Whisky Tips & Tricks
Ageing whisky – what does it do?
Though it only takes a few days to distil a barrel of whisky, it takes longer for its taste and aroma to mature. The process of storing distilled spirits in wooden barrels for long periods of time is referred to as ageing. Though the process of ageing is the same, its effects will depend on how long the whisky is stored and the type of barrel it is stored in. Whisky is aged for longer than other alcohols, such as tequila or rum, because of the climate it is made in. While other alcohols, such as tequila, may be made in very warm climates, whisky is aged in countries including Scotland, Canada, Ireland and Japan, making the process slower. What happens when you age Whisky? When whisky is stored in wooden barrels for long periods, it extracts some of the wood’s flavour. This determines the flavour profile of the whisky and removes any harsh tastes and scents that are left after distillation. Whisky is usually aged in barrels made of oak, which is why it will often be described as having ‘undertones of oak’. When the whisky is in contact with the wood, it pulls out some of its flavours. A whisky that is aged in oak barrels will have a distinct taste, while those aged in barrels made of cedar or pine will have their own unique flavour. Does aged whisky taste better? Most people agree that aged whisky tastes better. However, this isn’t simply because of its age – it also has to do with how the whisky is stored. As aged whisky pulls its flavour from the wood of the barrel it is stored in, whisky that has been stored in a bottle for years will not mature in the same way or develop the same flavour profile as whisky that has been stored in barrels. Of course, taste is subjective. Some prefer their whisky aged for twenty, or even fifty years, while others may opt for a younger whisky. It is important for anyone beginning their whisky journey to explore different kinds of whisky to determine their own personal preference.
28 June, 2022
Facts about Polish Whisky
Starka, often referred to as ‘Polish Whisky’ is an alcohol that originated in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. While Poland is often associated with vodka, Polish whisky can be traced back to the 15th century and is associated with some interesting Polish traditions. Facts about Polish Whisky It originated in the 15th century Starka originated in the 15th Century. Though there are countless tales detailing its origin, the most widely accepted story is that making Starka was a tradition in Polish households. When a baby boy was born, a family filled an oak barrel with alcohol, sealed it with wax, and buried it underground. It was then dug up on his wedding day and served at the ceremony. Though referred to as ‘Polish Whisky’, it’s technically not whisky Though Starka is referred to as ‘Polish whisky’ it’s technically not whisky. Nor is it vodka. Starka is made of rye, whereas whisky is usually made with corn or malted barley. Starka’s ‘secret ingredient’ also distinguishes it from whisky. It is infused with apple or pear leaves, which leaves no scent of ethanol and a milder flavour. However, it’s made in a similar way Like traditional whisky, Starka is made with fermented grain. It is made from natural, fermented rye, which goes through up to two distillations. Apple and linden leaves are then added, then it is stored in sealed oak barrels. It is sold in many variants, aged from three to fifty years. It also tastes similar Like traditional whiskys, Polish whisky contains hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and caramel. Its flavour is often compared to bourbon, which is known to be sweeter than other whiskys. Its colour is natural, not added Polish whisky is often described as having a caramel or brass colour. This colour is completely natural and is the result of a reaction between the alcohol and the oak barrels it is stored in. A lot of people haven’t heard of it Despite its interesting history, Starka is almost unheard of outside Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. Cold War politics played a role in this, as well as financial troubles experienced by Starka companies. Most people who enjoy Starka in countries outside of Poland have often discovered it while visiting or come from Poland themselves.
26 June, 2022