I am a big fan of whiskey and can recall vividly when my appreciation for it began. It was one evening when I tried Oban for the first time. Not being new to whiskey, but still quite inexperienced, I discovered something that I had never been able to uncover before.
Whiskey, Scotch Whisky (note the lack of the letter ‘e’ when referring to Scotch) in particular is made from what is essentially beer. No beer enthusiast would consider this base, the mash, an enjoyable beer as it lacks hops and any other intriguing additions. However, a quality mash equals the foundation of a quality whiskey. The mash is a combination of milled grain—barley being the principle grain—along with corn (the principle grain for Bourbon), rye, wheat, rice, and water. The mash is heated to break down the starch into sugars. The resulting liquid nectar is called wort. From there, one will ferment a ‘beer’ which can be distilled into whiskey.
I like barley based drinks. Beer has been my favorite beverage for years, and it seems logical that this would be a jumping point towards whiskey. My exploration of whiskey began with Bourbon as it is indeed America’s Spirit. Something just wasn’t clicking and my exploration efforts returned to beer for a time. Read More about Whiskey, Wonder and Water