CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 14 Sci-Fi & Fantasy - Page 166

Whisky: Down the RabBit Hole By Craig Johnstone Last night, I sat with some old friends for a catch up since recently returning to Scotland from Tasmania. As tradition dictates, they sorted out the new Scottish beers, the venue and a new curry house for dinner and I sort- ed out a bottle or two of whisky whilst we all sorted out the world’s problems. The conver- sation (again, as dictated by tradition) flowed from sports to science, skipping over religion, left towards politics and settling on the most important subject at hand: the whisky. The next morning, we have forgotten most of our discussions, but when I fulfill my role properly, everyone is still thinking about one thing: the whisky. Personally, I see whisky as an opportunity to tell a story. Each and every bottle and distillery has a narrative, and I be- lieve these are the tales that lead to brand loyalty as well as the constant search for new expressions, flavours, experiences and most importantly new tales to tell. The story I want to tell you today is the most overlooked, yet possibly the most fundamen- tal of them all. So, pour yourself a dram of the good stuff and let us delve down the rab- bit hole to explore the fundamental question: what is in a glass of whisk(e)y? Let us begin with the Oxford Dictionary defi- nition of whisky: “A spirit distilled from malted grain, especially barley or rye.” Add in the fact that most are matured for a period of time in wood and that regional laws will dictate what can be called whisky and where and we have a definition I suspect most of us can relate to. As for the spelling, well there’s a good story there, but that is a story for another article. So, let us peel back the first layer of this defi- nition and look at whisky from a scientific per-