11 May THE BIG WHISKY DEBATE: TRADITIONAL OR MODERN?
Join Glenturret Distillery’s very own Drammolier™, Lucy Whitehall, as she takes on some of the biggest debates in the world of whisky and shares her dram good expertise, straight from Scotland’s oldest distillery.
Traditional or Modern?
As we venture into Whisky Month, it is the perfect time to debate and celebrate the vast array of drams that are crafted in Scotland and savoured by cultures all around the globe. And, both traditional and modern drams have their place in our exciting and diverse world of whisky.
Let’s consider ‘traditional’ first. This depends a lot on how you define ‘traditional’. Traditional could refer to how you drink your dram, or the type of whisky you’re tasting. I tend to associate tradition with age and a whisky’s age has a massive impact on flavour…
There are certain characteristics that develop in whisky over longer periods of time through interaction during longer maturation. These characteristics are harder to detect in younger malts. Older malts tend to be in short supply and therefore more precious. This doesn’t mean that older whiskies are better than younger whiskies though.
A very important factor in whisky maturation is the quality of the casks that are used. Using a high quality cask, such as a first fill Spanish Sherry Butt, can contribute up to 60% of the overall flavour and character of the whisky. Our Warehouse Experience offers an exceptional distillery tour and whisky tastings that explore the whisky casks that we use here at Glenturret.
Speaking of older malts, Glenturret Distillery has just announced an incredibly rare 28 year old single cask malt called The Brock Malloy Edition #Cask328 which is named after the stillmen who skilfully warehoused the cask back in 1986. This is an exceptional example of a perfectly aged dram lovingly nurtured following traditional artisan methods. It tastes incredible too!
So, we know that older whiskies are incredibly complex, varied and precious. They, in my opinion, represent the traditional aspect of whisky that is massively celebrated and popular with whisky enthusiasts the world over.
But, where does that leave the modern drams? Younger whiskies and new blends can be overlooked in favour of their more traditional relations, but, as I always say, whisky is a very personal choice and, whether it’s a 25 year old single malt or a new blend, there is no right or wrong way to taste and enjoy a dram.
When I think of ‘modern’ whiskies, mixology is what comes to mind. When you start introducing other ingredients or mixers to a dram, the scope for getting creative is endless. A modern, and very popular way to enjoy a whisky is to incorporate the intense flavours of whisky into cocktails. If you’ve never tried one, Whisky Month is definitely the time for some experimentation! Here is one of my personal favourites:
The Black Orchard
1 shot The Black Grouse
2 shots pressed apple juice
1 wedge fresh lime
Fill a highball glass with ice, squeeze in a generous wedge of lime and drop into the glass. Add a measure of The Black Grouse, two measures of pressed apple juice and top up with ginger beer, stir and serve.
I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t another spirit on the planet as varied, complex and vibrant as whisky. Happy Whisky Month everyone!
Taste the Whiskies mentioned by Lucy:
Learn more about Nosing & Tasting with our Distillery Tours: http://experience.thefamousgrouse.com/tours/