Scotch whiskey is from barley, wheat, rye, or corn that’s mixed with water. It’s considered a “daddy drink” or a “manly drink” because of its price and strength—it’s expensive, and for the longest time it was the men/the dads who were the breadwinners and hence were mostly the ones who could afford the drink; it’s also not exactly very sweet, which is what many say “girly drinks” taste like.
But really, drinking—whether or not it’s beer or wine or whiskey—is essentially about enjoying the beverage and the company you’re sharing the moment with. Sure, there’s still the culture here in the Philippines where guys have to drink a lot of beers and not get drunk to keep their rep. But I’d like to believe that there are people who’ve gone past that way of thinking and moved on to tasting the flavors in a drink and admiring the artisanship behind it (provided the drink is of high quality). You can say that’s what drinking whiskey is about—artisanship. Come to think of it, you’d have a lot of money to spend if you’re getting wasted on whiskey. A shot or a small glass of whiskey costs more than two hundred bucks—but that’s not what’s going to make you savor the drink; it’s the taste and the conversations you’ll have with people you’re with.
But what does whiskey taste like? It depends on the kind you have.
For instance, a Chivas 12 (a Chivas whiskey matured for at least 12 years) has hints of honeyed apples, vanilla, and butterscotch, while a Chivas 18 (a Chivas whiskey, produced with various malt and grain whiskies, matured for 18 years, and processed differently from the 12) is smooth, smoky, and is reminiscent of dark chocolate.
You can drink whiskey without pairing it with a dish—it’s really about your own preference since it’s all about your own enjoyment. A winning combo will always be a really good whiskey with really delicious food—if you want something more specific, some Chivas 18 with chocolate cake.
If you’re interested in tasting the unique profile of a kind of whiskey, it’s best to drink it in a tulip-shaped glass (or any glass with a wide bottom but narrow top) to trap the aroma that will guide your taste buds.
You might have heard the imperative of drinking your whiskey “neat” (to drink it as is). But the people who live and swear by whiskey, the Scots, don’t really do that. Whiskey is 40 percent alcohol, so much of what anyone who drinks it neat will taste is alcohol. So what the Scots do is that they pour water into their glass of whiskey to lower the alcohol content to 20 percent—the perfect amount—so that the flavors will be more apparent. (Pro tip to get the 20 percent: The amount of water you’ll pour into your glass of whiskey is the same amount as how much whiskey you have.)
Whiskey has a lot of health benefits. Given that you drink it moderately, it won’t make you pack on some pounds.
Whiskey, as an alcoholic drink, has calories and carbohydrates. But it has no fat and has very little sodium. And since it’s a drink you take your time with, you don’t drink a lot of it in one sitting—you don’t load up on the calories and the carbs unlike how you would when you’re having beer, hence helping you maintain your weight.
Whiskey is a blood-thinner so it reduces your chances of experiencing clots that can lead to stroke and it increases the amount of good cholesterol in your body that protects your heart. It also has extremely high levels of ellagic acid, one of the most powerful antioxidant compounds we can consume, so it prevents cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature aging, and stimulates the immune system to combat colds, illnesses, and infections.
What makes whiskey so special that you should try it at least once in your life? It’s an experience in itself. The health benefits are something that will encourage you to actually drink whiskey and do it moderately, but they’re not exactly going to make you try it. I suppose it’s the impression that whiskey has had over the years and why it was invented in the first place—there’s a disconnect between the two. It’s not really for men or our dads; it’s for whomever wants a sophisticated drink, to splurge, to celebrate life, or to just enjoy it. So why not?
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