whiskies and whiskeys

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whiskies and whiskeys

Post by Archived Topic » Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:41 am

Is it important to determine U.S. and Irish Whiskeys from Canadian and Scotish Whiskies? I have been corrected on occasion to specify brand or country.
Submitted by Gregg MacDonald (Halifax - Canada)
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whiskies and whiskeys

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:54 am

No, it's not important. But that's just a matter of opinion.

You seem to be already aware of the spelling distinction, so it's not clear what your question is.

Incidentally, although "Scotch" and "Scottish" are synonymous, whiskies of the Scottish variety are usually referred to as "Scotch whisky", not "Scottish whisky".

Have you been nipping into the Canadian Club 100 Proof?

Reply from Nimo Piquter (Vancouver - Canada)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:07 am

Gregg, I think your question would be of vital importance to a dedicated whiskey drinker, but the distinction is not so important for the rest of us plebs, where a rum and coke or a couple of beers is the norm. Whiskey is much like wine, in the sense that there are so many regions that produce it and also a great deal of value placed on its age. The difference here is that to produce what is considered a good wine entirely depends on the weather conditions during the year, so an excellent wine might be 3 or 9 or 12 years old. Whiskey, on the other hand varies tremendously in its nature and quality, and the way it is manufactured, the use of wooden or steel vats (and what sort of wood), how many years it remains in the vat whilst fermenting and so on...the longer the better.
The whiskey-drinkers I have come across seem to be much more fanatical than wine drinkers: a wine drinker can appreciate a fine wine from Australia or South Africa, even America :-) and sip it with pleasure. They may have a particular favourite, but will cheerfully enjoy any good wine from anywhere. Whiskey drinkers tend to fiercely cling to their favourite tipple, each swearing that their own brand is the best, and usually, then taking great pleasure in describing what they think the faults are in all the other types!
Thus, if you are in the company of a whisky drinker, it may be extremely important (to him/her) that you don't bring him a Canadian whiskey if he asks for a "scotch".
“Scotch” and “Scottish are very much NOT the same! A Scottish person will be quite upset to hear himself being described as “Scotch”. In modern English usage the general term for things from or about Scotland is "Scottish". "Scots" is usually reserved only for references to the Scots language and legal system. "Scotch" remains in use only for phrases like Scotch whiskey, Scotch broth and Scotch terrier, etc. (One cynical joke is that Scotch can only be used for things which can be bought, such as whisky, eggs and politicians.)
Hope that helps
Rob 21jan04

Reply from Rob Masters (Thailand - Thailand)
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whiskies and whiskeys

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:21 am

Oh...Gregg...one thought. You stress the use of the words "whiskeys" and "whiskies" in your question. You didn't make it clear if you were asking about these spellings, or about the difference between various types of whiskies, the drink! If my reply above was not what you wanted, could you explain a little more clearly?
Rob 21jan04
Reply from Rob Masters (Thailand - Thailand)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:34 am

In answer to my own question, i think you will find that this is all about American English and English English once again :-)
The word in the American language is "whiskey" and in English is "whisky"...hence American brands being called "whiskey" or "whiskies".
------------------------------------------
The spelling "Whisky" is generally used for those distilled in Scotland, Canada, and Japan, while "whiskey" (with an "e") is used for the spirits distilled in Ireland and the United States, but there are exceptions. The Welsh version is wysgi. The name evolved from the Gaelic uisge beatha (water of life). (Other countries also have their own "water of life": see the Danish Akvavit, derived from the Latin aqua vitae.) Irish whiskey is typically distilled three times from a mash of several grains. Scottish whisky, properly called Scotch, is typically distilled twice, either from barley malt alone (see single malt whisky), or from barley malts and other grain malts which are then mixed together. Kentucky whisky, called Bourbon, is normally only distilled once, as are most other American and Canadian whiskies.
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiskey
Rob 21jan04


Reply from Rob Masters (Thailand - Thailand)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:47 am

pps!
I've just found a VERY detailed explanation about all the different whiskies, which gives all the origins of the word, how it came to be used,what it originally meant, and how whiskies are made, but I won't bore everyone here with a page of dates and origins and facts...just look at
http://53.1911encyclopedia.org/W/WH/WHISKY.htm
if you are interested in this sort of specialised in-depth detail.
Rob
Reply from Rob Masters (Thailand - Thailand)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:01 am

Gregg,

If I understand your question correctly, it would only be important to distinguish between the various countries of origin if you want a specific whiskey (whisky) when ordering a drink. If you go to a local bar in the US, and order a whiskey, you will most likely be given a glass of whatever cheap whiskey is available. If you would prefer a single malt scotch, you would have to order that specifically. You could also order by brand name, if that's your preference, "I'd like a Glenlivet, on the rocks" (my drink of choice).

There is no requirement to be any more specific, unless it's necessary to the conversation. You could safely say "I went to a party last night, and drank whiskey", without having to say "I drank Canadian whisky".

It simply comes down to how detailed you want to be. You could say "I drive a car", or "I drive a Japanese car", or "I drive a Toyota", or "I drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla". They all have essentially the same meaning, just the degree of detail has changed.

JF 12/21/2004
Reply from Jeff Freeman (Orlando, FL - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:14 am

Thanks "gents" for the imput, I am in fact curious to the written words rather than oral. When "Scotch" is a Whisky and "Bourbon" is a Whiskey could you say, "We spent the evening drinking Scotish and American(U.S.) Whiskies."

Gregg
Reply from Gregg MacDonald (Halifax - Canada)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:27 am

Not in the same glass, I hope.

In the context you have given, you obviously have to choose one or the other. It is doubtful that anyone other than a real stickler would have any problem with it.

A stickler might propose "We spent the evening drinking Scottish whisky and American whiskey." But this sentence seems silly. After all, we are just dealing with variant spellings of the same word, not a different classification of alcoholic beverages.

If you encounter a stickler, I would suggest offering him a double whisky or, if he prefers, a double whiskey. It will loosen him up a bit and this will no longer be an issue.

Of course, you could avoid the problem altogether by rephrasing what you want to say. In the above example, "We spent the evening drinking Scotch and Bourbon."


Reply from Nimo Piquter (Vancouver - Canada)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:41 am

I whole-heartedly recommend we all spend an evening drinking Scotch and Bourbon. Then maybe Ken, Erik, Dale, Robert, and Leighton can all get along again...
Reply from Jeff Freeman (Orlando, FL - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:54 am

"one Boubon, one Scotch...one Beer.."

George Thorogood...do you, think, no he wouldn't..

Thanks GM
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:07 am

Sounds good to me. Cheers.
Reply from Leighton Harris (Cambridge - England)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:21 am

Ok, this probably should be a new topic, or maybe not one at all, but it applies to Gregg's last comment.

When quoting a source (in this case, George Thorogood), should the original source always be used (John Lee Hooker, in this case) or is it alright to use a more recent source? I suppose this really would only apply to music references. Does it matter at all?

JF 12/21/2004
Reply from Jeff Freeman (Orlando, FL - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:34 am

Jeff, my apoligies, I should of refered to John Lee Hooker,I just ran with it off the top of my head. Now lets take a "google" and see if he wrote it.

GM
Reply from Gregg MacDonald (Halifax - Canada)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:47 am

Ah, the credit for this classic blues ditty goes to.....Amos Milburn. Thanks for all the info, and you think having a name like MacDonald I could spell Scottish.

Cheers
GM
Reply from Gregg MacDonald (Halifax - Canada)
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