10 Secrets You Did Not Know About Whiskey
Whiskey might be a popular liquor, but how well do you know this drink? These facts might surprise you. Here are 10 secrets you didn't know about whiskey.
This liquor has been around since the 1st century AD or even as early as the 2nd millennium BC. Distillation techniques have been modified and passed on from one generation to the next. And with its long history of evolution, how much do we really know about this liquor?
People from around the world are drinking right now. But what they don’t know is that this drink has some fascinating secrets that they don’t want us to find out. Here are 10 secrets you did not know about whiskey.
1. Whiskey is Just Distilled Beer
Yes! you’ve read that right! This is just a classy version of your favorite beer. The only difference is that before it becomes whiskey, it undergoes distillation without the hops. The mash, which is water, yeast, and grain, is being distilled for two days to make it.
What makes them virtually the same is that both of them share the same ingredients. Just like beer, it’s made from any grain depending on the type of whiskey. The process of making beer and whiskey might be different but the base ingredients are the same.
They also share the same color when they’re not yet fermented or distilled. The clear color of the mixed mash has come from the grain, water, and yeast.
2. Whiskey is Clear Before it Turns Dark
Before it turns into its dark and hazy color, the base color of this liquid is actually crystal clear. You might not believe it at first, but try pouring a little amount of this liquor in a glass and you’ll find out it’s true. So, if it’s actually crystal clear, where does it get its dark color?
The dark color comes from the oak barrels where it is aged. During the aging process, the liquid inside of the oak casks changes in flavor and color depending on the casks. 60% of the liquor’s flavor depends on the type of cask used and a 100% for the color.
According to some distillers, they buy used oak barrels from other distillers and use them as their own casks. This adds a darker tone to the color of the drink that they make.
3. The Angels Tax
The Gods of liquor send their regards, not in a form of goodwill but as a form of tax for making the drinks of the ancient Gods. Often called as the Angels tax, it’s not the type of tax you’re thinking of right now.
The Angels tax is the amount of evaporated whiskey inside of the distillery during the aging process. The liquid inside of the barrels loses volume as time passes by. It loses 2-4% of its contents. Proof of this is within the walls and ceilings of the distillery. You will notice the color of the walls and ceilings are black.
4. A Barrel of Whiskey is Not Cheap
There are a lot of brands of whiskey sold in the market today. Some of them are cheap while others are of course expensive. But even if the drink that you’re buying is cheap, it doesn’t mean that a barrel of it is also cheap.
The price of your cheapest liquor barrel could cost around $10,000-$12,000 dollars. You might be wondering why this cheap drink could cost this much. Well, the answer to that is simple, oak casks are expensive. Whether your liquor is cheap or not, the oak casks used are very expensive.
5. A Bottle for a Barrel
In a record, the oldest and most expensive whiskey in the world is the Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky. You can trade a 400ml bottle of this liquor for a barrel of cheap whiskey. This is because one bottle of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky could cost around $16,000.00.
Currently known as the world’s oldest drink, this liquor came from an Irish Family in Europe. According to past records, they brew this drink during the 1800’s and most probably during the late 1850’s.
Given the fact that that it was during this time, the age of this drink could range from 150-200 years old.
6. They Reuse Old Barrels
Not everything they do to make this drink is new. While most liquor types like Bourbon and Tennessee tend to use new barrels for distilling, there are those which strive in old oak barrels to get the right flavor. Distillers actually reuse some of their old barrels to make this drink.
Some notable types of whiskey that uses old barrels are your Rye and Canadian Whiskey. The reason as to why they use old casks is that used barrels have a distinct aroma and flavor when used to distill whiskey. Used casks also produce a darker color of this drink when used.
There is a myth going around saying whiskey can’t be frozen. Well, there’s actually a truth to that myth. While this drink can technically freeze, it will, however, take much more time than most liquid. Whiskey is exceptionally resistant to cold temperatures which is why Arctic goers use this as a warming agent.
Whiskey can withstand cold as low as -30 degrees Celsius. The reason why this liquor is hard to freeze is that of the alcohol content. The higher the alcohol content the harder it is to freeze liquor.
8. Whiskey can Last a Lifetime
The shelf life of an unopened bottle of this drink could last a lifetime and even more. Whiskey, when stored in the right conditions can last up to a 100 years. Some of these conditions include non-exposure to sunlight, staying unopened and be properly distilled.
This is why wooden casks make the best liquor because the barrels could last long. The barrels also block most of the sunlight. Whiskey, when exposed to the sunlight changes its flavor significantly.
Technically, this drink can last for more than a 100 years. The oldest known drink is over a 150 years old now. And there are still a lot of liquor barrels aging now as we speak. Most of them being a hundred years old.
9. Water can Dictate the Flavor of Whiskey
The secret to a flavorful whiskey doesn’t only come from its wooden casks. One of the most notable ingredients that dictate the flavor of this drink is the water mixed in during the distillation process. Clear and mineral-rich water makes the best-tasting drink.
Not only must the water contain rich minerals, it must also be iron-free and natural. Having this type of water combined with the best grains will surely make for a great tasting drink. When it comes to the best-tasting liquor, only the best ingredients can pass.
10. Whiskey has Health Benefits
Too much of something can be dangerous to your health. This goes without saying when it comes to this drink. While drinking too much liquor is bad for you, there are still many health benefits obtained from drinking liquor moderately.
Some benefits that you can get from drinking whiskey includes diabetes control, boosting your memory, and it can reduces your stress levels. This drink is one of the healthiest alcohol in the world.
There are more than these ten secrets you did not know about whiskey, and some might even be too dark to share… This is part of the whiskey legend.
Any other secrets or little-known facts about whiskey you are aware of? Tell me in the comments below!