(Your friends won’t believe these strange whisky facts when you tell them)
As a notable, and erstwhile prominent character of a very popular TV show once said, “Knowledge is power.” and we couldn’t agree more. Not only does it make for interesting conversation, but also provides an opportunity to engage and enthral the people around you. When it comes to whisky, one does not have to be an all-knowing wizard to conjure the fascination of others. Although having more than a rudimentary understanding of the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage can help you impress one and all.
Whether it’s a party or merely a get-together with your peers, there are some riveting pieces of information and little nuggets of whisky knowledge that can bolster your social stature immensely.
The next time you find yourself with a group of your friends and family, make sure you do not run out of material to impress and even start a conversation around. These are the strangest, most interesting and insightful whisky facts that they will have trouble believing!
The world’s most enormous whisky consuming nation by volume is none other than India. Figures from as far as 2014 reflect that India consumed nearly half of the whisky produced all over the world at 1.5 billion litres of whisky!
Whisky and beer start off as nearly the same product at some point in their journey! That is before they enter a bottle of course. Whisky and beer are both produced using a yeast-fermented mixture of barley and water, a mixture that is known as ‘wort’ among the people who make them.
The additional processes that whisky undergoes after it has been turned to ‘wort’ are distillation and maturation. Interesting isn’t it?
Scotch whisky might be the most popular kind of whisky across the world, but it was the Irish that created the first-known methods of modern distillation. Written records of the fact date back as far as the 15th century. That’s over a mindboggling six centuries ago, and an unbelievable whisky history fact!
Jameson, the largest selling Irish whiskey, and the pride of Ireland was actually created by John Jameson, a Scottish businessman and distillery manager. That piece of information is bound to invite some curiosity at a party, right?
Back in the 1800s in Scotland when distilling whisky was still illegal, The Glenlivet single malt was so infamous, that even King George IV requested to try it during a visit to Scotland. Speaking of irresistible…
George Smith, the man who established The Glenlivet brand.
Matthew McConaughey, Bob Dylan, Drake and Conor McGregor are all celebrities that have their very own whiskey brands. McConaughey owns Longbranch Bourbon; Dylan owns Heaven’s Door Bourbon; Drake owns the Virginia Black Canadian whisky brand and Conor McGregor owns the Proper Twelve blended Irish whiskey brand.
Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door brand of Bourbon and Rye whiskeys.
A lot of people know what the words ‘Angel’s Share’ means, but not many know the existence of something called ‘Devil’s Share’. While Angel’s Share means the amount of whisky lost to evaporation during the maturation process, the Devil’s Share signifies the spirit absorbed by the Oak barrels.
The Chivas Regal brand, one of the largest whisky blending houses in the world was once merely a humble grocery store in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Business for the Chivas Brothers grew exponentially, and so did their stature as they were awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1843. This was followed by their appointment as Royal Grocer to the Queen’s mother, the Duchess of Kent herself in 1850.
There are over 133 active distilleries in Scotland today, and a considerable portion of these are located in the Speyside region. This makes the Speyside the world’s most densely populated region when it comes to distilleries with as many as 50 actively operational distilleries.
The Strathisla Distillery, established in 1786, is one of the oldest functioning distilleries in Scotland, and the oldest distillery in the Speyside region.
Whisky matured in India and other Asian countries is lost at a greater rate and matures sooner than in countries such as Scotland, Ireland and Canada. This is due to the very different climate conditions and humidity.
The amount of whisky lost by Scottish distilleries such as The Glenlivet would be far lesser than the amount lost by Indian distilleries such as Amrut Distilleries.
This hypotheses was confirmed by the makers of Amrut single malt, who found that a year of maturation is India is equivalent to three years of maturation in Scotland. The loss to Angel’s Share in India is estimated at 11-12% whereas it is around 2% in countries with cooler climates.
Scotland exports as many as 41 bottles of Scotch whisky every second, which brings the total amount to a massive 1.28 billion each year! At that rate, nearly all adult citizens of India could have two bottles each.
The number of barrels of whisky undergoing maturation currently number at over 20 million, and that’s a lot of whisky for us to enjoy in the future!
Jack Daniel, the man who created the largest selling American whiskey brand was taught the art of distillation by an African-American slave, Nathan Nearest Green.
After the Emancipation Proclamation and ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, Green, now a newly free man, served as the first African-American Master Distiller at Jack Daniel’s new endeavour.
That completes our list of the strangest and the most interesting facts about whisky that can help you propel you to the heights of whisky enlightenment and have your friends and family in awe.