What is Whisky? The word “whisky” comes from the Gaelic “uisge beatha”, or “usquebaugh”, meaning “water of life”. It is an alcoholic spirit distilled from grains and aged in wooden barrels. Where it’s made, the production method used, the types of grains used, and the type of barrel it’s aged in can all dictate how it’s labelled.

Origin of the liquid gold

It is not completely clear who invented whisky, but it is believed to have originated in Scotland; though spirits were being distilled prior to this using similar methods, the first written record of whisky production was in Scotland in 1494.

Today, whisky is produced all over the world and has become very important in the spirit landscape – so much so that there are numerous bars globally dedicated to it.

Whisky or whiskey?

The generally accepted answer to this question is that “whisky” comes from Scotland or Canada, whereas “whiskey” hails from the US or Ireland. This isn’t a hard rule though: there are select distillers who choose the alternate spelling due to the ingredients and production methods, and the types of grains distilled to make this spirit also alter how it’s labelled.

Whiskies can be straight (not mixed with anything or mixed only with whisky from the same distiller) or blended (mixed with other products from the same or another distiller, and could include flavourings).

They are produced using something called “mash”, which is the mixture of grains used in distilling and the various types will dictate what percentage of grain is required to be labelled as such.

From now until 16 September 2022, buy a bottle of any whisky at AE Club and get two bottles of Acqua Panna still mineral water (50cl) absolutely free!

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