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Get Your Facts Straight About Whiskey



Whiskey and all its intricacies can be quite confusing. Many people struggle to assimilate different terms associated with whiskey and its subcategories---Irish, Scotch, Canadian--and what it means with regard to both bouquet and taste. You don’t need a degree to understand and appreciate a good glass of amber, but there are some facts that might help enhance your enjoyment and experience with it. It’s time to get the facts straight about this American treasure; pour yourself a glass and sip as you educate yourself about the finer things in life: Older doesn’t always mean better. Older whiskeys take on a decidedly “oakey” flavor, which doesn’t necessarily add to its appeal. Many aged brands actually sit on shelves for an extended period of time because good flavor wasn’t there to begin with. Blending and mingling older whiskeys for that just right flavor to savor takes some serious skill, so when you find a good one, cherish it for what it is, and know that each bottle is a unique experience in and of itself. Not all colors are natural. Generally speaking, straight whiskey has no additives, and the natural coloring is taken on by the properties of the barrel that it was aged in. Other types of whiskey, such as Scotches and American whiskey do have caramel coloring added to enhance its appearance. Know what you are purchasing; if authenticity is important to you, consider buying and drinking straight up. A darker color is not an indicator of age. Scotch tends to take on an amber hue indicative of the oak barrels it ages in, while European oak lends a darker, more mahogany hue to the liquid housed therein. Color can also be an indicator of proof, with darker whiskeys being a bit stronger. Some lighter whiskeys are blended with water to enhance flavor and taste, but this results in whiskey that doesn’t have quite the bite. Know what you want from your whiskey, and then choose according to your unique specifications. Not all bourbon comes from Kentucky. Bourbon is a uniquely American product, and some distilleries create this spirit with pride in Texas, California, New York, and several other states. Kentucky can make its claim to fame that it does, in fact, produce over 95 percent of all bourbon sold, and loyal followers will swear up and down that “if it is bourbon, it must have been first poured in Kentucky.” 12-year-old whiskey might not be 12 years old. Many whiskeys are the result of batches that are expertly blended together, and it is standard practice in the industry to label the batch and the bottle with the youngest age. You may have elements of a ten-year barrel and a five-year barrel in the same bottle, and it is labeled as a five-year aged whiskey. There are plenty of whiskeys that are considered young that have a superior taste and bouquet; age may not be an indicator of quality. A year on a label is not an indicator of product quality. American whiskey fans are somewhat obsessed with the culture and history around its making, and many purchases are the result of phrases on labeling such as “since 1855”. Virtually anyone can print a little piece of history on a label---knowing a bit about the company that you are purchasing from would be in order if historical integrity is an essential piece of your whiskey enjoyment. Real fans drink it “neat”. While some aficionados claim that the only proper way to enjoy a fine whiskey is straight up, the truth is that the only way to enjoy fine whiskey is the way YOU prefer it. With our wide variety of mixed drink options and unique flavor combinations right here on our website, you’ll no doubt find something for every occasion. Feel free to mix it up a bit and experiment with our recipes to find the right cocktail for you. Questions about whiskey? Just ask us! At Palmetto Distillery, we claim a rich history of whiskey creation rooted deep in Southern traditions of bootlegging. We have recipes passed down from generation to generation of moonshiners, and we hold true to the traditions of our ancestors by producing our quality spirits in much the same way they did. We know whiskey, and we know excellence in making it. No matter what your questions may be about whiskey---and moonshine, for that matter---we can answer them. We’ll quench your thirst and your thirst for knowledge; visit www.palmettodistillery.com today for a truly unique and “spirit”ual experience!