With World Whisky Day coming up on 20 May, Black Bottle Whisky Ambassador and Owner of SIP Exclusive, Owen O’Reilly, rounds up five myths about whisky that could be holding you back from enjoying your Scotch to the fullest:
1. All Whisky Tastes the Same
As a spirit with one of the most diverse flavour profiles, you can enjoy a variety of sweet, fruity, floral, spicy, herbal, oaky, nutty, dry and smoky tastes depending on the whisky you are sipping. This wide variety of tastes is influenced by region, grain, distilling method and the type of oak barrels it’s matured in to name a few. Whiskies hold rich and varied contours, such as peaty Islay Scotch whiskies and fruity Speyside whiskies, to blended whiskies that hold a multitude of flavour profiles. No two whiskies are exactly the same, and there are many delicious flavours to enjoy.
2. Only Poor Quality Whisky is Used in Cocktails
Forget the sugary sweet concoctions that come to mind when you hear the word ‘cocktail’. We are talking about cocktails with fresh ingredients and quality mixers. Whisky cocktails have been enjoyed for decades, and good quality whisky is used within the cocktails so that the flavour of the ingredients and whisky complement each other to perfection. Blended whisky, like Black Bottle, which contains lighter grain whiskies as well as single malt, has a wide spectrum of tastes that is ideal for making cocktails with.
3. It’s Expensive, So it Must Be the Best
While an 18-year-old whisky is going to be more expensive than a 10-year-old whisky due to its extended time in the casket, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to enjoy it more. Similarly, a well-recognised brand name and hefty price tag doesn’t always equate to a drink that you’ll love. What’s exciting, is that there are so many fantastic whiskies on the market – both single malt and blended – that can appeal to both your palate and wallet.
4. Only Men Drink Whisky
There is a common misconception that whisky is an older man’s drink, as scenes of cigar bars, leather seats and men’s clubs of yesteryear come to mind. The reality is quite different. With the wide varieties of flavour profiles available, whisky appeals to both men and women, and is enjoyed at various occasions, celebrations, or just to unwind after a long day.
5. Single Malt is Superior to Blended Whisky
You get good single malts and bad single malts, and it’s the same with blended whisky. They’re two different styles of whisky, with different profiles, but there are exceptional blended whiskies that combine the best that’s available.
6. All Whisky Can Be Called ‘Scotch’
As the name suggests, the term ‘Scotch Whisky’ or ‘Scotch’ is reserved for whiskies that come from Scotland. If you’ve just bought a Japanese whiskey, it’s best not to describe it as a ‘Scotch’.