You Need to Know About Your New Favorite Drink
by Daniel Yaffe
Chronicle Books, 2013
This guide to whiskey is for a new
generation of drinkers venturing far beyond the staid whiskey sours and
Manhattans of their grandfather's day. It is a book for urbanite
men and women eager to experiment, try new things, and play with their
1970s and 1980s were marked by a surge of vodka consumption because
people didn't want to taste their alcohol," claims author Daniel Yaffe.
"Things are changing."
Today, the universe of
flavored liquors - including vodkas and whiskeys
exploding. The Big Bang of fine spirits is circling the globe and
seeping into nightclubs, bars and private homes everywhere.
Yaffe's book briefly explains the
differences in blends, single malts, pot still, rye and single grain
whiskeys. And it offers a primer on how to make, taste and buy
whiskeys. Individual chapters cover the distinctive natures of Irish,
Scotch, Canadian and Japanese whiskeys as well a good old American
Recipes for classic drinks and cocktails are scattered
throughout the volume along with a little history.
The flavor of peat or "peatiness," or the lack thereof,
defines and differentiates Scotch whiskys. This taste is created by
using burning peat moss to smoke the barley that's used in making
"The bigger the percentage of barley smoked with peat, the more intense
the smoky taste will be in the final whisky," Daniel Yaffee explains.
Islay, part of the Inner Hebrides archipelago off the coast of mainland
Scotland, is where the most peaty, briny and smoky whiskys are made.
Highland and Speyside whiskys from the northern reaches of Scotland are
less peaty and tend to have a richer fruit and floral flavor than those
from the coastal areas.
There's a lot of talk about
what glass to use when tasting whiskey, and it's a valid (if geeky)
conversation. Just going for a drink? Use anything that holds liquid.
If you're out to taste whiskey, the shape, material, and size of the
glass will make a difference. You can easily do a taste test with some
friends by putting the same whiskey into three differently shaped
glasses to smell and taste how the shapes can affect the
| Canada Eh?
Canadian whisky is
the bestselling whisky in North America. It introduced Americans to
smooth, easy drinking but lost some of its fame to an even smoother and
easier drink with the advent of vodka. Although it took a while,
Canadian whisky is back on the map.
Creativity is flowering
in the land of the Mounties, but the whiskies don't often trickle out
to other countries... U.S. brands like Whistlepig are bying
Canadian-rye flavoring whiskies to mix and bottle in Vermont. With
renewed interest in single malts and craft products, a blizzard of new
bottles will show up in the next several years.
Crystal Whiskey Tasting Glass
|A whiskey from a shot
taste slightly different from the same liquid in a wine glass or a
whiskey snifter. Depending on its shape, the glass with hold the
alcohol and aromas in distinctive ways, and because smell is a large
part of how we taste, the glass affects the entire whiskey experience.
In general, your best choise is a
tulip-shaped glass designed specifically for whiskey tasting. It will
help to concentrate the aromas precisely where you stick your nose into
Jack Daniels - Sippin Whiskey Tin Sign
Photograph of recently dug peat blocks drying on
the Isle of Islay
by Mark Boulton
good spirits & fine