When you want to buy someone a whiskey gift then you have to prepare to get informed on this fine spirit. Different people enjoy different tastes and when you want to purchase a good Scotch you should first understand the subtle nuances of this drink. Though whiskey was earlier considered to be an old man’s drink today it has morphed into a drink that is enjoyed the world over by people irrespective of age and gender.
When you decide to give a whiskey gift then you should know something about the present that you are about to give. Knowing how whiskies are made, the different regions where they come from and the subtle nuances of the bottle that you have purchased will show your host the depth of your knowledge and the thoughtfulness which you have put into your purchase.
To begin with you should know what a single malt scotch whiskey actually is. A single malt Scotch is a type of whiskey which is made using only a single type of grain. This single grain ingredient is malted barley. The second thing is that a single malt will become a single malt Scotch only when it is distilled and matured in Scotland. These whiskies also need to be matured in oak casks for a minimum period of three years. Once all of these things are checked off from the list the whiskey is declared a single malt scotch.
There are many varieties of scotch whiskies that you can choose from. So what differentiates one whiskey from the other? One of the major defining factors is the region from which the whiskey is produced. Much like the wine producing regions in France, the whiskey producing regions in Scotland are also grouped. The main whiskey producing regions of Scotland are the Highland region, the Lowland region, the Island region, the Islay region and the Speyside region. By far the Speyside region has the largest number of distilleries. Almost half of Scotland’s distilleries are present in this region. Because of its geographical location Speyside is mixed up with the Highland region but is actually a separate whiskey producing area. You can get rich and heavy sherry flavored malts as well as light floral more complex malts. Some famous names from this area are Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan etc.
The Highland region produces whiskies that are sweet and fruity and have a light dry finish. However these malts are not as sweet as the ones produced in the Speyside region. The famous Glenmorangie comes from this region. The Island whiskies have a slight coastal flavor to them. The character of these whiskies is slightly peatier but is still sweet and soft. The Talisker is the most famous single malt from this region.
The Islay malts are the next category of whiskies that you need to take a look at before purchasing your whiskey gift. The whiskies from this region are amongst the strongest in flavor and are well known for their strong peaty smoky flavor. These whiskies are often very heavy, have quite a bite and are an acquired taste.