of a disease which wiped out much of the grape crop. This led to whiskey becoming popular worldwide, and in 2009 Scotland broke their record and exported 1.1 billion bottles of whiskey.

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