World Whisky Day 2018


Scotland is famous for many things; food, scenery, ‘monsters’, castles, highland cows, the list goes on and on, but one of its main attractions is Whisky. A BBC study in 2017 revealed that Scotch Whisky is worth an estimated £5 billion to the UK economy. It’s not just the global market that sees the impact of whisky production, but in the rural communities in Scotland, it is a vital source of employment and investment.


It’s true that the Scotch whisky industry is expanding at momentous levels. Since 2013, 14 new distilleries have opened their doors, leading to upgrading of visitor centres and increased production. There is an estimated 40 new distilleries planned to open across Scotland. It seems as if the world just can’t get enough of our national drink.


Why is Scottish Whisky so special?

Scotch whisky is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland that must be made in a manner specified by law.


All Scotch whisky was originally made from malted barley, however, commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late 18th century. Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: single malt Scotch whisky, single grain Scotch whisky, blended malt Scotch whisky, blended grain Scotch whisky, and blended Scotch whisky.


In order to be recognised as Scotch Whisky, all whisky must be aged in oak or sherry barrels for a minimum of three years. Any age statement on a bottle of Scotch whisky, expressed in numerical form, must reflect the age of the youngest whisky used to produce that product. A whisky with an age statement is known as guaranteed-age whisky. A whisky without an age statement is known as a no age statement (NAS) whisky, the only guarantee being that all whisky contained in that bottle is at least three years old.


Traditionally there are 5 whisky regions across Scotland:
• Speyside;
• Lowlands;
• Islay;
• Campbeltown; and
• Highlands.


Each region has its own distinct taste. Islay whiskies are noted for their smoky character derived from peat and water, many a person has commented that the whiskies provide a medicinal flavour. Whereas a Speyside whisky can have notes of oak and dried fruit. Whether it is a single malt or a blended Whisky, why not try to find a dram that suits your pallet.


The Scotch Whisky Association have provided the following facts:


• Exports earned £139 every second in 2017.
• 39 bottles were shipped overseas each second.
• Laid end to end they would stretch about 30,000 km - or about six times the distance between Edinburgh and New York.
• More than 10,000 are directly employed in the Scotch whisky industry.
• Over 40,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry, 7,000 of them in rural areas providing vital employment and investment.
• Some 20 million casks lie maturing in warehouses in Scotland.
• To be Scotch whisky, the spirit must mature in oak casks in Scotland for at least 3 years.
• 126 distilleries are licensed to produce Scotch whisky.

 

We can take in many distilleries as part of our tours around Scotland:


Glenkinchie Distillery is featured on our East Lothian and Rosslyn Chapel tours https://www.scotlanddaytours.net/whisky-rosslyn-chapel-and-east-lothian-p60


Deanston Distillery can be worked in with our Stirling tours
https://www.scotlanddaytours.net/linlithgow-palace-stirling-castle-and-loch-lomond-p66


Dalwhinnie or Ben Nevis Distillery can be included within our Glen Coe and Fort William tours
https://www.scotlanddaytours.net/fort-william-ben-nevis-and-glen-coe-p65


Or if you have a specific distillery that you wish to visit, please let us know and will incorporate a tour based on your requirements. So why not try our national drink when relaxing on one or our tours? On the 19th of May 2018, we invite you to raise you glass to our Whisky and help celebrate World Whisky Day – Sláinte! – oh please drink responsibly!


We look forward to seeing you on one of our tours.


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