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Whether you are buying a bottle of Scotch whiskey for yourself or want to send scotch as a gift, it is always important to know what you are purchasing. Buying the most expensive bottle or the most expensive scotch whiskey set isn’t how you should go about making this purchase. It is important to look at several factors and find out the taste of the person you are gifting it to before making this purchase. Scotch whisky is made in the Scottish region, with several independent distilleries that have been manufacturing this drink for generations and generations. These distilleries make a limited number of waters. It is said that the taste of the scotch comes from the clear waters of the rivers that run through each region. So now, what should you ask while purchasing Scotch whisky?
Even if you are purchasing Scotch whisky for the first time, you must have seen that the older the bottle is, the more expensive it is. This is because aged whisky has been in the cask for a longer period of time. Whisky is usually aged in a wooden barrel, which is most commonly made of oak. The flavors of the wood often transfer into the alcohol, and this is what makes this drink so unique. The older the Scotch whisky is, the more prominent its notes are. For gifting, you should start with at least a 10-year-old whisky.
There are quite a few different types of Scotch whisky. Single malt is made in one single distillery with 100% malted barley. It is probably the highest quality whisky in the market. Next, blended malt is made by combining two different whiskies’ made in two distilleries. Single grain whiskey is not made from barley but made from other grains. Similarly, a blended grain is made with two alcohols made from two distilleries. Blended whisky, another popular drink, is usually a combination of malted whisky and grain whisky
As mentioned before, good whisky is matured in a wooden casket. The kind of wood used is important because that is what imparts the distinct flavor to the whisky. More often than not, wooden barrel used in maturation are sourced from other alcohol manufacturers. It could be from a bourbon distillery or even from a port wine distillery. Each barrel then offers a different addition of tasting notes to the end product.
Before choosing one of the many scotch whiskey gift sets, you need to find out if it has been chill filtered or not. When a whisky is chill filtered, it reduces the alcohol by volume and changes the taste slightly. Some whiskies also contain caramel to make it look darker. Therefore, you should choose a whisky that has not been chill filtered to get its original taste. Chill filtering sometimes removes the depth of the drink that comes from being matured in an oak barrel and hence, isn’t preferable.
A single malt Scotch whisky gift set is probably one of the best gifts you could give. Scotch whisky drinkers will most definitely appreciate this particular gift. Even if you are buying it for yourself, you should check out these different factors to help you pick the right kind of whisky for yourself. From aging to filtering, each aspect of the process makes the alcohol special.
Written by: Sarah from Wine Guide