When reading whisky books or visiting distilleries, I noticed that one of the parts I liked the most was the “fun facts” section… Yeap, I have more fun being told Frank Sinatra was buried with a bottle of whiskey than learning Triumph barley was only used between 1980 and 1985 (true story though)… And I do believe I’m not the only one around here! 😀
So let me help you liven-up your tasting sessions with some interesting or completely random interventions thanks to those 10 Scotch Whisky Fun Facts!
> Campbeltown-based Springbank produces a whisky distilled 2.5 times. How’s that even possible? the distillery takes the feints (tails) of the first spirit still and combine them with a portion of the low wines obtained during the initial stripping run. That mixture is then distilled again on the second spirit still; for the feints, it’s their third trip through the still. That means a portion of the finished distillate has been distilled three times, while another portion has been distilled twice – voilà, 2.5 times distillation. (read more)
> Glenmorangie has the tallest stills, as high as an adult girafe !
> Towser (1963 – 1987) is probably the most famous distillery cat, having gained her reputation by killing 28 899 mice (statistical number)… She even got a mention in the famous Guinesss Book of Records for her life achievement, officially recognising her as the ‘world’s best mouser”. She lived for 24 years at the Glenturret Distillery in Scotland.
> the peat used to dry the barley and bring this characteristic smoky aroma to some of your favourite whiskies was probably between 1000 to 5000 years old... Yeap, peatbogs only grow by around 1mm every year… Whisky is a game of patience!> Single Malts are actually a rather modern commercial success as until the 1960s, most single malts went to make blended whisky (appreciated for its consistency). Glenfiddich was arguably the first single malt to be sold in its own right and became popular worldwide, as it was also the first to be sold in airport retail shops. (read more)
> … But around 90% of all the whisky sold in the world is still blended whisky.
> France is the world’s biggest market for Scotch Whisky… Cocorico! #NationalPride – Actually, more Scotch is sold in France in one single month than Cognac (a domestic spirit) in a whole year.
> Scotch whisky played an important part in Japanese whisky success: Masataka Taketsuru (considered as the founding father of Japanese whisky) travelled all the way to Scotland back in the late 1910s to learn a thing or two about the art of making whisky (completing a degree in Organic Chemistry at the university of Glasgow and gaining experience at Longmorn and Hazelburn distilleries amongst others) and replicated some techniques back home in Japan when founding his own distillery, Nikka (adding his Japanese touch!)… Also bringing back his wife, Rita, from bonnie Scotland!
> Scotch Whisky is probably one of the most taxed products in the world – around 80% of the price of a bottle is actually taxes. Official bodies and producers are in a constent fight to have it reduced.
> Rare Whisky investment outperformed wine and gold in recent years… And yes, Macallan is still the most traded brand, followed by Ardbeg and Bruichladdich.