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Celebrate World Whisky Day on May 15 with Prestons Liquor Stores

Dreaming of travelling the world? Look no further than a wee dram of your favourite whisky

The magic of this golden elixir begins with a few simple ingredients. Grain, which can be barley, wheat, corn or rye, yeast and water. The age-old process results in one of the most complex, evocative beverages. Uisge beatha, aqua vitae, and the water of life are words used to describe the noblest spirit on earth, whisky. The magic is hidden in special places.

Whisky is made all over the world and each region, be it Kentucky in the US, the Berg River in the Cape or Dufftown in Scotland will have an influence on the character and personality of the enigmatic potion. 

The typical flavours of whisky include sweetness, peatiness and smokiness.  The relationship with the cask is critical — an enduring marriage enriched by the personalities of both partners. Fine oak imparts unforgettable flavours and aromas.

Good whisky enjoys good company.
Good whisky enjoys good company.
Image: Margaret Cullen

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Most of the characteristics of whisky come from this time spent in wood. The type of oak, such as American or European oak wood casks, leaves its mark on the character of the whisky. Location and cask are important, but it’s the skill and talent of a master blender that creates an excellent whisky. Each distillery treats its whisky in its own way. Fine whisky is all about style. Choose from single malts, single grains, blends, blended malts, rye whisky, bourbon, and Tennessee Whisky to mention a few. 

It’s really not necessary to know much about whisky to enjoy it, but if you want to explore the DNA of this tawny treat, there is so much to learn and relish. The great thing about whisky is that there is one to suit all tastes. Explore and enjoy it according to what you fancy.

Start with a tour of Scotland, the most prominent whisky-producing country in the world. Imagine starting in Speyside with malts such as The Glenlivet, The Macallan or a blend such as J&B, where the flavours will be soft and fragrant. Next stop — the Highlands — where malts such as Clynelish and Dalwhinnie, or blends such as Bells will offer rich fruits with smokey undertones. Moving to the islands, you will find Highland Park and Glenmorangie. 

These single malts are rich and robust. A trip to Scotland would not be complete without visiting the West Coast where you’ll find Talisker on the Isle of Skye. While you’re in the area, the Isle of Isla where Ardberg, Lagavulin and Caol Ila will lure you in. These malts are smokey, peaty and wonderful. But wait, why not pop across from Isla to Jura, where you will find the single malt Jura.

Remember, good whisky enjoys good company. Share it. Savour it. Whisky is a golden gift with a rich history.

Happy travels!

This article was paid for by Prestons Liquor Stores.

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