It’s the golden seal every country strives for, to be the home of something… so where are the ten homes of whisky?
You’d probably not to be surprised at the top five.
And so it’s more of a case of shuffling that pack to see who is tops.
The next five though is a bit more surprising.
So on this World Whisky Day join me for a distillery tour.
But do me a favour please, don’t ask about distilling or the mashing process.
It just holds us up on our way to the sampling.
Scotland: And the reach of Scotch (just whisky in Scotland) became clear when the distillers held a whisky-tasting in Barbados.
Now we can blind you with science and stats… 44 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every year.
There are five designated whisky regions… Cambeltown, Highland, Lowland, Speyside and my own fave Islay.
They’re all heavenly and
But my No.1 is Laphroaig. It’s so peaty, just like a bowl of water in an ashtray but stick with me here.
After all you have tried haggis.
United Nips of America
USA: And, of course, when the Scots left home they took their whisky and its secrets with them.
And adapted it to the new world of America and went on to produce nectar such as Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve bourbon.
But US whiskey isn’t restricted to the Deep South… branch out to Oregon.
Where Westward Whiskey have released a reimagined single malt for World Whisky Day.
Green, malt and gold
Ireland: And Teeling only made it into our Barbados tastings.
While Bushmills lays claim to being the oldest distillery in the world, established in 1608.
They were also responsible for the extra ‘e’, well the Irish are the masters of using two words when one will do, and more letters too.
Land of the Rising Suntory
Japan: Now this is a love story that drams are made of.
And is the result of a relationship between a Japanese chemistry student at Glasgow University Masataka Takaretsu and Jessie Roberta Cowan.
Masataka had been dispatched by the Settsu Shuzi liquor company.
A love Suntory if you will.
Canada: Right, we’re told that Canadian whisky has its origins not in its big Scottish diaspora.
But because the natives, the First Nations, got a taste for what they called the traders’ firewater.
It was a meld of rum and ‘high wine’ which developed into Canadian whisky, of which Canadian Club is the most recognised.
India: Or Sikh of life, my twist on the uisce beatha which is Gaelic for water of life and is what Scots call their favourite drink.
And long may the Indians keep up their love affair with whisky which they have been producing since 1948 since Amrut entered the market.
More than half of all whisky drinkers in the world come from India.
Wizards of booze
Australia: And we should have come to expect this with our ne’er-do-wells sent over there as convicts.
Specifically Tasmania is whisky haven with the best Aussie whiskies Sullivans Cove, the best Single Malt at the world awards, and Lark based there.
A Swede whisky
Sweden: Now here’s something you don’t get at your local Ikea with your meatballs but should.
Mackmyra was Sweden‘s first distillery and the Swedes got it right first time, winning the First Edition Gold Award in 2013.
The Isle of Tai
Taiwan: You see what we’ve done there. Yes, Taiwan‘s connections with the West probably plays its part here.
Kavalan whiskey won the World’s Best Single Malt at the awards in 2015 and the island’s distillery produces 9 million bottles a year.
Germany: Now some of us have ripped it up in Germany at the Oktoberfest where it’s lager obviously but also schnapps chasers.
The Germans though are open to everything and they have around 250 distilleries and around 130 of them are focused just on whisky production.
So, on this World Whisky Day a big Slainte to the ten homes of whisky.