As of this month, the global population is 7.6 Billion. And when the majority of the world mentions “whiskey” it is referring to Scotch.
The popular spirit has two types, Single malt & Single Grain, and is then bottled/consumed in two forms: either Blended or Single Malt. Blended Scotch is by far the most popular. Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s, and Chivas Regal are well known mass Blend producers.
The basics requirements for Scotch:
- Must be produced in Scotland
- Made from Malted Barley (additional cereal grains can also be added)
- Aged in an oak cask for +3 years in Scotland
- Distilled at no greater than 190 Proof
- No added substances other than caramel coloring
- Bottled at 80 proof or higher
Malted barley is the dominant grain in Scotch and provides the base of flavor. Additional high proof cereal grain whiskies are often blended with the malt barley whiskies to achieve a particular flavor profile.
What about the caramel coloring additives? Is this foolery…deceiving lies?!!!
Why do it?
Consumer expectations! It’s got to be just the right color or some enthusiasts turn their nose at it. Always aiming to please, Distillers and Master Blenders (can) add just the right amount caramel color to the aged whiskey.
The next time you see a Scotch snob at a bar surveying his drink against the light for color, have some fun in knowing a 3-year aged scotch can be made to look the same color as a 30 year. If they insist there is a difference, tell them to pass the bottle and quit being an asshole!