With many different whiskeys on the market, the consumer is hard pressed to choose: single malt or pot still? Scotch or bourbon? Where do we begin to buy scotch? To savor whiskey tradition, it might be best to start with a Glenlivet scotch, made in the same highlander tradition for more than two centuries.
Today’s drinking public tends to order whiskey in shots, quickly emptied and chased with beer. In many circles, such party tricks are decried blasphemous and shunned like the plague. Whiskeys like single malt scotch are often prized for qualities unique to a particular region, much like wine, and the secret of its making is as provincial as it is highly guarded. Glenlivet, for example, draws the water for its whiskey from local springs like Josie’s Well in the Moray region of Scotland and is made from Crisp Maltings barley from Portgordon.
After the spirit is made, bourbon, port or sherry casks are used to age the whiskey. Most of the distillery’s product is bottled, but some is used in the production of blended whiskeys like Chivas Regal. Glenlivet makes many different products, but price differences are generally based on age–the longer the aging process, the more expensive the spirit.
The resulting spirit is characteristically warm and flowering, sensations lost on the shot-thrower’s painful ordeal.