First used for medicinal purposes, Scotch whisky can be a bit intimidating to the novice malt enthusiast with its recognizable burn. Unlike wine, whisky must be distilled and initially matured in only one location for it to carry the label Scotch. That location of course, is Scotland.
Scotch was first recognized by its name “Aqua vitae” or water of life in the late 1400’s because of its healing properties. However, the liquor gradually increased in popularity between kings and farmers alike. In 1880, the production of wine in France was extremely damaged due to an invasion of the Phylloxera bug. While this bruised the wine industry, the need for delicious alcohol remained and thus the love for Scotch whisky boomed.
Scotch is made by steeping barley in water during the initial production process called malting. From there, the malt is mashed, fermented, distilled and matured for a minimum of three years (although a decade is preferred) in oak casks.
There are five Scotch-producing regions in Scotland, all of which are known for their own qualities or characteristics of whisky.
1. Lowland – Produces more mild and mellow Scotch. Consider distilleries Glenkinchie or Bladnoch.
2. Highland – The largest region that is home to Scotland’s favourite brand of Scotch, Glenmorangie.
3. Islay – Produces Scotch that is heavier and smoky. Distilleries include Ardbeg or Bowmore.
4. Speyside – Houses the most distilleries in Scotland including the well known Glenfiddich.
5. Cambeltown – Smallest production area yet is home to one of our favourite Scotch distilleries, Springbank.
Tannic is very excited to feature the Springbank Single Cask, 12-Year-Old Scotch Whisky, currently in our online store. This specific single malt was produced exclusively for the Alberta market and is not sold anywhere else. A portion of the proceeds from each sale are donated to the flood relief effort and the Veteran’s Food Bank.
Here are Sprinkbank’s tasting notes on this impressive Scotch.
Eyes: Golden straw in colour
Nose: Very rich and lush with strong toffee and caramel notes to begin with. The nose then develops to really thick treacle with heavy notes of marmalade. This whisky has a really meaty nose with some hints of cinnamon and smoke.
Mouth: An amazingly full-bodied whisky, rich with a thick and oily texture. It has a very rich taste of oranges, tangerines and clementines as well as a hint of cocoa.
Finish: Sweet and very rich. Long finish with a hint of smoke.
If you’re new to the wonders of Scotch, we have a helpful hint to get you started on your tasting experience. While most may think adding ice to Scotch is best, this actually changes the temperature of the liquor. Much like wine, if Scotch is not served at the correct temperature, flavours and aromas are altered or hidden. Instead, we recommend that you add a splash of room-temperature water to your Scotch for two reasons. First, adding water to Scotch helps to enhance the ability to taste specific and individual flavours. Secondly, water will mask the burn that usually strays newcomers from trying or re-trying Scotch.
Visit Tannic.ca today for your own exclusive bottle of the Springbank Single Cask 12 Year. If not for yourself, this limited time offer makes for a wonderful holiday gift for the Scotch-lover in your life.