The first episode of this new series received quite a lot of praises last time so that encouraged me to come up with the second more quickly than I thought!
This second edition is sponsored by my hairdresser (Myth N°3), a random guy met at a whisky tasting last month (Myth N°2) and a fellow whisky enthusiast advising his friend while whisky shopping in Edinburgh (Myth N°1). Enjoy! 🙂
“Whisky stops aging once bottled, no worries, you can keep your favourite dram for ages, it will still taste the same!” … Ok, one thing for sure is that after 50 years in a bottle, your 12-year-old Glenfiddich won’t be a 62-year-old whisky when you decide to crack it open for your retirement party. However, whisky may not be aging once bottled, it’s still changing… Mostly depending on how it’s been stored along the years: was it stocked on your livingroom whisky cabinet (Come on, we’re all the same, we like to impress our friends when they come for dinner with our well-stocked whisky shelves…) then catching direct day light from your window? That’s bad news! Even well stored (we’ll get back on that in a future article), you can’t avoid the damages of time, Hopefully wrinkles won’t appear on your bottle but the seal will slowly begin to fail and then there’s the air… So yes, 50 years from now, there are huge chances that you’re favourite malted nectar won’t taste exactly the same.
“Darker whiskies are way better than pale juices”... Seriously? This one again? Now you’re going to tell me that NAS whiskies are only marketing shit and that Single Malts are better than blends? Are we still there? I thought we moved from those debates… No worries, if you like discussing issues that aren’t issues, we can still talk about gender, women in whisky blablabla? Anyway, have you heard about something called E150?
“E150, or caramel colour, is used by some distillers for colour stabilisation. It allows a distiller […] to obtain a regular colour for each product, every time, regardless of the age, type or style of cask that the whisky was matured in.
E150, highly soluble in water, successfully mimics a wide spectrum of colours from the reds of fruit drinks to every shade of brown. It was first used in brewing, and is regularly used in fortified wines and spirits such as whisky and brandy.
Generally added in small quantities at bottling time, the usage depend on the shade desired. As well as standardising batch-to-batch colour variations, it also has flavour applications as it contains flavour compounds similar to those found in chocolate and coffee” (read more)
By the way, do you know that whisky makers are still allowed to use different types of barrels for maturation? Yeap, a 3-year-old 1s-fill sherry-matured whisky can be way darker than a 12-year-old ex-bourbon-cask nectar and still… You may prefer the second one who knows?
Once and for all, never rely on the colour of a whisky to decide if it’s good or not, the only true valid test is still your nose and taste buds!
“Haha, you guys working in the whisky industry, you must be so drunk all the time, that’s not healthy”: First of all, drinking whisky doesn’t necessarily means “drinking everyday/drinking a lot/binge drinking”. Let me introduce you to the concept of Slow Drinking… Has it ever occured to you that people may be willing to appreciate whisky for the sake of the product and not as a way of getting pissed? Neither did I when I was 17… But then I grew-up and figured out
that hangovers were getting less and less bearable that whisky could/should be appreciated the same way as a fine meal, even paired with a fine meal! You don’t have to make it sound all so boring “yay, it takes me 30 minutes to drink 3cl of whisky paired with a toast of smoked salmon blabla snobby bullshit”. Think about this as “Art De Vivre”, and I am French, trust me I know what I’m talking about (ok, chauvinistic minute is over!). We may be living in a world that encourages us to eat chia seeds and engage in 30-day squat challenges, there’s still a space for fine spirits in that world as there’s still a space for greasy burgers on the go. So yes, you can indulge in a glass of whisky and then go running a marathon, you can attend a whisky festival and have an Acaï bowl for breakfast. It’s all a matter of balance, company and self-motivation. Enjoying a glass of good whisky 3 days/week doesn’t make me a reckless alcoholic.