History of whisky, how its made and popular brands in UK

Whisky, also spelled whiskey, is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from grains, such as barley, corn, rye, or wheat. The word “whisky” comes from the Gaelic term “uisce beatha,” which means “water of life.”

The origins of it can be traced back to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, where people produced a type of beverage known as “arak” from fermented grains. The production of whisky also has a long history in Scotland and Ireland, where it has been made for centuries.

The first written record of production is in Scotland dates back to 1494, when the Scottish Exchequer Rolls recorded the production of malt whisky by a friar named John Cor. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, production in Scotland and Ireland boomed, and the drink became popular around the world.

Whisky is now produced in many countries, including Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Japan. There are many different types of it, including Scotch, Irish, bourbon, and rye, each with its own unique production methods and flavor profiles, all of them can be found in any UK whisky online store.

How it is made?

Whisky is made by fermenting and distilling grains, such as barley, corn, rye, or wheat. The process of making it typically involves the following steps:

  1. Milling – The grains are ground into a coarse meal called “grist.”
  2. Mashing -The grist is mixed with hot water to create a porridge-like substance called “mash.” The mash is then heated to convert the starches in the grains into sugars.
  3. Fermentation – The sugars in the mash are converted into alcohol through the process of fermentation. This is typically done by adding yeast to the mash, which consumes the sugars and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. The resulting liquid is called “wash.”
  4. Distillation – Tha wash is then distilled to increase the alcohol content and to remove impurities. This is typically done in a still, which is a large vessel that is heated to vaporize the alcohol. The vapors are collected and condensed back into a liquid, which is then aged in oak barrels.
  5. Aging – The distilled beverage is aged in oak barrels for a period of time, typically at least three years for Scotch one and two years for most other types of whisky. The barrels contribute to the flavor and color.

After aging, the whisky is bottled and may be blended with other whiskies to create a specific flavor profile. The final product is a smooth, amber-colored beverage with a complex flavor profile that can vary depending on the type of grains used, the production methods, and the aging process.

What is the most popular brands in UK

It is difficult to say definitively which brands of whisky are the most popular in the United Kingdom, as consumer preferences and trends can change over time. However, some of the most well-known and widely-sold brands of whisky in the UK include:

  • Johnnie Walker – A brand of Scotch whisky that is known for its smooth, complex flavor and iconic square bottle;
  • Glenfiddich – A brand of Scotch beverage that is produced in the Scottish Highlands and is known for its fruity, floral flavor;
  • Chivas Regal – Scotch brand that is known for its rich, smooth flavor and is often served as a high-end whisky at events and parties;
  • Jameson – A brand of Irish whiskey that is known for its smooth, approachable flavor and is often used as a mixer in cocktails;
  • The Glenlivet – A brand of Scotch whisky that is produced in the Scottish Highlands and is known for its smooth, light flavor.

It is worth noting that these are just a few examples, and there are many other brands of whisky available in the UK that may be popular with different consumers.

Is it safe to store it for a long time?

Whisky can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling, as long as it is stored properly. In general, it should be stored in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature to prevent it from deteriorating. Exposure to light, heat, and temperature fluctuations can cause the whisky to lose some of its flavor and character over time.

It’s also important to store whisky upright to prevent the cork or closure from drying out. If the cork becomes dry and brittle, it may allow air to enter the bottle, which can oxidize the whisky and cause it to lose some of its flavor.

Properly stored whisky will generally last indefinitely, although it may change in flavor and character over time due to the interactions between the liquid and the oak barrel in which it is aged. Some people believe that whisky improves with age, but this is a matter of personal preference. Ultimately, whether or not it is safe to store it for a long time will depend on the storage conditions and the individual characteristics.